Browsing Tag

travel and tourism

5 Things Hotel Marketers Are Loving This Valentine’s Day

February 14, 2017 • By

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There is so much to love about the lodging industry.

Meeting people from around the world. Creating remarkable experiences for our guests. And, using our creativity to grow brand awareness, engage guests and grow our properties’ revenue.

This year, we asked our clients what was making them warm and fuzzy on Valentine’s Day and here’s what they had to say:

1) A Robust Economy RevPar and ADR are still running at a healthy pace, despite growing hotel supply and Airbnb’s rapid growth in driving leisure and corporate travel. STR predicts demand to stay strong throughout 2017, based on a solid labor market, stronger consumer spending and low inflation rates. Corporate travel also appears to be on the rebound, following a rocky 2016 when corporations tightened their travel budgets in response to a high-profile election, massive corporate mergers, and international issues such as Brexit and the spread of the Zika virus. It appears that corporate travel is poised for its comeback in 2017, with all-time high stock market rates and President Trump’s commitment to slashing corporate tax rates, loosening up regulations, and building more transportation infrastructure. 2) Robust Career Opportunities The industry is ripe for innovation and continuous improvement. That’s why, with new hotel openings and the growth of new hospitality start-ups, we’re seeing more opportunities for marketers in the lodging industry than in many other sectors. This growth has drawn in a lot of millennial talent, bringing in even more fresh ideas and perspectives.  The excitement of the industry and the fast-tracked promotional opportunities make hotel/technology/digital jobs some of the most coveted in the country.

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3) Elevated Consumer Awareness of Direct Booking Benefits Thanks to the massive media outreach by Hilton and Marriott’s direct booking campaigns, we’re seeing heightened public recognition of the benefits of booking direct. The idea is to educate travelers and chip away at the myth that OTAs save guests money. With the stage set, more and more hotels are following in Hilton and Marriott’s footsteps with their own hotel marketing campaigns enticing audiences to book direct.

Plus, hotel marketers at properties of all sizes are now armed with new digital hotel marketing tools and previously unaffordable technology that can help them drive direct room revenue, instead of settling for costly OTA bookings. The momentum of the “book direct movement” is growing and we’re excited to see where this is headed. 4) The Free Evangelist Army of Social Media Advocates Here’s a not-so-secret secret: You have thousands of unpaid hotel social media and marketing staff. They are your guests who Tweet from their hotel balcony, Instagram their room service breakfast, and Facebook Live their rides on the hotel’s complimentary bikes. Then, even after checking out, they post photo albums of their dream vacation online. When guests gush about their travel adventures, they’re taking you along for the ride. This user-generated content is pure gold for a hotel marketer. Now, smart hotels can even seamlessly collect these authentic photos and videos and leverage them as marketing assets using affordable social capture tools.

5) New Simplified Analytics Tools As you know, even small hotels can be buried in a mountain of customer data and need the right tools to help make sense of it all, make better financial decisions for the future and reshape or pivot their hotel marketing strategies. Now, simple analytics tools, like cloud-based SnapShot allows you to see exactly how your hotel is running, aggregating data from your PMS system, TripAdvisor, Google Analytics and social media. This type of data puts you in the best position to craft hotel marketing campaigns tailored with the right message, for the right audience at the right time.


 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

Business, hospitality, hotel marketing, Hotel Marketing Advice, Hotel Revenue, Marketing Advice, Uncategorized

Friday Freebie: Outsmart New Compset Properties With Creativity

February 10, 2017 • By

FridayFreebie-Tambourine-600x600

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: Celebrate Your USPs to stand out from new compset properties.

Let’s face it.

New properties steal not just the spotlight, but potentially your market share as well… They are poised perfectly to siphon your business with their sparkling technology, modern amenities, and exciting new guest experiences that travelers are clamoring for…  Unless, you rebuff their arrival with an arsenal of smart marketing of your own.

But don’t fall back on flash sales in a last-minute bid to entice bookings away from them. This will only hurt your reputation and your bottom line.

Instead, leverage the one thing you have that they don’t: past guests.

While the new hotel must target new guests, create compelling reasons for past guests to plan a return stay.

Examine how your guest experience outshines theirs and leverage every unique aspect of your hotel to craft targeted marketing campaigns and creative promotions to your current email list of past guests (another thing new properties don’t have).

