Hotel marketers face endless daily distractions. As a hotel marketer, it’s fairly easy to lose focus.
You can spend countless hours each day doing different things just because you think everyone else is doing it. Or, there’s FOMO, “fear of missing out,” driving some hotel marketing professionals to jump on every hot new bandwagon that rolls by, just in case it turns out to be next big thing. Some clarity and direction is sorely needed.
Here’s a few of the common pitfalls and distractions we recommend hotel marketers avoid:
1. Returning emails all day
The average American white collar professional spends an average of 4.1 hours each day checking email, for a total of 20.5 hours per week, according to a recent study. That’s roughly half of the standard 40-hour work week. Imagine what you could achieve if you spent even a portion of that time thinking about your hotel marketing campaigns and results, instead.
Helpful methods for cutting down on inbox time include scheduling specific times of day for mail purging, organizing messages by priority, making better use of templates and simply sending out less self-fulfilling email yourself (e.g. limiting the CCs and BCCs), which will reduce your hours spent on unnecessary responses.
2. Chasing shiny objects du jour
The hotel industry has long been a fertile market for new whiz-bang technologies and amenities, all purporting to revolutionize the guest experience and become the must-have asset you need to attract more guests. While this may sometimes be true, it’s easy to lose focus while perpetually chasing these dangling techno-carrots, so be sure any time and/or money invested to this end is truly in line with your marketing goals and guest profile. Sure, travel-related virtual reality content generally sparks high interest levels among survey respondents. And yes, Snapchat is tops among 12- to 24-year-olds. But if it’s not specifically bringing sales to your door, devote your attention elsewhere.
3. Having a jumbled mix of disparate vendors
The more marketing systems/vendors you work with, the more complications and chaos you can expect. Managing several, disconnected vendors to handle separate marketing functions, like advertising campaigns, hotel website design, email marketing or social media, can hurt you in several ways: First, you’re most likely paying more for each vendor’s separate services. You’re wasting time by managing and relaying messages from vendor to vendor. And, worst of all, no single vendor is held accountable for overall success. Instead, they likely point fingers at each other.
4. Failing to KNOW metrics
Many marketers remain ignorant as to what is truly working in their marketing mix and are unable to define their true marketing cost per booking (MCPB). To better understand ROI and cost of acquisition, devote more time and resources to enhancing your team’s reporting and analysis efforts, carefully exploring each channel in order to ultimately arrive at the optimal marketing mix
5. Not getting to know your customer.
Some marketers also suffer from a critical lack of understanding as to who is their most lucrative guest profile. Investing in the systems to help identify these “bread and butter” customers should be a top priority, including when and why they visit, where they come from, when they come and from which segment? This plays into systems integration—specifically integrating your hotel’s PMS with a modern CRM system—as well as working to obtain as many direct bookings as possible. When your guests book through OTAs instead, crucial guest profile data is essentially lost.
6. Giving traffic and revenue to 3rd parties
Spending money driving traffic to any digital property other than your hotel’s own direct website is ultimately hurting your bottom line, and as mentioned above, limits the data you can gather on customers, which only perpetuates the problem. Sure, OTAs have become a vital business partner for many, but it’s important to be mindful of just how much effort is spent on selling through their engines. Develop systems and vendors to help you maximize your presence on OTAs, metasearch engines and other third-party sources as quickly and inexpensively as possible. Then devote the time and resources you just saved to building up your own online direct bookings.