Browsing Tag

hospitality

Friday Freebie: Leverage Past Guests to Crush New Hotel Competition

August 4, 2017 • By

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Welcome to the Friday Freebie!

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

This week’s freebie: Get a leg up on new hotel competition by maximizing the one thing they don’t have – past guests. 

With their modern amenities, fresh technology, and remarkable experiences that travelers are clamoring for, new hotels are perfectly poised to steal a chunk of your market.

It’s hard to battle for bookings when you’re surrounded by exciting new properties that are stealing all the attention and all the business.

Don’t rely on slashing prices to take those bookings back. This will just hurt your bottom line and your reputation. Instead, turn to the one thing that they don’t have: past guests.

You have an AUDIENCE… monetize it!

While the new properties build up their profile and struggle to bring in new guests, create an exciting offer exclusively for your most lucrative past guests.

Also, make sure you are using the positive reviews of past guests to create trust and validation among new prospective guests as well; your hotel website should prominently showcase testimonial reviews from leisure guests AND past meetings/groups!

Finally, follow new compset hotel developments closely and time your marketing campaigns/promos to coincide with their opening and dampen the attrition of business due to their launch!

Get more: Discover more ways to compete with new hotel properties.


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 Google and Apple Blocking Your Hotel Ads?

July 25, 2017 • By

Hotel digital marketers will now have even more technology to deal with.

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Major Takeaways:

  • Hotels need to understand the affects of new tech restrictions on their digital advertising
  • The announced updates to Google’s Chrome and Apple’s Safari will not block ALL advertising, just the most worst offending, spammy and intrusive ads
  • Google is taking a collaborative approach and letting publishers know ahead of time what type of ad content will be allowed and which will be blocked. Apple, on the other hand, is taking a harder stance against ads they deem irritating. They have yet to release more details.

Last month, digital advertisers (including most hotels) and their media partners were treated to a serious surprise.

Google announced plans to block intrusive and annoying digital ads in the newest version of Chrome, the world’s most popular web browser commanding 44 percent of the audience. This default ad-blocker will soon block certain digital ads – including those that take up too much of the computer screen, force readers to wait to view content they really want to see, or auto play videos and audio.

Apple soon followed with their own announcement: They are updating their Safari browser with radical new features aimed at protecting their users’ privacy and providing a friendlier web experience. These include:

  • VIDEO ADS: Preventing video or audio autoplay without the user’s permission. Online video advertising is generally seen as more valuable to advertisers since they attract higher engagement than static banner ads. This is especially noteworthy to resorts, who often use vide-enabled ads to showcase the compelling sights, sounds, colors and majesty of their properties.
  • RETARGETING ADS: Disabling ad tracking from 3rd party ad networks, which hotels would normally use to track people’s visits across different websites. This is how ad networks can tell if someone looked at your hotel and can serve up retargeting ads to keep your hotel top-of-mind.
  • BARE MINIMUM CONTENT: Giving online visitors the option to only view the main content of any website without any ‘extras’ like advertising, list of ‘suggested reading’,  and even design features like colors and fonts.

Some media experts and (let’s face it, virtually all) consumers are applauding Google and Apple’s moves to protect and enhance the online user experience by weeding out obnoxious ad interruptions.

People are fed up with crappy web experiences. They’re tired of companies tracking their behavior. They’re tired of obtrusive ads getting in their way. And, they’re tired of worrying about the possibility of hackers delivering malware through fake ads.

However, Google and Apple aren’t the first to intervene and block dreaded advertising experiences. According to the Interactive Advertising Bureau, about 26 percent of web visitors have already handled this on their own by installing plugins that block trackers and ads. And, about 10 percent have installed ad and tracking blockers on their smartphones.

So, what does this mean for hoteliers who depend on digital advertising for reaching new audiences and recapturing abandoned reservations with retargeting ads?

It’s time to adjust.

These ad blockers will definitely have a rippling impact on the hotel industry, but your advertising can still succeed if you follow these guidelines:

1. Understand your ad formats…. and where they run

Reach out to your media buying team and make sure you understand the type of ads that will run for your property and which networks/sites they run on. According to Google’s announcement, the type of ads they will block in the next version of Chrome are autoplay videos, pop-up ads and ads that cover most of the page.