Segment your email list and consider the USPs that will pertain to them. Offer free Wifi while they charge $12/day? Are you located right in the heart of a cool neighborhood, while they’re on the outskirts? Do you host a complimentary happy hour of local wines?

Creatively packaging what makes you unique is one of the simplest ways to outshine your competition and sustain market share.

Get more: 4 Ways to Compete Against New Properties In Your Market


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

advertising, Guest Experience, hospitality, hotel marketing, Hotel Marketing Advice, Marketing Advice, Uncategorized

Friday Freebie: Stop Being a Groundhog: Get Out From Under Your Desk

February 3, 2017 • By

FridayFreebie-Tambourine-600x600

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: Stop being a hotel marketing groundhog … Rekindle your hotel marketing creativity by getting out of the office to talk to guests.

It’s easy to get lost in the minutiae of hotel marketing.

Tasks like creating marketing assets, engaging with your audience on social media and analyzing data pretty much guarantees that you’ll be fixated on your computer screen for most of the day.

However, marketing that has the most impact and produces the highest amount of conversion requires creativity and knowing your audience. The easiest way to achieve both is to step out of your office everyday and speak directly to members of your marketing audience. They’re lingering in the lobby, enjoying lunch in the restaurant and reading books on the terrace. Your current guests are your best springboards for brilliant marketing ideas.

Start a conversation and ask how their stay is going, what surprised them about the property, what they’re enjoying the most and what they would miss if your hotel closed? Making it a habit to speak directly with your marketing audience will uncover what your hotel experience lacks, trigger creative solutions and inspire fresh approaches to marketing campaigns – all benefits you could never achieve by hunkering down in your office.   

Get More: Are You a Hotel Marketing Groundhog?


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

Guest Experience, hospitality, hotel marketing, Hotel Marketing Advice, Marketing Advice, Uncategorized

10 Secrets of Luxury Hotel Websites (Part 2)

January 31, 2017 • By

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Last week we covered the first five secrets of luxury hotel websites … Here’s Part 2 and the final five tips for luxury hotels and resorts:

6) Luxury Hotel Websites Synthesize Design and E-Commerce

Clearly, luxury hotels need to be vigilant about their online presentation and perception, but the savviest upscale properties understand that e-commerce tactics and visually arresting design CAN coexist beautifully … and profitably.

A few elements to keep in mind:

• There is nothing inelegant about a clear and consistent call to action. A “Check Availability” button in a prominent location at all times can be designed in an understated manner and regardless of your booking engine partner, the front end booking widget experience can be custom designed in a refined manner rather than using the standard default widget.

• Templates and do-it-yourself content management systems can hinder your ability to extend your brand tone into the e-commerce realm. Make sure your website developer has the ability to implement all aspects of your branding including colors, patterns, textures, fonts and photographic and copywriting tone.

• Mapping the location of the hotel and its surrounding attractions are critical to e-commerce conversions. However, you don’t have to use canned/default map features and colors. Google Maps can be customized to display only the information relevant to your brand, as well as its brand colors and tones.

• The mantra of luxury branding is: “Less is more.” A more understated, “clean” layout not only harkens backs to luxury print design and branding campaigns of the past, but it also leads to faster page load speeds and better SEO results. Google is now indexing mobile site structures first. This means, fewer mobile pages and more succinct and efficient websites.

• With increases in Internet speeds and pervasive wifi, video (the ultimate branding and storytelling medium) has become a powerful inspirational tool for luxury hotel websites. A good inspirational video extends user engagement and increases entrances into the booking engine.

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7) Luxury Hotel Websites Welcome Global Visitors

Just within the past decade, the U.S. hotel industry has seen a significant uplift in wealthy international travelers. This growth in global guests and the ease of digital marketing across borders has given luxury hotels massive opportunities to expand into new markets and succeed internationally.

However, when it comes to your hotel going global, it doesn’t make sense to stick with a one-size-fits-all hotel web design or booking engine. Every culture has its own assumptions, ideals and values. What works in one country may flop in another. Here’s a few things to keep in mind:

• Get a Real Translation

If international visitors go to your hotel’s website and just see English, it sends a message that their business isn’t important or that you don’t care to make their online experience an inviting one. And don’t make the lazy mistake of Google translating all of your website copy, then calling it a day. Reaching international travelers will take much more than a lazy word-for-word replacement. It requires taking into account the nuances, the cliché phrases and the style of language of your specific target.

