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Friday Freebie: Follow These Digital Breadcrumbs To Find Out What Guests Really Want

May 18, 2018

Follow These Digital Breadcrumbs To Find Out What Guests Really Want

Friday Freebie: What Guests Really WantWelcome to the Friday Freebie! 

Each week we share one impactful hotel marketing tactic that you can implement immediately to drive more conversions and more revenue. 

This week’s Freebie: Travelers are already telling us what they want, what they’re excited about and what will draw them in. Just listen closely in the right places and embrace this data to improve your hotel product and overall marketing results. 

There’s no need to conduct a survey to find out what guests want. They’ve already revealed this information online. And, it’s readily available to you. 

You can easily discover what travelers are seeking in a hotel experience by listening and monitoring the right places:

  1. Use Google’s Adwords Keyword Tool to see what keywords visitors are searching for
  2. Monitor your social media posts and comments AND your compset’s
  3. Monitor your TripAdvisor reviews AND your compset’s
  4. Study your DMO’s research on regional visitors and their habits
  5. Comb through post-stay surveys

By keeping a close tab on this readily available data, you’ll be able to see both the threats and the opportunities for improving your hotel product and service experience. For instance:

  1. Do you get frequent complaints regarding a specific aspect of your hotel?
  2. Are travelers to your destination talking about a certain new attraction?
  3. Is there a spike in keyword searches for hotels near a certain neighborhood?
  4. What are the top activities and attractions near you (and how are you partnered with them)?
  5. These priceless digital breadcrumbs and golden nuggets of information will assist you in building a customer path straight to your door.

Get More: Hotel Marketers and Accidental Narcissists 


About Tambourine

Tambourine uses technology and creativity to increase revenue for hotels and destinations worldwide. The firm, now in its 34th year, is located in New York City and Fort Lauderdale. Please visit: www.Tambourine.com

Friday Freebie: Don’t Miss This Channel When Monitoring Your Hotel Comp Set

May 11, 2018

Welcome to the Friday Freebie!

Each week we share one impactful hotel marketing tactic that you can implement immediately to drive more conversions and more revenue. 

This week’s Freebie:  Never take your eyes off of the competition. Especially their sales team!

Hotels are forever locked in a battle for bookings.

Savvy hoteliers are always aware what their comp set is up to. Besides monitoring rate, they keep one eye focused on what competing hotels are doing to draw more direct bookings and group business. One of the easiest ways to watch your competition is to sign up for their emails and follow their social media accounts.

After that, we suggest taking it one step further: Follow the social media accounts of each group sales manager, too.

Find out how they’re offering value to meeting planners. Are they merely pushing out promotional content or are they authentically engaging prospects?  Are they contributing to LinkedIn groups with other meeting and event professionals? How are they boosting their brand, while drawing planners to their hotel? What promos are they pushing?

And, most importantly, what content are planners responding to most? Consistently use this intel to review and implement your own group sales marketing activities.

Get More: DOSM Checklist for 2018


About Tambourine

Tambourine uses technology and creativity to increase revenue for hotels and destinations worldwide. The firm, now in its 34th year, is located in New York City and Fort Lauderdale. Please visit: www.Tambourine.com

Why are hoteliers asking CRS vendors so many tough questions?

May 8, 2018

Hotel marketing and revenue management execs are pushing their tech vendors to do more…

Your central reservation system (CRS) is one of the most important assets in your hotel’s overall marketing arsenal. (Yes, marketing… because pricing is one of the four “Ps” of marketing)

It distributes rates and inventory to the online travel agencies (OTAs), global distribution system (GDS) and other critical endpoints in the distribution food chain, as well as (most importantly) your own direct booking engine. It also provides a centralized repository of where your rooms are being booked across all channels… and at what rates.

Lately, more and more hoteliers are waking up to the realization that their boring, old CRS platform may have untapped capabilities that can deliver an unexpected, new competitive edge.

