The Smart Hotelierís Guide to 2015 Digital Marketing Budget Planning

By Max Starkov President & CEO, Hospitality eBusiness Strategies Inc | October 05, 2014

Co-authored by Mariana Mechoso Safer, Senior Vice President, Marketing at HeBS Digital

The 2015 Budgeting Season Is Already Here!

The season for digital marketing reflection is here. As an industry we reflect on the performance of this yearís initiatives, forecast next yearís performance, and look ahead to the big ideas and proven initiatives that will generate increased online revenue opportunities. Hoteliers, weíve quickly found ourselves in the midst of budgeting season.

Similar to this year, 2015 is expected to be another year that sees growth in all 3 key metrics for the U.S. hotel industry. By the end of 2014, the industry is predicted to have seen increases in occupancy (1.4%), ADR (4.2%), and RevPAR (5.7%). In 2015, occupancy is expected to increase 0.6 percent to 63.5 percent, ADR by 4.3 percent to US$119.93 and RevPAR by 4.9 percent to US $76.13. Demand is expected to grow 2.2 percent, supply by 1.6 percent (STR and Tourism Economics).

Capturing increased demand, shifting share from the OTAs to the property website, and bringing in higher ROIs takes a smart digital marketing strategy. Hoteliers that underspend in digital marketing and underestimate the sheer volume of consumers researching and booking online will continue to lose market share to their competitors and the OTAs.

This article outlines how to structure your budget so that you can shift more bookings to the direct online channel, better utilize your marketing dollars by increasing campaign effectiveness, and generate the highest returns possible from your property website and digital marketing initiatives.

Hotel Newswire Headlines Feed  

Michael Haynie, SR.
Theodore Mandigo
Paul Feeney
Ryan Day
Paul van Meerendonk
Michael McKean
Bill Kotrba
Kevin Batters
Holly Stiel
Jane Segerberg
Coming up in April 2018...

Guest Service: Empowering People

Excellent customer service is vitally important in all businesses but it is especially important for hotels where customer service is the lifeblood of the business. Outstanding customer service is essential in creating new customers, retaining existing customers, and cultivating referrals for future customers. Employees who meet and exceed guest expectations are critical to a hotel's success, and it begins with the hiring process. It is imperative for HR personnel to screen for and hire people who inherently possess customer-friendly traits - empathy, warmth and conscientiousness - which allow them to serve guests naturally and authentically. Trait-based hiring means considering more than just a candidate's technical skills and background; it means looking for and selecting employees who naturally desire to take care of people, who derive satisfaction and pleasure from fulfilling guests' needs, and who don't consider customer service to be a chore. Without the presence of these specific traits and attributes, it is difficult for an employee to provide genuine hospitality. Once that kind of employee has been hired, it is necessary to empower them. Some forward-thinking hotels empower their employees to proactively fix customer problems without having to wait for management approval. This employee empowerment—the permission to be creative, and even having the authority to spend money on a customer's behalf - is a resourceful way to resolve guest problems quickly and efficiently. When management places their faith in an employee's good judgment, it inspires a sense of trust and provides a sense of higher purpose beyond a simple paycheck. The April issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some leading hotels are doing to cultivate and manage guest satisfaction in their operations.