Currency and Payment Options

Once you have overseas visitors hooked with a successfully localized hotel website, don’t lose them to an all-American, all-English booking engine that displays room rates only in U.S. dollars. The same principle goes for guest room and suite measurements. Most of the world uses the metric system, so don’t describe rooms with feet and inches.

  Dates and Times

Avoid confusion by displaying the times and dates in the preferred local format. This also guarantees a seamless user experience for international guests who are accustomed to different formats than what your American guests are acquainted with. Surprisingly, the format of MM/DD/YY is unique to the U.S. (and oftentimes used in Canada too, adding to the confusion). While Japan uses YY/MM/DD and most of Europe uses DD/MM/YY.

  Enable Language Toggle

We can’t always assume a guest’s native language based on where they live. So, it makes sense to enable guests to specify and easily toggle the language that suits them best. 

8) Luxury Hotel Websites Convey a Luxury Service Culture

Wealthy travelers expect VIP treatment and the highest caliber of hospitality from start to finish. Not only do luxury hotel brands invest heavily in service training and empowering their staff, they showcase that dedication to service and genuine hospitality directly on their website itself. Ritz Carlton's staff lives by their Gold Standard credo to “fulfill even the unexpressed wishes and needs of our guests.”

This commitment must extend to the first touch many potential guests have with your hotel, through the phone and chat agents made available via your website. These operators must understand the details of your luxury service experience and be able to convey it via chat and phone.

9) Luxury Hotel Websites Enable Personalization

Shoppers who visit luxury stores expect and appreciate a personalized experience. Luxury hotel e-commerce is no different. Smart hoteliers in the upscale and luxury categories have built-in personalization features in their e-commerce experiences, including:

Detection of the website user’s search engine query or location and instant presentation of dynamic content (or offers) that match the user’s interest (ex: “adjoining rooms on the beach”).

• Smarter presentation of room categories that enables guests to select rooms based on their personal preferences (ex: “quiet, away from elevators, low-floor or ocean-view).

• Digital tracking of loyal past guests (and their past booking behavior) and instant dynamic presentation of offers, content and images that match their profile (ex: past guests can instantly be recognized and offered a “loyal guest” discount which creates kinship and reduces potential abandonment to OTAs).

10) Luxury Hotel Websites Respect Users’ Time

High-end guests often have more money than time … So they seek amenities and services that reduce friction and allow them to get what they want quickly. Smart luxury properties feature these capabilities right on their website, such as mobile check-in, 24/7 service butlers, on-site activities and rentals, service requests by SMS, children programs, or airport transfers. Further, high-end customers want to know they can reach a real person at any time. So, luxury properties lower the barriers to staff by making it simple to chat, call or email directly from their property's website and by promising quick response times (some even offer a convenient “call-back service”). The idea is to make their affluent customers feel like a part of an exclusive community and to give them multiple direct lines of communication to your staff.

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

Business, Direct Bookings, Guest Experience, hospitality, hotel marketing, Hotel Marketing Advice, Hotel Revenue, Marketing Advice, OTA, Uncategorized

Friday Freebie: Build Product Experiences for Each Key Segment

January 13, 2017 • By

FridayFreebie-Tambourine

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: Once you know exactly who your guests are, create experiences specifically for each segment.

Last week, we showed you how to get clear on who your guests are to make your marketing more impactful. Here, we’ll talk about the next step:

Create specific packages, promos, and experiences for each of those target audiences. A common mistake hotels make is creating packages they hope will have universal appeal, then promoting them to all audiences.

Instead, think deeply about the needs and wants of each specific guest segment and build compelling product experiences (remember: product = physical + experiential) that truly differentiates your property. For example: Couples Resorts in Jamaica has built a package that appeals to adventurous couples, one of their key segments. The package includes a trip to Jamaica’s famous luminous lagoon with a magical evening boat excursion.

Then, narrowcast your marketing campaigns to specific niche audiences and build campaigns that are relevant to them and their needs. In other words, don’t send wedding promos to corporate planners, or family packages to couples looking to get away for a romantic weekend.

Get More: Three ways hoteliers can tap into the authenticity trend


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

Business, Guest Experience, hotel marketing, Hotel Marketing Advice, Marketing Advice, Uncategorized

5 Hotel Sales Tactics to Jumpstart 2017

January 10, 2017 • By

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A fresh New Year brings a new opportunity to delight ownership with big results in group/event sales…but only if you start off with velocity.