Here’s why hoteliers are pushing their CRS vendors to step up their game:

1. As ADRs and occupancies reach all-time highs, and new supply bloats a comp set, smart hoteliers are pushing all their tech partners to do more…

2. OTAs have teams of data scientists and highly evolved digital tech and systems of their own, designed to siphon and convert bookings from all the other channels where your CRS distributes inventory and rates

3. Technology has changed. What used to be costly upgrades are now standard, but many hoteliers are unaware of the power of new CRS tech, and some vendors aren’t doing a great job of communicating these changes

4. Turnover among hotel revenue managers leaves new employees who are responsible for the CRS, but possess an incomplete understanding of the power of the system

5. Revenue management teams are often unaware of new features or best practices espoused by the CRS vendor. These best practices could help the revenue management team save time, be more efficient and avoid redundant tasks

“Having a perishable product like room nights, means speed and accuracy of revenue management implementation is paramount,” said Noelani Berkholtz, director of CRS at Tambourine. “If system complexities are slowing down your strategies—or worse, blocking implementation altogether—even the brightest minds in the business are set up for failure.”

 

Now that we know WHY hotels are putting more pressure on their CRS vendors, what exactly are they asking for?

Here four of their most common demands:

1. Better Training:

These days, hoteliers are seeking unlimited training on the full CRS platform, as well as ongoing training on new functionalities that provide expanded opportunities or meet the custom needs of the property. Training should also be personalized and standard for all new hires.

Why hand someone the keys if they weren’t taught properly how to drive?

“It seems counterintuitive to sign a multi-year contract with a technology company which provides only one training,” said Berkholtz. “Either the technology company is assuming it will not be adding any new functionalities that would require training in the next 3 to 5 years, or they are planning on adding new functionalities, but not equipping the hotel with the knowledge of how to properly execute them. This is the technology age, right?”

2. Expert Rate/Promo Construction:

Once a rate/discount strategy is developed, tech providers should be able to provide expert implementation to maximize the effectiveness of the campaign. This includes how the package/promotion should be built, displayed (specific messaging or slash-through capabilities) and ranked. The hotel should focus on revenue-generating activities, while the tech team should focus on building-out the rate plan effectively in the CRS. This process also includes creating new rate plans in the IBE and mapping all channels needed.

The hotel comes up with the strategy, and the CRS vendor implements that strategy in the most effective way.

3. Better cross-Vendor Coordination:

Tech companies speak “tech” fluently.

Yet often, hotels are expected to coordinate efforts between their tech vendors (CRS and PMS, for example) and a lot gets lost in translation. With the hotel’s permission, tech providers should implement solutions and support common properties together, rather than bogging-down the hotel as a referee in frustrating back and forth email threads, when the issue could be resolved with one simple phone call between providers.

“With the industry movement toward revenue management and marketing convergence, technologies are mirroring the evolution,” explained Berkholtz. “Revenue managers who historically stuck to their hard facts and data are now needing to understand the marketing abilities within their technology platforms to optimize performance. Tech companies need to understand this education gap and explain in ‘revenue manager language’ how to utilize marketing functionalities within their systems.”

4. Better On-Boarding:

When hoteliers switch CRS vendors, they want their new partner to make the experience frictionless. They want assistance in retrieving data from their current systems to quickly populate the new system. They also want to provide feedback on specific concerns from past experiences and make sure the problems of the past are not repeated.

Similarly, when a new revenue manager is hired to manage the CRS system, hoteliers again expect their vendors to step up: “When revenue managers join a new property, they typically are engaged in a long process of untangling and discovering the strategies and implementations of the previous director of revenue management (DORM),” said Berkholtz. “When technology companies are consistently engaged with the property, they can assist the new DORM to efficiently uncover the past and shorten the ramp-up time.”

 


About Tambourine

Tambourine uses technology and creativity to increase revenue for hotels and destinations worldwide. The firm, now in its 34th year, is located in New York City and Fort Lauderdale. Please visit: www.Tambourine.com

 

Friday Freebie: You have one chance to make a good impression

May 4, 2018

A hotel marketing lesson from mom….

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Welcome to the Friday Freebie!

Each week we share one impactful hotel marketing tactic that you can implement immediately to drive more conversions and more revenue. 

This week’s Freebie:

Mom was right.

