Monthly Archives: October 2009

Who knew there was good news in the Hospitality Industry?

PKF Consulting reports a five to one return on Marketing Expenditures.

 At a recent Washington, DC HSMAI Industry Trends event, a senior representative of PKF Consulting reported that hotels and resorts are getting an average of $5.00 of revenue for every $1.00 spent. That is a great return! If that would only happen in our personal accounts! Some areas, such as Washington, DC and New York City are seeing even higher returns.

 So why is the industry still hesitant to spend money on marketing and promotion? Perhaps one reason is that this is not a widely known fact. Rightly so, owners and management companies always want to know what is the potential payback for advertising and marketing. Here we have a metric we can all use – whether a small independent property or a larger, national branded venue as a benchmark for calculations.

 It is easier to track results now more than ever. Today we have so many more vehicles which produce definite and trackable numbers, from Google analytics, to email metrics and click-thru banners to name a few. Consequently the fear of the unknown number of viewers should greatly diminish.

 How does this affects the group markets? According to Smith Travel Research and many hoteliers it is the group and meeting segments which are still lagging behind the transient markets. Yet in talking with meeting professionals it seems the tide will be changing soon as there is a pent up demand to meet face to face! It has been over a year since meetings and events were on everyone’s calendars. Since then forecasts and budgets have been re-tooled and many departments and companies have faced major re-organizations. It is time to put people together in one room. 

 Keeping in mind the ROI on marketing dollars in general, it seems imperative for hotels & resorts to look to get their share of the upcoming revenue pie. It is not the time to shy away from strategic marketing initiatives and promotions. A few simple and inexpensive marketing steps include:

  1. Does your website reflect what you and your property can offer a meeting planner and their groups?
  2. Do your listings on the third party meeting planning sites, such as StarCite and Cvent tell the story of your property? Have you put a description next to each one of the many images on your website? If not, this is an opportunity lost.
  3. Are you using social media to interact with meeting planners? This is where tweets and blogs can be very helpful!
  4. Are you reviewing and answering travelers’ reviews on a regular basis? The value of excellent service, at any price point, is important to both the group markets as well as transient guests.
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Judging for the HSMAI Adrian Awards – Web Marketing section

Over the past few days I have had the priviledge of being a volunteer judge for the HSMAI Adrian Awards. I volunteered for the web marketing section, which gives me the opportunity to view and score the web sites that have been entered into the competition. It has been fascinating to see the different sites, the creativity, the design and the marketing messages. One aspect that has stood out from all the entries is the use of photography – some good, some excellent and some not as strong. But it also shows the importance of playing up your best features with good photography as well as grabbing the visitor’s attention.  Good luck to all those who entered! I know it is a time consuming task, but well worth the effort.