In recent years, Apple has become more and more concerned with their consumers and privacy. In fact, Apple’s CEO Tim Cook has lashed out at internet companies that collect user data, calling it an attack on privacy. The upcoming version of Safari will not block ads. Instead, it will block a user’s browsing data from third-party tracking tools that specialize in sharing audience data with other parties. This will make it harder for hotels to access audience data and leverage the intelligence to shape future marketing campaigns, create retargeting ads, and personalize marketing campaigns. From here on… essentially, any company that doesn’t have a direct relationship with the consumer will be at a disadvantage.

2. Are you paying for blocked ads?

Work with your media buying team to track the success of your PPC and digital ad campaigns.

Are your hotel ads published and actually seen? Or, are they being published (incurring costs), then blocked by the end user’s browser?

This will require testing and having the ability to pivot and replace these blocked ads with replacements that are more user-friendly. Plus, if you find that many of your ads are being blocked within Chrome and Safari, it’s time to up your game and think of new ways to grab your hotel audience’s attention.

3. Commit to quality

These radical moves by Google and Apple are meant to keep out the worst of the worst, while giving quality ads more screen time and less noise to cut through. Hotels now have to be accountable for creating advertising campaigns that are helpful, entertaining and stimulate dialogue with consumers… rather than just self-indulgently interrupting them.


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: Hotel Website Copy That Sells

July 14, 2017 • By

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Welcome to the Friday Freebie!

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

This Week’s Freebie: Convert more lookers into bookers by tweaking your hotel website copy.

Today, no one has the attention span to read anymore.

Studies show that people online only have an attention span of 8 SECONDS.

This puts a lot of pressure on hotel marketers to entice, engage and convince all within that tiny timeframe.

So, what’s a hotel marketer to do to maximize mere seconds when someone is on your website–your ultimate marketing asset? How can you quickly push someone closer to booking?

The Main Secret: Write for scanners, not readers. 

So, write less, make every word count, and make it easy to read.

Here Are Some Tips:

  • Cut the fluff, get to the point. Adjectives are the sign of a weak writer!
  • Don’t feel the pressure to write in full, complete sentences all the time. It’s okay now to write how you speak. Say what you mean and mean what you say!
  • Break up content in at-a-glance, “snackable” chunks, instead of writing lengthy paragraphs.
  • Use subheads and headlines to break-up distinct topic changes. This makes it easier to digest important points.
  • Replace some copy with a fitting image or video instead.

Get More Here: Want People to Actually Read Your Hotel Website? Here’s How.


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

5 Things Hotel Marketers Are Celebrating This July 4th

July 3, 2017 • By

Hotel sales and marketing pros have a lot to be happy about this year.

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This Independence Day, hoteliers are not only celebrating a long weekend bustling with holiday travelers, but all the other indicators that prove there are more sunny skies ahead for the industry:

1) A Winning Trifecta: Thriving Group Business, Stable Economy & A Positive Hotel Market 

The hotel industry’s up cycle has exceeded expectations. Occupancy rose 1.5 percent, driven by an increase in demand of 3.4 percent. ADR increased 2 percent and RevPAR rose by 3.6 percent – making May 2017 the 87th month of consecutive RevPAR growth.

Even after two months with a declining pipeline of new rooms, the number of new room construction reached 192,000. This is a small increase (April 2017’s count was 189,000) and shows that the pipeline of new construction is flourishing, but at a slower pace.

Most of the new construction focuses on select-service hotels without substantial meeting space, which is a boon for hoteliers overseeing full-service properties who continue to see an uptick in their booking pace as large groups compete to lock in venues.

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2) Owners’ Investment in a Remarkable Product

You can be out-of-this-world creative. You can have the wittiest, most clever and memorable hotel marketing concept. You can even have a generous hotel marketing budget to pay for massive exposure in front of all the right audiences.

Yet, all of that means nothing without a truly differentiated hotel product.

If your property is providing a lackluster experience with frayed edges, outdated décor, and musty smells, no amount of brilliant marketing can save you from the downward spiral of lost revenue.

