NB: This is an article by Tambourine
Even the most suspicious and perceptive people can fall for cleverly executed April Fools jokes.
As hotel marketers, we have so many details, programs and tools to juggle and master. It’s easy to make foolish mistakes. You can fall victim to missed opportunities, budget shortcomings and your own competition stealing business from right under your nose. But we know you’re no fool! And, we want to make sure you are nevermistaken for one. So, here are eight things that hotel marketers should always be on top of and never foolish about.
1. Remember the Four P’s
We know it’s easy to get buried by all the new marketing apps, social networks and activities your hotel marketing team is investing in. Clear all of that clutter from your mind at least once a day by focusing on your property’s big four marketing pillars: price, product, promotion and placement. Quickly review each, determine which need attention and what you’re currently successful at.
2. Your Revenue Targets
Today’s hotel marketers are now responsible for more than just logos, branding strategies and slick copy. Hotel owners and GMs are holding you accountable for contributing to lead generation and bringing in revenue in a tangible way. This means setting a measurable revenue target and mapping out the marketing activities to get there. Get intimately familiar with your hotel’s sales goals and your KPIs, and be ready to present to your owners how your marketing efforts are contributing to those initiatives.
3. Your Marketing Budget
One of the most foolish things a hotel marketer does is not asking for the resources they need to hit their revenue targets. Don’t shortchange your department when you’re asked to forecast a marketing budget for the upcoming year. Be true to yourself, your marketing team and their abilities. When management asks you how much to finance towards marketing activities, don’t spit out an arbitrary number or leave it open to negotiation, or else you’ll be struggling to get the results they’re expecting and DIYing marketing assets. Plus, don’t just think about dollars. Funding can come in the form of extra staff,improvements to be made to the hotel product and experience, etc.
4. Your Guests’ Opinions of You
Your hotel is only as good as your guests say it is. In a time when reviews are the most trusted content out there, this is one area you do not want to be ignorant about. Your guests’ experience will directly impact your hotel’s future success.Read your past guest reviews daily, know what people love and hate about their stay, which staff members are offering the best/worst service, and what is dragging down your hotel experience.
5. Your Biggest Group Business Prospects
Group business is big business. Your comp set wouldn’t dare get lazy when it comes to pursuing meetings and event bookings, so you shouldn’t either. In fact, you and your team should be making DAILY progress in wooing your top prospects. Sit down with each sales person, review their room night goals and their top sales opportunities, and go over what the sales person will do that day to push the meeting planner’s decision further in your favor.
6. Your Revenue Management Team and Activities
Your revenue managers are the epicenter of your property’s ability to fly or flounder. They are the ones who will determine not only next week’s revenue, but if your hotel will succeed for the rest of the year. Just as with your sales team, stay on top of your numbers — your hotel’s pace reports, REVPAR & ADR index vs your comp set, and upcoming low periods — with daily (not weekly) meetings with your revenue managers.
7. Your Competition
Today’s travelers are extremely fickle and can be easily swayed by the latest competitor promo. So, never lose track of what your comp set is doing. There are so many tools and tactics at your disposal that there is never a good reason to be taken by surprise when a competitor starts outperforming you. Subscribe to Google Alerts, leverage STR reports, read their reviews, follow their social media feeds and subscribe to their email offers list.
8. Your Online Presence
Think of your hotel website design as having the same impact as your hotel’s exterior. If it appears unwelcoming, messy and confusing, then you shouldn’t be surprised that only a few people are willing to move past all the unsavory blockades. In the same vein, many hotel marketers are completely unaware of all the booking blockades that live on their own website and booking engines. From cluttered homepages, to slow load times, to messy design, to complicated booking procedures, your website could be deterring visitors and killing revenue with one glance. Test your website user experience, review your analytics, find out what is converting guests and where they are likely to bounce.