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Dave Spector

How Much Should Your Hotel Marketing Budget Be? Part 1

January 15, 2014 • By
Tambourine: Hotel Marketing Blog

Here’s the right and wrong ways to answer…

One of the most vexing questions posed to marketing managers in any industry is: “how much should our budget be? Whether you are being asked to submit next year’s budget or a funding request for your next campaign, knowing how to answer your management or ownership’s budgetary questions is vital to your success (and job security)! Hotel sales and marketing leaders face this question at least once a year. As an external vendor, we get asked this question all the time. After 30 years in the hotel marketing profession, here’s our thoughts on the right and wrong ways to answer the property owner when you face this thorny question:

PART 1

The wrong way:

  1. “Whatever you can give me, I’ll do the best I can.” On the surface, this happy answer would appear to position you as an easygoing team player, but it’s actually the most dangerous answer of all! Essentially, you are allowing ownership/senior management to unilaterally control the resources you have to achieve revenue targets that only you know how to achieve. If you fall short and are held accountable for missed targets, you will deeply regret not having asked for the proper amount before you accepted responsibility.
  2. “I didn’t spend all of last year’s budget, so I don’t need as much next year.” This answer only works if you exceeded revenue targets while under-spending the budget… which doesn’t happen very often. Unfortunately, if you are good enough to pull off that amazing feat, be prepared to be asked to do it again every year!
  3. “Our sales goals are 20% more than last year, so I need 20% more budget” It’s not that easy. Revenue rarely correlates in an exact linear fashion with marketing budgets. Instead, think about where the expected revenue increases are expected to come from and what kind of budget you need to achieve it? Perhaps the increased target is from meetings and groups, which takes less budget to generate leadflow than transient/leisure. Conversely, if the targeted revenue increases are expected to come from channels that cost more to penetrate, be ready to ask for more budget to attack those channels.
Next week: the right ways to answer the question: “how much should our hotel marketing budget be…?”

About Tambourine

Tambourine drives revenue for hotels and destinations worldwide using advanced marketing technology. The firm is celebrating its 30-year anniversary. For more information, visit Tambourine.com.

The Most Popular Hotel Marketing Blog Posts of Last Year

January 8, 2014 • By

TambourineMostPopularBlogPostsThe most popular hotel marketing blog posts of last year.

Want good advice? Ask a crowd. The wisdom of crowds is usually accurate. So by taking a look back at our stats from last year’s blog posts, we can measure which topics were most compelling and relevant to hotel marketing folks round the world. Last January, a post on hotel social media from Tom McDermott, advised hoteliers to remember that every guest touchpoint is an opportunity for social interaction. From the pillow quality to the elevator experience, Tom reminded us that guests will evangelize or criticize in real time! In March, we launched the Numbers for Ninjas series with a post about the easily- forgotten importance of OTAs “billboard effect” on hotels’ DIRECT booking revenues! And a sobering stat on how much OTAs are costing US hotels. Readers also voiced their approval of an article on the growing importance of tablets in direct hotel bookings. Consumers surf and search more on phones (due to their greater market penetration), but convert to real bookings much more often on tablets… reminding hotel marketers that a tablet-specific website will ROI quickly! Dave Spector’s series on the importance and easy availability of “little data” was also extremely popular with readers. Part I gave tips on using readily available stats to improve revenues, while Part II revealed other free sources of data many hotels overlook. Our most popular hotel marketing blog of the year came in December: “What do Hotel Marketers want for Christmas?” was clicked, read and shared more than any other post in 2013. The survey results showed some surprising things on hotel marketers’ wish lists! Check out all the posts at Tambourine’s hotel marketing blog and let us know which ones are valuable to you!

About Tambourine

Tambourine drives revenue for hotels and destinations worldwide using advanced marketing technology. The firm is celebrating its 30-year anniversary. For more information, visit Tambourine.com.

What Do Hotel Marketers Want for Christmas?

December 20, 2013 • By

TambourineWhatMarketersWantforChristmasWhat do hotel marketers want for Christmas?

