Does Your Distribution Strategy Further Your Brand? Or Harm it?

By Drew Rosser VP of Business Development, Whiteboard Labs | January 27, 2012

Doesn't it feel good when you read or hear about a new promotion or discount on something, be it your local pizzeria for a two for one deal or some big discount on a flight to an area you frequent or a good deal at a great hotel and when you go to buy it all works out? When you call, everyone is in the know that you talk to at the establishment or central reservations office and the Web site spells everything out clearly and it all just works. Yippy!

Oh, but how many times has this euphoric feeling fallen short? Pizzeria..."dude I have no idea what you are talking about", airline..."I'm sorry that flight is not available for the times you need", hotel...promotion isn't available online, you call and the agent has no idea what that promotion is and cannot find it anywhere or it comes with so many restrictions that it is nearly impossible to actually book. Clearly there is a major disconnect between marketing, operations and execution of that marketing plan.

For any distribution strategy to truly be successful there needs to be a plan in place but also a methodology surrounding that plan that takes into consideration the method of communication, implementation of the strategy and execution. The best thought out marketing strategy will fall horribly short if there is no communication between the marketing department, revenue management and the operations/distribution team. All must be on the same page and have a clear understanding of what, when and how to make the plan a success.

There are two very basic but important marketing 101 items to consider when establishing a distribution strategy for your hotel or chain.

  1. TRIM (target, receiver, impact, method)

  2. Message

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Coming up in February 2019...

Social Media: Getting Personal

There Social media platforms have revolutionized the hotel industry. Popular sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube and Tumblr now account for 2.3 billion active users, and this phenomenon has forever transformed how businesses interact with consumers. Given that social media allows for two-way communication between businesses and consumers, the emphasis of any marketing strategy must be to positively and personally engage the customer, and there are innumerable ways to accomplish that goal. One popular strategy is to encourage hotel guests to create their own personal content - typically videos and photos -which can be shared via their personal social media networks, reaching a sizeable audience. In addition, geo-locational tags and brand hashtags can be embedded in such posts which allow them to be found via metadata searches, substantially enlarging their scope. Influencer marketing is another prevalent social media strategy. Some hotels are paying popular social media stars and bloggers to endorse their brand on social media platforms. These kinds of endorsements generally elicit a strong response because the influencers are perceived as being trustworthy by their followers, and because an influencer's followers are likely to share similar psychographic and demographic traits. Travel review sites have also become vitally important in reputation management. Travelers consistently use social media to express pleasure or frustration about their guest experiences, so it is essential that every review be attended to personally. Assuming the responsibility to address and correct customer service concerns quickly is a way to mitigate complaints and to build brand loyalty. Plus, whether reviews are favorable or unfavorable, they are a vital source of information to managers about a hotel's operational performance.  The February Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to effectively incorporate social media strategies into their businesses.