Here are five proven tactics for jumpstarting your hotel sales performance in 2017 and establishing momentum for the next 12 months:

1. Have a Kick-Ass Kick-Off! Seize this moment to fire up your group sales team and send them off hustling, motivated and inspired to hit their revenue goals each month. An epic sales kick-off is your one chance to launch with real velocity and energize your team on a grand scale. The key is to get your team pumped and primed to kill it in the year ahead. So, avoid a boring presentation of last year’s numbers (snore). Book an exciting outside speaker, hold interactive education sessions addressing the challenges they faced last year, get the team up and moving during breakouts, and sprinkle in some high-energy team building activities. And remember, all of this initial enthusiasm and education can wear off by the following month, so reinforce the main ideas throughout the year in your regular weekly meetings. 2. Have a Simple Roadmap. Booking group business without a sensible business plan is like playing darts with a blindfold on and crossing your fingers that you’ll hit the bullseye.                                                                                                     image2 3. Hope is Not a Strategy. Don’t leave your revenues to chance or expect your sales team to make up for your lack of organization. You should map out the primary underlying drivers that justify the sales targets you are projecting for ownership. How many trade shows, sales visits, planner events, marketing and sales campaigns are required? What are the main threats to achieving your sales goals? Your plan doesn’t need to be long and formal, but it should convey all the main waypoints on your road to sales success. It should also be a living tool, so don’t stick it up on a shelf to gather dust. Instead, review it every month to make sure you’re on track. And allow yourself the flexibility to adjust throughout the year if something isn’t working or if you want to try a clever new tactic. 4. Who’s Driving Leads? This is one of the most significant components of your sales plan. It’s vital that your sales team sprints out in Q1 and pounds the pavement to build their sales pipeline, as that will set the pace for the rest of the year. Outline specific prospecting activities and lead generation quotas for each sales person. Make sure the proper folks have access to your prospecting tools, or invest in tools such as Knowland or Groups360 to capture business intelligence and identify new prospects. 5. Go Big…Early! Shore up your pipeline and boost the year with a strong foundation by taking inventory of key group accounts. Which accounts brought in the most business last year? Which planners have the potential to add incremental business and multi-year contracts? Call on these planners early on, remind them of the benefits of partnering with your hotel as their venue and offer even more value by incentivizing them to book early. Creating this foundation leaves room for better forecasting and revenue management yield strategies. Then, continue to nurture these existing clients throughout the year, recognize them for their loyalty and show a genuine interest in their success to strengthen the relationship. 6. Rethink Your Sales Materials. The needs of modern meeting planners are constantly changing. Review your sales and marketing materials to make sure they are speaking to the concerns of today’s planners, not just generically touting your venue space. Meeting planners have challenges…so make sure you're marketing messages crafted to offer event “solutions.” Do you need separate materials and messaging for corporate planners vs associations? Does your value proposition resonate with current customers? (You might be surprised if you simply ask a few of your best customers their opinion of what makes your property unique.)When meeting planners source venues, they often collect sales and marketing collateral from several venues, then review later. Make sure your marketing materials stand out from your comp set.A lot can happen in a year. So, if you are re-using sales materials from last year, it’s already time for a second look. Planners today appreciate authenticity, so update your materials with guest-sourced photos, videos and testimonials. No matter how inspiring or charismatic your sales team is, they must be armed with stunning sales materials to make an impression on planners and to help differentiate your property.

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

Business, Guest Experience, hospitality, hotel marketing, Hotel Marketing Advice, Hotel Revenue, Marketing Advice, Uncategorized

Friday Freebie: Can You Describe Your Typical Guest?

January 6, 2017 • By

FridayFreebie-Tambourine

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: Sharpen your marketing’s effectiveness by first determining exactly who your target audiences are.

Surprising fact: Most hoteliers don’t know who their target market is. It’s all too easy to say you want to market to "everyone" including business travelers, couples, families, golfers, city explorers, foodies, outdoor adventurers…you get the picture.

But, brilliant hotel marketing doesn’t happen by mistake.

If you want to bring in more revenues to your hotel, you’ll have to face the truth: Your property is not everything, to everyone. 

Only a few types of people are consistently attracted to your hotel. First, determine who books your property the most. Who are they? How old? What do they like/dislike? Why do they book with you? What’s their personality and lifestyle like?

Outline the characteristics of your top guests and you’ll be better equipped to find others like them.

This is called building guest personas, which entails creating a fictitious guest profile based on information and characteristics of real-life past guests. You can build personas for your typical guests, meeting planners, or travel planners.

