Hello everyone and welcome to Hospitality Marketing the podcast, I am your host Loren Gray and this is episode #240 where each week we spend around 20 to 30 minutes sharing the most interesting tools, news, and techniques being used in marketing for the hospitality industry. We also do a quick recap of our weekly Live Video show “This Week in Hospitality Marketing” which also airs every Friday at 11:30 am Eastern US Time.. SO let’s get started;
0:01 — Our tool for review this week is; Google / Facebook / Bing / Twitter
00:09— Our Technique this week is; Running a Hotel at a time of crisis by learning where and how to find business
00:12 — News and Show Review
00:01 — Intro Discussion with Bob & Cecil
01:02 — Steps to tackle current issues at property level
01:22 — Amy discusses B2B concerns and keep a record of what you are doing for future use.
01:30 — Dean discusses the OTA issues on Metasearch
02:33 — Show Ends
Digital marketing in the age of coronavirus – what travel brands need to know
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Hospitality Marketing the Podcast Show 240 Transcripts, (English US)
(Announcer) — Welcome to this week in Hospitality Marketing. The podcast show number 240 with your host, Loren Gray. Hello, everyone. And welcome to hospitality Marketing the podcast. I’m your host, Loren Grey, and this is episode number 240. So each week we spent around 20 to 30 minutes sharing you with you. The most interesting tools, news and techniques being used in marketing for the hospitality industry. And we also do a quick recap of our weekly live video show this week in Hospitality Marketing, which also airs every Friday at 11:30 a.m. Eastern time. And with that, let’s get started.
(Announcer) — And now today’s new resource tool. So obviously we normally start with a tool of the week, and we are, and then we’re gonna move into a technique of the week, which we will, and we’re going to review our live show after that and our top news item, all of them are intertwined today for good reason. There is no avoiding the conversation, nor the topic of the Corona virus and its impact on the hospitality industry. For us, it is profound. It is dramatic, and it is severe. We as of this moment have travel bans from Europe.
According to our government, we have testing That’s only begin to expand. That was a announcement of a state of emergency for the entire country, which is following suit for several states that have created their own states of emergency for what, though, is considered to be definitively a pandemic. And this has diminished and turned off travel very silver to our concepts of 9 11 where the fear of travel was pronounced him for those that lived through the floor experience as well. The anthrax extension to that as well, where there was the fear of actually engaged with other people similar to what we have now because of the concerns of what this powdery substance at Thrax wasn’t, whether was being distributed shared in the air.
Lots of worry for the unknown, the lack of knowledge of what’s going on, and that is truly what we’re looking at right now. A lack of knowledge were in the fear cycle off what this is producing for us. We are being told not to do things, not to engage with people, to do new things like, um, self hot. No one’s a hybrid. But isolate yourself from other people where you’re told to stay home. We’re having people to come back from travel than their officers were saying. Because you’re coming back from travel, you’re not allowed back into the office for a couple of weeks to you keep the risk of our being shared.
Should you have it down to a lower minimum to this and again, it goes back to our lack of understanding what’s going on. So let’s talk. Let’s take our procedures that we do our podcast and really bring home a relevant conversation that we’re having now. There’s so much noise out there. So much white noise. Everybody’s talking about this on have their own professional opinion and so forth. I mind Objective is coming from having been running hotels, five of them to be exact in the keys during 9 11 and subsequently thereafter, and having no throw eight and so forth with the financial crisis.
But former prime or primarily with the 9 11 similarity to what we’re facing today, I won’t take an objective look from my experience and bring it into the context of what we have available for tools this week, Techniques this week and what we need to be looking at, but we should be doing this weekend next. So let’s get into the tool section of the conversation. I’m being brought in my statement when I say the tools I’d like to talk about are nothing new to people right now. And that is your Google, your Google analytics account.
You go local business. My business account. Facebook, Facebook, insides, Facebook Business manager being being adds Twitter. Twitter adds Pinterest Pinterest ads. Instagram INSTAGRAM ads I g T v for instagram The list of distribution capabilities we have. His tools need to be evaluated in an objective and knowledgeable way, not in a reporting way. The difference between reporting an analytics is reporting is simply that analytics is the interpretation of what the report is telling you. Actual items, things to consider based on the information is being given to you.
