Short Term Action Plans

By Juston Parker President & CEO, Parker Hospitality Group, Inc. | June 15, 2010

Revenue Optimization as most know has drastically changed over the past few years and is still constantly changing. How people shop and where they get their information changes on a day by day basis. The old adage of "right room, right person, right price" is no longer applicable and a successful property has all bases covered from demand and content management.

As the world of Travel 2.0 grows, the traveler is getting smarter and access to more and more tools they may not have had in the past. Sites such as www.gusto.com have made the traveler the one in control. With real time access to like-minded people, the new Web 2.0 allows the potential guest to see what they really want to know about the destination they are going to and this includes value. As the adage goes, price is what you pay for something and value is what you get.

So in this world of the ever changing Revenue Optimization environment how does a property establish short term tactics that can not leave money on the table and truly control the value the guest is looking for? There are 2 key concepts to take into consideration, Demand Management and Content Management.

Demand Management

Managing Revenue is something most properties feel they do pretty well. The truth of the matter is the greatest number of property do Revenue Management as a completed job. Once it's done it's done. In reality, it's never done. Why is that? Optimizing Revenue really is made up of several components, the greatest being Demand Management. In order to move from managing revenue to optimizing revenue, you need to understand your demand and manage it effectively. How is that done? Most properties feel they do a good forecast, well; forecasting is most often used as an end to a means. It actually should be a means to an end. A true demand forecast allows a manger to see what is happening in terms of rate and channel of booking. This then allows tactics to be made to fill in need periods with the best valued guest.

First one must look at where is demand coming from. Demand is much more than just who is booking where. It's what are they booking? What are the patterns? What is the rate they are paying? What do they value? As the answers to these questions are answered, a property is able to then ask, do I value these types of guests or do I need to manage my demand to a higher or better value of guest to me?

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Coming up in February 2018...

Social Media: Engagement is Key

There are currently 2.3 billion active users of social media networks and savvy hotel operators have incorporated social media into their marketing mix. There are a few Goliath channels on which one must have a presence (Facebook & Twitter) but there are also several newer upstart channels (Instagram, Snapchat &WeChat, for example) that merit consideration. With its 1.86 billion users, Facebook is a dominant platform where operators can drive brand awareness, facilitate bookings, offer incentives and collect sought-after reviews. Twitter's 284 million users generate 500 million tweets per day, and operators can use its platform for lead generation, building loyalty, and guest interaction. Instagram was originally a small photo-sharing site but it has blown up into a massive photo and video channel. The site can be used to post photos of the hotel property, as well as creating Instagram Stories - personal videos that disappear from the channel after 24 hours. In this regard, Instagram and Snapchat are now in direct competition. WeChat is a Chinese company whose aim is to be the App for Everything - instant messaging, social media, shopping and payment services - all in a single platform. In addition to these channels, blogging continues to be a popular method to establish leadership, enhance reputations, and engage with customers in a direct and personal way. The key to effective use of all social media is to find out where your customers are and then, to the fullest extent possible, engage with them on a personal level. This engagement is what creates a personal connection and sustains brand loyalty. The February Hotel Business Review will explore these issues and examine how some hotels are successfully integrating social media into their operations.