Revenue Strategy is Critical But Equally Important is The Revenue Leader
Having a good revenue strategy is critical in hospitality today, but equally important is having the right person who can lead that strategy.
In a session titled “Revenue Strategy in the Digital Age: It Really Works,” moderator Kathleen Cullen, SVP, revenue & distribution, Two Roads Hospitality, noted that revenue strategy has been evolving. “The discipline is moving toward involving planning and resource allocation to their strategic needs. Hotel revenue management has been a very tactical and very reactive discipline in the past, and we work very closely with sales and marketing, and sales and marketing is also not focused on planning and resource allocation. They tend to focus very tactically on the transactional: What can we do to get more eyeballs?” she said. “That means there is not a lot of planning and resource allocation happening within the revenue generation functions at hotels.”
Additionally, she noted, revenue management, sales, marketing and digital are often treated as separate. “We look at them in silos and we allocate resources in silos versus looking at a holistic approach,” she said. “It’s difficult to remove the walls that exist. Much of it is in the mindset. So much of the landscape has changed over the years, but hoteliers have not changed our approach and how we think about things.”
Having a leader who can coordinate these efforts is key. “Who is driving the overall process?” she asked. “Who is laying out the overall plans, directing the teams and deciding the allocation of funds?”
Gary Hawkins, VP of revenue strategy, Sydell Group, commented on the changing dynamic between revenue and sales. “I think the best scenario is when there’s a healthy pull between them, but ultimately, someone who isn’t attached to specific segments, but the overall the top-line success and bottom-line success of the hotel, is the one calling the shots,” he said.