Before we break for the holidays, we asked our staff, client GMs, revenue managers, hotel owners and partners to tell us what's at the top of their professional holiday wish list. The answers might surprise you!
  1. A sympathetic ear: Many of the hotel marketers we surveyed asked for something very simple and poignant: they asked to be heard. Too often, decisions are made by owners or more senior execs without asking the opinion of the sales and marketing team actually responsible for revenue goals. The most common complaint? Budget mandates being passed down with no say in the resources required to achieve the budget.
  2. More corporate accounts: Even though they get significantly discounted rates, businesses that send a steady flow of travelers are deeply desirable to hotel marketers. Their contracts and year-round arrivals form a healthy baseline for many of the folks who responded to our holiday wish list question.
  3. Lower OTA fees: We may solve world peace and find a cure to cancer before most hotel marketers find a way to significantly reduce their OTA commissions, but this item is a clear indication of the frustration hotel leaders have with their ongoing inability to shift share from OTAs to direct revenue.
  4. A #1 TripAdvisor ranking: Unfortunately, Santa's little elves' can only conjure up one of these for every market!
  5. Less fraud on TripAdvisor: Scoundrels who surreptitiously post false reviews on their comp set's page is dirty business, but apparently still all too common based on our survey results. TripAdvisor claims they are doing everything they can to resolve the issue.
  6. Automated revenue management software: Most properties we spoke to have various degrees of manual labor involved in their rate setting and distribution activity. Quite a few told us they would love a more intelligent solution that truly automated competitive analysis, rate updates and dynamic distribution across all channels.
  7. A simpler data dashboard: So many sources of data… so little time to analyze it all! A number of hotel marketers would be happy campers if they woke up on Christmas morning with a simple, plug-and-play dashboard with all their KPIs in one safe place.
  8. Better F&B: The desire for branded, upgraded F&B outlets was a common request in our informal survey. The explosive growth of "foodie" travelers and consumer demand for healthier food is surely driving this…
  9. Economic prosperity: Things are looking up for global economies… 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.
  10. Lower airfares: The cost of airfare is an intrinsic part of any hotel/vacation product. High airfares, reduced capacity, new taxes or municipal landing fees can wreak havoc on your P&L, especially if you are a resort far from your top feeder markets.
Tell us what's on your holiday wish list and we'll send you our favorite Egg Nog recipe (think 151 Rum)! Happy Holidays!

About Tambourine

Tambourine drives revenue for hotels and destinations worldwide using advanced marketing technology. The firm is celebrating its 30-year anniversary. For more information, visit Tambourine.com.

The Road Ahead: The Future of Hotel Marketing

December 11, 2013 • By
Tambourine: Digital Marketing In 1985 my grandparents took me to their local travel agent, a sweet woman named Ruth, to book a vacation to Florida. I remember being mesmerized by the beautiful brochures and exotic posters on display. Ruth keyed our information into a computer terminal that consumed most of her desk, made a few phone calls… 30 minutes later, we wrote a check and walked out with a thick envelope full of printed material. Months later, we arrived at the hotel Ruth had booked for us and presented our well-worn reservation documents.
As stunning as the technological developments in travel marketing have been in the last 20 years, the next 20 promise to be equally incredible.
The hotel knew nothing about us. We knew practically nothing about the hotel (Ruth picked the hotel for us), what our room would look like, the amenities or the immediate area around the property. Who knew that within a relatively short period of time, Ruth and the entire travel ecosystem would be disrupted by technology that empowered consumers to plan their own trips, preview images, videos, reviews from previous guests, make dinner reservations and chat (for free) with a concierge in Bangkok from the comfort of their home! As stunning as the technological developments in travel marketing have been in the last 20 years, the next 20 promise to be equally incredible. According to recent report from Expedia, travel could be on “the cusp of a transformative technological revolution.” Thanks to rapid adoption in smartphone usage, geo-location technology and younger generations’ comfort with sharing their personal information online, travel is set to become more effortless and streamlined than ever before.

