It’s time to improve cooperation between hotel marketers and revenue managers.
Is there an unspoken divide in your hotel?
Revenue managers and hotel marketers are often at odds, one department focused on balancing ADR and occupancy, while the other focuses on awareness, demand and ‘branding’.
In this post, Noelani Berkholtz, Tambourine’s director of distribution strategy and former long-time hotel revenue manager, explains these differences and outlines what revenue managers can do to assist and champion their hotel marketing teams to help both departments achieve mutual success:
1. Understand Mutual Metrics
According to Noelani, one of the major sources of dissonance between revenue managers and hotel marketers are the goals and responsibilities allocated to the individual departments. “DOSMs are driven to work towards bonuses based on metrics that differ from a revenue manager’s metrics,” she explained. “This skews what marketing initiatives should actually be focused on.”
2. Share Results Regularly
Hotel marketers and revenue managers are on the same side, yet revenue managers tend to keep crucial metrics, such as pacing, market mix, actualised occupancy, revenue, and ADR closely guarded. This type of unwarranted secrecy leaves hotel marketers flying blind. “When we withhold this kind of data, we are making the marketing team work in a smoke screen,” Noelani said. “If they can’t see the landscape of what is going on, they can’t proactively respond, or retroactively learn.”
Noelani also advises avoiding getting defensive over the numbers. Revenue managers are aware of the shrinking booking window, but at the same time don’t want to be held accountable for it.
Above all, communicate.
Noelani advises to not let your lack of modern marketing knowledge hinder you from engaging with your marketing team. “Educate your marketing team on what has and has not worked in the past,” she recommends. “And, keep them in the know with any initiatives you are pushing out with the OTAs, even if you are simply mirroring the discount on your site.”
Share your STR report and other relevant reports, so the marketing staff can keep a pulse of the market. Plus, let them know what your goals are and keep them abreast on how the hotel is pacing towards those goals so they can alter their marketing initiatives to achieve them.
“Consistent communication will reduce the gap between initiatives and goals, and produce a rockstar revenue-generating team.”
3. Talk About Other Channels
It turns out that revenue managers are already working successfully with other marketing departments – OTAs! Revenue managers often run certain promotions targeting certain demographics or need periods that end up producing a ton of business for the OTAs. Start sharing how the OTAs have been successful in marketing your hotel to help your own marketing department!
4. Be Brutally Honest
The marketing department wants to hear from you.
For instance, revenue managers often wish hotel marketers made things easier.“If a hotel’s marketing department or outside agency made the process of launching initiatives as simple as OTAs did, they would want to engage the marketing department more,” she said.
“When there are eight different people to contact each time a need period is identified, revenue managers are too busy to round them all up. They are more likely to just reduce the rate and hope that helps their conversion on the different channels.”