Cross-Marketing Multiple Venues Within Your Hotel to Locals

By Marc Portugal Director of Marketing, Bortz Group of Companies | August 03, 2010

I'm writing you at 5:00PM CST on Tuesday December 16, 2008 in Chicago on a very cold and very snowy day. By the time YOU read this, the economy will be even worse (as will the traffic for tonight's commute home...), business and leisure travel will be down even further, and more questions about the future of hotel branding, marketing and sales will need to be answered quickly. Some "Happy" New Year this is turning out to be.

How will you make your hotels money this year? What do you really have to offer locals?

My last contribution essentially suggested an experiential answer to these questions, and an approach and focus on local consumers as a new - or at least circumstantial - model and source for revenue management in the coming months and years. Creating HABITATS and extending LOCAL consumers social, lifestyle, and/or entertainment experiences they are already committing to elsewhere in town will make you money with some sort of increased, consistent, and reliable frequency.

Those questioning the viability of this assertion need only consider one telling example: Las Vegas Casinos. While most hotels don't offer gaming, (aside from the casual, late night poker game among friends - I won't tell...) the basic casino revenue philosophy still holds true for marketing to local guests. In case you've never been to Las Vegas or never gambled, it goes like this: The longer they stay, the more likely they'll lose.

How do you get people to "stay" in your hotel when people are traveling less, AND without slot machines, video poker, dice and a roulette wheel? It's quite literally very simple. Offer them the exact same experiences to partake in and enjoy as casinos do - great restaurants & nightlife, salons & spas, shopping, special events and promotions, fundraisers, product trials (via brand partnerships), and so forth. Offer them great venues.

  • The longer they stay, the more likely they'll lose. Lose is such an ugly word. SPEND sounds better.

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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.