New hotels with bold concepts and fresh guest experiences are springing up in all directions, so hotel owners need to invest in their properties to keep up with modern expectations. Thankfully, more and more hotel owners are realizing that the best hotel marketing investment they can make is in enhancing their property, the experience and the service.

3) The Lowest Summer Gas Prices in Years

The start of summer is not normally a time for low gas prices, since so many people are taking to the road and creating demand. However, with the recent drop in oil costs, travelers are elated to find some of the lowest summer prices at the pumps for the first time in 12 years. In fact, this holiday weekend’s prices could be the lowest 4th of July gas prices since 2005. According to AAA, gas prices have been falling every day since June 2nd and are expected to keep dropping. Consider us pumped for all the road travelers ahead.

4) Expanding Awareness of Book Direct Benefits

Fueled by affordable digital marketing tools and increasing comfort in deploying them, hotel marketers are feeling more confident and emboldened to push for direct bookings instead of relying on OTAs to fill their rooms.

In April, Hyatt Hotels became the latest brand to offer a discount to guests who book directly from the Hyatt website, following similar programs by Marriott International, Hilton Worldwide and Starwood Hotels & Resorts. These moves by the major chains are heightening public recognition of the benefits of booking direct and are chipping away at the myth that OTAs save money. With the stage set by industry titans and all the advanced marketing tools and metrics available to hoteliers, we expect this momentum to continue to swell.

5) Social Media Evangelists

Hotels now have small, private armies of unpaid marketing staff: guests who Instagram, Snap, Facebook and Tweet while eating breakfast in bed, lounging by the pool, and watching the sunset from their balconies. Each post boosts awareness for your hotel and bolsters your hotel’s reach… all without your staff lifting a finger or spending a dime. And, even after checking out, guests continue to post photo albums and videos of their vacations.

When guests gush about their travels, they’re creating content that is hotel marketing gold. You can even easily discover and collect Instagram photos posted by your guests using a tool like our new Tout.


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: Briefcases to Suitcases, Compel Business Travelers to Stretch Their Stays

June 30, 2017 • By

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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: Compel corporate guests to extend their stay by creating a targeted ‘bleisure’ offer.

Out of a hotel’s three primary market segments, corporate clients often produce the steadiest stream of room nights AND add-on revenue throughout the year. And better yet…. free-spending corporate travelers alo tend to spend more on dining and other ancillary products (since they are reimbursed by their companies).

Amplify your revenue opportunities with corporate travelers by compelling them to add on leisure days to their stay.

Here’s One Way to Encourage Them to Stay Longer:

Create an exclusive offer only for corporate guests that extends the corporate rate a few days pre- and post-reservation. Add perks during those extra days, such as complimentary bike rentals, late check-out, discounted passes to a family-friendly attraction, free parking or complimentary breakfast. Include a link to a calendar of fun local events happening before, during, and after their original stay.

Share this offer with corporate guests a few times leading up to their stay. Include it in the pre-stay email, at check-in… or leave a note during their stay.

Get More: Turning Business Into Pleasure


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

Father Knows Best: Three Hotel Marketing Lessons From Dad

June 13, 2017 • By

Hotel marketing lessons from dear old dad…

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While Mom gets a lot of the credit for imparting life lessons, it’s time for fathers to be acknowledged for their own wise insights.

In honor of Father’s Day, every year we celebrate our favorite ‘dadisms.’ And, we found that pops has some serious hotel marketing wisdom!

Here are hidden hotel marketing messages behind some of your father’s repeated quotes:

1. “Will You Kids Please Shut Up?”

Hidden Hotel Marketing Advice:

When marketing your hotel, resist the urge to drone on and on about your property’s physical features. Modern travelers are driven to book based on what lies outside your hotel walls, not just what’s inside. They want to experience your destination like a true local and crave front-row access to cool discoveries and remarkable experiences unlike anything they can find at home.

So, your hotel website should not only focus on your property; It should share the spotlight with your destination. Your hotel website should position your property as the epicenter of your destination.

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 2. “Hold Your Head Up…”

Hidden Hotel Marketing Advice:

Toughen up, kid. Sometimes you get dreadful guests. Sometimes you’re hit with awful reviews. Sometimes your creative marketing ideas fail miserably. Instead of crying over spilled milk, remember that the most successful and brilliant hotel marketers are those who take risks and try new ideas. If you’re not making any mistakes, that probably means you are simply repeating the same things year after year. 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.

