Hotel Marketing Plans That Mean Business

By Sandy Heydt Director of Sales & Marketing, The Logan, Philadelphia's Hotel | October 28, 2008

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.

Working document

What a waste of a potentially great tool. Marketing plans can be valuable, working documents which are used all year long by sales and catering managers, food and beverage directors, restaurant managers, revenue managers, advertising and public relations staff. All these individuals should not only have input into the plan, but assist in writing it. Who better knows their clients, competition, challenges and strengths? Who is responsible on a day-to-day basis for revenue production? There is no better way to get the buy-in from key staff on plans and actions for the coming year than involving them in the planning process.

How many of us have written plans while cloistered in our office, just writing to deadline, daring anyone to interrupt? I can remember in the old days, before I got smart about writing plans, that my staff would avoid me like the plague during this time. I must have had a look that said, "Ask me a question and I just might lose it!"

Use your staff to help

Choose a Social Network!

The social network you are looking for is not available.

Close

Hotel Newswire Headlines Feed  

Theodore Mandigo
Bernard Ellis
Richard Takach, Jr.
Tim King
Amy Locke
Steven Ferry
Jamie Womack
Steve Kiesner
Trish Donnally
Ken Hutcheson
Coming up in June 2019...

Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. 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.