Library Archives

 
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...

Bonnie Knutson

This article is designed to help anyone in the hotel industry answer the challenge of hotel marketing in the 21st Century. It is built on my belief [1] that marketers have overly complicated the marketing process, [2] that marketing is dynamic, constantly evolving to meet the changing needs, wants, and expectations of people and organizations, and [3] that the reasoning behind the AMA's newly revised definition is right on target. In it, you'll read about the three legs that are necessary to support the marketing milk stool for hotels in this increasingly fragmented and competitive global environment. Read on...

Maite Velez-Couto

Effectively communicating brand messages to current and future guests remains an essential business strategy for any hotel. More and more, companies are turning to influencers to reach a broader audience and help boost sales. But not every brand or hotel has mastered the complexity of these partnerships nor are they really sure how to best measure their success. Although there are three basic elements to influencer engagement - plan, research and measure - the key is in the nuances. Read on...

Laurence Bernstein

Re-brand; re-fresh, re-position, re-frame, re-articulate, re-contextualize - an entire universe of "do-it-again-branding" to confuse, confound, and just plain con hotel owners, operators and marketers. The reason is not complicated: Branding is an ongoing process, and as tastes competitive environment changes, so must the hotel's brand change. The question is: how much does the brand need to change, and how profound does the change have to be. In other words, is a re-brand, re-positioning, refreshing, re-articulation or re-what? In this article we look at the differences between the re's and when which is appropriate. Read on...

Bonnie Knutson

No consumer characteristic exists in isolation. They exist in various profiles which the marketing industry calls lifestyle segments. In other words, knowing your DINKS, SINKS, and HENRYS will help you keep heads on your beds. In this article, we are concentrating on HENRYS - those High Earners, Not Rich Yet folks. Specifically, smart hoteliers will hit bullseyes in 4-Ss - Status, Service, Story, Smarts - with this market. The takeaway for every hotel brand will be this: HENRYs are important and have the potential to drive your revenues. The key to capturing and keeping this market is finding the sweet-spot between class and mass. And as you see, I'm a firm believer in hotels not looking to other hotels for ideas. Rather, look outside the industry for ideas that can be adapted and incorporated into your story and experience. Read on...

Tema Frank

When it comes to success in the hospitality industry we tend - quite rightly -- to focus on staff and guests. But there are five other categories of people who can influence whether your hotel succeeds or fails. It is easy to forget about them, or even to see them as a threat to your profitability. But if you treat them right, there are many ways they can help you. Building strong relationships with them - even surprising ones like competitors - can end up helping both your organization and theirs. In this article we'll explore who these oft-overlooked allies are, why they are important to your business, and how you can win their support. Read on...

Bonnie Knutson

No matter how hot storytelling is in brand marketing and building, it is often misunderstood. One of the world's greatest brand storyteller, Guido Everaert, reminds us that good brand storytelling is not about the language, it is about creating and telling stories in a compelling way. It is about finding the right metaphors, and structure in which to tell your story. By doing so, you create a part of life and generate a story that is unique to your brand and, more importantly, can easily be readily remembered. In this article, you'll learn about the Storied Six of telling your hotel's brand story. Read on...

Lizz Chambers

Sales associates often operate on the periphery of hotel organizations with their sales methods and negotiation tactics shrouded in mystery from the rest of the team. Their efforts are nonetheless instrumental towards bringing in meetings and group business, and better communication is necessary with other on-property operations to ensure that guest service is never compromised. Ten strategies have thus been outlined to both heighten internal communications amongst different departments and increase sales performance. Read on...

Lorraine Abelow

Though the phenomenon of Americans retiring in Latin America began 25 years ago, it has accelerated in recent years. The 50 plus category is actively searching for safe and secure places in which to retire. Resorts located in the countries in this region can attract those searching for places to relocate by enticing them to use the comforts and resources of your hotel as a base, while they explore the region and its living options. By reaching out to this exploding market through a comprehensive marketing program including sales and public relations program initiatives, you can build customer loyalty. Read on...

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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.