How do some marketers get everything they want?


As an independent hotel, we’ve got a great advantage in the marketplace. We’re nimble. We can change directions at a moment’s notice and pivot when we need to pivot—unlike, say, a big brand. If they want to make a change or chase a trend, they’ve got a lot of decision makers potentially tying them up and slowing things down.

The way I see it, this creates a competitive advantage for us independent hoteliers.

But, to take full advantage of all the flexibility and possibility, marketers need to get better at communicating these opportunities to ownership.

That’s one of the biggest mistakes I see: the failure to communicate to ownership or decision makers effectively—to speak in a language that they understand and care about.

As digital marketers, we tend to overwhelm ourselves. Think data, stats, charts, and graphs. Or we’re hyperfocused on individual campaigns. We say things like “Google Search drove 10:1 ROAS.” Or we’re overly obsessed with vanity metrics, like website visitors or social media engagement.

While these things might excite a diehard digital marketer, they don’t speak directly to the health of the business, which is why ownership tends to stop listening.

It’s our own fault. We’re just not speaking their language.

Instead of dwelling on marketing metrics, marketers need to point back to how their efforts are impacting the business from an overall perspective.

In other words, did we make more money? If so, how much? Did we save money? If so, how much?

When marketers want to test, pivot, and see what’s working, they tend to ask for more. More people, more tech, and more money.

So, how do some marketers get everything they want?

They create a compelling business case. They lay out how this request is going to increase revenue or decrease costs.

Here are some examples.

We want to invest in Metasearch. We believe that by investing $20,000, we can reduce OTA costs by 10-15%, which saves us $100,000 per year. Or, we want more resources to increase wedding RFPs. With an additional $24,000 per year, we can generate an additional 12 weddings per year. At an average sale price of $15,000 each, that’s an additional $180,000 in revenue.

When marketers can effectively reframe the conversation around top-line or bottom-line revenue, they’ll typically find financial decision makers are far more willing to give them what they want.

Franny Manan