Today, we’re talking about…improving your meetings and groups product.
NB: This is an article from Tambourine
Product comes first.
Before the website and marketing plan, before listing your meeting space on Cvent, before your sales team responds to that first lead, someone, somewhere, decided on the product. The product? That’s what you’re selling to meeting planners. But who decided on what that product includes and how it’s been positioned in the marketplace? When was the last time your meetings product was updated?
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Get a grip on your meetings product.
In order for marketing to communicate your product and more importantly differentiate your product in the market, they’ve got to know it inside and out. Not just the big picture stuff, the nuances. And that requires talking to all the people who intersect with that product.
Talk to provisioning.
The best product improvements come from the people who provision your meetings and groups product every single day. That’s the catering sales manager and your relationship team, the people who work hand in hand with the corporate planners. Ask them what’s working and what isn’t. Is it your service they remember? Your venues? The F&B? Is there an area that consistently causes friction? Is there a misalignment between what sales is selling and what you’re delivering? This is where you’ll hear about it.
Talk to sales.
Your sales team is your best research tool. Every day they listen to the good, the bad and the ugly from meeting planners. Is that feedback making its way back to product marketing? What’s the most consistent reason you win business? Maybe it’s time to start amplifying that. What’s the most consistent reason you lose business? Isn’t it time to plug that hole? Are meeting planners asking for something you’re simply not offering? Your sales team is on the front lines of what the market is asking for. Listen up!
Shop your competitors.
It’s amazing what you can learn about your own product by shopping your competitor’s websites. How are they positioning their product? Is their meetings and groups website better than yours? Are they doing a better job differentiating their product from yours?
Finding the gaps in your competition is where new opportunities reside. That’s how you find out you’re the only property in town with an award winning chef. Or you’ve got twice as much meeting space as everyone else. Or you’re the only one with three outdoor venues. Dig deep, find out exactly how you’re different. That’s your competitive edge.
Maybe they’ve got you beat.
Getting to know your compset gives you insight into whether or not it’s time to pivot. Maybe your competition truly does have you beat. Maybe you just can’t compete against all the high-end venues in your market. Isn’t it better to know that than to continue wasting money trying to compete against them for the same business? Maybe it’s time to reposition as a budget friendly space for small local meetings and gatherings.
What’s the market asking for?
Sometimes market shifts happen slowly over a period of time. Sometimes, they happen instantly. A great example of an instant market shift is the 2020 shift to hybrid meetings. It’s forcing hotel teams to adapt, and to adapt quickly. Has this shift made its way back to marketing? Has it been added to the website, the sales deck? Have you armed your sales team with a case study of one that went well so they are better prepared to communicate to potential planners?
Go back and talk to the people who sell and provision your meetings and groups product. Shop your competitors websites. How does your product stack up?