A typical guest profile/persona might look like this:

  • 35-54 professional couples looking for a romantic “staycation” within one hour drive of their home.
  • They have kids, jobs and busy lives.
  • They enjoy cocktails in the bar and discovering neighborhood “hidden gems.”
  • They book with you because you provide free bikes and curated neighborhood maps.

Getting a deep understanding of who your property’s customers really are will help you tailor your marketing messages and create offers that will truly resonate the most with those audiences.

Get more: Hotel Marketing Lessons from Mom


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

Direct Bookings, Guest Experience, hospitality, hotel marketing, Hotel Marketing Advice

Finally…Our Top 3 Hotel Marketing Stories of the Year

December 29, 2016 • By
screen-shot-2016-12-29-at-4-05-01-pm Want good advice? Ask a crowd…. So that’s exactly what we did this week when we measured the number of readers of each of our hotel marketing blog posts in 2016. And the results are in… here are the top 3 stories of the year, based on the readership of thousands of hotel marketers just like you! #3: 10 things successful hotel Sales and Marketing Directors do every day screen-shot-2016-12-29-at-4-05-28-pm #2: Six sales & marketing metrics every hotel owner cares about screen-shot-2016-12-29-at-4-05-49-pm #1: Hotel marketing: 10 things that worked in 2016 image1

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

Business, hospitality, hotel marketing, Marketing Advice, Uncategorized

Friday Freebie: Get Ahead Of Common Problems and Boost TripAdvisor Reviews

December 16, 2016 • By

FridayFreebie-Tambourine

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: Boost your hotel’s TripAdvisor ratings by offering creative and simple solutions to common, repetitive guest gripes, even for situations you don’t control.

The noisy construction across the street.

The loud bar next door.

The lack of parking in your bustling neighborhood.

You can’t control all the elements that guests will inevitably complain about in their TripAdvisor reviews. 

However, just because you don’t have power to add new parking spots or tell the bar patrons to quiet down, doesn’t mean that you can’t empathize with your guests and offer some respite from the annoyance.

The worst thing a hotel can do is tell a guest, “There’s nothing we can do.” Even if that’s the case, the guest will only feel as though your hotel doesn’t want to help them, or worse, simply doesn’t care what they’re going through.

Instead, pre-empt these common gripes by preparing solutions to smooth the grumbling. Offer guests parking secrets in the neighborhood, a map of nearby parking lots and their fees, average Uber and Lyft fees to different areas of town, information on Car2Go or ReachNow (BMW’s car sharing service) options, etc.

Better yet, put all of this information in one place, an FAQ page on your hotel website or extra page in your in-room guest packet. Don’t wait until the guest is shaking with rage and ready to scream at one of your front desk staff before you scramble for quick fixes.

By acknowledging your unavoidable weak points and offering solutions upfront, guests will feel validated, taken care of and confident that your hotel is committed to providing a remarkable experience, no matter the outside circumstances that threaten to put a damper on their stay and their guest review afterwards. 

Get More: The Six Golden Rules to Responding to Guest Reviews


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

Guest Experience, hospitality, hotel marketing, tripadvisor, Tripadvisor Reviews

Friday Freebie: Engage Meeting Planners In LinkedIn Groups

December 9, 2016 • By

FridayFreebie-Tambourine

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: Get prime exposure in front of meeting planners by being a relevant and regular participant in meeting industry LinkedIn groups.

Boosting your hotel’s group business revenues comes down to one thing: Relationships. The more (and higher quality) relationships your sales team builds and maintains with meeting and event planners, the more group business you’ll book and the higher likelihood for repeat business.

Luckily, industry LinkedIn groups allow group sales managers to connect daily with thousands of meeting planners who are seeking feedback, advice and resources.

There are 200+ LinkedIn groups focused on meeting and event planning. Some of the more active groups include:

Event Planning and Event Management

Event Planning Professionals

Events and Hospitality Network By Cvent

BizBash – Event Planners Gather

Every sales manager should visit these groups to offer useful posts and relevant responses to planners’ questions And remember, this is social media, not “selling media.” The key is to position your team as a trusted and knowledgeable resource, not as sales-minded spammers. 

Get More: Are You on LinkedIn? 5 Ways Hotels and Destinations Use LinkedIn to Drive Group Revenues


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

hospitality, hotel marketing, Linked IN, Linkedin, Meeting Planners, Meetings and Events, social media