Creating a Revenue Strategy as Unique as Your Portfolio

By Paul van Meerendonk Director of Advisory Services, IDeaS Revenue Solutions | May 28, 2017

The hospitality industry is the global provider of choice. All around the world, guests choose where to travel, how to get there, where to eat and sleep, what attractions to see. There are many factors that drive these decisions, of course, but every travel decision leads to another, and a myriad of subsequent choices will eventually be made. Hotels undisputedly understand the critical role that choice, and the appeal of endless guest options, plays in the travelers’ decision-making process. After all, hotels make it their business to provide potential guests with as many choices as possible.

Hotels set themselves apart competitively by offering distinctive room types and lush amenities, dog-friendly atmospheres, Zen lifestyle packages with yoga mats and serene spaces, and gluten-free and vegan-friendly menus. These are available options guests can choose from to help minimize the disruptions caused by traveling. And when you look at innovation in the technology space, it takes guest options and competitive opportunities for hotels even further. Mobile apps, keyless entry software, digital newspapers and room service robots have become all the rage in recent years—and they are all geared to ultimately influence the guest’s choice to book with the brand family.

In fact, choice is even one of the cardinal themes embedded in nearly every brand ethos. A quick look around the Internet and words like “unique,” “memorable,” “diverse,” and “curated collection” are frequently used to describe any given portfolio of hotel brands. Company credos “No matter your travel style, there’s a Sonesta to suit you” and “Brands to fit every lifestyle and occasion” from the likes of Sonesta and Hilton, respectively, further exemplifies just how much value hotel organizations place on appealing to every type of traveler. From high-touch luxury properties to low-touch limited service facilities to vacation timeshares, the choices are all there—and they fulfill virtually every possible guest need.

All of these aforementioned guest options, incentives and choices are ultimate reflections of an overall brand strategy. However, choice shouldn’t be a message embodied only within the vivid description of a brand promise, its contemporary lounges or the high-tech amenities and ultra-modern guestrooms. For organizations with a unique portfolio of hotel brands, choice also needs to be a primary theme that permeates into every one of their properties’ revenue strategies—and it needs to be supported by advanced revenue technology.

Here are some considerations for how hotel organizations can identify the ideal revenue technology for executing a cohesive, profitable and productive revenue strategy across their entire portfolio.

It Starts With Choosing the Right Technology

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Coming up in June 2018...

Sales & Marketing: Opinions Matter

Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors manage a complex mix of strategies to attract and convert customers into guests. Part of their expertise includes an awareness of customer behavior during the reservation process, so they can make sure their hotel is favorably positioned. One such trend is the growing popularity of travel review sites. According to one recent survey, 61% of prospective customers consult online reviews in order to validate information about the hotel before making a purchasing decision. Another survey found that the average hotel customer reads between 6-12 reviews across 4-10 properties before making a final decision on where to stay. Similarly, other studies have shown that consumer reviews are a more trusted source of information for prospective customers than other kinds of marketing messaging. In fact, reviews are often considered to be as influential as price regarding whether a customer decides to complete a purchase or not. Plus, travel sites with the most reviews - including recent reviews from satisfied customers and thoughtful responses from staff - were also found to be the most appealing. So having positive reviews on a travel website is essential and can help to increase a hotel's conversion rates dramatically. Of course, there are all kinds of additional marketing strategies for sales and marketing directors to consider - the importance of video and the emergence of live streaming; the implementation of voice search; the proliferation of travel bots; and the development of Instagram as an e-commerce platform. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.