How to choose your Metasearch Channel Manager
Metasearch continues to grow in importance for hotels around the world, and there is a range of tools and software available for hoteliers to manage their metasearch presence.
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The meta-channel managers allow you to manage and review all your pay-per-click bids on all your identified price comparison sites in one convenient place, with an optimization tool included.
It’s important to consider tools and software that are automated.
Many booking engines claim to have the meta channel advertising built in, but quite often this is simply an interface that lets you input your campaign basic data, with your budget managed by employees, manually.
This is very different from the connected API offered by the meta-channel mangers to organise your bids, in real-time, and with constant attention.
Here's a list of main metasearch channel managers:
1) Meta I/O from WIHP
This meta channel manager is made by the French hotel marketing business WIHP and sold directly to hotels, chains and as an add-on to other booking engines. It has certified connections with Google HPA(Google Hotel Ads) , TripAdvisor Tripconnect, Kayak, Trivago, Wego.
The tools let you state a global budget for the campaigns on all the meta channels. For Tripconnect it let you customize your pay per click ads, depending of the TripAdvisor source market or language, for mobile and, interestingly, for ads position.
This kind of approach is similar to SEM real-time bidding. Bids can a be automatically managed to put your hotel in the top three search results on the meta’s results page.
Other bidding options are present and overall it has complete coverage of all the features of the main metas.
It offers reporting and can also show campaigns results in Google Analytics.
2) Ads Hotel
Developed by an Italian start-up, incubated in D-Business. Its software is connected to Google HPA (with the certification of its partner Nozio) , Kayak, TripAdvisor Tripconnect, Trivago, HotelsFinder and others .
It’s not sold to individual hotels.
3) Metasearch Manager by DerbySoft
DerbySoft is a Chinese travel software house that has developed an online SaaS product for meta channel management. They list all main meta channels, including Skyscanner, Wego, HotelScan.
An important fact in optimizing your campaigns is the speed with which you can respond to the consumer query at the metasearch site. It is important that you can get a fast response.
With its proprietary Smart Cache system, DerbySoft claims to respond to 95% of requests of the metas.
4) Meta Direct by Jack Rabbit Systems
Jack Rabbit Systems from Santa Fe, New Mexico, started out by providing the hotel booking solution for local tours operators and has developed a meta-channel management tool, Meta Direct.
Then many booking engines, PMSs or traditional channel management systems offer the option of meta advertising, built in to the core product. This is a different approach than either using dedicated software on a standalone basis or integrating your chosen supplier into your PMS or IBE.
If you would like to try a basic campaign on metas, and your hotel system allows you to do that, they are okay.
But if you need to manage your budget with detailed reporting you need a system that has a certified connection, a bidding engine and the ability to cope with high meta traffic and requests.
Among certified software that have a built-in automatic engine for the basics of meta channel management there are HeBS Digital, Sabre’s SynXis Central Reservations and WuBook.