Imagine this:

  1. You TELL your smartphone (or soon, smartwatch) to create a calendar event for a trip to a specific destination, or a “family” vacation and your “virtual digital assistant” goes to work researching and collating trip options.
  2. She (he?) starts checking flight prices based on your airline loyalty memberships, airport preferences and knowledge of your past trips (and your reviews). It will also tap into airline and hotel historic pricing databases to evaluate whether the price of your vacation may go up or down in coming weeks.
  3. Siri and her next of kin will then produce a list of options for you to consider. You can purchase, share with family and friends or refine the itinerary and send your virtual assistant back to work.
  4. When you arrive at the airport, new geo-location and payment technology in your smartphone will allow you to seamlessly pay for parking and baggage fees. While innovations in airport security and boarding pass technology will have more of us spending less time in line. Driving to your hotel? Apps on your mobile device will alert the hotel that you are approaching so your room can be ready for check-in.
  5. Hotels will have more actionable data about their guests than ever before. Aggregated from multiple “big data” sources including: social media, past stay history, loyalty programs and perpetually automated data appending programs connected to PMS and CRM systems.
  6. This trove of data will enable service-minded hoteliers to differentiate their product experience by personalizing offers and add-ons at the right time in the trip planning cycle for each customer.

The future is now.

Struggling to believe these advancements are just around the corner? Think again about how far we’ve already come. Tech-savvy hotel marketers are already doing remarkable things that would have sounded like science fiction just a few years ago:
  1. Global chains and boutique brands are working with consumer research companies to append demographic data to their past guest records to gain greater understanding of their customer base and create a model guest profile. This profile is utilized to identify new potential guest/consumers online who match the profile and engage with them via pinpoint digital marketing campaigns. Many believe this new science of past guest profiling and modeling increases advertising response rates and delivers higher ROI than “dumb” campaigns which ignore demographic and behavioral indicators.
  2. Tech giants like Google and Yahoo enable properties of all sizes to launch hyper-targeted campaigns (in hours!) that engage guests in proven feeder markets, past website visitors, fans of their competition’s social media pages, flyers to nearby airports, consumers who’ve received booking confirms from comp-set properties and an endless list of filters that increase ROI and reduce wasted marketing dollars.
  3. Most smart hotel marketers send post-stay surveys, but the most advanced are now automating additional emails to past guests who submit positive scores, encouraging them to leave reviews on TripAdvisor, Yelp and other important review sites.
  4. Brand managers are reviewing guest sentiment data from online reviews across their global portfolios to determine the optimal mix of amenities for future products/projects.
  5. Innovations in revenue management and powerful new yield management software are empowering even small properties to automate pricing decisions in real-time.
And more change is already in the pipeline, according to CB Insights: nearly half a billion dollars was invested in the travel and hospitality sector by venture capital firms from August 2012 to August 2013, with over 60% of that amount invested in tech pioneers outside the US, a clear indication that change is underway worldwide, not just in Silicon Valley.

Embracing it all.

The rapid pace of technological innovation in travel can easily overwhelm time-starved operators with limited resources and budgets. How can you prepare for the technology tsunami without losing sight of short term revenue targets and goals? Here’s three ways we organize ourselves to embrace innovation without taking our eye off our clients’ needs and company goals:
  1. Use technology to find technology: Google Alerts, RSS feeds, personalized news feeds and specialized newsletters make it easier than ever to pluck relevant subject matter from the firehose of web content. A free tool we use often is Topsy (Topsy.com), which scans the social web for relevant conversations about subjects we care about. It helps us identify key influencers and participate in conversations we otherwise might never know about.
  2. Hire tech-lovers: All things being equal, we always hire the candidate who is more passionate about technology. They read blogs, love gadgets and fearlessly plunge into spreadsheets in search of actionable data. After putting all these techies together over the years, we now have a company culture that stimulates rapid adoption of new tools and software.
  3. Start at the bottom (of the sales funnel): In the limited time you and your team have to tackle marketing R&D, focus on technology that impacts the bottom line most rapidly. Ask yourself: which technology will add revenue or prevent lost revenue in the short term? A great example of this is an enhanced reservation abandonment/recovery process, whereby adding simple technology at the point of purchase can result in immediate revenue acceleration. Celebrating a few small victories that convert immediately to measurable revenue will give ownership/upper management more confidence to invest in more resource intensive R&D efforts.

