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Father’s Day Lessons For Hotel Marketers

June 13, 2016


Dear old dad. We tested his patience. We emptied his wallet. We admired him and we feared him.

While it is easy to give most credit to our moms for the timeless life lessons we adopted, dads deserve to be acknowledged for their own impact on our lives. In fact, their endless lectures to us have also turned out to be some pretty darn good hotel marketing advice!

In honor of Father’s Day, we’re presenting our favorite “dadisms” that prove that your pops – whether he knew it or not – has serious marketing advice. Here are our favorite, wise hotel marketing insights hidden behind your dad’s most repeated quotes:

Dad: As Long As You’re Under My Roof, You’ll Follow My Rules

Hidden Hotel Marketing Advice:
Your branding – and all it promises – matters. It’s what sets you apart from every hotel in your comp set. It’s what will catch your audience’s attention and make them remember you from the clutter of other marketing messages. It guides your hotel’s entire experience, even before a guest checks in.

Too often, we see hotels who lack a specific brand or message. They truly don’t know who they are in their market, what personality they should exude online, or what images and words would communicate their unique message best. Even worse, new marketing staff or vendors, who may not have studied your brand standards thoroughly, end up creating assets or content that don’t align with your brand at all, which only confuses travel consumers further.

Protect your brand and your image. It’s all you truly own in the fight for market share online.

Dad: I’m Not Yelling At You. I’m Helping You Hear.

Hidden Hotel Marketing Advice: 
Don’t be quick to get defensive or write off those negative guest reviews. After all, your hotel product is the most important part of your marketing! While it’s certainly true that you can’t please everyone, underneath every bad review lies a kernel of truth. Most especially if the same complaint comes up more than once. In that case, fix the problem pronto! The key is to not ignore negative reviews.  Plus, don’t respond to them using a robotic, corporate response which communicates that you have no true intention to do anything about it. While it may be difficult to keep up with all the reviews that come in everyday, at the very least, make it part of a weekly or bi-monthly routine to comb through all the recent reviews and make notes on every issue that comes up.

Track what is coming up the most and make the necessary changes. By listening to your past guests, you can make your guest experience even more remarkable.

Dad: Will You Kids Please Shut Up For Once?

Hidden Hotel Marketing Advice: 
This is something every hotel marketer should be reminded of every once in a while. It’s not about you. A majority of hotel marketing campaigns are decidedly self-centered, only touting their hotel’s beauty and benefits. But, in reality, modern travelers aren’t booking your hotel for your luxury bedding or your 24-hour room service. They come for the experience. Their experience. So, stop talking about yourself! Your marketing should answer every guests’ universal question: “What’s in it for me?” Showcase what can make your guests’ stay unforgettable and remarkable. Make your hotel campaigns about them, not you.

Dad: Stop Crying. You’re Not Bleeding.

Hidden Hotel Marketing Advice:
Pull your chin up, kid. Marketing is all about trying new ideas and new ways of doing things. Don’t be upset if a marketing campaign that you poured money and staff hours into fails miserably or doesn’t produce the results you were betting on. See it as a learning opportunity and move on. Some of the most successful hotel marketers are those who continue to take risks and try new ideas. If you’re not making any mistakes whatsoever, that probably means you’re doing things the same way you have for years and years. This stationary position means other hotels are adopting new tactics, attracting more guests, and leaving you in the dust. And, that will be something to cry about. 

Dad: Who Cares What Those Other People Think?

Hidden Hotel Marketing Advice:
No matter what you want to believe, your hotel does not attract everyone. Nor is it meant to. Every hotel has a certain audience who is most likely to book a stay. So, don’t waste your time or your marketing budget on creating campaigns that are meant to convert anyone and everyone. The highest chance of success comes when you narrow in on a specific market, then come up with brilliant and well-thought-out campaigns to reach that audience. Take the time to create specific buyer profiles for your top three customer segments – down to age, gender, and lifestyle characteristics – and create all of your marketing assets to address one of those guest types.

