Cultivate The “Wider Resources” Of Hospitality Sales & Marketing

By Mark Ricketts President & Chief Operating Officer, McNeill Hotels | June 03, 2018

Keeping the rooms of a hotel property fully occupied with guests that we serve well and from which we generate a reasonable profit is no easy task. It requires a sound operating model; a skilled and motivated staff at all levels of the organization; and lots of elbow grease, i.e. hard work. It also takes getting our name, as an individual property and as an organization or affiliated group of properties, out there loud and clear.

In the modern environment, we are perhaps somewhat spoiled in that the Internet, in particular, has proven be an outstanding commercial avenue for bringing guests to our doors. Numerous travel websites (OTAs), brand websites and our own individual websites do a great job of attracting guests, explaining our features and pricing, and motivating guests to stay with us.

That's not to say that making the best use of the Internet doesn't take a great deal of diligence on our part, substantial financial and staff resources, and technical expertise. We must ensure that our property websites are active, secure and appealing. We need to monitor closely our "storefront" on any website and respond professionally to ever-growing numbers of reviews and comments on formal hotel and travel websites, as well as social media, travel blogs and job websites. Staying alert to our Internet signature takes time and skill. These efforts must be supported through world-class revenue management and communications systems and well-trained reservations staff. A further discussion of the role of social media in many aspects of hospitality management, its positive aspects and its pitfalls, is best left to its own article.

Most importantly, a comprehensive sales and marketing approach will extend beyond these portals in order to attract additional revenue streams and user groups. These efforts can accomplish many things. They will enhance our brand awareness, locally and to broader audiences. They will help maintain strong occupancy and room rates as either corporate or family travel oscillates, as it always eventually does. They will help drive total room spend and supplemental income from a property through meetings, affiliate deals with local businesses, or food and beverage operations, as applicable.

In this article, we will review some approaches to a wider view of sales and marketing that goes beyond conventional advertising or having the rack at the local tourist bureau stocked full with our brochures. This strategy includes extending our relationships to our host community, building specialized user groups and understanding how to enhance the posture of our staff as brand ambassadors. In doing so, we will revisit some still useful strategies in our hospitality sales and marketing toolbox from simpler days, and perhaps suggest some new ones.

Connected To The Community

Choose a Social Network!

The social network you are looking for is not available.

Close

Hotel Newswire Headlines Feed  

Fifi Arisandi
Tony Heung
David C. Marr
Hans Ritten
Brett Byers
Wendy Stevens
Coming up in January 2019...

Mobile Technology: The Future is Now

Mobile Technology continues to advance at a relentless pace and the hotel industry continues to adapt. Hotel guests have shown a strong preference for mobile self-service - from checking-in/out at a hotel kiosk, to ordering room service, making dinner reservations, booking spa treatments, and managing laundry/dry cleaning services. And they also enjoy the convenience of paying for these services with smart phone mobile payments. In addition, some hotels have adopted a “concierge in your pocket” concept. Through a proprietary hotel app, guests can access useful information such as local entertainment venues, tourist attractions, event calendars, and medical facilities and services. In-room entertainment continues to be a key factor, as guests insist on the capacity to plug in their own mobile devices to customize their entertainment choices. Mobile technology also allows for greater marketing opportunities. For example, many hotels have adopted the use of “push notifications” - sending promotions, discounts and special event messages to guests based on their property location, purchase history, profiles, etc. Near field communication (NFC) technology is also being utilized to support applications such as opening room doors, earning loyalty points, renting a bike, accessing a rental car, and more. Finally, some hotels have adopted more futuristic technology. Robots are in use that have the ability to move between floors to deliver room service requests for all kinds of items - food, beverages, towels, toothbrushes, chargers and snacks. And infrared scanners are being used by housekeeping staff that can detect body heat within a room, alerting staff that the room is occupied and they should come back at a later time. The January Hotel Business Review will report on what some hotels are doing to maximize their opportunities in this exciting mobile technology space.