Category Archives: Marketiing

Great report on benchmarking your digital marketing!

http://www.hsmai.org/knowledge/summary.cfm?ItemNumber=11904&goback=%2Enmp_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1%2Egde_43373_member_5832506161378664450#%21

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10 Easy Steps to Take Charge of Your On-Line Reputation!

So often I hear one of two stories. Either hoteliers are actually scared about their on-line reputation or they think they have it under control because they check TripAdvisor. There is so much more to both situations!

Monitoring and Managing your on-line reputation is not as difficult as it was initially. Actually with a new awareness of social media and the importance of user generated content and reviews, as well as some simple applications it is easier than ever to take charge of the situation! Here are some simple tips:

  1. Formalize the process! Set up a committee and pick a leader!
  2. Set goals – what are we trying to achieve here? Increase reviews? Increase rankings? Be specific.
  3. Schedule! Who’s going to actually handle the day to day tasks? Make this a seven day a week schedule and write it down.
  4. Get the buy-in from the Executive Committee and/or your corporate office. These reviews can directly affect individual reservations and group bookings, so everyone has a stake in the game.
  5. Respond to all reviews! Good, bad or neutral. Remember, the idea here is to build an engaging reputation as well as attract new and repeat customers. This also helps your Google rankings!
  6. Encourage guests to write reviews. TripAdvisor will even provide the sign-up cards! Create Advocates!
  7. Use the free stuff – there are lots of easy on-line tools, such as Google Analytics, Yelp, TripAdvisor, etc.
  8. Incorporate your social media. Tell guests about your Twitter and Facebook pages and ask them to participate. This way as they post about your property you have a real-time situation to welcome them, address any concerns and also tell them more about your property as well as events and specials. “Do you need a reservation for dinner tonight?”
  9. Optimize all your sites – make sure pictures and descriptions are up to date.
  10. Consider using an on-line reputation management tool – they are easy to use and very cost effective. It only takes one bad review to lose many potential reservations and revenue

The Lane Marketing Group has years of experience with On-Line Reputation Management for all different sizes of properties. Call or email us about setting up a program for you and your properties. From a basic audit, to building a strategy and monitoring a program, we have the level of service you need to be successful and be in control of your on-line reputation!

Emarketing update! The Preference Page – requires respect!

This week I attended a great webinar by Silverpop – Building a World Class Preference Page.  Now generally this is not an exciting topic but I learned there really is some important and cool things to do with your email preference page!

The three main areas are: the opt-in, the update and finally the opt-out.

The Opt-In Page

Keep it simple and easy to use, yet consistent with your brand and website. Vertical multi-column form is the easiest on the eyes. Naturally our eyes track up and down, not left to right.  Have your customer sign up their email address twice – one to subscribe and one to verify. It is amazing how many people type in the wrong address! Use drop down boxes for ease of use but don’t over use as some mobile applications don’t take kindly to them! Lastly, send a confirmation – a welcome confirmation! Once again, another opportunity to say “thanks” with an offer!

The Update!

Preferences – yes it is very important to get more information about your subscribers. You’ll want to get demographics, interests, list or publication designation, channels of distribution (email, text, mobile) and frequency. But the interesting aspect is that this doesn’t have to happen all at once. And actually can give you another opportunity to reach out to the subscriber.

Known as building a “progressive profile” of your subscriber, invite them back to add more information to their profile. Another great way to re-engage with the customer! Think about rewarding them with a special offer for updating their profile.

Include the email address – the average person changes their email at least once every three years. This is valuable data and needs to be kept current. Companies that don’t give customers a convenient are de-valuing their asset of current data!

Opt-out!

No company wants to lose a subscriber and there are ways to help lessen the chance. First make it easy to opt-out – that is part of the can spam laws. But ask them why – too much email, too much frequency? Remind them of what they will lose if they unsubscribe.

It can be time-consuming to build a good database of customers and their interests. And it is really easy and inexpensive to develop and maintain a good preference page. Call us if you need help!

It is all about going Mobile!