Dad: They Don’t Make Them Like They Used To.

Hidden Hotel Marketing Advice:
Modern hotel advertising looks nothing like it used to. Gone are the times when you could count all the ways to attract guests using just five fingers: direct mail, billboards, public relations, broadcast media and print media. Now, technology has created a complex web of channels, platforms and online possibilities. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with all the new tools and technology out there to reach your next guest, from CRM software, to search engines, to the latest social media platforms. We recommend assigning one or two of your marketing staff to keep up-to-date with all the upcoming marketing trends in hospitality and other industries. Then, report quarterly to the rest of the team so everyone can collectively decide if any are worth pursuing now or later. 

 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:

Thanks Dad: 6 Hotel Marketing Lessons for Father’s Day

June 16, 2015

Our dear old dads.

We tired him out. We emptied his bank accounts.

We feared him, admired him and made his hair go grey.

Our moms may get all the credit for timeless life lessons, but we think that fathers should get their due credit for their own witty and wise insights!

Since it’s Father’s Day, we looked back to one of our most popular blog posts of last year – highlighting our favorite ‘dad-isms’ and finding that pops knew what he was talking about!

Here is some sage marketing advice hidden behind some of dad’s most common expressions:

1. Dad: “Who cares what those other people think?”
Hidden Hotel Marketing Advice:

No matter how hard you try, you can’t win over everyone. Your hotel attracts certain types of visitors, so don’t cloud your marketing efforts with messages that try to attract the masses.

Narrow down your real target customer and tailor all of your marketing campaigns to them. If your guests are made up of millennials hungry for local experiences, then build your marketing around that, not on the family-friendly attractions or business amenities in the area. First, build specific buyer profiles down to age groups, lifestyle characteristics, etc., and share with your entire marketing team so everyone knows who they should be talking to.

2. Dad: “They don’t make them like they used to…”
Hidden Hotel Marketing Advice:

Hotel marketing today resembles nothing like the marketing of yesterday. Back then, you could count all the ways to market to hotel guests using just the fingers on one hand (travel agency posters anyone?) and could easily predict where your next guest would find you. As tempting as it is, don’t wallow in nostalgia for the simpler times of hotel marketing. Instead, designate one or two people on your marketing team to keep up on all the hotel internet marketing tools and trends that are rapidly being introduced into the marketplace today.

3. Dad: “Stop crying. You’re not bleeding.”
Hidden Hotel Marketing Advice:

Man up, kid.

Sometimes you get hit with awful reviews. Sometimes you check in dreadful guests. Sometimes the marketing ideas you put all of your creativity and resources in fails miserably.

Instead of crying over spilled milk, remember that the most brilliant and successful of hotel marketers are the ones who continue to try new ideas and take risks. If you’re not making any mistakes, that probably means you are still doing the same thing you did last year and the year before. Not taking risks or finding new ways to reach your guests will make your marketing stale and crummy. And, that’s something to cry about.

4. Dad: “You’ve got to work for it.”
Hidden Hotel Marketing Advice:

Don’t expect to reap large rewards from small marketing tweaks. Wish you had more direct bookings coming from your hotel’s booking engine? Disappointed you don’t have more corporate accounts? Then, you need to work for it. Don’t expect that once you build it, they will come. Prepare to put in effort, investment and people to get your desired ROI from marketing campaigns. Determine your top marketing goals and put your concentration there.

5. Dad: “Will you kids please shut up for once?”
Hidden Hotel Marketing Advice:

Dad wanted you to be a good listener. Similarly, hotel sales and marketing leaders need to be great listeners too. Do you talk to guests and ask what they like and dislike about your property? Do you ask meeting planners what they really need? Smart hotel marketers talk to everyone in their purview with genuine interest and a desire to improve their property’s experience.

6. Dad: “Don’t make me come up there!”
Hidden Hotel Marketing Advice:

Owners want marketing folks who are comfortable being accountable for a measurable impact on revenue. So make sure you have complete fluency with your key metrics. The last thing you want is an unhappy owner or manager telling you they are coming up for a “visit!”