The future is now.

In the time you took to read this article, undoubtedly at least one frothy press release has come out about a new technology in the travel/hotel sector. The pace and volume of change is staggering. And while the road ahead is unknown, it’s an absolute certainty that we will seek, engage, transact, share and communicate with guests in entirely different ways 10 years from now than we do today. And if you don’t want to take my word for it… just ask Ruth. Dave Spector is a Partner at Tambourine, an ROI-obsessed marketing agency driving demand, revenue and brand awareness for travel and leisure clients since 1983

About Tambourine

Tambourine drives revenue for hotels and destinations worldwide using advanced marketing technology. The firm is celebrating its 30-year anniversary. For more information, visit Tambourine.com.

A Hotel Marketing Thanksgiving: 10 things we're thankful for

November 25, 2013 • By
TambourineThanksgivingAs we gather together here in the US for our annual Thanksgiving holiday, we give thanks for the many blessings we have in our personal lives. This year, we're starting a new tradition, we're also giving thanks for all the amazing things we have that enrich our professional lives as hotel marketers. So we asked our staff, client GMs, revenue managers, hotel owners and partners to contribute and help us serve up our inaugural dish… dig in!
  1. OTAs: In an interesting twist, many hotel marketers gave thanks (privately!) for their ongoing success and traction with OTAs. Yes, those pesky OTAs that we all love to complain about drive a significant amount of business for many, forming a solid baseline of revenue and exposing our properties to new, previously unreachable audiences every day.
  2. TripAdvisor: No one believes companies or marketing people anymore, consumers only listen to each other! Which explains TripAdvisor's monumental success. Their agnostic, unbiased portal helps consumers validate hotels, while an increasingly friendly set of hotel marketing tools and programs allows hotel marketers to steer relevant consumers directly to the property website. Sure, negative reviews can hurt, but handled properly, they also demonstrate honesty and authenticity.
  3. Evangelical Customers: More than a few hotel marketers we surveyed gave high praise and thanks to their most evangelical customers, who spread their love of the property via social media and word of mouth. These repeat visitors Tweet, post, share and send photos of their favorite place to friends and relatives with absolutely no cost to the marketing budget.
  4. A great location: Easily forgotten in an age of high-tech marketing is the importance of location, location, location! More than a few hotel marketers are giving thanks this year for a competitively-advantageous location that puts them by the airport, near Times Square, next to the convention center or smack dab on a private Caribbean beach!
  5. Google's recent updates: Huh? Blasphemy you say?! Surprisingly, many hotel marketers see opportunity deep in the heart of the problems created by almighty Google changing the search engine game every few months. These enlightened marketers were able to quickly adapt... implementing new best-practices assets (i.e. perfecting local search tactics) and eliminating old, lazy, spammy techniques that end up penalizing less astute competitors.
  6. Active retirees: Grandma and Grandpa like to hit the road. Retirees are more mobile, more healthy and more wealthy than ever before. This translates to more bookings… direct bookings to be exact, because older folks prefer to book (or call) directly. According to Resonance Consultancy: "Unstoppable Elders" travel 25% more than the average leisure traveler and prefer off-peak travel, which bolsters properties affected by seasonality.
  7. Resurgent economies: Hotel marketers are giving thanks this year for resurgent economies at home and abroad. Key industry metrics have surpassed pre-recession levels, business travel is back and consumer confidence is improving. Better yet, strong economic growth in key US-feeder markets like China and South America has elevated ADRs from free-spending FITs.
  8. The Mobile explosion: Tech-savvy hotel marketers will remember 2013 as the year they truly figured out how to benefit from the proliferation of mobile devices. The adoption of smartphones enables us to target new guests, streamline booking confirms, offer express check-in, communicate in-stay offers, enhance the guest experience and empower social sharing.
  9. A loyalty program: Whether it's a flag/chain-related program, a credit card/airline partnership or third-party frequent guest club, many hotel marketers are giving thanks this year to their loyalty program and its captive audience of incentivized travelers.
  10. Digital Intelligence: The hotel marketer's toolbox gets sharper every day: smarter websites, personalized email offers, advanced yield-management systems, guest-preference data, ROI tracking… the amount of digital intelligence at our fingertips is staggering. For those who know which nuggets to mine, glory and bonuses await!
What did we miss? Tell us what you're thankful for this year and we'll send you our favorite recipe for Green Bean Casserole! Happy Thanksgiving! As stunning as the technological developments in travel marketing have been in the last 20 years, the next 20 promise to be equally incredible.

