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Paul Lachance

Hotel executives are starting to catch on to digital technology as they strive for better customer experiences across the board. With powerhouses like Hilton and Marriott leading the charge, competitive hotel brands are raising the standard for guest experiences in the digital age. A recent study by Hospitality Technology found 57 percent of hotels plan to spend more on technology across the board in 2017 than they did in 2016. And while improving customer engagement and enhancing payment and data security stood out as the top priorities for many hospitality industry decision-makers, it appears far fewer are considering a critical investment: Enterprise Asset Management (EAM). Read on...

Matt Naeger

Travel industry marketers are setting their sites on the customer, following in the steps of other industries such as retail and using digital platforms to strategically target and message across the customer journey. The advances in customer experience we see today are the result of platform and technology availability. Knowing customers like to be treated as individuals is not a new concept in customer service. Not long ago personalized treatment was reserved for face-to-face conversations and luxury experiences. Digital has evolved, but the concept remains the same. Read on...

Benjamin Jost

The technology ecosystem in the hotel space is changing at a rapid pace. In some cases, companies seem to be appearing from nowhere, offering a brand new solution that solves a problem many hotels didn't know that they had. In other cases, companies with extensive track records in other markets are performing pivots, taking everything that they've learned in their history and trying to apply best practices to the travel industry. Read on...

Mark Heymann

Mobile technology has pervaded virtually every aspect of our lives, and travel is no exception. As people turn to their mobile devices for assistance with an increasing number of daily activities, the hotel industry has responded with apps designed to streamline processes from checking in to accessing one's room. Starwood Hotels & Resorts pioneered mobile room keys with its SPG Keyless product in 2014 and since then several other major brands have followed suit. There are also apps today that enable SMS two-way communications between guests and hotel staff, facilitating a wide range of interactions, including late check-out requests, room service orders, and restaurant recommendations. Read on...

Allison Ferguson

Travel today is a highly aspirational, emotional, and educational experience. However, today's experience is largely a digital one, which is evolving our roles as hoteliers and marketers at the very pace of innovation. In many cases, travelers completely self-manage their stay from end to end with some 69 percent of travelers start their search online. The best customer strategy for today's hotelier lies at the intersection of digital experience, loyalty program experience, and the end-to-end travel journey. Here's some very effective tips... Read on...

Matt Schvimmer

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is a tried and true method of connecting with guests and customers across a number of platforms including websites, social media, apps, live chat, email and phone. Selecting a CRM software solution is notoriously laborious and the software itself has the reputation of being expensive and hard to implement. Hotels and hospitality organizations who operate at a local level, and thrive on the relationships they have in the community, need a nimble, real-time CRM solution to engage with their guests and be responsive to their service needs. Read on...

DJ Vallauri

The hotels that will win over the next 24 months will be those that introduce the human elements of real-time engagement via the technology. By leveraging the technologies available they will better engage and build relationships with their guests via human connections. Recently Benedict Cummins from HotelExecutive connected with DJ Vallauri, Lodging Interactive's Founder and President, to discuss his vision on human powered websites and why he believes they are the future for the hospitality industry. Read on...

Jeff Navach

Hotels find themselves in an uphill battle as they seek to increase loyalty to their own brands and recapture market share from OTAs. Many hotels are increasingly embracing digital advertising, recognizing it as a critical channel to acquire consumers directly and compete more effectively with OTAs. But as hotels expand their digital marketing presence and ramp up advertising budgets, they would do well to consider some creative approaches that can help level the playing field and turn the tide in their favor. Read on...

Michael Coughlin

Since its infancy in the late 90s and early 2000s, paid search has been a highly effective tactic for capturing would-be travelers that are actively exploring travel options. There's seemingly no better way to attain a new hotel guest than by delivering an ad promoting your hotel when someone is searching for "hotels" in your market area. For instance, if you are promoting hotel rooms in Las Vegas, you would likely deliver relevant ads to people searching for keywords such as "Las Vegas hotel," "Las Vegas hotels," and "Vegas hotel reviews. "According to Prognosis Digital, 79% of people that book hotels online search for that particular hotel on a search engine before buying. Thus, having a presence on search engines is essential for any hotel. Read on...

