Does marketing turn on revenue or does revenue stimulate marketing?

NB: This is an article by Adrienne Hanna, Founder & CEO at RightRevenue

I often write about the need to stop ‘working in silo’s’ and in this blog, I would like to describe the roles of Revenue and Marketing.

Both are critical to the success of any hotel but too often we see them working separately with little idea of driving strategy together.

Revenue should always be seen as the start of strategy journey for two simple reasons:

  • they know when you are going to be busy and therefore Marketing can ease back on spend and activity as business comes in organically with less effort or spend required
  • they know when you are going to be quiet and when it is critical to have marketing campaigns ready to hit the market

Marketing also have an advantage over Revenue in that they know:

  • which campaigns work, why and when
  • when organic versus paid digital marketing works
  • what the customer demographic is and what turns on the taps for each market

So let’s start with the ideal scenario

  1. The Revenue Manager forecasts for the next 12 months (as an example)
  2. The Revenue Manager identifies need dates and periods of low demand – which translates to ‘please Marketing I am desperate for help!’
  3. The Revenue Manager identifies periods of shoulder demand – which in real terms can often be the most difficult to market as both demand and pricing need to align to make that perfect sweet spot.
  4. The Revenue Manager and Marketing Manager work together to figure out a strategy – and if this doesn’t happen in your hotel it should.
  5. A plan is drawn up to make sure that Marketing know the demands of the business; the customer type that needs to be marketed to; length of stay restrictions that may need to be enforced; incremental spend expected to and most importantly the price point that is required.

So a Marketing strategy which is aligned with Revenue also consider:

  1. Do we need to increase our Pay Per Click and use targeted ads for this particular market segment that the campaign is targeted to?
  2. Will the business and traffic come though organic search instead?
  3. Can we target our Loyalty customers first as a thank you for their loyalty and has this worked in the past?
  4. If this is leisure based, what kind of packages can we come up with to target our market – maybe food breaks or activity breaks

Now Marketing get to wave their magic wand. This team know exactly the demographics of the customers that need to be targeted. They know which campaigns that have worked in the past. They have new campaigns and ideas up their sleeves because after all they are the ‘ideas’ people on the team and they know which distribution channels to work with.

Marketing will also be closely monitoring review sites such as TripAdvisor so they know what your customers are saying, as this often can impact marketing strategy. For example – do your guests talk about how fantastic your restaurant is which might stimulate special menu tasting breaks? Or perhaps they like cycling or walking and you could include activity breaks. Or maybe your guests describe family stays, so perhaps something to entertain the kids.

Marketing can also help ensure the hotel features on social media and Revenue will understand how price points and campaigns sit within their competitive set. Revenue will also understand and be able to forecast incremental spend.

So to round-up… Revenue & Marketing should NEVER work in isolation. Great campaigns promoted at the right time, through the right channels and at the right price point only come when both departments work as a team. So stop your teams working in silos and actively encourage open conversations and collaboration. I promise you will reap the rewards.

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