Our moms are always dishing out sage advice. And, it turns out their quips hold a lot of hotel marketing wisdom. In honor of Mother’s Day and all our wonderful mothers out there, we’re celebrating one of our favorite mom quotes:

“You have one chance to make a good impression.”

And the valuable, hidden hotel and resort marketing message behind it?

Your words matter.

You have seconds to capture your customer’s attention and make an impression. EIGHT seconds, to be exact. Studies show that’s the average attention span in our age of streaming content and smartphones.

So, you have to get your message across – quick.

To entice, engage and convince within that tiny time frame, every word has to be intentional, poignant and clear the first time around. Or else, risk losing the customer who doesn’t have time to ‘get it’.

Don’t expect a second chance to repeat yourself.

Here’s how to write hotel copy that sells to today’s consumer::

  • Succinctly present your core value proposition on your hotel website homepage in a way that appeals to the emotional truth your property delivers (EX: “Create unforgettable family memories at ____ Resort.”)
  • Assume customers are going to scan, not read
  • Put your most important points at the beginning
  • Keep paragraphs short, about 2 sentences long
  • Use bullet points, subheads, bold or design elements to break up text
  • Leave plenty of white space

Get More: 7 Lessons Your Mom Taught You About Hotel Marketing


About Tambourine

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

Are comments about your hotel falling on deaf ears?

May 1, 2018

Hotel social media monitoring needs to go way beyond Trip Advisor

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Hotels take reputation management seriously when it comes to guest feedback on TripAdvisor, but often underappreciate the need to closely monitor other social media channels.

This is a lost opportunity to gain short term insight and long-term goodwill.

Here are 3 reasons hotels need to prioritize social listening:

1. Instant karma

Social Media is a two-way communications channel; you can talk to guests, and guests can talk back. You can have a real conversation with an individual. Not so with TripAdvisor: By the time you respond, the damaging review may already have been posted.

Not to mention, social media trains consumers to expect an immediate response, and an already irritable customer can get more irritable if they don’t receive a response in an adequate amount of time. Ignoring a problem doesn’t make it go away. It can often exacerbate the situation.

Most negative posters on hotel social media channels are still on the property when they post.

And they aren’t doing it for their own enjoyment, either: 78% of people who complain to a brand via Twitter expect a response within an hour, according to a study by Lithium. By monitoring and responding ASAP, hoteliers can potentially engage these dissatisfied guests during their stay—and win them over—before they turn their vitriol into permanent TripAdvisor or OTA reviews.

Another instant benefit of social listening for hotels is the ability to glean insight on guest experience and product/service issues— both positive and negative.

If your hotel makes the mistake of ignoring positive comments about your property, you’ve just lost out on valuable testimonials you can utilize, as well as gaining useful feedback and a chance to strengthen relationships with users. And if you ignore negative comments, you’ll damage your brand and foster negative social proof.

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Further, by listening to social media channels and acting quickly, hotels are often able to delight guests with unexpected surprises that create long-term loyalty and evangelism. These opportunities—which are fleeting and must be capitalized on almost immediately—can offer significant branding value, at minimal cost.

One company making tremendous strides to this end is Marriott, which has tasked its M Live team with constant monitoring of social channels, for the sake of surprising guests with enhanced service touches, like a free bottle of champagne delivered on-site for guests who got engaged while staying at a property.

2. Complete strangers are talking about you…

It’s not just your fan base that you have to worry about.

Non-fans and non-followers are talking about your brand too. It’s crucial to listen to these potential influencers as well.

Surprisingly, 96% of the users who discuss brands online don’t actually follow those brands’ profiles, according to a Brandwatch report.

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You can be reactive and ONLY monitor people who directly comment or tag your hotel’s Instagram “handle” (your actual Instagram account name) in a picture. You’ll receive a notification and you can respond accordingly.

But there are more proactive ways of monitoring ALL relevant sentiment on Instagram. By typing the generic name of your hotel (see illustration above) or property specific hashtags in the search bar, you can discover additional content that guests have posted about your prop.

If you don’t have the time or resources to monitor your hashtags and geo-
tags, Tools like Tout allow you to find and license the content with ease.

