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Lisa Ross

The vast millennial population makes them a major target group for all businesses. That's why, hoteliers must find effective ways to attract this young, tech-savvy and demanding generation. Millennials are more well-travelled and adventurous than the previous generation. Their exposure to technology sets them apart as the first to grow up fully connected. They expect something new from the hospitality industry, throughout their entire experience – from making the reservation to checkout and beyond. Read on to learn how to cater to millennial desires for customization over generalization, need to stay super connected, and appreciation for brand engagement on social media. Read on...

Melissa Maher

A hotel's reviews can be one of its most powerful assets, as well as one of its own downfalls. As one of the most important sources of information for travelers prior to booking, a review can ultimately sway travelers to stay at your property or lead them elsewhere. That said, filtering through hundreds of thousands of reviews across multiple platforms is no easy feat, but hoteliers shouldn't dismiss this treasure trove of valuable information. The solution: data-driven technology that transforms guest feedback into actionable insights to help hoteliers understand what guests are loving at their properties, as well as areas of improvement. Read on...

Leora Halpern Lanz

GDPR is defined by the EU’s Data Protection Agency and “regulates the processing by an individual, a company or an organization of personal data relating to individuals in the EU.” A new world of GDPR compliance is now upon us. We must pay attention in order to prevent an infliction of hefty financial penalties or perhaps even damaging negative word of mouth. In our world of lodging and hospitality, the issue of personal data and privacy protection has been rampant and now marketers have to be even more in tuned to potential consequences. Hospitality companies must become hyper-aware of digital marketing practices and management of customer personal data. Read on...

Sherry Heyl

Marketers have a sometimes-overwhelming number of tools in their toolbox to generate leads and bookings. That often means falling back on the tried and true practices that have worked for years. This feature explores a few marketing strategies and tactics that teams might have missed, including the benefits of strategically deploying user-generated content, crafting effective linkbait, using influencer marketing at any budget level, and why chat and messenger bots might just be the future of marketing. We also take a look at how brands can use humor to be better, more relatable marketing and why that doesn’t have to be a scary proposition. Read on...

Adria Levtchenko

Hotel operations rely on and profit from advanced technologies in areas such as the physical operation of a property, the communication systems we use daily, and in managing hotel operations, everything from staff scheduling and guest reservations to human resources and tracking return on investment. This reliance on technology will continue to grow, driven by our impulse to understand and serve guests in new and better ways, as well as external competitive factors. This article considers what is driving this trend and how we might approach our future in technology. Read on...

DJ Vallauri

With over 30 years of hotel marketing and technology experience, DJ Vallauri provides us with his perspective on hotel messaging apps and why he believes they will be as ubiquitous on websites as hotel booking engines are today. With venture money chasing the new messaging apps, Dj breaks down his thoughts on why it all will come down to the people-to-people level, stating technology is a great enabler, but it's about people at the end of the day. Dj firmly believes the hospitality business is about being "hospitable" and providing guests with the highest level of services and that technology can help, but should never replace providing personal service people will remember. Read on...

Leora Halpern Lanz

The power of Influencers! Today's public relations for hotels move beyond traditional travel writers and third party media experts to a newly established sector of citizen journalism — the influencer. New strategies in the digital sector are being used to promote properties and increase bookings. The use of Instagram as a search engine has been ground-breaking in terms of hotel marketing and has opened up opportunities for non-traditional campaigns. Influencers have established trust among their cohorts, granting them the power to effectively market hotels and impact the travel and tourism industry in a significant way. The shift in the industry has encouraged hotels and PR firms to continuously move toward a more innovative, integrated space. Read on...

Nir Kossovsky

Managing reputation risk in the hotel industry today is like operating in the reputational equivalent of a tornado zone. These are incidents that strike quickly and suddenly and are often beyond management's control. Anything from inappropriate or criminal behavior by guests to a hotel's response to a natural disaster can destroy a brand's reputation and impact its business in tangible, measurable ways. Stakeholders need to feel confident that the company has processes in place to mitigate these risks, prevent reputational damage and recover from it when it occurs. But how do hotels communicate that without inviting the attention of potentially malicious actors? Read on...

