Ten Practical Online Marketing Tips

By Blake Suggs Account Director & Integration Specialist, Range Online Media | January 27, 2012

I'm going to get this out of the way: I wish I could read, let alone write, an article that did not in some way mention the recession. Unfortunately, I'm a firm believer in keeping one's head out of the sand, and as such, I have to be honest: the leisure market is having a bit of a lean time. It's not dead by any means, but it is definitely taking it easy for a while. I may be understating a larger problem, but while travel bookings are not what they were a year ago, people are still going on vacations. In other words, the recession is impacting the travel industry, but it is far from spelling the end. While we wait for things to pick up, I have compiled a list of tips to help keep your campaigns profitable until your customers can afford to splurge again.

1. Focus on Sales and Best Value Offerings

When planning your campaigns, remember that the propensity to book varies depending on both the type of travel and the time of the year. In order to weather the gloom of an uncertain economic forecast, focus your efforts on capturing the sale and providing your customers the best value while the natural demand is highest. What this does for you is secures your profitability for later in the year, ensuring that your budgets go farther as a result of the search history you've built during the other parts of your fiscal year.

2. Know Your Keywords

Here's how you can capitalize on travel's seasonal advantages. The first tactic: know your keywords. By engaging in a little keyword research, you can streamline your spending on the terms you'll need the most when the year gets leaner as bookings drop off due to industry seasonality. Part of this research includes building out a list of negative keywords-in the quest for relevancy and search rankings, it's imperative that you identify and load negative keywords into your campaign in order to protect your brand and cut down on wasteful ad spend.

3. Restructure Your Marketing Campaigns

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Coming up in March 2019...

Human Resources: An Era of Transition

Traditionally, the human resource department administers five key areas within a hotel operation - compliance, compensation and benefits, organizational dynamics, selection and retention, and training and development. However, HR professionals are also presently involved in culture-building activities, as well as implementing new employee on-boarding practices and engagement initiatives. As a result, HR professionals have been elevated to senior leadership status, creating value and profit within their organization. Still, they continue to face some intractable issues, including a shrinking talent pool and the need to recruit top-notch employees who are empowered to provide outstanding customer service. In order to attract top-tier talent, one option is to take advantage of recruitment opportunities offered through colleges and universities, especially if they have a hospitality major. This pool of prospective employees is likely to be better educated and more enthusiastic than walk-in hires. Also, once hired, there could be additional training and development opportunities that stem from an association with a college or university. Continuing education courses, business conferences, seminars and online instruction - all can be a valuable source of employee development opportunities. In addition to meeting recruitment demands in the present, HR professionals must also be forward-thinking, anticipating the skills that will be needed in the future to meet guest expectations. One such skill that is becoming increasingly valued is “resilience”, the ability to “go with the flow” and not become overwhelmed by the disruptive influences  of change and reinvention. In an era of transition—new technologies, expanding markets, consolidation of brands and businesses, and modifications in people's values and lifestyles - the capacity to remain flexible, nimble and resilient is a valuable skill to possess. The March Hotel Business Review will examine some of the strategies that HR professionals are employing to ensure that their hotel operations continue to thrive.