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Gary Isenberg

From the perspective of an experienced asset manager, this assessment of brand loyalty programs answers the question of relevance. Do the brand frequent programs still matter to hotel guests? If they do, how can a brand strengthen the customer relationship? If brand loyalty is not pertinent at specific points in the customer hotel experience journey, then how can the hotel secure its guest relationships? Does it matter? Read on...

Lisa Ross

Today's move toward integrating technology into all aspects of the hospitality experience is driving innovation and streamlining key processes for guests. But, is this new push for more technology taking away the personal touches and human interactions that make the hospitality industry so hospitable? Lisa Ross, president and partner of integrated communications firm rbb Communications, shares how brands and properties can use digital tools to enhance human interaction, foster trial, and develop brand loyalty. Read on...

Hillary Bressler

Is the travel industry forgetting one of the largest untapped niches? With 320 million single parents worldwide, the single parent family travel is a untapped market begging for attention. Gone is notion that single moms are poor. We work hard and play hard, but we require something unique …..for the travel industry to market to us! See what single parents demand from single parent family travel authority, Hillary Bressler, who has her ear to the ground on what single parents want when they travel. Read on...

Mark Ricketts

it takes more than a logo or an employee manual to establish a brand, as our everyday behaviors and the personal choices we make become an important element of real-world brand expression. In its purest sense, a brand is a promise to consumers; an expectation of performance and an overall experience. When we ship a package with FedEx or UPS, we expect a competitive, fair rate; on-time transit; accurate tracking that is accessible online; courteous, properly trained employees and a package delivered without damage. This article will explore some of the practical, simple and, yet, profound aspects of this everyday brand management. Read on...

Sherry Heyl

Despite all the recent hype around influencer marketing, it is really nothing new. In fact, I ran my first influencer marketing campaign for a large brand in 2006. We did not call it influencer marketing, it was called blogger outreach, but the premise was the same. We developed relationships with bloggers who had a large following and wrote about our niche. In this particular case, it was about cars. At the time the goal was to increase awareness. Our efforts were similar to a traditional media pitch and blogs were seen as "new media." Read on...

Brenda Sandoval Valdes

In today's technology dominated society, the days of hotels and resorts creating brand loyalty through old-fashioned classic mailers, television commercials, and print ads are all but obsolete. In a world where tablets, computers, and smart phones stream blogs, social media, and videos that are readily available and at the customers' disposition 24/7, today's travelers are more knowledgeable and particular about the content they process and the brands they choose. Amidst this endless streaming of information, opportunities have emerged for hotels to share their messages across a multitude of direct platforms. Quality content has always been important, but now with the rapid evolution of markets and the overload of information it is more essential than ever. Read on...

Leora Halpern Lanz

Hoteliers, marketing directors, and revenue managers in particular are continuously learning how to put the pieces of the puzzle together when it comes to creative and effective options for selling out room nights. Numerous challenges arise with the plethora of new distribution technology, which complicate the process of directly reaching the guest, or even controlling a hotel's presence on the variety of brand and third party websites. Read on...

Jorge Alonso

For hotels with multinational operations, communication in other languages and multilingual content have become part of their everyday processes. Hiring a translation company involves consideration and implementation of a long-term translation strategy. The strategy must be set with 3 key variables in mind: content, time and budget. According to the type of content and use, the most adequate workflows and services are defined. Based on the deadline, the number of professionals, the tools and quality assurance required are set. Read on...

Ravneet Bhandari

The only consistent aspect in the way people plan travel is that it's constantly changing. Each decade brings new ways for customers to connect with the hospitality experience because of both changes in technology and customer behavior. Think about it this way, the industry has come a long way since a sign out front touting air conditioning and color TV were enough to attract a customer; that is, if they could find you. It wasn't all that long ago when finding a hotel meant pulling off the road because you saw a sign, or by researching a potential stay by utilizing thick books published each year by Mobile or AAA. Read on...

Bhanu Chopra

The hospitality industry worldwide has witnessed disruptive growth over the last few years. With an explosive influx of all kinds of hotels, both big and small, competition is at an all-time high. However, this is great news for travelers as they are spoiled for choice, with a variety of options to choose from. Combine this leverage for travelers with the internet emerging as a strong search and transaction channel, and with the role of Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) getting stronger each day, hoteliers are now under immense pressure to ensure high visibility across all leading online platforms with an aim to drive a maximum number of bookings. Read on...

DJ Vallauri

In October of last year, Pepsico started shaking things up with their digital marketing strategy. They decided to take the social media portion of their digital marketing in-house for the Pepsi brand. There was a lot of buzz about it -- questioning whether this was a smart move. Outside of the tremendous resources needed to have an in-house agency focused solely on social media, the concept of what Pepsi was doing intrigued me. In fairness and full disclosure, I work with a digital marketing agency for the hospitality industry. Read on...

Tara K. Gorman

Branded residential projects offer all the comforts of "home" with the luxury, prestige and high level of services offered at a hotel. This is not as easy as it may appear at first blush and savvy developers are jumping into the branded residential sector with an eye toward high level design and quality, as well as, a keen sense of what the potential purchaser is ultimately seeking. The key to a successful branded residential project is the integration of the hotel services and amenities with the security and privacy of residential living. If done well, this can be quite profitable for the developer as the branded residential real estate market is on the upswing with enhanced sales velocity over unbranded residential real estate by 20 - 30%, especially in emerging markets. This article will take an in-depth view at branded residential reality and recent reemergence of branded residential reality. Read on...

Jeffrey Hirsch

The hospitality industry is swimming with data. Torrents of data are churned out daily from traditional marketing research, social media, email and rating apps such as Yelp. We all prefer to make fact-based decisions, but unfortunately, there are times when the facts simply don't matter. Perceptions, no matter irrationally formed, are always more important when it comes to brand choice, particularly in the hospitality business. That's why qualitative research must have a place in hospitality brand's marketing mix. Read on...

Aron Ezra

Gamification, the use of game-like elements to make promotions, loyalty programs and staff training more engaging, is experiencing a resurgence in the hospitality industry. After initial missteps, hotels are using a new breed of games to boost their customers' spend per visit, increase market share and motivate their staff. Not only does gamification open a world of possibilities for making the industry more profitable and productive, it makes the guest and employee experience more fun. By focusing on the brand new metric of "enjoyability," hospitality companies are tapping into a rich new source of data, differentiating their brand in a crowded field, and driving extraordinary results. Read on...

Bonnie Knutson

Developing a positioning strategy may seem like a daunting task. After all, there are countless how-to books written about it. Industry magazines are awash with articles about how this hotel did it or that hotel did it. And then there are the presentations at industry conferences, corporate meetings, seminars, webinars, ad infinitum. Not to mention the many consultants out there. All of these sources are valuable and can provide significant insights into marketing your hotel. But the sheer numbers of resources that are available make the whole thing seem mind boggling and complicated. It's not. It's not because there are basically four - and only four -- positioning strategies any hotel can adopt. Think of them as your marketing's Four Strategic Aces. In this article, you'll read about the four different strategies and why your hotel should adopt only one. Read on...

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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.