When marketing and revenue management work in unison, there are natural synergies. Revenue management knows where holes in demand are, and marketing knows the consumer preferences to target the right customers to fill those holes. Together the departments can move the hotel away from misaligned demand generation and towards proactively targeting the right type of guest. Rainmaker and Tambourine paired up to create an eBook, “The Hotel Power Couple,” and interviewed Misty Wise, Corporate Director of Ecommerce strategies at Atrium Hospitality; Jennifer Pochedly, Corporate Director of Revenue Management at OLS Hotels & Resorts; and Jonathon Capps, Vice President of Revenue at Charlestowne Hotel for insights on what marketing needs to share with revenue management. We’ve written before about what revenue management has that marketing needs; here, we share what marketers should be sharing with revenue managers to increase the efficiency of both departments and ultimately result in a more effective cross-pollination to drive measurable revenue growth.
Marketing focuses on customer acquisition and retention, the guest experiences, and the brand. “The analytics behind marketing are undeniable,” said Wise. “Once you start aligning with your revenue manager, you can have a significant impact on your bottom line.” According to Wise, hotel marketers should inform revenue managers of new and emerging marketing methods, current customer buying behaviors, demographics of most engaged guests, and international versus domestic booking trends.
1. Current Customer Buying Behaviors
Use industry tools to track online visitor behaviors, then deliver relevant marketing messages to the right audience, at the right time, to the right place, and – with the help of your revenue manager, the right price. Keep revenue managers up-to-date with what your customer data reveals, like purpose of guest visits, preferred methods of booking and its pace, influences and expectations.
Marketing can be delivered to finely detailed audiences. Consider a hotel that boasts high demand for ethnic celebrations. Their marketing analytics revealed the geographical region where searches for these types of events originated. The hotel combines this intelligence with other analytics, which now allows the property to tailor promotions specific to the demand driver, market to them and track results.
2. New and Emerging Marketing Methods
Supply your knowledge of all viable hotel marketing methods and opportunities. Then, Wise says work with your revenue managers to decide which methods and target audiences are best to drive revenue through these new sources.
Imagine a scenario in which you suddenly have distressed inventory. In the past, a hotel may turn to deeply discounting rates to occupy rooms. Today, a digital marketer can offer advertising solutions to promote retail or marginally discounted rates to targeted audiences with an immediate call to action.
3. Segmentation and Demographics of Most Engaged Guests
From a revenue manager's perspective, customer segmentation is done at a higher level than marketing. For example, many hotels have a transient segment that can include individual, business and family. However, marketing gets much more granular. For marketers, the family segment could include "single family,” "family with kids," "adults ages 55 and older,” and so on. Proper guest segmentation is a strategic weapon that allows you to align marketing, offers and pricing. It has always been the domain of marketing, but since one of the purposes of segmentation is to provide more accurate pricing, it is critical for RM. Exchanging this type of information creates a common language between revenue management and marketing that makes it easier to work together to optimize revenue.
When it comes to guest demographics, marketing should report back to your revenue management team with traffic source details, including where guest travel from, how long they stay, and what they purchase on property. This gives revenue managers the insight to create profitable pricing strategies targeting these audiences. An example of this is if 75 percent of your followers are women aged 35-40, a package or promotion that targets demographics outside of that is less likely to produce revenue.
4. International vs domestic booking trends
Capps said he looks to marketing to tell him about the geographic composition of guests. Pochedly says that OLS uses geo-targeted ads to target both domestic and international consumers, particularly surrounding major events. Contrary to domestic consumers, International consumers have a higher length of stay and a lower cancellation rate. Domestic consumers are a more appropriate target to capture last minute business.
For example, OLS pushed out a geo-targeted ad to Brazil when a major soccer tournament was held in Los Angeles that brought in many Brazilians. Prior to the 2018 Rose Bowl, OLS sent geo-targeted ads to the states of Georgia and Oklahoma, both of which had teams playing in the game.
For more details on what marketers need to share with revenue managers, including lucrative marketing channels, current and upcoming marketing channels, marketing reports, and how to further build a powerful revenue optimization team, download the eBook today!