About Tambourine

Tambourine drives revenue for hotels and destinations worldwide using advanced marketing technology. The firm is celebrating its 30-year anniversary. For more information, visit Tambourine.com.

Part 1: How finding hotels has changed for consumers.

November 20, 2013 • By

Tambourine 30th anniversaryHow Finding Hotels Has Changed for Consumers

Remember when well-worn guidebooks, dog-eared travel magazines and a friend or travel agent’s recommendation were your sole sources of where-to-stay inspiration? As we mark our 30th anniversary as a hotel marketing firm, Tambourine takes a look at how finding hotels has changed for consumers since 1983. Today, expanded GDS reach, loyalty programs, individual hotel websites – plus mega-sites like Google, Expedia, Kayak and Hotels.com – have made the job of finding a hotel easier and, conversely, more complicated and time-consuming than ever before.  According to a report by Cornell University’s Center for Hospitality Research, a would-be hotel guest typically makes 12 visits to an OTA website, requesting 7.5 pages per visit and spending almost five minutes on each page. (Interestingly, that same traveler usually goes to the hotel’s individual website to make an actual booking.)
...the Internet is almost exclusively their source for information gathering and trip-planning.
The job of finding a hotel can, indeed, be time consuming, but taking a leap of faith that your travel agent is going to steer you to the right spot is no longer your only option. Further, thanks to the price transparency and sheer number of travel sellers on the web, consumers are more empowered than ever before. Sites like TripAdvisor take this empowerment to another level by allowing consumers to listen to each other rather than blindly accepting messages of travel and hotel brands. According to the U.S. Travel Association, the Internet was used by approximately 90 million American adults to plan travel last year. Among FITs (individual travelers over the age of 35 who avoid packaged tours), the Internet is almost exclusively their source for information gathering and trip-planning. In a recent survey, nearly 70% used their personal computer, tablet or smartphone to source travel information while less than 20% were tapping the services of a travel agent.

 “The Internet has changed the way people shop for travel,” explains Tom Anderson, chief marketing officer of Grand Lucayan Bahamas, “creating a consumer who is empowered with information and able to make better, more informed decisions.” Not only are consumers window-shopping in advance of their trips, recent research shows that 44% of them are using their smartphones to research travel while traveling.
...a strong, engaged social media presence is a must in order to attract new guests and keep long-time guests coming back.
But online information is just part of the story. The old-fashioned (and often quickly outdated) hotel brochure has given way to a sophisticated array of digital wizardry that taps into the power of visualization. If a would-be guest can’t visual herself swimming in your pool or dining in your restaurant, your online presence isn’t working hard enough. Proving the old adage “a picture is worth a thousand words,” Henry Woodman, president of ICE Portal helps hotels tell their story visually. “Generally speaking, people don’t buy unless they see good visuals and if hotels don’t have good visuals, they are doing themselves a disservice. They could be leaving hundreds of thousands of dollars on the table.” Not so long ago, good visuals meant professionally photographed still shots of a hotel’s guest rooms and public spaces; today the visual tool kit includes full-screen photography, 360-degree virtual tours and highest-quality video. Incredibly, while the travel consumer is light years smarter and more sophisticated, she’s also being targeted with laser-like precision. Our firm and other digital marketing leaders like ICE Portal are increasingly data oriented, using what we’ve gleaned about the consumer to deliver unique, demographic-specific content that will resonate on a more personal level. “Where once the consumer might have been able to click through an assortment of property images, soon we will be able to deliver only the photos relevant to you. If we know you’re an empty nester, you’re not going to see photos of the kids club,” says Woodman. And while Instagram-worthy images are a key part of any digital marketing package, it’s important to remember that a strong, engaged social media presence is a must in order to attract new guests and keep long-time guests coming back. “It doesn't matter if a luxury hotel is based in New York City, Caracas, or Dubai. A strong social presence is needed to attract new guests and engage loyal customers, all of whom expect mobile updates and content from their preferred brands,” writes Skift reporter Samantha Shankman.

