Hotel Business Review: Week of Oct 12, 2015

Laurence Bernstein
  • Sales & Marketing
  • Soft Branding: The Answer to Everything?
  • Soft Branding is the new “it thing” in hotel marketing. Much has been written about how it works for developers, owners and operators, but the more important question is whether and how they work for travelers. In this article we look at the fundamental structure two of the brands that are successful in the soft brands space, and view this in terms of consumer’s functional and emotional needs. The answer, from a consumer point of view, might surprise you. Is soft branding the answer to everything? Read on...

Tema Frank
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • What is Your Ideal Customer Really Looking For?
  • The best way for a hotel to thrive is by really understanding its customers and what they really want. We make too many assumptions about what our customers want and how they interpret our marketing and services. Kodak, for example, buried its own invention of a digital camera because it thought customers wanted printed pictures. Far too late they realized that what customers really wanted was a convenient way to capture and revisit special moments. It didn’t have to be print. This article shows ways you can use market research and tools like personas to identify, understand and successfully cater to your ideal customers. Read on...

Simon Hudson
  • Sales & Marketing
  • Marketing to Millennials
  • Increasingly, hospitality marketers are turning their attention away from Baby Boomers towards gratifying the instantaneous needs of the Millennials. There are currently around 79 million Millennials in North America – that is three million more than Baby Boomers who are predicted to dwindle to just 58 million by 2030. Otherwise known as Generation Y, they were born between 1980 and 1999, children of the Digital Age. This article focuses on the behavior of this generation, and offers some tips on how hotels can be creative in attracting, satisfying and retaining this demanding demographic. Read on...

John  Padwick
  • Mobile Technology
  • Audience Platforms: The New Digital Funnel
  • Analytics and personalization are more relevant to the Customer Travel Planning Journey than ever before. As these factors evolve in parallel with innovations in technology, unique value propositions become crucial for every conversation and conversion. For the world-class brands we serve, every ad, offer and delivery should consist of more than just a currency exchange – more than a discounted room rate or property value points. Instead, travel brands need to understand where each customer stands within the travel journey – from search to shopping to booking. We need to develop conversations with our prospects by unifying the customer experience across devices and guiding each customer toward the next stage of the journey. Read on...

OCTOBER: Revenue Management: Optimizing Income Streams Across All Avenues

Rhett Hirko

The ever changing distribution landscape can be challenging to maneuver. Costly connectivity solutions often result in some degree of manual management of varied channels, which is time consuming. The good news is that a hotel usually finds a way to get content, rates, and availability out to the customer in some way. The bad news is that, often, this information is not optimized for particular customers, which can result in a lost booking. Understanding more about which customers book what sites and delivering the content and availability optimally to them is critical to a hotel’s success at any distribution point. Read on...

Bernard Ellis

Classical and even more current revenue optimization practices and technologies have focused too narrowly on maximizing room revenue, and more recently, to minimizing the distribution and marketing costs associated with that revenue. Expanding the same practice to other revenue streams has been a natural next step for some revenue managers and systems, but the higher that revenues go, the more profit margin that seems to leak out of the balance sheet. A new practice called Hospitality Enterprise Optimization, using the proven analytical abilities of revenue managers and the systems at their disposal, will go a long way to finding that lost profit. Read on...

Nicole  Adair

As a revenue management professional, it can become all too easy to get bogged down in focusing on rooms revenue in efforts to increase ADR and drive RevPAR. After all, these are the metrics by which we compare against our comp set on weekly STR reports and, quite often, the numbers used to grade our performance. However, as the practice of revenue management matures, and an increasing number of technology companies are providing the industry with newer and more optimal functionality, the focus needs to shift from primarily revenue generation to optimizing total profitability of the whole hotel. Read on...

Marky Moore

Hotel owners wrestle with numerous costs in the operation of their businesses, from staffing to paying sales taxes to expenses associated with maintaining the building. Fortunately, the federal tax code equips businesses in the hospitality industry with an array of incentives and strategies to help offset these costs. However, these potentially lucrative opportunities for tax savings are often overlooked by businesses that are unaware how to capture them. By reexamining their tax-planning strategies, hoteliers may uncover substantial savings that will reduce their tax burdens and improve the cash flow of their businesses. Read on...

Coming Up In The November Online Hotel Business Review

Feature Focus
Hotel Architecture and Design: Unique, Timeless and Memorable Design
With hotel refurbishments typically taking place every eight to ten years for the soft elements, and every fifteen to twenty years for public spaces and bathrooms, owners and investors rely on architects and designers to get things right. Their solutions must satisfy a targeted demographic, be aesthetically timeless and durable, and fulfill the market’s desire for unique and memorable design. From re-thinking guestroom configurations to constructing dramatic public spaces, an effort is being made to recast hotels as the highlight of any business trip or vacation. In that regard, many architects have chosen to make a striking first impression, with an emphasis on the hotel lobby. These areas are being designed as multi-use spaces to accommodate casual or formal talks, individual or group work, and zones for social activity. Creative space segmentation is required, along with furniture that provides comfort and functionality. More extravagant entrance features also include indoor waterfalls, large chandeliers and multi-media stations. The bathroom is also an area of interest for designers in recognition of guest desires to experience luxury beyond their everyday lives. Spa-like features such as en-suite bedrooms, waterfall showers, over-sized bathtubs, his & hers sinks, giant towels, plush robes, and deluxe beauty items provide the promise of indulgent luxury. Additionally, hotel restaurants can no longer afford to be mere providers of three meals a day and a buffet. Signature restaurants are being designed to offer a genuine "wow" factor to both guests and external patrons alike. Along with sustainability concerns and an increased emphasis on local sourcing, these are some of the subjects in the fields of hotel architecture and design that will be explored in the June issue of the Hotel Business Review.