3. Discover (and celebrate) the evangelists

Hotel social media monitoring isn’t just about catching people bashing your hotel: It’s equally valuable when guests are celebrating their experiences on channels such as Instagram.

Over the last few years, storytelling and other forms of user-generated content (UGC) have become some of the most popular and cost-effective methods for hotel marketers looking to harness digital and social media and put more heads in beds.

capturing guest-generated social proof from The St Regis in San Francisco

An example of capturing guest-generated social proof from The St Regis in San Francisco

This is driven by a decline in consumer trust in advertising; instead, consumers now look to one another for credibility. UGC such as photos, videos, and posts about hotel experiences are viewed as more authentic and less sales-focused, so using that content to your advantage can offer tremendous benefits.

By monitoring things closely, you can locate and celebrate those brand ambassadors who are taking pictures of their property experience, allowing you to benefit from what is essentially free positive publicity.


About Tambourine

Tambourine uses technology and creativity to increase revenue for hotels and destinations worldwide. The firm, now in its 34th year, is located in New York City and Fort Lauderdale. Please visit: www.Tambourine.com

Friday Freebie: How to Uncover Guests’ Hidden Instagram Photos

April 27, 2018

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Welcome to the Friday Freebie!

Each week we share one impactful hotel marketing tactic that you can implement immediately to drive more conversions and more revenue. 

This week’s Freebie: Your guests are creating FREE ultra-creative marketing content almost every day. Here’s how to uncover that treasure trove of evangelism!

Right now as you read this, a guest is documenting their stay at your property and posting it on Instagram for all their followers to see.

From breakfast in bed to epic balcony sunsets, these photos and videos are far more authentic, unique and imaginative than anything the most creative hotel marketer can come up with consistently. Plus, your guests’ posts carry more influence since they are authentic, not manufactured. This SOCIAL PROOF builds validation and inspires their followers to consider a stay. You can collect these posts and use them for future marketing collateral (with permission) or to repost on Instagram to your own audience.

In other words – Your guests’ Instagram posts are precious marketing gold. And, the goodies just keep flowing in. 

Only problem is that many of these photos and videos are ‘hidden.’ You’ll only be notified of a guest’s post if they happen to use your official Instagram account name, otherwise known as a ‘handle.’ So, if a user leaves that out, you may never see their post.

Unless, you get proactive.

Here are three easy and proactive ways to unearth guests’ Insta content:

  1. Search the generic name of your hotel. For example, the Grafton on Sunset (@graftononsunset), should search ‘grafton hotel’ or ‘hotel grafton’ to catch any posts where guests used those names.
  2. Search any property specific hashtags that a guest might have used instead of your handle, like #graftononsunset or #hotelgrafton
  3. Monitor your property geo-tags, an automatic label that is marked when a Instagram user posts from your location.

 

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Monitor these three methods daily to catch any timely content, as well as to catch any feedback or comments that guests make about their hotel experience.

Get More: Why Every Flagged Hotel Should be Rethinking Instagram


About Tambourine

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

Friday Freebie: Solving the latest hotel website curveball from Google

April 20, 2018

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Welcome to the Friday Freebie!

Each week we share one impactful hotel marketing tactic that you can implement immediately to drive more conversions and more revenue. 

This week’s Freebie: 

Google’s new security standards could threaten your hotel’s website traffic. Here’s how to solve the problem:

In hopes of fostering a safer internet, Google has moved toward new security standards for its Chrome browser, which requires a significant update to hotel websites in order to achieve compliance.

Under the new specifications, Google now requires all websites that collect any type of personal data (i.e. forms, email addresses, credit card info, etc.) to migrate websites to HTTPS and upgrade their security technology in the form of “SSL Certificates,” or suffer the consequences.

Right now, that consequence is a security alert, which Chrome users see when they reach a web page that Google has deemed a “Non-Secure environment” when the mandated SSL certificate isn’t present. Considering roughly 60% of web surfers currently use Chrome, this is no matter to take lightly; it’s best to make the required changes as soon as possible, to ensure your site traffic isn’t at risk and/or potential guests being scared away.

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This may seem like a small detail, but it may have a huge impact on hotel website conversion rates. You don’t want to scare away customers with an unsecured website. Google has indicated that warnings may become even more pronounced in future browser updates.

