How Does the Revenue Managment Plan Fit with the S&M Plan for 2012?

October 25, 2011 at 8:29 pm | Posted in Hotel Sales Training Issues, In the News, Information, Social Media | 1 Comment
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The revenue management plan for 2012 should be an integral part of the Sales & Marketing plan for 2012 and it isn’t about just about opening and closing rates and inventory!  A well thought out RM plan should contain an over view by segment.  Which are performing well — which need support and the the projected increases year over year! 

The next section would be all about the distribution channels that are used, the relationship with each and which promotions are in the tool box for next year.  Don’t forget Front Desk and reservations conversions — this  is also counts as a distribution channel.  What are their conversion ratios and what is the goal for next year?  How are you going to support them to reach the goal?

The next section is a breakdown month by month — what events are in the market, what group blocks are on the books both internal and CVB generated.    How are they going to impact the plan and the distribution strategy? 

This is only the skeleton — th actual plan also needs to include web site analytics such as referring sites to the booking engine.  What is the social media strategy and how is that going to impact the distribution mix if you have a Facebook widget for example?   How are you going to use the new Google Travel to stimulate business from Hotel Finder for example? 

The fun part is that the plan is constantly changing and the distribution landscape next year won’t be quite the same as this year — new players, new dynamics!  Lots to think about but critical to RM success in 2012!

Need help with that!  Developing a Revenue Management plan is part of what we do at real simple Remote Revenue Management.   Check us out at real simple Remote Revenue Management

Recession Lessons To Use Going Into the Recovery

December 10, 2010 at 8:37 pm | Posted in Hotel Sales Training Issues, In the News, Information, Social Media | 5 Comments
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The Recovery is here — so the experts are telling us.  This recovery may be felt in some markets more than others.   After all the dust has settled from the last brutal 18 months — what lessons can we carry into the recovery.

1.  Dropping rate does not create demand.  There have been studies on this by people smarter than I am, Cornell University for one, to the effect that those hotel’s that value add and are smarter about discounting generate more revenue than those hotels that jus follow the lowest rated hotel to the bottom.  

2.  Customers are now trained to expect value. Peter Yesawhich defined value as ‘ something that the customer could not otherwise afford.’  This could be the reason that the luxury segment of the industry is recovering faster than the other segments.    See — it’s not just about rate!

3.  Meetings are back but we lost 15% during the recession and are expected to only increase in this segment by 8% in 2011.   Value add- value add!  Be very careful of dropping rates especially on longer lead business.  

4.  Customers are locating, gathering information and booking hotels on different channels than they were prior to the recession.  How well does your hotel web site appear  on mobile phones, do you have a mobile app, how well is your property placed on Google maps? 

5.   It’s time to reward the warriors — those that have come to work every day and fought the frustrating battle of the last 18 months.   Say Thank You to everyone that stuck around.  While you are at it — pat yourself on the back!

The eBook The Best of Hotel Sales & Revenue Management is here!  The past two years have been among the most difficult in the industry’s history. This 55 page book contains lessons we all learned during the recession and those that will launch us into the recovery. Click below for  more info.

Can Social Networks Really Generate Leads?

June 23, 2010 at 11:59 pm | Posted in Hotel Sales Training Issues, In the News, Social Media, Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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In an article in (June 15, 2010) a recent study indicated that social networks generated weak lead generation in visits to the company’s website.   The visitors to the web site generated by social media were visiting one page, had a short attention span and seldom got to the ‘contact us’ page.

Visitors Referred from Social Media Sites to B2B Sites Who Only Visited a Single Page, June 2010 (% of each group)

One of the most interesting things to come out of this research are the pages that social media referral visitors looked at.

Visitors to B2B Sites from Facebook, by Site Pages of Interest*, June 2010 (% of total)

Notice how high the percentages for visitation to the blog page.  The same was shown with Twitter and it is unfortunate that the research did not more extensively include LinkedIn, which is the B2B site of preference.

Several months ago the same online publication published a study indicated that companies were obtaining customers in the B2B space but they came primarily from LinkedIn.  The pages most likely to generate these leads that were converted to customers was the blog.

Companies in North America Who Have Acquired a Customer from a Social Media Site or Blog, by Customer Focus, January 2010 (% of respondents in each group)

Why? At it’s best, the blog is informational and not just product promotion as most of the web site is (See Seth Godin’s book ‘All Marketers are Liars.) Most web sites are filled with adjectives that customers don’t really believe any more but a well done blog gives visitors information about issues and/or the company without hyperbole.   

What can we deduce from this.  First of all, a vistor may return to a site many times before they become a lead through the contact us page — there are no stats because the customer only appears as a social media lead the first time they visit — after that they are ‘repeat’ visitors.  Secondly and probably more importantly, the blog is one of the most useful tools in the marketers aresenal and it is often missued or neglected — it’s value not perceived to be as strong as other lead generation sources.

Let’s hope that these two graphs give the company blog it’s due and prominence in communicating with ptotential customers.

PS  If you were waiting to receive leads flowing out of social media, think again.  For the most part leads still need to be developed and social media is an invaluable prospecting and relationship building tool.

Social Media Angst

May 12, 2010 at 6:44 pm | Posted in Hotel Sales Training Issues, In the News, Information, Social Media, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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I have been traveling pretty solid for the past eight weeks.  Many of   those seminar programs have been for AHLA and included a program on social  networks.   

The participation has been amazing.  Some hotels are using their Fan Pages and LinkedIn Profiles well to have conversations with their customers, some are in between but many are still unsure or having a degree of angst over  building out their pages and profiles to include  complete information that will give potential customers the information they need that results in lead generation.    

The purpose of social media activity is to engage with current customers and generate new ones! A recent article and survey from revealed B2B and B2C leads generated from social media.

45% of businesses surveyed generated B2B leads from LinkedIn and 68% generated B2C leads! 

Why are these pages so important for lead generation?  These pages are dynamic in that they can be updated more frequently than the web site, include a great deal more information, actively engage with customers and potential customers and thus generate leads.

Asking your teenage cousin or hiring someone right out of college to build out your presence on these two networks (not tomention  Twitter) is not very helpful in that they they don’t undersatnd the intricate relationship that the hospitality industry has with these networks and industry best practices.   

Example:  One client that has and that has an ‘and’ in their name was virtually invisible on FaceBook. Why?  The newly minted social media manager had used an ambersand (&) verus the word ‘and’.    How many Fans would think to use an ambersand versus the word ‘and’?  As well,  there were available opportunities on the addtional pages that were not built out at all. 

How many of your hotels, epecially independent and smaller hotels, are having angst over your social media presence? Let’s have a conversation post your comments and concerns below!

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