Library Archives

 
Mike Kistner

Never before in the history of our industry have hotels had so many opportunities to market and sell their room inventory. Facebook, TripAdvisor, Google, mobile, online, GDS and traditional voice, among countless others, present infinite opportunities to increase exposure for a property on a global level. However, there is one tool that remains crucial regardless of the channel you're selling through, and that is the hotel website. Many hotels, especially independents, have only scratched the surface with the foundation of their online presence, inadvertently making serious errors that may in fact be hurting their chances to sell. Following are the five website failures hotels make, along with how to fix them. READ MORE

Paolo Boni

As travel shopping continues to fragment within the online space to a myriad of channels, devices, and platforms the role of the hotel marketer is becoming increasingly complicated. Today, audiences are jumping from online travel agencies to review sites to social media and so on, using their smartphones, computers and tablets to do so. This makes for a complex web of touch-points for hotel marketers to explore and take advantage of. Success requires balancing a number of priorities and activities that make up a hotel's greater marketing strategy. Included in this strategy are activities that convert website traffic to bookings on the hotel's own website and third party websites. READ MORE

Jason Guest

Guest wireless is growing by leaps and bounds as today's guests are bringing laptops, tablets, smartphones and even wireless-enabled gaming devices -- all in one room, and sharing a single broadband connection. Additionally, revenue-drivers such as video-on-demand are being cannibalized by on-demand movie streaming services. How can today's hotel keep up? READ MORE

Tina Stehle

The economy is finally showing signs of recovery. And while that gives hoteliers good reason to be optimistic, it's still critical that they make smart technology purchases, choosing solutions that will help decrease costs (or at least keep them in line), streamline efficiency and enable the property to realize a competitive advantage. Some of the newest technology has a big 'wow' factor, but the return on investment may not justify the expense. Fortunately, there are exciting software selections that can help position your hotel for success and provide a fast ROI. Following are five technology purchases that can help your property stay ahead of the competition in 2011 and beyond. READ MORE

Michael S. Wasik

In-room entertainment is becoming the focus for many hoteliers and I expect the attention and focus on this aspect of the guestroom to increase in the coming year. Technology continues to be developed at a rapid pace and it is tough to keep up with all the cool gadgets, software and online trends. With the proliferation of media now available online, the in-room entertainment options offered in hotels will need to shift in order to keep this amenity from becoming a cash drain. The convergence of entertainment options (free-to-guest programming, internet, VOD, etc) will be sought after as well. Keeping up with technology can be difficult as a hotelier, but by including a system that utilizes your existing TVs and allows access to the Internet, you can stay ahead of the curve and adapt as technology shifts. READ MORE

Mike Kistner

I recently had to give a prediction for the future of IT in the next five years to Computerworld magazine for their list of premier leaders in IT. They asked me to offer my boldest, most out-on-a-limb prediction. Mine was that the traditional IT department operating in a specific industry will cease to exist as IT will continue to migrate towards the community model. If you work for a major hotel company in an IT position, the nature of your job will change, period. READ MORE

Paul West

We are well into 2010 and perhaps still facing many decisions on whether or not to pull the trigger on possible technology purchases. So, if technology purchases of any kind can be made, then it is more important than ever that hotel companies make sensible choices with these purchases while still keeping a close eye on the bottom line. Therefore, what should be the guideline for selecting technology that is right for the times? Once that is determined, then the next question to answer is "What would be those best types of technology choices that are most likely to impact the bottom line and thereby influence a more positive cash flow for an operation?" READ MORE

Paul van Meerendonk

As the wider hospitality industry continues to face a slow recovery, savvy hotel owners and managers should be looking inwards during this time with a view to ensuring that the technology they use to help run their facilities are best suited for the roles they have to perform. Whilst many international hotel organizations have used the economic downturn to adequately plan for the future through improved levels of technology and staff investment, many others are not heeding the warning signs and are instead shedding costs wherever possible - which can lead to disastrous consequences. READ MORE

Robert King

Today's quickly-changing marketing environment turns traditional approaches on their ear, with guests calling the shots, dictating the timing and preferences for communications and engagement. For marketers, this customer-driven, fast-paced environment mandates a new approach to optimize engagement - the points of contact with the brand - and maximize the guest's lifetime value. But most traditional database-driven marketing solutions fall far short of these goals. That's why savvy marketers are turning to sophisticated relationship marketing.but no relationship marketing strategy will work without the right digital marketing system. READ MORE