There’s two key things that you need to do right now. One you need to benchmark and start cataloguing everything that’s happening daily, as if you’re writing a dear diary journal. What happened today? What did it do to our business? How many cancellations do we have from where did they happen? What group? Versus transient Pre purchases versus non pre purchases. How far out of a window or people canceling? Based on what was announced today, This will be amazingly critical to be helpful for you in the future. Not that we hope to have another pandemic.
Not that we hope to go over. And and we certainly don’t want anything bad similar to this to be a blacks, one of any sort. But this helps us reconstruct ourselves in the future. Looking backwards, it also helps us have a bit of a road map. The next time should something come up that is dramatic and severe. And we see how our society and our travel, when our everything reacts and we can see maybe some similarities, looking back on our notes and say, Ah, yeah, but you know what?
Later on it happened this way and it came back this where did this and recourse or what have you We did this and that worked, or we didn’t do this and should have. And maybe back then we should have done it earlier than we did it. That’s what these notes are for creating a record of understanding as you lived the experience and being able to learn from that. Because remember, there’s always two problems to solve the problem in front of us and the recurrence of that problem.
And this helps us solve those problems by recording what we’re going through as we’re going through it. So look at your analytics benchmark them because from a revenue management perspective, this all this data is going to skew your year over you. Remember, if you’re using revenue management systems, the data is gonna look historically and look for trends and look for forecasting. And with this downturn in this crater, that’s happening for everybody. It’s going to skew. The mathematical correlations are used the algorithms that are used to give you good revenue management strategy in the platforms.
It’s going to be a ghost in the machine, so to speak. And this is where you need to make your benchmarks on this date. This happened this why, and almost to go back and keep earlier records prior to all of the dialogue that came up with the Corona virus And look at your forecast in your projections and so forth. I knew that as almost like you do a recovery disc for your computer? Ah, place to go back to that when it was safe. We’ll save that data as well, because that will be a ghost overlay next year.
During this time should hopefully would be through the circumstances in which we can go over and maybe overlay what our expectations were based on our business cycle. Without the interruption, add the interruption and between those two variables added to the current data that you would have at that time, you get a more realistic understanding of your forecasting model for your revenue management. The same holds true with the tools I just mentioned with Google and Facebook and insights and with the Indian Facebook and the Bingham being in the ad campaigns snapshot that before all of this happened the during of other than happening and adding that to your information for next year were you.
We’ll extract the data and compare them all to see what business was retained. What interest level was retained, if not retained? Where was it coming from? What type of business we’re re acquiring and using that information of where that historical information was coming from compared to your forecasting that you’ll have to do next year this same time. Don’t lose sight of where you would need to chase that down. So take the data. Look at your analytics right now. You know that that ironically, it’s not tanking so much.
There’s still high levels of interest. Remember, this is just creating penned up demand. It’s very clear knowledge that the happiest moment of travel is the expectation and the planning. So now we’re gonna have a lot of people that are self quarantine. That’s the term I was looking for earlier in term. That wasn’t even existence, really a month ago, right? And they’re doing nothing but reading and watching and learning and listening and really wanted to get excited about their next travel plans. And because of that, we have a chance to communicate with him.
But more importantly, we have a chance to cultivate that penned up demand to when it does come back, and it will that we’re ready for it. Both marketing wise, message wise and service wise. So are tools for review is really the fundamental tools that we need to look at now. Snapshot them, hold them, review them and start analyzing what the reports are saying and that is Google Facebook being Twitter, Pinterest, all the plant for instagram, all the platforms that you may be using in communication with your guests and distribution of your marketing message.
So that is our tool or tools in review now for this week’s hospitality technique. So our technique of the week is flat out running a hotel in a time of crisis by learning where and how to find business and how to purr, save and protect yourself. This is more than the podcast will cover. Today. I’ll be flat out honest with you. We would be able to spend hours and then, to be honest with you, our live show. We spent two hours, two and 1/2 hours are two hours and 15 minutes.
I should say, covering a lot of these aspects and we’ll get to that in just a few minutes. I’ve been on other podcasts. I’ve had the privilege to join Stuart Butler, and this fuel begins on fuel travels podcast, and we hit a lot of the same types of concepts and topics. To this. I’d like to elaborate a little more of those, but I highly recommend. I think it’s going to show number 1 36 with him, and it is going to really hit some of the things of what we did back in 9 11 days that are carried over to now.