You also don’t want your customers’ data being compromised because you failed to provide a secure setting. As recent data breaches among numerous major hotel companies have proven, hacks can cause extensive damage to brands and they erode consumer trust, which can be disastrous to the bottom line. Given those risks, taking the steps to comply with the SSL/HTTPS standard is a no-brainer.

The Solution:

The first step in meeting the standard is for hotel digital marketers to obtain an SSL Certificate from a Certificate Authority (CA). The certificate permits your website to communicate using encrypted, non-corruptible data, while also acting as a stamp of approval.

Many providers offer free SSL/TSL certificates; (Shameless plug: Tambourine provides SSL certificates for all clients included in our monthly service package).

With an approved certificate in place, the next steps are to conduct a full backup of your hotel website site, change all your internal links, check code libraries, update external links and create a 301 redirect. It’s also important to claim all four versions of your site URLs (HTTPS, HTTP, www. and non-www.) on Google Search Console Analytics, AdWords and other paid ads, plus social profiles and business citations. Since there are multiple complex steps, you definitely want your digital marketing team or external hotel digital marketing firm to handle this.


About Tambourine

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

Bad Habits: 5 things hotel marketers should stop right now

April 17, 2018

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Usually, we offer insight on the hotel marketing tactics, tools and strategies you should adopt to drive more revenue to your hotel: add chat to your hotel website. Focus on this webpage as your SEO secret weapon. Try these tips on your mobile website, etc…

Today, we want to turn things around and recommend a few things NOT to do!

From our experience, here’s five negative habits inhibiting hotel marketers from reaching their full revenue-generating potential:

1) Using the wrong message to fight OTAs

Travelers aren’t as obsessed with low prices as you may believe. According to a recent JD Power & Associates’ North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index Study, customers who booked on third-parties are more likely to face problems (like last-minute changes and canceled reservations) and be dissatisfied with their hotel experience. 

A common review from an unhappy OTA customer…

A common review from an unhappy OTA customer…

So, instead of using price to win back OTA customers, focus on a common fear: Fear of a ruined travel experience.

It’s no secret that OTAs have left thousands of travelers in the lurch with their cancellation policies and ability to change/reassign hotels at their own discretion.

So, use that your advantage. Remind customers that booking direct with your hotel is the SAFER option. Unlike OTAs, you have a staff that actually, truly cares about them and will do all that’s possible to avoid and quickly amend any issues.

2) Tolerating an Inferior Product

Not even the most creative hotel marketing strategies, sophisticated hotel booking engine, or targeted hotel ppc campaigns can compensate for a sloppy hotel experience. Just as the saying goes, “You can’t put lipstick on a pig,” you can’t cover the signs of your hotel’s frayed edges or lapses in service. Travelers are more sophisticated than ever and they’re well aware of their options, especially with so many shiny and new boutique hotels stealing their attention.

No amount of “lipstick” can cover up an aging, inadequate product

No amount of “lipstick” can cover up an aging, inadequate product

While you can’t decide what gets fixed and replaced, that shouldn’t stop you from diligently pointing out to your owners what guests are complaining about. Each year, leverage your guest reviews that show the shortcomings that are deterring guests and hindering revenue growth. Convince your owners that property upgrades and enhancements are urgent if they want to compete in today’s marketplace.

3) Working in a Silo

It’s a common scenario playing out in hotels across the globe:

Hotel marketing departments that don’t communicate, share resources or vital updates.

The result?

Marketers left in the dark about upcoming periods of weakness. Group sales managers with no leads. Revenue managers clueless about why marketing continues to target one audience (or date period) over another.

It’s time to end this disconnect.

Smart hotel marketers break down silos and work closely with sales and revenue management

Smart hotel marketers break down silos and work closely with sales and revenue management

Your entire hotel and its financial success depend on all three pillars of the sales & marketing platform working together in unison and towards the same revenue goals. One easy way to break down these silos is to schedule an all-team meeting every week. This meeting should include ALL associates, not just managers. Share your current priorities, upcoming projects, recent discoveries, ask for feedback and share resources.