Michael S. Wasik

In the sixth century BC, Greek philosopher Heraclitus observed "Everything changes but change itself." Twenty-six centuries later, it's still just as true. It certainly applies to today's hotel customers. Travelers, whether business road warriors or families on vacation, are more selective, value conscious and well-informed than ever before. They also have a whole new set of expectations. Hotels have a unique opportunity now to embrace and benefit from this new customer reality. Read this article to learn how you can capitalize on it in ways that will differentiate your property's brand, rise above the competition and increase customer loyalty. READ MORE

Paolo Boni

Today's travelers are choosing hotels that inspire them and effectively articulate why their rooms and amenities are 'worth' the price. But hotel listings on travel sites are typically lackluster and undifferentiated with unclear value propositions. The challenge for hoteliers is this: successfully conveying their hotel's unique value on the sites travel shoppers use to research and compare hotels online. Hoteliers can capitalize on their presence on travel websites by applying online merchandising techniques and using visual content to their advantage. READ MORE

Hillary Bressler

Since Google Earth launched, millions of Internet users have traveled the globe in search of everything from Mount Kilimanjaro to their childhood homes, all from the comfort of their own computers. But, this popular satellite-based application is far more than a way to pass the time at work. When integrated into a website, Google Earth is a powerful tool that can boost Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and support the overall marketing strategy. READ MORE

Drew Rosser

Next Generation Technology: Trendy Term or Actual Practice? Well, it is a trendy term like most trendy marketing terms it is being used to sell something rather than to identify actual practice. Is there Next Generation technology development going on? Absolutely. However, you wont hear too much about it until it's being pushed out in user testing or Beta versions. Anything that is out there now isn't Next Generation it's Now. Make sure you do your due diligence when in the market for technology. Don't get sold on trendy titles. READ MORE

Pedro Colaco

Many independent hotel managers are unhappy with the amount of business generated by the websites. This should come as no surprise as only 14% pursue a structured online strategy. Yet, embracing e-commerce is the best opportunity for independent hotels in the downturn of 2009/10 as online bookings continue to grow and travelers show a healthy appetite for booking directly at the hotel's official website. This article tackles the issue of how independent hotels should create a structured online strategy to ensure e-commerce success for their official websites. READ MORE

Kristi White

Over the past 10 years, the web has become a powerhouse for growing business. For the hotel industry, it has changed all the ground rules, from how you interact with your customers to how you drive bookings. Ten years ago, hotel chains started investing in online virtual brochures. These sites were designed simply to lay out the product and drive customers to call centers. As the sophistication of the web platforms increased, rudimentary booking engines were laid into the websites. No one anticipated that this electronic brochure would soon be a key business driver. READ MORE

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Coming up in June 2020...

Sales & Marketing: Technology Rules

It is impossible for any hotel to develop an effective sales and marketing plan that doesn't include a wide-ranging digital strategy. Online platforms have impacted virtually every aspect of their business, due to major changes in how Internet users research, plan, and book their hotel visits. As a result, a successful plan includes generating traffic through the use of a hotel website, social media, email and a myriad of other digital marketing technologies. One such strategy uses data collection and automation technology to create personalized content to individual customers. The goal of personalization marketing is to engage potential customers by communicating with them as individuals - to establish a more personal relationship - as a way of encouraging them to visit a property. Video marketing is also extremely important. Showing someone authentic video from a specific location is immersive and engaging, and video is still the preferred way for customers to interact with a hotel brand. Voice and Visual Search are increasingly in demand, as consumers are moving away from typing queries into a search engine. Instead, they can simply speak their request into their phone, and find and book a hotel without ever typing a word. Similarly, other platforms allow consumers to search visually for almost any image, and find out pricing information, shopping comparisons and how-to-buy - all from the app. The adoption of Artificial Intelligence is also becoming popular. The ability of chatbots to answer simple questions or fulfill requests 24/7 is undeniably appealing. In addition, A.I. seems best positioned to qualify leads that can be later nurtured and closed by a human sales expert - all at a fraction of the cost of a traditional support team. The June Hotel Business Review will examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating these innovative technologies into their operations.