  • Hopefully we have now  incorporated email and social networking into our every day lives and also how we connect with our customers. The next step is mobile marketing – for a variety of reasons! First of all smart phones are everywheres! And the traditional email and web site formats generally don’t appear as attractive and inviting on these devices. The links have to be shorter, the sites need to show up on a smaller screen than one’s laptop, the need to engage the customer where ever and when ever is now a true concern, and opportunity! Secondly it is great way to connect with your customers! Talk about target marketing! Hotels & resorts should be embracing this technology right away. Imagine the chance to immediately let your resort guests know about available services in the spa, or tee times which just opened up! That is only one use of todays’ mobile marketing. It is all about continuing to build customer loyalty as well as building revenues!

    And its not just for properties – perfect for destinations as well. A great way to market the “total destination” to groups and individuals and help your members generate new business as well.

    Meeting planners are not to be left out either. Being able to alert conference attendees of changes in schedules, opportunities for additional seminars, backgrounds on speakers and more – all delivered to their smart phones. Talk about going green!

    Consequently The Lane Marketing Group is now offering Mobile Marketing Services to our clients using the Movitas solution. And it is amazingly affordable. Contact us to find out more!

  • Presenting at HSMAI Affordable Meetings Trade Show in Washington, DC

    Just got the message that my proposal has been accepted and I will be presenting at this September’s HSMAI Affordable Meeting Trade Show in Washington, DC. The topic is “Successful Marketing – Incorporating Email Marketing and Social Media into a Successful and Affordable Campaign!” A topic important to both meeting professionals as well as hoteliers. Participants will come away with practical knowledge including:

    1. Greater knowledge of Email Marketing – what works and what doesn’t!
    2. Overcoming the fear of Social Networking!
    3. Using Social Networking to help your career!

    Who attends Affordable Meetings – meeting professional from all industry segments – corporate, independent, association, government, religious organizations, event planners, wedding planners, non-profits, education and more!

    Who exhibits at Affordable Meetings – Sales & Marketing professionals representing meeting facilities and venues, luxury properties, destinations and all suppliers and convention industry.

    All are invited to participate in the conference seminars along with the trade show!

    So Who Is Your Social Media Manager?

    Yes that is what many industry experts are referring to the person who handles a property’s digital world! A recent description of the position, as written by HVS included:

    Wanted: Person to be part of our marketing team and facilitate ongoing conversation with online customers, bloggers, friends and foes, and influencers. Be the online eyes and ears of our brand and blog, digg, tweet and bleep. Monitor online chatter and create new content to boost our reputation and site traffic. Define content, develop messaging, send 140-character messages, respond to posts, produce snappy web videos, blogs and other technologies. Must be storyteller at heart and know when to step-up the conversation and steer it constructively. Know your way around online and be proactive at trying new tools. Project the voice of our hotel with genuine sincerity and authenticity.

     Yes, you have the need – but does your marketing budget allow for another full time position? If not, consider outsourcing this position! In many ways, a person not bogged down by the day to day needs of a property’s sales & marketing department can work more effectively and concentrate on their main purpose – communicating with current and potential customers!

     The Outsourcing Option – With “time poverty” voted one of the top five obstacles to Directors of Sales & Marketing in a recent HSMAI survey, how do we expect all this to get done with the same resources.

    The five keys to a successful outsourcing relationship are: 

    1. Knowledge of today’s technologies as well as what is on the horizon
    2. Writing Ability! Engaging content is essential to effective communication!
    3. Consistency – there is nothing worse than an old blog, a dormant social media page or an out of date web site events page!
    4. Integration – your messages need to be part of an overall strategy to include sales & marketing, revenue management, food & beverage as well as other areas such as golf, spa, and retail outlets.
    5. Product knowledge – the hospitality and travel industry is unique. Industry knowledge can put your property on the fast track to results oriented social media

    Need Help? Call or email us about Hotel eScribe – your virtual Social Media Manager! The Lane Marketing Group

    Telephone: 301-340-1700   Email: hotelmarketer@aol.com