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In this episode of the Fuel Hotel Marketing Podcast, the Fueligans give 10 simple rules that every hotel marketer should follow.
1. Thou Shalt Treat Guests Like Individuals:For Building One-to-One Relationships Is The Key To Success.
Don’t ever lose sight of the guest as an individual. If what you’re doing isn’t helping them or building a stronger bond between them and you, you’re probably doing it wrong. The most successful marketing campaigns begin with the guest in mind. Avoid the “spray and pray” mentality that so many lazy marketers have adopted. It will erode your relationships and will hand your guests to your competition,
2. Thou Shalt Not Worship Shiny Objects, Or Any Marketing Initiative That Is Unworthy Of Your Investment: For They Are Distractions From Those Marketing Investments That Yield You Success.
You should always have a healthy contingency budget with which to experiment and test new things but it should never come at the expense of the tried and true marketing initiatives that you know work. They key is to develop an attribution model for all of your advertising investments and to hold them all accountable to the same metrics. Then, it becomes easy to determine where you should invest and where you should pull back. It’s tempting to jump on the latest fad, but ask yourself whether or not it’s going to take you away from something else that is more effective.
3. Thou Shalt Not Take The Opinion Of The Guest In Vain: For Online Reviews and Social Comments Provide Valuable Information That Can Improve Your Property.
Ignore guest feedback at your peril. It’s easy to dismiss negative comments, but stop and think about the opportunity this presents. Not only can you glean new information from online reviews, but you also have an opportunity to turn a disgruntled guest back into a loyal advocate. Allocate the appropriate resources to monitoring and responding to reviews, and make sure that the content of online feedback is discussed frequently with your internal staff.
4. Remember The Staff and The Investment In Upkeep: For No Amount Of Marketing Can Help You If You Have A Grumpy Front Desk Person, Dirty Rooms, Or A Run Down Hotel.
The thing about marketing is that it is an amplifier of the truth. If your product is not up to par and you spend your marketing budget to attract more guests and to gain more attention, you’re simply throwing away money. Make sure that the property and the staff are the best they can possibly be. Invest in upkeep, invest in training, enforce brand standards, and hold everyone accountable. If you do the fundamentals right, your marketing will go further and will yield greater ROI.
5. Honor Thy Metrics And Track Everything To The Penny: For Spending Money Blindly is Foolish.
I can’t believe there are still people out there in 2019 who don’t have complete visibility into their data. The tools are out there and freely available. It may require a little effort from you and your website or booking engine team, but you HAVE to make sure that everything you’re doing is being tracked correctly and that you’re paying attention to the right metrics in order to gain the maximum insight.
6. Thou Shall Not Kill Thy Conversion Rate By Having An Ineffective Website and Booking Engine
Every penny you spend is driving people to your website. Having a website or booking engine that creates friction for the guest loses you thousands of dollars over the course of a year. It’s like pouring water into a bucket that has a hole in it. Invest appropriately in your website and ensure that you’re using a booking engine provider who maximizes conversion rate. If you’re not happy with your current booking engine software, reach out to Fuel. We have a product that you may be interested in checking out.
Fuel Hotel Marketing Podcast: Episode 81 – Top 10 Ways To Drive Direct Bookings In 2018Fuel Hotel Marketing Podcast: Episode 30 – Is Your Hotel Making These Top 10 Website Mistakes?
Fuel Hotel Marketing Podcast: Episode 65 – Does Your Hotel Have The Right Booking Engine?
7. Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery On Rate Parity Between Thine Own Site and The OTAs And Thou Shalt Ensure Thine Presence On All Channels To Protect Thy Brand
This is one of the fundamental building blocks of a good marketing strategy. Not having parity and not maximizing your presence everywhere that the OTAs have a footprint is what Expedia and Booking.com count on. You can effectively reduce your OTA reliance by offering parity of rate, exclusive incentives, and by making sure that people can find you.
8. Thou Shall Not Steal From The Marketing Budget When Times Are Tough: For Doing So Will Increase Reliance On OTAs
When times are tough, it’s tempting to look through your budget and start slashing the marketing line items. Yes, it may positively impact your financials in the short-term, but it’s going to cost you in the long run and make a bad situation worse. As a marketer, you should know exactly how much revenue you’re likely to generate from all of your marketing initiatives. If they aren’t yielding a positive return, you should have cut them already. Stand up for your marketing budget and be willing to fight the owner or manager by showing them the real revenue impact that a decrease in marketing spend will have.
9.Thou Shalt Not Bear False Witness By Putting Thine Own Convenience Above The Guest’s Needs: For Saving Time Or Money In The Short-Term Will Cost You in The Long-Term.
Another go-to when times are tough is to start cutting back on operational costs. Be prepared to be creative when you have to, but keep in mind that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. By saving money on your linens, you’re probably sacrificing guest comfort. Be willing to look at every decision from the perspective of how it’s going to impact the guest. If you’re unsure, either go experience the stay as your guest would, or ask your guest flat-out what they would think if you made the cost-saving change.
10. Thou Shalt Not Covet Thy Neighbor’s Property and Thou Shalt Always Be Testing Thine Own Marketing Efforts
There’s always a lot of noise in the industry and it’s always tempting to want to keep up with the Joneses, but remember that you and your property are unique and that the relationship you can nurture between you and your guests is equally unique. If you see a neighboring property, or the industry at large, doing something cool, first ask yourself whether or not it’s right for your guest. If it is, be sure to test it and see how things pan out. Sometimes a change can have unforeseen trade-offs. Before you go investing in the latest trends and making that change the cornerstone of your marketing efforts, spend some time thinking through the strategy and gauging its potential before jumping in with two feet.
BONUS COMMANDMENT FOR PHIL:
Thou Shalt Use Ad Extensions, For They Are Thine Friend
In The Newsaroos:
- Marriott Getting Into The US Home Rental Business:
- BingAds Rebrands to Microsoft
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