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Hotel Marketing Lessons From Mom

May 6, 2016

MothersDayMoms think they know best.
And, you know what? We agree.

In addition to reminding us to clean our rooms, comb our hair, and be nice to our teachers, Moms love to shower us with sage advice and thoughtful quips to get us through any situation. And, it turns out that their advice is directly relevant to our work as hotel marketers as well.

Let’s take a look at some of our favorite Mom-isms and see what marketing wisdom lies behind them all:

Mom: “Nobody said life was fair.”
Hidden Hotel Marketing Advice
No matter how much funding, research and staff you invest in a marketing campaign to drive direct bookings, some of them will result in blazing success, while others will fall flat. Don’t cry over your marketing failures, especially when you and your team did your due diligence ahead of time. No matter how careful and resourceful your team is, at some point you just won’t hit the target with your audience. Admit your errors, pick up the pieces, then move forward and try something else.

Mom: “Don’t you lie to me!“
Hidden Hotel Marketing Advice
Above all else, today’s travelers are looking for authenticity. We live in a world where industry giants are being challenged everyday for their cringe-worthy mistakes or lame publicity stunts. Travelers want to trust who they book a room with, so be real and be worthy of their trust. Your marketing should always exude that you are a destination for remarkable experiences, rather than just a business trying to pull in profits. Whenever someone leaves a guest review calling out your mistakes, admit your fault (if it was your hotel’s fault), tell them how you’re going to fix it, and then do it!

Mom: “If your friends jumped off a bridge, would you jump too?”

Hidden Hotel Marketing Advice

Don’t blindly jump on the bandwagon of new marketing trends. You need to first determine if your hotel would benefit from leveraging the new platform, plus if it genuinely aligns to your hotel’s marketing goals and strategy. Be selective when choosing which marketing tactics and tools you’ll implement, and do what’s best for your hotel.

Mom: “Who do you think you’re talking to?”
Hidden Hotel Marketing Advice
It’s surprising how many hotels haven’t taken the time to create any hotel guest personas of their most frequent guests. Before you embark on any marketing idea, even a social media post, everyone on your marketing staff should know exactly who your target customer is, what their likes are, what they hate, what other interests they most likely have and what type of voice they respond to. Brilliant hotel marketing doesn’t happen by mistake. It first takes a deep understanding of who your hotel’s customer really is…

Mom: “I brought you into this world. I can take you out of it.”

Hidden Hotel Marketing Advice

You are a host – first and foremost. A mistake we see too often in hotel marketing is putting too much emphasis on your property’s self-serving accolades, awards and amenities. But, the focus needs to always be on your guests. They are the reason you’re in business and the reason your hotel could easily go out of business!

Mom: “Will you sit still for once?”

Hidden Hotel Marketing Advice

When your marketing message and focus are all over the place, you’re making it harder for your guests to grasp your unique selling points and distinguish you from all the other hotels in your comp set. Avoid frantic, flailing marketing tactics. Slow down, create a strategy, determine your channels, gauge results (especially the ones hotel owners care about most), then implement with consistency.

 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:

What Can a British Knight Teach Us About Hotel Marketing?

April 28, 2014

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

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