This not only gives every team member access to what’s happening outside of their department, but it also fosters teamwork and enhances collaboration that results in success across all S&M departments.

4)  Ignoring the sales team

Meetings and events account for a major portion of your hotel’s revenue.

Yet, hotel marketers tend to solely focus on driving leisure business, leaving sales managers to generate their own group leads.

This is a dangerous habit, as more and more hotel owners and asset managers become less impressed with your branding initiatives or your hotel’s number of social media followers and more obsessed with how much you contribute to your property’s revenue.

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So start using your skills in digital marketing for hotels to champion the sales team’s efforts and drive group business. Smart hotel marketers do three fundamental things to support their sales teammates:

a.  Run campaigns that consistently engage the sales team’s high-value targets (HVTs) with relevant and entertaining content
b.  Deploy marketing automation tools to alert sales managers when HVTs are on the hotel website and what pages they are looking at…
c.  Optimize the meetings and events pages on the hotel direct website with ALL the resources meeting planners need… AND create compelling content showcasing your destination as an exciting locale for meetings and events attendees

5) Focusing on meaningless stats

Because the best hotel marketers know they’re only as good as their metrics, measurement and tracking of key performance indicators (KPIs) are an ongoing commitment.

However, with more sophisticated technology comes more data.

While analytics are vital for doing what we do, we’re also burdened with an avalanche of irrelevant KPIs stealing our attention from the metrics that actually matter.

Don’t get dragged down trying to keep up with useless numbers, such as bounce rate, online page views and social media followers.

Instead of leaning on metrics that only sound impressive on paper, pay attention to the numbers that will actually measure your contribution to hotel revenues. Every day, you should be checking the KPIs that actually matter to your hotel’s owners and asset managers, including:

  1. MCPB (marketing cost per booking): Tracks the cost of each sales and marketing channel versus actual conversions. Try using this for OTA commissions as well… and see how that channel stacks up versus your other campaigns.
  2. DRR (direct revenue ratio): Measures percentage of online revenue from direct sources (your website) versus pricey third-party sources, like OTAs. If you’re not garnering 40 percent of your revenue from direct reservations, you still have work to do!
  3. Website conversion rate (from unique visitor to entrances into the booking environment): Converting a higher percentage of visitors into booking searches (or phone calls) is critical to reducing your cost of revenue and MCPB.
  4. Variance from revenue target: This metric showcases revenue goals versus actual results (by segment).

 


About Tambourine

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

Friday Freebie: Rate parity matters… but so does Promo Parity

April 13, 2018

Behold the Power of SPAC…

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Welcome to the Friday Freebie!

Each week we share one impactful hotel marketing tactic that you can implement immediately to drive more conversions and more revenue.

This week’s Freebie: Rate parity matters… but so does Promo Parity.

It’s not easy filling your hotel’s need periods. These low periods can break your annual budget. Avoid what many panicked hotel marketers do… “spray and pray” offers all over the digital landscape.

You need to be deliberate and focused.

Just like a general in charge of an army – you need to coordinate your operations and move your forces in unison.

This is why smart hotel marketers launch one promo across all channels simultaneously. We call this SPAC: Simultaneous Promotion Across All Channels.

Not only will your promo have the best chance of massive outreach and conversions, it also squashes any chance of confusion and skepticism in your market.

Think about it:

If Offer A is running on your Facebook page, Offer B is running on a 3rd-party channel and Offer C is running on your website, guests will be leery of what’s real or what’s current. Prospects will experience dissonance… enough to turn them away looking for another more consistent and mentally-calming hotel option. Consumers are uncomfortable with inconsistency.

Lesson: Consistency matters. Maintaining parity among your offers, not just rate, is vital to your bottom line.

Get More: Stop the Noise: The 10 Things That Matter to Hotel Marketers Right Now


About Tambourine

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

The 10 Daily Habits of Highly Effective Hotel Marketers

April 10, 2018

Hotel marketing success requires daily discipline.

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Can we all agree that the cumulative effects of small daily habits—both good and bad—add up to meaningful results over time?

