|Ithaca, NY, July 10, 2006 -- Leading hospitality marketing executives
and marketing professors at the Cornell Hotel School's second annual Hospitality
Marketing Roundtable recently examined how to use technology to improve
service and how strategic alliances can boost a hotel brand.
In one session, led by Professor Lisa Klein Pearo, participants addressed the impact of self-service technologies on guest satisfaction. Attendees agreed that one key to successful integration of self-service technology is segmenting the marketplace. One attendee held that some hotel customers might prefer an automated experience, while others, particularly in the luxury segment, would opt for a personal interaction.
In a bid to satisfy all segments, some hotels are trying to blend technology
with personal service. Starwood, for example, has introduced what it calls
the “universal service provider,” a wired individual who attends to guest
needs in a lobby with check-in kiosks. The panel agreed that as technology
advances, companies must educate consumers on how to have a positive experience
with the self-service technologies they offer.
A second session focused on the growing practice of co-branding in hospitality. Citing as examples the alliances between Renaissance Hotels and Starbucks, Hilton and Neutrogena, and W Hotels and Bliss, Professor Robert Kwortnik described how co-branding is becoming a common practice, especially on the high end. Kwortnik stressed that one way to grow a brand is to differentiate it, which is what companies hope to achieve through co-branding. The key to a successful co-branding strategy, says Kwortnik, is for companies to link up with partners whose consumers are a natural fit for their brand. Once the partnership is established, he says, partners need to create a co-branding strategy and aggressively market to those consumers.
In another session, Professor Bill Carroll evaluated the benefits of dynamic packaging on the Internet. While research shows that few travelers make dining or shopping decisions before they arrive at their destination, the Internet may lead to a higher degree of pre-trip planning. In fact, it may be that when travelers book their hotel online, they will also book their meals, show tickets, spa packages and tee times. Carroll said hotels could use such a tool to generate more revenue and enhance the guest experience.
The event was sponsored by the School’s Center for Hospitality Research. For more information about future roundtables at the Cornell Hotel School, please visit http://www.hotelschool.cornell.edu/chr/news/roundtables.html.
About The Center for Hospitality Research
A unit of the Cornell School of Hotel Administration, The Center for Hospitality Research (CHR) sponsors research designed to improve practices in the hospitality industry. Under the lead of the Center’s 48 corporate affiliates, experienced scholars work closely with business executives to discover new insights into strategic, managerial and operating practices. The Center also publishes the award-winning hospitality journal, the Cornell Hotel and Restaurant Administration Quarterly. To learn more about CHR and its projects, visit www.chr.cornell.edu.
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