About Tambourine

Tambourine drives revenue for hotels and destinations worldwide using advanced marketing technology. The firm is celebrating its 30-year anniversary. For more information, visit Tambourine.com.

1983: The Dark Ages of Hotel Marketing?

October 29, 2013 • By
Tambourine 30th anniversary

As we mark our 30th anniversary as a hotel marketing firm, we take a look back at how hotel marketing has changed over the past 30 years.

Put simply, the only thing that’s certain is that nothing is certain anymore. Back in 1983, for example, there were just three ways to book a hotel room -- call a travel agent, ring the hotel’s toll-free number or simply show up, unannounced, and hope there’d be room at the inn. Now there are almost too many to name. Expanded GDS reach, CRM systems, a proliferation of individual hotel websites and sites like Google, Expedia, Kayak (and dozens more) have made researching and booking a hotel easier than ever, creating a new generation of well-informed travelers. Add smart phones, travel apps, social media and websites like TripAdvisor that allow consumers to post reviews and suddenly... the job of a hotel marketing executive looks nothing like it did just a few decades ago. In this seven-part series, we’ll examine how dramatically things have changed over the last 30 years. How finding and booking a hotel has changed, how pricing rooms and staying connected with past guests has changed for hoteliers and how the hotels themselves have changed to meet market needs and desires. (Remember when “hotel food” was a bad thing)? We’ll let the experts weigh in on how distribution has changed for hoteliers and get their take on how marketing for meetings and groups has evolved. While we look back, we also look forward. No one could have imagined in 1983 that, 30 years later, 57% of all travel reservations would be made on the Internet or that, by 2015, nine out of ten consumers will own a mobile phone. From the Dark Ages of hotel marketing to the rapidly evolving Information Age, if you’re not ready, it’s time to get ready.

About Tambourine

Tambourine drives revenue for hotels and destinations worldwide using advanced marketing technology. The firm is celebrating its 30-year anniversary. For more information, visit Tambourine.com.

90% of marketers ignore basic data that could easily increase revenue (Part 2)

October 14, 2013 • By

Tambourine: Hotel Marketing

(Read Part 1)

Continuing our last post: how to use simple data to improve results (without being a math geek)!

Here's a few immediate steps you can take to leverage your data, increase visitation and drive more revenue:
  1. Who's calling? Ask your phone provider to make sure the dedicated phone numbers on your website and advertising materials include a report showing the total number of calls… so you can evaluate the contribution of each source to overall inbound phone traffic. You may be surprised how important inbound calls still are to your sales!
  2. Listen in: Companies like LogMyCalls and Marchex now enable you to record inbound calls to your res centers and listen in to monitor the performance of your res center staff.
  3. Monitoring your comp set: Wondering what your comp set is up to? Check out https://mixrank.com/ This cool site scrapes the web to show you (for free!) your competition's digital marketing placements.
  4. Pinpoint messaging to new guests: Ever wonder how to reach people who visit the attraction down the street or eat at that hot Italian restaurant nearby? Facebook has given us a free way to do exactly that! Go to the search bar in Facebook and type: "People who like INSERT PAGE NAME. This will reveal potential guests with a predisposition to your neighborhood. Then, its easy to target them via Facebook ads.
  5. Watch your bounce rate: your website stats report includes a measurement called: "bounce rate," which is simply the percentage of traffic that visits one page (usually your home page) on your site, then leaves, or "bounces." Anything over 25% is sub-optimal. And usually means A) you're not attracting relevant people or B) you're not communicating an immediately meaningful message to visitors… in either case, change things up ASAP!
Try one of these and let us know how it goes!