Brush your teeth every day and you’ll avoid cavities. Eat chocolate pie every day, you’ll probably gain weight…

If you were to ask pro athletes and successful business tycoons what made them successful, most would tell you it required many years of hard work and practice.

The same goes for every profession, including hotel marketing; there are no silver bullets or shortcuts to the front of the line.

Just take the example of British cycling coach Sir David Brailsford, whose aggregation of marginal gains philosophy first led his Sky Team to a Tour de France victory in 2012—just three years after its implementation—then fueled subsequent wins in 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2017. The core idea, for Brailsford, was to push his riders to work toward a 1% improvement in everything they do, for a cumulative gain that is much more impactful over time.

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British cycling coach Dave Brailsford recommends trying to improve many little things by 1%.

“So often we convince ourselves that change is only meaningful if there is some large, visible outcome associated with it,” says writer James Clear. “Whether it is losing weight, building a business, traveling the world or any other goal, we often put pressure on ourselves to make some earth-shattering improvement that everyone will talk about. Meanwhile, improving by just 1 percent isn’t notable (and sometimes it isn’t even noticeable). But it can be just as meaningful, especially in the long run.”

At Tambourine, we live by the same philosophy and urge our clients to embrace Brailsford’s daily method for meeting their own goals for success. Based on our 34 years in hotel marketing, here are the 10 daily habits we see that separate the best hotel marketers from the mediocre:

  1. They check the numbers

Because the best hotel marketers know they’re only as good as their metrics, measurement and tracking of key performance indicators (KPIs) are an ongoing commitment. Savvy marketers are constantly evaluating their efforts, budgets and staff in relation to business mix targets.

image3     2. They plan for times of need

Filling those sporadic gaps in demand requires forethought and careful planning. That’s why successful hotel marketers always make a point to check-in with their revenue management team, far in advance, to identify upcoming, cyclical and ongoing periods of weakness.

     3. They exude positivity

The best hotel marketers know that energy and enthusiasm are contagious. They make sure that everyone on their team, outside agencies, related departments (e.g., revenue management) and upper management are aware and excited about the marketing activities for the hotel. These marketers then celebrate meaningful success (always using metrics, when possible) when that success occurs.

      4. They face the music

While it’s natural to stress the positives, highly effective hotel marketers instead focus primarily on problems and weaknesses (staff, results, product, etc.) that need improvement. They think of ways to streamline processes and campaign execution.

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      5. They stay informed

Each day, hotel marketing all-stars are monitoring the industry and comp-set news, to have a fully informed perspective on both local market conditions and the hospitality industry as a whole. They also read their hotel’s latest guest reviews and feedback scores, to keep abreast of guest sentiment.

      6. They maintain a healthy work-life balance

All-star performers know that to truly function at the top of their game, they need to do more than simply work around the clock. These professionals make sure to also earmark time for exercise, family, vacations and getting a good night’s sleep.

      7. They unplug

There’s more to life than staring at a computer screen.

Skilled marketers also spend time talking to guests, walking the property, listening and learning, and interacting with reservation center/call center agents and the front desk. Sometimes there’s just no replacement for human, face-to-face contact.

      8. They say ‘no’…a lot

The highest-achieving professionals understand that time is money and there is an opportunity cost associated with every endeavor one adds to their plate. Oftentimes, staying productive means saying “no” to distractions like irrelevant opportunities, shiny new utopian technologies and time-sucking projects.

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     9. They know what’s important

Highly effective hotel marketers prioritize objectives for both themselves and their key employees. They correlate their activities and budgets to the business mix projection they provided to upper management.

Also, they understand that achieving a greater goal requires a series of smaller steps all taken in a logical order, and they can communicate that methodology to coworkers. Random busy-ness and the constant putting out of fires is not the path to long-term marketing success.

    10. They demand consistent messaging and execution

Hotel marketing rock stars are vigilant about ensuring that their property’s story and unique value proposition (UVP) is infused in every marketing touchpoint and the operational service experience at the hotel. Communicating that story and UVP to guests is a daily obsession, essential to all sales activity, as well as maintaining a place of distinction in one’s respective marketplace.


About Tambourine

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

Fort Lauderdale
New York
Bogotá