Halloween Hotel Marketing Nightmares
October 26, 2015 • By tambo
What keeps hotel marketers up at night….
It’s not creepy goblins, ghosts lurking in the corners or even unexplainable paranormal activity. It takes more than just spooky happenstance to strike fear in the hearts of hotel revenue managers and marketers. This Halloween, we surveyed hotel marketing professionals across the country, from properties of all sizes, asking them what keeps them up at night. This is what they had to say:
1. The End of Rate Parity
This summer, France led a long-awaited shift by striking down rate parity. Their belief was that hoteliers could only compete by charging whatever they choose, differentiating their hotel product and undercutting the OTAs. While on the surface that may seem like something to celebrate, many hotel marketers fear the unknown.
After all, for years rate parity has been the de facto law of the land. Now, with their newfound ability to discount their direct pricing, they’re nervous it won’t be the magic bullet they had believed it to be. There are other reasons why OTA’s have been raking in business while hoteliers struggled to drive direct business, including OTA’s massive budgets and advanced digital technology that have enabled them to overpower the efforts of individual hotel marketers. The end of rate parity would shine a light on problems such as these.
2. Dwindling Margins
Expensive 3rd party revenue sources continue to take a bigger cut out of each booking, leaving hotels with less and less at the end of the day. This continued margin erosion is irritating and confounding hotel owners and asset managers, who are expecting to see richer margins as a result of the current all-time highrates and occupancy. It is up to hotel marketing leaders to explain this unbalanced discrepancy.
Whoever thought that a traveler would prefer to spend the night in a stranger’s house instead of a clean, secure and pristine hotel? The sharing economy has indeed disrupted the hotel industry with its appeal of authentic “live with a local” experiences, stealing hundreds of thousands of hotel room nights in the process. What first started off as a cheap and ingenious alternative for budget travelers, Airbnb has since grown into a global booking phenomenon that attracts a vast range of guests – from couples to families and even business travelers. Plus, they’re on track to outpace the world’s largest hotel companies within a few years. Hotels are responding by localizing their own offerings and rebranding their hotels as locally inspired social hubs where guests can experience a poignant sense of place.
4. Job Security
Hotel marketers are expected to do more, know more and act faster than ever before, and there is no shortage of pressure from hotel owners to do so. Turnover among senior hotel marketing leaders is at an all-time high with an average job lifespan of 25 months. Owners want better results in a shorter amount of time, while hotel marketers are stuck having to master a tidal wave of new technology seemingly every few months. This leaves hotel marketing teams flustered, behind the trends and overwhelmed with numerous marketing channels.
5. Insufficient budgets
The advent of endless new digital marketing channels gives the impression that brilliant marketing can come from even the smallest of budgets. Meanwhile, hotel owners are raising goals and revenue targets, believing that today’s plethora of marketing options means free or cheap ways to reach their target audience.
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