 What lessons did your Dad teach you that have come in handy during your career? Let us know!

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:

Hotel Marketing Lessons for Father’s Day

June 10, 2014

Tambo_BlogFathersDayDear old dad.

We wore him out. We depleted his bank accounts.

We admired and feared him, and made his hair go grey. And while Mothers get all the credit for life lessons, it’s time for fathers to be acknowledged for their own wise and witty insights.

In honor of Father’s Day, we looked back over our favorite ‘dad-isms’ and discovered that dad knew a thing or two about hotel marketing.

Turns out pops has bona fide marketing chops! Here are hidden hotel marketing messages behind some of Dad’s favorite phrases:

Dad: ”Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees!”

Hidden Hotel Marketing Advice
Think carefully about how you spend the marketing dollars entrusted to you by ownership. Getting your desired marketing ROI doesn’t come easily, or without effort and investment. Determine what marketing goals are important to you and focus your marketing budget and staff hours there. Using another favorite dad-ism, “You’ve got to work for it.”

Dad: “Because I Said So!”

Hidden Hotel Marketing Advice
Do what you need to do, even if you don’t like it. Go where your guests and meeting planner clients go, even if that means deviating from your hotel’s original marketing plan. For example, if you find out more and more of your meeting planner clients are connecting on LinkedIn, then make sure your staff is also spending a lot of time building relationships there as well and that your hotel’s LinkedIn company page is accurately filled out, optimized and updated regularly. Realize your leisure guests love using Instagram? Then, you need to be on Instagram, too. While it’s not necessary to be everywhere and spreading yourself too thin across all the social media channels, be aware where the bulk of your guests hang out online and follow them.

Dad: “Why are you crying? You’re not bleeding!”

Sometimes your brilliant marketing idea falls flat on its face.

Hidden Hotel Marketing Advice
Toughen up, kid. Sometimes you get nightmare guests. Sometimes you get dreadful TripAdvisor reviews. Sometimes your brilliant marketing idea falls flat on its face. Instead of feeling crummy and bemoaning your wasted time and efforts, remember that smart marketers are always trying new things and looking for new ways of doing things.  If you’re not making mistakes or failing, then that likely means you’re not staying up-to-date on hotel marketing trends and that your marketing campaigns are growing old and stale. And, that’s something worth feeling crummy about.

Dad: ”Who Cares What Those Other Kids Think?”

Hidden Hotel Marketing Advice
You can’t be everything to everyone. Your hotel draws in a certain type of visitor from specific feeder markets. So, why are you squandering precious dollars trying to attract trivial micro-segments? Narrow down your audience and tailor your messages just for them. If your guests tend to be experience-hungry millennials, then build marketing campaigns around your F&B offerings and local experiences they wouldn’t be able to find anywhere else. Start off by building buyer profiles so that you and the rest of your marketing team are always aware who you should be conversing with.

Dad: Will You Kids Please Shut Up?

Gone are the days of ‘me, me, me’ marketing.

Hidden Hotel Marketing Advice
Stop talking so much.  When it comes to marketing your hotel, resist the temptation to fill your marketing campaigns with offers and content that only focus on your property. Gone are the days of ‘me, me, me’ marketing. Stop dominating the conversation and use your marketing channels as a way to connect with travelers and help them plan their journey. Ask your guests what they need when they stay with you? Find out what they’re looking forward to most when they visit your destination. And, be there for them when they ask questions. Focus on your guests’ needs first, then use your marketing programs to address those.

Dad: Don’t make me come up there!

Hidden Hotel Marketing Advice
Owners want marketing folks who are comfortable being accountable for a measurable impact on revenue. So make sure you have complete fluency with your key metrics. The last thing you want is an unhappy owner or manger telling you they are coming up for a visit!

 About Tambourine
Tambourine uses technology and creativity to increase revenue for hotels and destinations worldwide. The firm, now in its 30th year, is located in New York City and Fort Lauderdale. Please visit:


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