About Tambourine

Tambourine drives revenue for hotels and destinations worldwide using advanced marketing technology. The firm is celebrating its 30-year anniversary. For more information, visit Tambourine.com.

90% of Marketers Ignore Simple Data That Could Easily Increase Revenue. (Part 1 of a 2 part series)

September 26, 2013 • By
Tambourine: Hotel MarketingA recent study revealed that only 10% of all companies use their existing data sources in a systematic way to increase revenue. Fortunately, the hospitality and tourism sectors have shown exciting improvement in this area over the last few years. Over the next two Numbers for Ninja posts, we'll suggest a few immediate steps you can take to leverage your data, increase visitation and drive more revenue:  
  1. Review past guest geography: create a simple chart showing where your visitors come from… this can help target your marketing investments.
  2. Evaluate past guest demographics: your CRM, PMS or customer database can easily be queried to reveal the demographics of your customer base. Have low occupancy in certain periods? Who came right before, during and right after that period last year?
  3. Evaluate past guest frequency & spending: If you have periods of high demand, you can increase yield by sending special invitations to loyal customers who spent an above average amount on past trips.
  4. Measure sentiment: affordable reputation management tools like Revinate make it easier than ever to measure guest satisfaction on sub-segments of your product experience. You may learn that service issues or cleanliness are causing past guests to post negative reviews… thereby deterring future travelers. Conversely, you may also discover subtle components of your product experience that customers love, enabling you to celebrate those assets with potential new customers.
  5. Search engine data: chances are, your search engine reports include a treasure trove of info about how people find you. You can easily discern which other sites send traffic to you (i.e.: nearby attractions, CVB sites, etc). Then, reach out to establish deeper partnerships with these relevant players.
  6. Improve your product: the most important component of marketing is your product itself. How can you improve it to meet the desires of your customers? Amazingly, Facebook has given us a free way to do exactly that! Go to the search bar in Facebook and type: Favorite interests of people who like INSERT YOUR PAGE NAME. This will reveal the things your fans like to do… helping you evaluate your amenity mix!
Try one of these and let us know how it goes… and stay tuned for Part II coming up!

About Tambourine

Tambourine drives revenue for hotels and destinations worldwide using advanced marketing technology. The firm is celebrating its 30-year anniversary. For more information, visit Tambourine.com.  

68% of meeting planners rely heavily on website research.

September 13, 2013 • By
Tambourine: Hotel MarketingIf meetings & groups are an important component of your revenue mix, it's more import an than ever to ensure the digital assets for your group marketing team are keeping up with best practices.

Here's 5 simple action items that can be implemented quickly to improve traction for MICE sales at your hotel:

  1. Meeting planners want business-friendly spaces that help their groups collaborate and learn. Consider adding inexpensive 360º video of meeting rooms and suites, with clear dimension stats and photos of past events in those same spaces
  2. Meeting planners want off-site activities that are within walking distance of the venue. Your hotel is important, but the destination is even more important. Your website should have an interactive map showing nearby attractions and recommended highlights.
  3. Wi-Fi is king. If you offer it at no cost to guests and/or meeting attendees, make sure its clear and prominent on your meeting planner pages
  4. Meeting planners hate excess charges: add reassuring language about pricing policies and reviews from happy, previous planners… these go a long way towards alleviating pricing concerns
  5. Relationships matter: meeting planners want to know WHO they will deal with in case of the inevitable snafus that arise. Showcase your meetings team, their photos and their backgrounds to build trust and confidence before new clients engage!
Finally, what might be a statement of the obvious to some… make sure your property has a dedicated section for meeting planners, including new technology which allows your planner clients to access their documents in a password-protected area.

About Tambourine

Tambourine drives revenue for hotels and destinations worldwide using advanced marketing technology. The firm is celebrating its 30-year anniversary. For more information, visit Tambourine.com.