7 Signs your Hotel Marketing is out of Control!

Restaurant Tech Live blog post 1

The ways in which your hotel marketing could be destroying your hotel business. Just a little reminder to get you back on track...

 

You’re clueless about how much you pay OTA’s – At some point, managers always ask that question ‘so show much are these OTA bookings really costing us?’ The unfortunate part is that OTAs will never show up as an expense on your P&L statements. 

Not only do these ‘hidden’ marketing cost more than direct bookings, they also pose a direct threat to marketing assets. When hotel owners look into cutting back on marketing budgets, they tend to cut visible costs, despite the fact that they produce profitable bookings, for example hotel websites. Thus, OTA costs continue, and effective marketing costs are cut. Ensure you analyse the expenses accurately, and weigh up the differences between OTA’s booking costs vs the actual cost per booking of alternative channels. 

Too Many Vendors, Too much Chaos – complications arise with the increasing amount of vendors you work with. There are plenty of opportunities to allocate your marketing efforts to disconnected vendors offering separate marketing functions, for example advertising campaigns, hotel website design, email marketing or social media- yet, the implications of using them could damage your business in several ways; (1) Firstly, the cost of using each separate vendor, (2) the amount of time wasted filtering information through to each separate service, and lastly (3) and probably the worst of them all, each vendor is not held accountable for the success of their marketing efforts- instead they will spend their time pointing fingers at each other. 

The key is to consolidate. Create a strategy to narrow down your marketing partners to the most trust worthy, and those that generate the best results for your business. Most importantly, if they can handle multiple marketing functions, you’re on to a winner!

You can’t measure your contributions – On a general scale, Hotel owners expect their marketing teams to significantly contribute to their revenue targets. However, marketers tend to shy away from acknowledging this, pointing their efforts towards no. of twitter followers, new imagery or rebranding initiatives.

Yet this disregard to numerical evaluation, may significantly affect your chances when you ask for an increased marketing budget in the future. Without being able to measure marketing efforts, managers may be more inclined to cut back on the marketing expenses and staff, with the mindset that the goals are still achievable with less. 

To show your worth a little more to managers, calculate your marketing costs per booking to give a guide towards your contribution towards the hotel’s revenue. Use this as a way of proving your teams value, to ensure an equally correlated and maintained marketing budget for future years. 

You’re unable to discuss property upgrades with owners – over the year’s major hotel brands throw money towards revamping current or launching new portfolios in a response to the ever-changing industry. It is more important than ever to remember to stay competitive by offering outstanding experiences, aesthetics and amenities. #

Ensure that your owner is on the same wave length to invest in the necessary renovations, redesigns and upgrades. Otherwise you can’t be surprised if guests divert to the competitors or new kids on the block. As ever, no amount of creativity and carefully selected marketing can mask an aging and tired property. 

Be that fresh eye, remind your ownership on the future, be that source of information and flow of ideas. 

You fail at Rate Uniformity - We get it, managing and setting rates can be complicated and timely. Setting rates every day, for every room, on every channel can be incredibly overwhelming and confusing. And, not just for you, but your customers, as well. 

You need to keep uniformity to maintain your hotels bottom line. If at any point, you or your managers slack off, you can be sure to see the outcome in your revenue. Stay on top of your channels, be obedient to change and opportunities. Most importantly monitor your competitions strategy to get one up. 

You are Unable to increase meetings and events lead flow - Meetings and events can be a complete game changer? Most of you know that a single group spend on event venues and services that align with the event, can easily aid in reaching your budget. 

Let’s say that sales numbers remain stagnant, leads constantly go dead and sales calls fail to produce interest- well, sadly, there is nothing that a hard-working hospitality leader like yourself can do. However, there are other ways to work your trust up with event planners to compete and win their event contracts. Freshen up, and devise a new approach- 

• Reshuffle your sales team – use top performers to attract great sales managers

• Develop a clean new roadmap for your sales success: outline each market and goals, including everything from marketing to sales campaigns. Keep it up to date!

• Do more of what actually impacts meeting-planners decisions

• Consistently look at your market position, adapt and strive to be the leaders

• Remind your sales team that social media is key to the development of the hotel industry- offer relevant blogs and participation every day. 

Your guest sentiment is plummeting - All hotels have a share of their negative reviews, but that doesn’t mean they are not relevant- they are key to improving your business! How a hotel chooses to manager their guest reviews is a great determining factor as to if their business strives or fails in the future! 

If your TripAdvisor score is slowly hitting rock bottom, this is a key indicator that your management staff have largely ignored those prised negative reviews that needed addressing. Everything from noisy air conditioners and broken showers to the inattentiveness of the staff, needs some form of review and attention. A repeat complaint or negative review concerning the same topics, is just a road to disaster if not taken care of. Satisfied customers are repeat customers, don’t just think ‘oh that’s one person’s opinion’- because you have the chance to fix the problem now!  Consider your guests the eyes and ears of the background to the hotel, things you don’t see they may see, but remember- they are the ones paying!