Library Archives

 
Naseem Javed

The word "branding" is dangerously overused. Many people use branding as a cure for all kinds of problems in all kinds of businesses. To lay claim to a deeper understanding of this elementary word, branding agencies all over the world have developed some cute variations of it, from "emotional branding" to "primal," "sensory," "musical," "internal," "external," "holistic," "vertical," "abstract," "nervous" and all the way to "invisible" branding. However, to see these distinctions, you will need special 3D spectacles. The list of branding types is almost like the three MIT wizards who took an academic conference for a ride by submitting a paper in all fake jargon: "Rooter: A Methodology for the Typical Unification of Access Points and Redundancy." Their paper was accepted. Read on...

Johnna Freud

Why are hotel loyalty programs important to consumers? What do travelers want from them? How do they affect consumers' decisions about where to stay? How do you attract target market consumers' attention to your program? Qualitative research, primarily through focus groups, can provide answers to these questions. Read on...

Gary Leopold

We live in a world that's all about image. Where people make snap judgments and buying decisions based solely on the way something looks. Putting on a good face is no longer a figurative imperative, it's a literal one. Consumers are bombarded by over 3000 marketing and advertising messages per day and everyone is competing to be noticed in a world that's increasingly built around sound bites and brief flashes of photography and video tantalizingly sliced to capture your attention. If you believe "a picture is worth a thousand words" then you can only imagine how exponentially more valuable a really great picture is worth, especially as you think about a networked society that's taking these images and effortlessly distributing them to every corner of the world and sharing them on mediums ranging from computers to PDA's to phones. How you depict your hotel has never been more critical and the role that photography plays has never been more important. Read on...

Gary Leopold

To consistently get great work from your ad agency you need to understand how to be a great client. It's not about giving in to your agency--rather it's about giving them the direction, feedback and opportunities to become one of your hotels most valued partners. Read on...

Michael J. Cheatham

Let's assume for a moment that every person in hospitality sales knows the importance of qualifying prospects, knows how to develop an effective opening, understands how belief in their product helps them to exude confidence, knows that to close the sale you must ask for the sale, and that service after the sale is as important as the sale itself. While we're at it, let's just assume that everyone has read those endless lists of "sales tips" written on how to become an effective salesperson. If we assume that colleges and universities are adequately training sales people, why is it that all new hires are not excellent sales people from the get-go? Further, with all the professional development opportunities available, shouldn't there be armies of effective sales people and no shortage of great candidates for those looking to hire? So, what is missing? What sets excellent sales people apart from the plebeian masses? Read on...

Debbie Bermont

Do you struggle to keep your office organized? Do you keep current with your business communications? Do you let e-mails sit in your in-box for days on end? If you've ever had a challenge achieving a goal in the past it could be because you didn't attempt to achieve the goal from the right mindset. Everyone knows that if you want to achieve a goal, you need a well thought out plan and a timetable to implement the plan. It seems like a relatively simple process that would make any goal obtainable. This makes sense in theory, but in reality the best of intentions many times turn into un-kept promises to yourself or others, a missed business deadline, a downturn in sales or a decrease in productivity. Read on...

Debbie Bermont

You're in a "service" industry which by its very definition implies that "service" should be your number one priority. Webster Dictionary defines "service" as work done or duty performed for another or others. In the hospitality industry, "service" typically takes on an added definition implying favorable treatment or a positive attitude while performing a duty for another or others. The hospitality industry has gone through great lengths to raise the customer's expectations of what "service" they can expect from hotels, airlines, spas and restaurants. Read on...

Gary Leopold

Choosing an agency for your hotel should be viewed in exactly the same way that you would a business partner, and done with the same scrutiny, due diligence, inquisitiveness, proof of performance, honesty, candor, humor and affection. So where do you start? Read on...

Stacy Shaw

"Why won't the hotels follow the corporate graphic standards?" "They don't understand that my hotel's market is different?" Sound familiar? In many cases, the rapport between the corporate marketing department and hotel field marketing can be described as a love/hate relationship. Creating synergy between the two will have a positive impact on the brand image as well as the bottom line. But as part of the corporate marketing team, how do you accomplish this sometimes daunting task? Read on...

Sandy Heydt

How many of us hotel marketing directors dread the time of year when marketing plans are due? So much work! And for what purpose? When completed, most marketing plans only get placed in a tabbed binder, while the Owner, Management Company and General Manager may or may not even glance at it. Then it goes on a shelf and collects dust. First things first: everyone along the food chain needs to take responsibility for marketing plans that are not meaningful. Sometimes Management Company executives or General Managers just want a plan to look good...i.e. big and thick with lots of graphs. Marketing directors just want to get it done and move on to the next project - like actually selling rooms or putting out the first fire of the day. I can remember that when I was on property I dreaded marketing plan time because I had so many other things to do, and I was also a tad resentful because I knew the plan would really never be read carefully by anyone else. Read on...

Johnna Freud

It used to be that when a person decided he was going to need hotel accommodations, he called either a hotel directly or a travel agent for reservations. Fast forward to today, and with the impact of the Internet, the options for reserving a room -- whether in a chain, boutique or independent hotel, bed and breakfast, inn, all-inclusive club, or timeshare -- are extensive. Of course, a person can still call a hotel or a travel agent, but now he can also conduct research and make reservations via the Internet. Here is where the choices become whelming. So, when do consumers make reservations online? When do they call a travel agent? When do they call you or central reservation numbers or properties directly? And, when they consult the Internet, are they reserving directly through the hotel chains' or properties' websites or are they surfing the Web for third-party sites, many of whom provide reduced rate accommodations? What factors impact this decision-making process? Read on...

Mike Paton

With so much business being conducted "online" today, you may be tempted to let technology do all the heavy lifting for your hotel. After all, you probably get plenty of transient reservations via brand websites or TPAs, and perhaps your sales staff can barely keep up with all of the electronic RFPs you receive. Certainly, you and your sales team have had to change the way you work to accommodate the increased role technology plays in business today. But, like champion athletes, you must make sure not to rely too heavily on automation and just "go through the motions." And you shouldn't drastically change the way you work just because you're more frequently connecting with people online. Technology just creates additional ways to link buyers and sellers -- it's not meant to replace basic sales skills and old-fashioned hard work. Read on...

Naseem Javed

We are being forced to re-design to a new level of "micro-nization" of business units, a "wireless-izing" of mass communication and a "voip-izing" of populace conversations in marketplaces, under a massive globalization with highly localized customization to fit the demands of consumers. This subject is very hot and research on these issues is still being drafted. Read on...

Debbie Bermont

The new year has begun and now is the time every business is setting their 12 month sales goals. Here are two words which could easily give you a significant boost in your sales this year - follow up. Two simple words that are rarely followed in a timely fashion and in some cases ignored completely. We are in the age of instant information. Because of technology we now have the opportunity to connect 24/7 with anyone around the world. People carry their cell phones with them to the grocery store, the restaurant, the bank and the movie theatre. From your phone you can send e-mails, documents, text messages and receive pictures across the globe. Read on...

Show Per Page
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.