Welcome to another of our Expert Insights. Today we are joined by:
🔹 Cristian Blaj of Userguest
🔹 Barry Wishart of Casa Collina
NB: Userguest are one of our Expert Partners
In this discussion we expand on the recent discussion we had with Erik Munoz when he introduced RMA – RevMarketing Automation.
With Cristina and Barry we focus our conversation around the hotel’s website. Who really owns it? And where does responsibility lie when it comes to generating revenue via the hotel’s direct channel.
We ask if the revenue strategies developed by the revenue management team are often lost on the direct channel and we question if hotel marketeers consider revenue strategies when planning marketing campaigns.
Cristina and Barry also give their thoughts on whether marketing and revenue can think like each other, when their core skills are so different, and what can these two teams do to support each other.
Hope you enjoy the discussion👍
NB: There are some key summary points from the interview below if you would like to read more
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🎥 We discuss a number of areas so we have broken the video down into a timeline:
01:06: Introduction and guest welcome
02:28: Guest introductions
04:20: Where are revenue and marketing silos evident
08:35: Are revenue management strategies lost on the direct channel
12:55 Do marketeers consider revenue strategies when developing campaigns
16:41 Can revenue think like marketing and vice versa
22:20 How can RMA help to break down the silos and support alignment
25:44 What revenue tactics can be used on the website to drive bookings
30:01 Technology should be increasing revenue or decreasing cost
33:20 Wrapping up and final thoughts
👀 WATCH NEXT (A few of our other videos)
💢 Perceived Value and Cost of Living Impact: It’s a Game of Chicken with ADR
💢 Hotel Sector Post Pandemic: More Financial Headwinds Ahead?
💢 RevMarketing Automation (RMA): The Missing Link Between Revenue & Marketing
💢 Price Optimisation – The What, The Why and The How
💢 Is The Hotel Revenue You’ve Generated Making It To The Bank?
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Is there a silo between these two roles? Where is this evident?
Traditionally separating revenue and marketing has been the loose link within a hotel’s strategy execution, as both teams end up working in a silo, using different data sets and KPIs that are not fully integrated into each other’s workflows and which prevent visibility over critical data to contrast what’s working or not and be aware of each other’s responsibilities and priorities.
This can affect the success of revenue and marketing strategies and lack consistency in presenting content that is relevant and compelling to incentivise the consumer to enter the booking funnel.
A very simple example is marketing driving traffic to an offer with no available inventory for the consumer to book.
On the other hand when the silos are broken marketing and revenue teams can double down on strategies that work, maximising conversion rates and revenue.
Building feedback loops into each team’s workflows is a critical step in breaking these silos and technology like RMA (RevMarketing Automation) can ensure this takes place in real time seamlessly.
There has always been a cross-over between these roles and often the hotel operation merges commercial roles without really distinguishing between them. In essence revenue management is concerned with managing the demand and marketing is concerning with growing and managing the sources of that demand. Where the cross-over occurs is that both roles are focused on selling more rooms so increasingly the lines between, and especially over who has responsibility for, certain areas, becomes confusing.
If we look at the core functions of the role, the traditional revenue manger fulfills the position, operationally at least, and grew out of the previous tasks of a reservations manager. As the role developed into managing more complicated sources of business, with technology designed for this express purpose and the prevalence of decision making, RM became a science in itself. The cross over and ensuing confusions, generally occur with e-commerce – both internal and external.
We often see revenue managers comfortably enacting or instructing e-commerce strategies and marketing managers advising on rate structures. But usually the picture is more fragmented.
A revenue manager’s role is to create revenue strategies for the hotel. Do you feel the efforts put into revenue strategies are sometimes lost on the direct channel?
When talking about the direct channel I feel a distinction is needed between the hotel website and the hotel booking engine:
The Hotel website is generally the responsibility of the marketing teams and the biggest opportunity to showcase the brand experience and engage consumers; hotel website traffic data usually sits with the marketing team.
Where as the booking engine tends to fall more under the responsibility of the revenue manager to set pricing strategy and distribute this effectively to drive bookings and maximize revenue.
If communication and data doesn’t flow seamlessly between the revenue and marketing teams at the time of creating the strategy and subsequently when validating the success – we can definitely say efforts put into revenue strategies on the direct channel are often lost.
What should hoteliers be thinking about when addressing their marketing strategies to increase bookings via their direct channels? Do they currently consider revenue strategies when planning their marketing campaigns?
So a direct booking strategy has to be kept realistic in its aims and we need to understand that some consumers will still book via an OTA based on their personal preference. Any direct booking strategy however has to incorporate guest data retention for marketing purposes through FOH, revenue management strategies for best available rates and direct booking incentives, plus a marketing strategy that works across all direct sources of B2C especially social, email and online.
Build campaigns designed to engage and grow the client base not just to sell to them. Look to have a strategy that recognises customers, retains their loyalty and encourages them to re-engage with your hotel. Ensure that there is a reason why clients should book direct. Use all available tools and technology to achieve these goals.
Some hotels do successfully include all stakeholders including the RM when planning the marketing campaigns; those that have data and teams that fully integrate. What often happens though is that rates and availability is a fluid invariable and by the time graphics, content, media etc is delivered to the people responsible for managing the media, the need of the hotel has often changed