Carol Verret Consulting
Trash the 2002 Marketing Plan -
Carol Verret / September 2001
|Nothing can approximate the loss
and sense of grief that we feel for the victims of the World Trade Center
and the Pentagon Tragedies. However, the economic aftermath is just
beginning to take shape and it is ugly. Now, the most patriotic thing
that we can do for our country and ourselves is to get back to business
and try to stabilize this economy.
My advice to all of you in the hospitality industry is to TRASH MARKETING PLAN – and just start over. Most of you have just finished or are in the process of completing the marketing and business plan for 2002. 2001 has been difficult for an industry that was posting double-digit gains in revenue for the better part of the last decade. According to PKF the average US hotel will suffer a 5.6% decline in operating profits in 2001 compared with a 10% increase in profits in 2000. That was written prior to September 11, 2001.
Many hotels and hotel management companies are ill equipped to deal with this sudden turn of events. Demand has been so strong for the last ten years, we have focused on managing yield rather than generating demand. Demand has not slowed down, in many market segments, it has come to a screeching halt. Most impacted are those convention and meeting hotels with long term bookings that are suddenly cancelled until further notice. Corporate travel, even if the fear of flying did not exist, will be impacted by the airline’s curtailment of 20% of their schedules on average. How deeply and for how long leisure travel will be impacted is anyone’s guess. Life as we have come to know it has come to an end, at least for the near future.
TRASH THE MARKETING PLAN AND START OVER – from the beginning.
It is no longer ‘build it and they will come’ – it is now how do we locate potential guests in a contracting market, how do we persuade them to come to our hotels rather than the competition and once there, how do we keep them coming back. If we accomplish the above with skill and a motive of providing hospitality -- the guests and the revenue will follow.
A very wise and prominent man in our industry, Bob Alter, President
of Sunstone Hotels once said’ “It is easy to bring the dollars to the bottom
line when you have them coming in on the top line.” During
the recession of the early 90s, he focused on the sales effort at his hotels
and they were ahead of the curve when the economic recovery began. This
should be self-evident, but is it truly sales and customer service that
drives your hotels?
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|Also See:||How to Use Consultants Effectively – A View From the Other Side / Carol Verret / August 2001|
|How Soft Is Your Hotel's Economic Landing? / Carol Verret / Aprl 2001|
|The ‘Value Proposition’: Marketing Yourself to Prospective Employees / Carol Verret / January 2001|
|Generation Y: Motivating and Training a New Generation of Employees / Carol Verret / November 2000|
|Why Customer Service Seminars Don't Work / Carol Verret / October 2000|
|Creating a Culture of Customer Service / Carol Verret Consulting and Training / Sept 2000|
|FAT, DUMB AND HAPPY – The Seasonal Boom and Bust Cycle / Carol Verret / August 2000|
|Surf's Up - Ride the Wave or Miss the Boat -The Effective Use of Technology in Hotel Sales / Carol Verret / July 2000|
|Measuring Effectiveness of Hotel Sales Departments / Carol Verret / June 2000|
|Hotel Sales Training - The Need for Immediate Results / Carol Verret/ May 2000|