Browsing Tag

increase roi

What Can a British Knight Teach Us About Hotel Marketing?

April 28, 2014 • By

HotelMarketingDo this ONE amazing thing and beat everyone

You have probably never heard of Dave Brailsford. He doesn't work in the hotel or marketing industry. He's actually a British Knight with a psychology degree. So what can Mr. Brailsford teach the hotel marketing community?

The Big Idea and The Tour de France

He came up with an idea he called: “the aggregation of marginal gains” whereby his riders would try for a 1 percent margin for improvement in everything they do.
No British cyclist had ever won the Tour de France, but as Director of England's cycling team, that’s what Brailsford set out to do. His approach was simple: He came up with an idea he called: “the aggregation of marginal gains” whereby his riders would try for a “1 percent margin for improvement in everything they do.” He thought if they could improve lots of small things by just 1 percent, then those small gains might add up to remarkable improvement. So his team started to optimize everything: nutrition, training regimens, equipment. But Brailsford and his team didn’t stop there... According to writer James Clear: “They searched for 1 percent improvements in subtler areas that were overlooked by almost everyone else: discovering the pillow that offered the best sleep and taking it with them to hotels, testing for the most effective type of massage gel, and teaching riders the best way to wash their hands to avoid infection. They searched for 1 percent improvements everywhere.” Brailsford believed that if his team could successfully execute this strategy, his team might be in a position to win the Tour de France in five years. Instead, they won it in 2012 just three years after deploying his philosophy of marginal gains!

What can hotel marketers learn from Sir David's approach?

As marketers, we control four main levers that determine our property's success: 1. Product 2. Pricing 3. Promotion 4. Placement (distribution) Make a quick list of your opportunities for improvement within each of these categories. If you apply Brailsford's theory to these four key areas (and the sub-elements within each), it's easy to see how tiny improvements can lead to reasonably rapid ROI!

Rather than swinging for the fences with one big idea after another, ask yourself:

1. How can I create a 1% improvement in my product or service experience? 2. Can I incrementally improve pricing/revenue management? 3. What can I do to get 1% better conversion from my hotel booking engine? 4. Where can I find new audiences to extend my inventory/rates?
Improving by just 1% isn’t notable (and sometimes it isn’t even noticeable). But it can be just as meaningful, especially in the long run.
As Clear so eloquently puts it: “…So often we convince ourselves that change is only meaningful if there is some large, visible outcome associated with it. 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.” Ultimately, Brailsford's big idea of "aggregating marginal gains” reinforces what we already know, that nothing worthwhile comes easy. And those who work at getting better every day... usually win. About Tambourine Tambourine drives revenue for hotels and destinations worldwide using advanced marketing technology. The firm is celebrating its 30-year anniversary. For more information, visit Tambourine.com.

Surprise! 10 ways your hotel website is killing your business. Part 2

February 21, 2014 • By
Tambourine: 10 ways your hotel is killing you

Think your website is “good enough?” Think again… Here’s the second half of our list of ten ways your hotel website may be insufficient and underperforming:

Read Part 1 Here
  1. You fail to showcase your special promos:   Hotel consumers have been conditioned to expect a deal. Groupon, Travelzoo, the OTAs, dozens of other flash sale and deal-of-the-day players have made travel consumers less loyal and more price-conscious than ever before. Fight Back! Showcase your best offers prominently… not only on your website, but also across all your digital channels: mobile, search, social and email to past guests.
  2. Your photography is boring:   We live in a world where image is everything. On the web, people look at images first and read only if they like what they SEE! Simply “taking” photos of your rooms and amenities is not enough… you need to MAKE photos. Check out this photo from Four Seasons Mumbai as an example of how compelling a photo can be. Not every property has the blessed locality of this one, but every property deserves to look its best to engage website viewers. Hire the best photographer you can afford and a stylist. This investment will come back many times over.
  3. You fail to delight meeting/event planners:   If your property has no meeting facilities and receives limited revenue from groups/weddings/events… feel free to skip to #9. But if you depend on those market segments for any substantial amount of revenue, you need to make sure you are delighting meeting and event planners when they arrive at your site. Do you have content to engage these demanding folks? 360º videos of your facilities? Diagrams and spatial dimensions of the meeting rooms? Photos of previous weddings? Sample menus? Maps to nearby entertainment venues? All these and more will make the difference between getting a lead or missing out on lucrative business.
  4. You are not optimized for all devices:   Virtually every travel consumer (especially if they are affluent) uses two or three different screens in their purchasing cycle. If your website is not utilizing fully responsive website design best practices (ie, auto-reconfiguring itself depending on the screen size of the visitor) you are losing bookings. Your site needs to be stunning on big screen desktop computers, easy to navigate and read on a tablet (both portrait and landscape) and of course on any smartphone. Recent data shows exponential growth in tablet bookings, so make sure your tablet experience has been vetted, optimized and tested.
  5. You are overspending on traffic until you fix conversions:    The push to shift dependency on OTAs and increase direct bookings has inspired hotels of all sizes to spend billions on driving traffic to their own website. Sadly, its mostly wasted… hotel owners and their marketing teams would be better served by focusing instead on CONVERTING a higher percentage of their existing visitor stream, no matter how small it is. From architectural link/URL planning to “big-data” personalization and “smarter” booking engines, there are important new innovations and techniques available to catapult your website conversion and capture more direct revenue.

Improving your website "look-to-book" conversion rate should be at the very top of every hotel marketer’s list in 2014.

Your website is the first impression guests have of your property, it will shape their perception of your value and determine if they will buy from you, surf away to your competition or book your property through a costly OTA.

About Tambourine

Tambourine drives revenue for hotels and destinations worldwide using advanced marketing technology. The firm is celebrating its 30-year anniversary. For more information, visit Tambourine.com.