When I first arrived yesterday at Southern California’s spectacular Terranea Resort for Rainmaker’s 2017 OPTIMIZE user conference, I must admit that delving into the new dynamics of advanced data science and hotel revenue management strategies wasn’t exactly the first thing on my mind. After a grueling flight, I couldn’t wait to just grab a perfectly chilled glass of California chardonnay from a local vineyard and step out onto the verandah to take in the sweeping cliff-top views of the Pacific.
Finally sitting back with my wine and looking around at the other hotel guests that surrounded me, however, I began to observe an interesting phenomenon. The couples at each table were all quite beautiful and obviously affluent, with perfect California tans and gleaming, white smiles. Some even looked familiar – celebrities perhaps? I was surrounded by “power couples”!
As I strained to remember the name of the guy at the next table that I swear I had seen in a recent movie, I began to wonder: What really makes a couple a “power couple?”
Unlike many couples that have distinct roles – one stronger, one weaker, power couples are made up on two equally strong individuals who possess a litany of assets in their own right that, when combined, becomes exponentially more powerful and impactful. They feed off each other’s strengths to augment their own and together, they become a force to be reckoned with.
As my mind wandered back to why I was here, I realized that the same principle applies to the hotel revenue management’s new power couple: revenue management and marketing. In their “single days,” they existed independently, each contributing to the overall profitability of a property, but in distinctly different ways, with no consideration of the other’s contribution. They operated in silos, never fully realizing their potential to maximize revenue and achieve total profit optimization for the property or properties they served.
Finally, with the continued proliferation of big data streams and advanced data science principles, these two revenue-generating powerhouses have come together, and it’s a match made in heaven. Revenue management provides a firm foundation of relevant historical and forward-looking data for marketing to build their campaigns on — and marketing subsequently provides the guests and bookings that ultimately make up the data. It’s a win-win.
So with that epiphany, I took my last sip of vino and hurried off to the opening general session of OPTIMIZE to learn more about how this new dynamic is impacting the industry.
OPTIMIZE2017: Opening Session
The session opened with a video and live skit featuring Rainmaker’s power couple Tammy Farley and Bruce Barfield.
Barfield played the role of a revenue manager while Farley portrayed a marketer; and, in the opening scene, the two are undergoing counseling to improve their working relationship. At one point, Farley quips, "You know what we call revenue management? The sales prevention department.”
In a subsequent session, the couple begin to focus on the positive results they can achieve, when they synchronize their efforts and work well together, utilizing relevant data streams.
At the end of the skit, RealPage CEO Steve Winn appeared and addressed the audience to discuss RealPage's recently announced acquisition of Rainmaker's multifamily assets.
"I know that Bruce and Tammy are as excited about re-doubling their efforts on a 100 percent hospitality-focused business as I am on taking multifamily revenue management to the next level."
Winn’s announcement was followed by an inspiring keynote address from Terry Jones, founder of Travelocity, founding chairman of Kayak.com and author of "On Innovation."
In his remarks, Jones outlined the fundamentals of innovation and provided tips on creating organizations that are innovative and open to change.
Today, the first full day of OPTIMIZE 2017, that innovation is readily apparent as Rainmaker lays out their product roadmap at the Hospitality & Gaming General Session. The session is taking place from 8:30-9:30 in the Marineland 1 ballroom. Other powerful sessions throughout the day will delve into various aspects of hospitality & gaming revenue management, as well as exciting new advancements, including the addition of group forecasting to Rainmaker’s guestrev and grouprev solutions.
For a complete list of today's multifamily sessions, click here.
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