This wish list is unlike any other. Don’t expect to be asked for the latest tech gadget or an all-expenses paid vacation.
Listen up, hotel owners and asset managers.
Want to sleigh the holidays this year for your hotel marketing team?
No holiday is complete without our annual Official Gift Guide for Hotel Marketers to keep the season bright.
Just one heads up: This wish list is unlike any other. Don’t expect to be asked for the latest tech gadget or an all-expenses-paid vacation.
What hotel marketers really want are the necessary assets, funds, and tools to reach their 2019 goals.
So, pass the festive cocktails. Bring on the cheer.
Here’s what hotel marketers REALLY want this year:
1. They want a budget correlated to revenue goals
Let’s be realistic.
If you’re holding your marketing team accountable to loftier revenue goals, you’ll need to support that with a loftier budget. Unfortunately, there are still many hotel owners who believe marketers are miracle workers who can achieve more revenue with less resources, less tools, less staff, and less funds.
Want to achieve more in 2019?
Calculate how much you spent in OTA commissions in 2018, you’ll quickly realize that investing in DIRECT marketing is one of the smartest moves you can make to boost margins. Support your hotel marketing team’s efforts with the appropriate budget needed to hit revenue goals and to make the desired impact on 2019 profits.
2. They want compensation for driving measurable revenue
The sales team isn’t the only department accountable to revenue goals anymore.
Hotel owners and asset managers are now expecting hotel marketers to contribute to the bottom line in a tangible way, beyond pretty pictures, Instagram posts and squishy “branding projects.” In return, hotel marketing teams are beginning to track direct ROI, such as marketing cost per booking (MCPB), return on ad spend (ROAS) and direct website conversions.
Armed with these figures, hotel marketers want to be rewarded and compensated for contributing to their piece of the hotel revenue pie.
3. They want better digital marketing talent
To outperform your compset, you need an army of top talent at every level of your marketing department. After all, someone is behind every digital touchpoint – from social media, to the hotel website design, to email. Not to mention all the expertise needed behind-the-scenes, such as search marketing, data analytics, and CRM systems. While talented digital marketing professionals are aplenty all over the country, they are being reeled in by other industries that offer higher pay and better benefits and perks (think Google, Facebook, and virtually any major corporation with a website).
The first step to building an unbeatable team is recruiting employees who have both digital prowess and hotel marketing instincts. This means hiring staff who understand the hotel experience. Rethinking your compensation packages. And, making sure they understand the stages of the travel purchase funnel, ROI of each, and how to usher a visitor onto the next phase.
4. They want property upgrades…Please!
Every week, a hotel is announcing a stunning redesign or renovation, or breaking ground on a new property entirely. With so much shiny and new inventory on the market, it’s getting near impossible to compete with an aging, tired product. No amount of innovative and brilliant marketing (and trust us, your marketing team is trying) can mask a shoddy hotel experience.
The solution IS NOT leaning more on your marketing team.
It’s to invest in the necessary property upgrades to remain competitive. Travelers are more sophisticated and vocal than ever. It’s vital to keep up with modern amenities, aesthetics, and experiences. Without improving your hotel product, trying to win over the hearts and wallets of guests simply with more marketing will be a never-ending battle.
5. They want the time and tools to handle more data
The effects of Big Data are enormous.
Think deep insight into your guests’ behavior and preferences – past, present and future. Knowing which customers have the highest lifetime value and how to reach them. Aptly leveraging peaks and dips in your hotel’s business cycle to reap the best possible net profit.
Not to mention, the responsibility to protect your guests and their personal data. The hospitality industry has been a target of security breaches since 2010. No hotel is immune and the effects on customers’ security have been far-reaching. From independent properties to Marriott to Sabre Hospitality Solutions’ reservation system, hackers have been able to collect secure customer data, including credit card numbers, addresses, names, login credentials, dates of birth and passport information.
Collecting, managing, analyzing, and protecting all this data can be exciting but also overwhelming. Hotel marketers need the tools and the funds to pull this off.
6. They want better benchmarking
Almost every hotel marketer we have spoken to has the same question: “How am I performing compared to similar properties?”
While we can rely on common benchmarks like STR’s indexes, other key performance indicators like direct vs 3rd party revenue ratio and website conversion rates can vary by market and property type. Thankfully, smart analytics companies like Kalibri Labs and others are helping hotel marketers understand critical KPIs and provide actionable advice.
7. They want better vetting and yield from social influencers
Nihiwatu, the top-rated hotel in the world (and one of our clients