3. “Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees!” 

Hidden Hotel Marketing Advice:

Think carefully about how you spend the marketing dollars entrusted to you by ownership. And by all means… ask for the resources you need to accomplish the revenue goals assigned to you! If you need more marketing staff or outsourced vendors to help you achieve your hotel’s revenue goals, then ask for them.

If your hotel is in dire need of upgrades and updates in order to effectively compete with newer properties and win market share, then ask for them.

If you depend on another department’s performance to help you reach your targets, then ask to oversee them.

Here’s an example of what that request could look like:

“For me to achieve the revenue targets set forth by ownership… I need $_______ in funding, specific hotel upgrades to be made, and _______ new staff (contractors). Plus, I would like ________ department to report to me.”

The road to achieving your property’s revenue goals begins with your ability to ask for what you need. Show your management team that without these items, you won’t be able to deliver the results they’re looking for.


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: Start Tracking Phone Calls to Optimize Your Marketing

June 9, 2017 • By

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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: Start using simple phone tracking tech to optimize your campaigns and reservation/call center performance. 

We all know how important it is to monitor data from digital marketing campaigns. However, usually those analytics only track online activity and engagement. One of the best ways to bridge the gap between your online and offline marketing activities is by tracking inbound phone calls using simple new digital tracking technology.

Travelers often want to know more about the experience they’re about to embark on. And, they want to interact with someone on your hotel staff or reservation center to get the answers. This is especially true at resorts or destination properties, where it is extremely common for guests to call and want to speak with someone personally before pulling out a credit card to make a long range reservation.

Most phone tracking tools now enable management to “listen in” to recordings of any/all calls. What makes this feature so impactful is that you are hearing from the guest firsthand, using their own voice and words to express their concerns and wants.

Also, by “listening-in” to recorded phone calls, you can see how well your guest service team deals with guests and whether their “pitch” needs improvement. How is your guest services team handling simple and complex inquiries? How are they conveying your hotel’s unique experience over the phone? Are they up-selling properly and easing the guest along towards booking a reservation?

If you’re only measuring your digital results, you’re missing a significant KPI of success: start tracking phone calls to get a complete picture!


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: Market Specifically to This Affluent Niche: LGBT Travelers

June 2, 2017 • By

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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 (in honor of LGBT Pride Month): Attract LGBT travelers, a lucrative market segment, with specific hotel marketing tactics. 

Over the past few years, LGBT travelers have entered the mainstream for progressive hotel marketers everywhere. According to a survey by Community Marketing, Inc., which researches LGBT travelers and helps travel brands understand and reach out to this market, having a LGBT-friendly reputation is one of the top three factors gay or lesbian travelers consider when choosing a hotel.

Marketing to a gay and lesbian audience doesn’t require a separate micro-site or obnoxiously proclaiming “We’re gay friendly! Book here!”

Instead, the key is to be sophisticated and subtle. Include this market seamlessly into current marketing campaigns with these easy moves:

  • Include relevant images of same-sex couples in marketing materials.
  • Include same-sex couples images in your wedding section.
  • Include social proof: relevant testimonials or awards from relevant publications.
  • Create packages incorporating experiences from your destination’s LGBT neighborhoods like Seattle’s Capitol Hill, New York’s Chelsea, Miami’s South Beach, and San Diego’s Hillcrest.
  • Create June packages for LGBT Pride Month.
  • Partner with gay-friendly bars, restaurants and other establishments.

Get more: Hotels Rolling Out the Rainbow Carpet for LGBT Travelers


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 5 Dumbest Hotel Website Design Mistakes

May 30, 2017 • By

Hotel website design is much more than pretty pictures…

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Excuse us for stating the obvious: but of all the hotel marketing tools and tactics that exists today, nothing will ever be more vital and essential to your hotel’s success than your own direct booking website.

Yet, despite its monumental importance, we still see hotels making these same five catastrophic website mistakes that end up costing them thousands in lost  revenue.

1. Letting it Stagnate

Remember when websites used to be static online brochures?

Those days are long gone, friends.