Katarina Puckett

In the drive to increase bookings, hotel owners sometimes overlook a key component that can have a dramatic impact on their online visibility: local SEO. Search engines rely on a variety of signals when determining your hotel website's position and visibility in search results. Local SEO strategies cover three of the top web ranking signals that Google and the other search engines consider: on-page signals, citations from well-established, respected local directories, and reputable backlinks. When you correctly and proactively apply these local SEO strategies, you strengthen your hotel's business profile and help establish your website domain authority. Read on...

Katarina Puckett

Hotels now face stiff competition from the OTAs as well as from other hotels. To succeed in this challenging environment, hoteliers need to develop an effective hotel website that blends the latest design trends and online marketing strategies to appeal to prospective guests. By incorporating essential hotel design, functionality, and reservation features such as SEO strategies, incentivizing pricing strategies, and web analytics, hotels can use their websites to gain the competitive edge. Discover everything you need to know to create a highly effective hotel website design, so you can successfully increase direct bookings and regain control of your hotel brand. Read on...

Michael Coughlin

With rapid advancements in technology, video content is taking over the internet. Whether it's through social media platforms, apps, or news publications, companies can miss out on valuable branding opportunities without a high quality video narrative to leverage on these networks. In an industry where building human relationships is of utmost importance, hotels must adapt to this growing medium. Well-produced videos help brands connect with consumers emotionally thus creating genuine brand loyalty. In the offline history of advertising, we've seen media consumers migrate in large droves from reading newspapers in dull black and white text, to reading magazines and newspapers in full and vibrant color, to consuming radio and TV advertising that bring brands to life. Read on...

Bernard Ellis

After cautiously testing the cloud computing waters for almost twenty years, the hospitality industry has been diving in head first lately, and for the most part, made nice, controlled entries with minimal splash. And for the majority, the dive was followed by a graceful, controlled float to the top. Others, however, found themselves disoriented, bumping into other swimmers, and gasping for breath. The cloud is indeed like a community pool in many ways, but after reading this article, there's no reason why you shouldn't be able to quickly find your lane and swim faster laps than ever. Read on...

Tammy Farley

Data is more plentiful and available than at any time in history, yet some of the most crucial information for hotel operators has been accessible only to large organizations with deep pockets. Today, however, new technologies are disrupting established markets with analytical solutions that are more affordable and flexible, offering excellent capabilities to hoteliers who could previously only access such tools through their parent brands. This article takes a look at key qualities of some of the data and analytics tools that make the technology more approachable than ever. Read on...

Rahul Razdan

Big Data will provide a complete "digital profile" of current and prospective guests, enabling hotel executives to create more effective marketing and communications campaigns. This opportunity, available for all and affordable to all, will transform the way hoteliers interact with travelers; it will revolutionize this relationship for the better by making outreach more direct, personal and relevant. Thus, these benefits are too important to ignore - they are too substantial to dismiss - since the result will be a more intimate and gracious expression of loyalty from hotel executives on behalf of their most loyal supporters. Welcome to the big dividends of Big Data. Read on...

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Coming up in October 2019...

Revenue Management: Focus On Profit

Revenue Management is still a relatively new profession within hotel operations and as such, it continues to evolve. One significant trend in this area is a shift away from using revenue as the foundation to generate key performance indicators (KPIs) and to instead place the emphasis on profit. Traditionally, revenue managers have relied on total revenue per available room (TrevPAR) and revenue per available room (RevPAR) as the basis of their KPIs. Now, some revenue managers are using gross operating profit per available room (GOPPAR) as their primary KPI. This puts profit at the center of revenue management strategy, and managers are increasingly searching for new ways to increase the profitability of their hotels. Return on Investment is the objective of any hotel investment, so it is only logical that profitability and ROI will be emphasized going forward. Another trend is an expanded focus on direct hotel bookings. Revenue managers know that one way to increase profitability is to steer guests away from online travel agencies (OTAs) and book directly with the hotel. This tactic also reinforces brand identity and loyalty, and encourages repeat business. In addition, it provides a valuable platform to market the hotel directly to the customer, and to upsell room upgrades or other services to them. Another trend for revenue managers involves automation in their software programs. Revenue management systems with automation are far more desirable than those without it. Automating data entry and logistics increases efficiency, allowing managers to spend more time on formulating strategy. As a bonus, an automated system helps with aggregating and interpreting data. The October issue of the Hotel Business Review will address these developments and document how some leading hotels are executing their revenue management strategies.