Stephanie Smith, Founder and Digital Matriarch of Cogwheel Marketing, joined Jack Lindemuth, consultant at Strategic Solution Partners, on Trevor Grant’s podcast, Revenue Hub, in May 2021. The topic was focused on hotel commercial strategy and digital marketing.  In a previous project conducted by Jack, he found seven key commercial mistakes that could be applied to many hotel projects.

Mistake 1:  Untapped Revenue Generating Partnerships and Distribution

  • Independent hotels do not have a lot of red tape so take advantage of all partnerships with OTAs, your consortia, and wholesalers
  • Use your local and state CVB and tourism partnership opportunities to gain exposure for leisure opportunities
  • Consider partnering with short-term rental and auto rental companies

Mistake 2:  Overlooked Mapping and Connectivity Throughout Distribution Ecosystem

  • Keep your distribution system clean by doing an analysis of room types, their rates, descriptions, property information across the GDS and partnerships.
  • It’s critical to perform an HOD (Hotel Description and Data) report to review property information and create hotel descriptions and communicate that information across the GDS, OTAs, and etc.
  • Correctly use content and images to create a story about your property.

Mistake 3:  Poor and Inconsistent Content Throughout the Online Storefront

  • Perform an audit to make sure the content on your local listings like Google My Business, Foursquare, Yelp, and etc as well as OTAs are consistent.

Mistake 4:  Lacking Key Benchmarks and KPIs within Marketing and Revenue

  • STAR Report does not provide the necessary information needed from a marketing standpoint because of the many touchpoints throughout the customer journey.
  • Channel segmentation is a great way to see if your marketing efforts are making an impact
  • Demand 360 and Kalibri Labs are intelligence tools that can provide data to assess marketing efforts and hotel performance versus the comp sets.

Mistake 5:  Hesitation to Fully Embrace Dynamic Pricing

  • Move away from manual pricing and start using machine learning and AI tools to assist with RMS.

Mistake 6:  Rigid Hotel Policies

  • Hotel policies are not a one size fits all.
  • Policies such as deposit and cancellation should be created based on property type and be market driven.
  • Policies should be transparent for guests during the booking journey as a part of the guest experience.

Mistake 7:  Outdated Website and Booking Engine

  • Websites should be developed thinking about the mobile booking experience first.
  • Review and audit your website through a mobile device to ensure speed and ease of booking.
  • Minimize number of clicks through the booking process.
  • Ensure your website is ADA compliant.

Listen to the entire podcast below.