Not only is your website the first impression of your hotel and your brand, it’s at the core of every hotel marketing strategy and direct booking effort. Almost every marketing campaign or tool flows from it or to it: your advertising and retargeting efforts, all of your inbound marketing leads, your SEO, your hotel PPC campaigns, your ROI reporting and more.

Treat your hotel website as a software application, not a brochure. 

Your amenities, browser standards, email capture forms, booking engine widget integrations and online plug-ins (like live chat) change all the time… and so must your website. If your hotel website is stagnant, chances are your direct booking flow will be as well!

2. Lack of Visually Arresting Imagery

It takes mere seconds to make the wrong first impression.

Have lackluster or outdated photos on your website?

People will automatically assume that your hotel is also lackluster and outdated. Studies show that hotel photography has the power to change a guest’s mind – making them consider a property that before was not in the running or to drop a hotel they were once interested in. Photos aren’t just pretty pictures, they matter to your bookings and your bottom line.

So, dump all the stock photography, delete your old images and establish higher standards for all new photography. Hire a photographer with an established portfolio of hotel or architecture work. Then, dip into your most valuable photographer pool – your own guests. Your guests are Instagramming their favorite moments from their trips, and some are pretty stunning!

3. Failure to Display Social Validation

Guests will always trust other guests over you.

So, you need to harvest the experiences of past guests to sell for you. This means displaying your property’s accolades, magazine awards and other recognizable trust marks prominently on your website, so that guests will immediately see that your hotel is a trusted, proven player. Also, be sure to showcase compelling guest reviews that sum up the best of your hotel experience.

In marketing, this tactic is called social proof. It basically tells potential guests, “Other travelers stayed at this hotel and loved it. You will too.” You can also use social proof to validate your hotel’s value to meeting planners and win more group business.

4. Missing a Meaningful, Local Story

Modern travelers are driven to book based on what lies outside your hotel walls, not just what’s inside. They want to experience your destination like a true local and crave front-row access to cool discoveries and remarkable experiences unlike anything they can find at home.

So, your website should not only focus on your property; It should share the spotlight with your destination.

Your hotel website should position your property as the epicenter of your destination.

You need to show what experiences guests can look forward to and which are within reach. What cool wine bars or quirky, local coffee shops are within walking distance? What local secrets can your staff share? What should guests know about your immediate neighborhood?

The best hotel websites promise to change the viewer’s perspective on the destination and enrich their lives.

5. Absence of Key Tech Tools

As stated in Mistake #1, your hotel website should never be a stagnant marketing piece that sits still looking pretty. It is the dynamic centerpiece of all your hotel marketing efforts and should be powered with critical technology that amplifies its capabilities. Today, there are a number of technology plug-ins (more affordable then ever) that enable hotel marketers to maximize every click and visit and reap as much revenue as possible.

Some of the tech add-ons we recommend are built-in reservation recovery, live online chat, meeting/group lead tracking technology, ROI tracking, schema integration for SEO, and call tracking.


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: Do This to Turn up the Heat on Summer Bookings…

May 26, 2017 • By

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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: Rake in more summer bookings by building a tiered minimum stay promotion leveraging your onsite amenities, instead of simply handing out summer discounts. 

The good news: Today launches the unofficial start of summer.

Even better news: Millions of travelers are pulling out their credit cards and packing their bags for summer vacays.

But, don’t rejoice just yet.

The competition for summer travelers is fierce and hotels will be pumping out summer discounts in every direction to get their attention.

Our advice?

Hold back from joining the pack and giving out those standard 10-15 percent discounts. They’re boring and your compset is probably doing the same thing. To get the most revenue out of this summer season, you need to stand out in the sea of summer sameness.

Here’s how to do it:

Create tiered minimum stay promotions using your onsite amenities as incentives for longer stays. Start off with small, no-cost add-ons, like free late checkouts or early check-ins. Then, increase your offerings with each day added onto the reservation. These can include room upgrades, free parking, free bike rentals, dining credits, spa credits, tickets to local attractions, etc.

The best part is, unlike straight price discounts, these value-ads strategically help you drive incremental revenue by enticing guests to stay longer and spend more money at the restaurant or spa, which they may not normally do.

Get more: Put Some Sizzle In Your Summer ADRs 


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