Sales & Marketing: Technology Rules

It is impossible for any hotel to develop an effective sales and marketing plan that doesn't include a wide-ranging digital strategy. Online platforms have impacted virtually every aspect of their business, due to major changes in how Internet users research, plan, and book their hotel visits. As a result, a successful plan includes generating traffic through the use of a hotel website, social media, email and a myriad of other digital marketing technologies. One such strategy uses data collection and automation technology to create personalized content to individual customers. The goal of personalization marketing is to engage potential customers by communicating with them as individuals - to establish a more personal relationship - as a way of encouraging them to visit a property. Video marketing is also extremely important. Showing someone authentic video from a specific location is immersive and engaging, and video is still the preferred way for customers to interact with a hotel brand. Voice and Visual Search are increasingly in demand, as consumers are moving away from typing queries into a search engine. Instead, they can simply speak their request into their phone, and find and book a hotel without ever typing a word. Similarly, other platforms allow consumers to search visually for almost any image, and find out pricing information, shopping comparisons and how-to-buy - all from the app. The adoption of Artificial Intelligence is also becoming popular. The ability of chatbots to answer simple questions or fulfill requests 24/7 is undeniably appealing. In addition, A.I. seems best positioned to qualify leads that can be later nurtured and closed by a human sales expert - all at a fraction of the cost of a traditional support team. The June Hotel Business Review will examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating these innovative technologies into their operations.



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Last month's feature articles...

Federico Pilurzu

Cala Luna Boutique Hotel & Villas strives to protect the environment and educate guests about its importance, all while providing world-class service in a paradisiacal setting. Travelers are getting savvier and are taking into consideration their carbon footprint while booking their vacation and even business trips. They are also thinking about the impact they have on the local community with over tourism becoming an important global issue. Cala Luna is proud to hold the highest Sustainable Tourism certification (level five) from the Costa Rican Tourism Institute. Their sustainability efforts include solar energy, sustainably-farmed produce, bamboo straws, beach cleanups, and more. READ MORE

Glenn Hasek

As national and state governments propose and pass legislation eliminating single-use plastics from the waste stream, the global lodging industry, at the property, company or organization level, is taking its own action. Earlier this year, The Global Tourism Plastics Initiative was formed and within the past year companies as large as Marriott, IHG, Accor and others have established policies around plastics ranging from straws to amenity bottles. What is clear is that consumers, as well as hoteliers, are growing tired of the problems associated with plastic-everything from tarnished reputations to ill health to tinier bottom lines. READ MORE

Sandy Murphy

At The Beverly Hilton, 2020 brings many reasons to celebrate. This year, the ionic hotel marks its 65th anniversary and remembers its storied past while remaining a sought-after destination that combines the glamour of Hollywood with prestige of Beverly Hills. Continuously re-imagining itself, The Beverly Hilton will also unveil a top-to-bottom $35 million renovation, which includes updates to our guestrooms, common spaces, CIRCA 55 restaurant and our legendary suites. As we embark on this new chapter, we continue to look at creative ways to reduce our environmental footprint, increase our social impact and create a better world to travel for generations to come, in alignment with Hilton's Travel with Purpose 2030 Goals. READ MORE

Joe Ogdie

Ideally situated minutes from Park City, The Lodge at Blue Sky, Auberge Resorts Collection, opened June 2019, is a 3,500-acre ranch in the Wasatch Mountain Range that invites travelers to leave the cares of the modern world behind and reconnect with nature through unmatched outdoor experiences offered on property year-round, from fly fishing on miles of private waters and mountain biking to shooting an 18-stand sporting clay course and horseback riding. Embodying a relaxed Western lifestyle – guests won't need to leave the resort to find adventure and learn to connect with the land. READ MORE

Coming up in August 2020...

Food & Beverage: New Technological Innovations

In the past few years, hotel food and beverage departments have experienced significant growth. Managers are realizing just how much revenue potential this sector holds, both in terms of additional revenue and as a means to enhance the guest experience. As a result, substantial investments are being made in F&B operations as a way to satisfy hotel guests but also to keep pace with the competition. Though it has been a trend for many years, the Farm-to-Table movement shows no signs of abating. Hotel chains are abandoning corporate restaurants and are instead partnering with local chefs to create locally-influenced dining options. Local, farm-sourced ingredients paired with specialty beverages or local wine also satisfies the increasing demand from Millennial travelers who are eager to travel sustainably and contribute to a positive impact. A farm-to-table F&B program also helps to support the local economy, which builds community goodwill. Also popular are "Self-Serv" and "Grab & Go" options. These concepts stem from an awareness that a guest's time is limited and if a hotel can supply them with fast, fresh, food and beverage choices, then so much the better for them. Plus, by placing these specialty kiosks in areas that might be traditionally under-utilized (the lobby, for instance), they can become popular destination locations. Of course, there are new technological innovations as well. In-room, on-screen menus allow guests to order from any restaurant on the property, and some hotels are partnering with delivery companies that make it possible for guests to order food from any restaurant in the area. Also, many hotels are implementing in-room, voice-activated devices, so ordering food via an AI-powered assistant will soon become mainstream as well. The August issue of the Hotel Business Review will report on these developments and document what some leading hotels are doing to expand this area of their business.