30 years of holiday decorating. 30 Christmas trees in the Tambourine offices. 30 years of clinking eggnog-filled glasses. After all these years, We’ve developed our own Christmas tradition.
We like to gather ‘round and check the Christmas lists of our fellow hotel marketers.
While the items have changed immensely since 1984, (nobody wants a dot matix printer or box of floppies this year,) the sentiment behind the list stays the same… Hotel marketers want things that make their guests happy, their jobs easier and their hotels prosper.
This year is no different. We asked around to see what’s on this year’s hotel marketing Christmas list and this is what we found:
1. Acknowledgement for all the responsibilities of a hotel marketer:
It’s not about ego. It’s about progress. Marketers aren’t looking for a pat on the back. What they need this Christmas is for executives, owners and hotel asset managers to understand all that falls under the job of marketing. When management truly understands the resources required, the marketing department usually gets the team and the budget required to keep up with technology and move forward.
2. More direct bookings:
Hotel marketers are tired of putting in the work and watching OTAs profit. Yes, OTAs bring in an important stream of business, but at a high price. Direct bookings bring in more revenue and are more likely the product of loyal fans. Marketers want all the guest information that comes with a direct booking. So, it’s easier to encourage them to book directly the next time.
3. The continued decline of gas prices:
Not everyone can take a sleigh ride to your hotel. Whether your guests have a per diem set by the corporate accountant or by the family checkbook, the decline in gas prices is good news for hotel marketers! The drive-in trip to your hotel is less expensive than it’s been in years. Guests have more money to spend on your rooms and amenities. And they feel better doing it!
4. Global prosperity:
Global economies continue to prosper… and hotel marketers hope it stays that way! Bullish consumers and prosperous businesses take more trips and owners feel confident in reinvesting in property and product improvements.
5. A spike in your TripAdvisor ranking:
Whether you’re stuck on page six or hovering at number two, this year you want to see your TripAdvisor ranking go up. It’s time you were on page one. And if you’ve been on page one hoping to move up to that coveted number one spot, you’re asking yourself if this could be the year you make it to the top.
6. Automated everything:
Some days you feel like Rudolph, the elves, and Santa. You guide your team, build the campaigns and make guests happy. You do the job of an entire North Pole of workers! Since you can’t clone yourself to complete all of these tasks, (and Santa seems unwilling to share his elves), automation has become a necessity. From automated revenue management systems to automated content promotion, hotel marketers want systematic help this Christmas. There’s nothing like a trusted system to help get everything done.
7. Bigger data with a simpler management system:
Like Santa, you want to give your customers what they want. Unlike Santa, you can’t know when they are sleeping and when they’re awake. Or can you? Big data wavers between exciting and daunting. You can now know more about your guests than ever before. You can target your marketing not only to their demographic, but also to individual guests. It feels foolproof, until you start to consider the immense possibilities. This year, hotel marketers want to reign in all of this information, so it is usable in a realistic way.
8. Accuracy and sanity on TripAdvisor and other review sites:
Whether it’s another hotel in your comp set or a misunderstood guest drunk on internet power, inaccurate reviews are frustrating. Once something is on the internet, it’s difficult to combat. One upside of the increased popularity of these sites is guests are becoming savvier when reading reviews. This year several stories of overly critical customers went viral much to the embarrassment of the guest. While no hotel wants to see a negative review of their hotel, this year marketers wish for even more public discernment when reading reviews.
9. To cash in on the authenticity trend:
The authenticity trend often lures in unexpected business, because travelers seek an out of the ordinary experience. The authentic traveler can fill gaps during slow periods. A small hotel in Maine might typically see a drop in business in winter. It’s the authentic traveler who wants to get to know the locals instead of other tourists that boosts winter revenue.
10. The steady cash drip of more corporate accounts:
You’d love to have Santa stay with you. It’d be even holly and jollier if he brought his whole corporation—Donner, Blitzen, and the elves. Corporate accounts are like a safety net for many hotels. You may not make as much per sale, but once a corporate account is in place they practically market themselves. Plus, you never pay OTA fees and they bring in year-round business.
Did you know Santa reads our hotel marketing blog? He’s a big fan. So let us know what’s on your Christmas list. And we’ll make sure he’s checkin’ it twice.
Tambourine uses technology and creativity to increase revenue for hotels and destinations worldwide. The firm, now in its 33rd year, is located in New York City and Fort Lauderdale. Please visit: www.Tambourine.com