Jonathan Evans

Hoteliers will spend a fortune this year on website SEO, but the most important factor in how a hotel ranks in local/mobile & map searches is the proper optimization of its Google My Business (GMB) profile. Never standing still, Google is continually rolling out new enhancements and features that can mean the difference between being in the top 3 results, or being buried by the competition. In this article we examine everything an operator and marketing executive needs to know about Google My Business, from the basics to the latest functionalities and features. And it's all free! Read on...

Lorraine Abelow

The often variety of content streams can be bewildering for sales and marketing executives in developing a successful hotel PR and social media campaign. Launching an integrated approach that includes travel public relations and social media must engage and ultimately sell to your target market. This requires a systematic and diligent effort with sustained momentum over months and years. Fresh and creative initiatives will propel your campaign forward, but all of that happens after the foundation is in place. Monthly and quarterly reviews to ensure you are on track and succeeding in getting your message out is also necessary to continually calibrate the results. Read on...

Melissa Maher

Technology impacts how consumers today live, work, shop and play today. They are moving at the speed of light, and they expect the companies they interact with to keep up with them. This "digital impatience" means consumers increasingly expect that technology understand them, and be intuitive, personal and seamless - including with travel. Expedia's Melissa Maher, SVP Global Partner Group at Expedia, Inc., offers insights and tips for hoteliers to capture the attention of and engage today's digitally savvy traveler. From increasing efficiency and personalization, to inspiring with digital imagery, to optimizing reviews. The hotels that will thrive in today's highly competitive landscape are those that leverage tools to better understand and respond to the needs of their guests. Read on...

Hillary Bressler

Digital marketing global thought leader, Hillary Bressler, puts together her most worthwhile statistics that will resonate with marketers looking to keep ahead of this fast paced game. The days of a 12 month locked in marketing plan is so yesterday. The times in digital marketing are changing FAST! Agile marketers must be able to turn on a dime with their strategies. Solid statistics are vital for marketers to keep up on the latest shifts. With so many marketing statistics out there today it is crucial to decide which ones are valuable to building your strategy and which ones are interesting, but useless. This article focuses on stats that make marketers think twice about their strategies. Read on...

Pedro Colaco

Impressions. Leads. Conversion. Bounce Rate. Hands up who is really obsessed in monitoring these social media quantitative metrics on a daily basis? Quantitative metrics tends to be the main priority when analyzing social media reach or success but there are some new key indicators and metrics that have been overlooked and can also be a key element for a successful hotel social media performance. Most hoteliers are constantly worried about the same old metrics and looking for benchmarks that can help them to monitor their performance successfully on social media. But what about qualitative metrics and sentiment analysis? Are they meaningful? Which ones to use? What can we learn from them? How can we measure them? Read on...

Stephanie Hilger

Creating content is hard, especially with limited budgets, time, and resources. Not to mention, the content that your hotel is publishing is not only competing with content from other hotels but also with content from other brands, other industries - even users' family and friends. In the digital world, community managers are constantly trying to think of creative ways to attract and engage followers. As a social media manager, it is not always necessary to create content from scratch. Engaging content can be discovered and re-shared with your network. Often times, content curation can even be the key to increasing engagement. Read on...

Lorraine Abelow

What makes them even more attractive to the hotel industry is that they are nearly twice as likely to travel for business as Baby Boomers. In fact 46% of Millennial are willing to do so versus 26% of their older counterparts. This interesting statistic came of light from a study by the Global Business Travel Association. So even though there are technologies like Skype and Gotomeeting, Millennials want to meet face to face and their companies have the funds to send them on that business travel. Predictions are that by 2025, this group will make three-quarters of the workforce. Understanding and growing with this generation will make or break you in the hotel world of the future 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.