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

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