But we have so many more cool tools in so many more ways of messaging in summer ways of finding business that we just didn’t have back then. So it’s going to be interesting. And plus, we have to worry about the £800 gorilla in the room, which is social media and the disinformation it can help. And it can hurt, not the disinformation with social media. Disinformation hurts everybody. So our techniques of running a hotel in a time of crisis, there are several things that need to be done. I’ve mentioned with the tools this week that we need to evaluate and snapshot ourselves and start creating a daily log of action reaction things that happened, things that that way did and so forth a chronological history of what they were going through at this particular time.
Also on that your executive team needs to get together and you need to start creating a stress test to your budget, which already is happening right now. Nobody’s not to say died, but nobody’s been fired. And there’s not massive layoffs. Everything else there’s discussions and perceptions. That’s what’s going on conversation. You need to have the same conversations at your hotel. As cold as that may sound, you need to evaluate levels of survivability. How do you do this? You do this by what we mentioned last week, which is your stress.
Test your budget. You take your budget and it’s already stress test. But it’s just now. It just happened, so you saw the numbers drop. But what does that mean? Well, what you need to do is math out what that means. There’s three different ways to do it the most. The easiest is to start whacking off 10 and 15% increments of your revenue and then look by taking that out of your P NL. What ugly costs popped their head up that are too high now. Some of them are fixed and you just can’t get off of those.
Others aren’t fixed, and they need to be decided what you would do too rude to mitigate those and diminish those and then others are ones that are just They’re they’re not movable. But there’s a bigger decision involved in that usually is associated with payroll. Other ways of doing it is takeoff channels of contribution or percentages of channels of contribution. You know, what about your consortium? Purify. Tease your wholesalers? Your group’s whatever it is and then see the impact on those because they have departmental impact at that point as to what they’re doing.
The things you should definitely not do. And I don’t say this simply because I’m a marketer, but actually it is. A hotel year is don’t shut off the marketing lights. Nobody’s going to come into your hotel by not marketing. They’re going to drive by a dark building. You need to make sure your message stays in market. It doesn’t mean that you have to lower your rates. Another bad thing to do. But then, from a rate strategy point of view, you must maintain your rate strategy based on your tear representation with your cop set so that you’re not out pricing yourself for your market and you’re not racing to the basement, either.
This is marginalizing your cost of 80 armed your revenue Vedior to you, the market capabilities. And, yes, if we may mean that you have less occupants compared to somebody that’s lower rated. But you can’t lower your service is one thing we didn’t have to worry about back in 2001 was We don’t have to worry about reviews. The reviews were scattered at best. We didn’t have the social media immediate juggernaut of trolling and bad reviews and consumer sentiment and the Trip Advisors and the Googles. If you lower your service standards to cost yourself down, where you remove people that provide the service levels that maintain your review standards and you lose your review standards.
Whether this is a short term problem or a loan term problem, you will spend geometrically more time trying to recover from your review loss. Your consumer sentiment shift to negative than you would ever have lost in revenue for the time that this process of the impact of revenues happening right now, that will be a long, painful road to climb back out of Okay, so don’t lower your service standards. This is your chance to go over and take rooms out of order that you didn’t have to because you’re so busy that you can spend work on while you have that opportunity from the short term perspective. Opportunity.
Hey, this is a chance for us out of service and create internal compressions already. The second of it is that everybody that comes in this jar between up sell or even more generously, from a consumer sentiment point of view, since so few people are traveling at the moment, upgrade them and increase their experience with you so that they will share their travels in real time with reviews and their social media. So people go, wow, they’re having fun. You know, If I’m not risking other people for the uncertainties and all the other questions that are in our heads right now floating around, maybe I should go.
It gives them a chance to share that. They have been really treated well that this is a hotel that you’d want to go to because remember, in times of crisis, how you treat people has a much greater impact on their the longevity of their perception of you than the ways that that just popped in and out on their general travel experiences. When people are in distress. Kindness is amplified. So this is the time by showing kindness and sensitivity, allowing cancellations, asking if they would be willing to re book, maybe marginalizing saying, Hey, if you re book with us in the future, even if our rates go up by 30% we’re not going to change it.
Change the rate on your the rate you book does the rate you’re gonna have. So there is a future value opportunity asking them if they re book, they still have the opportunity to cancel. But keep the hope for them in that sense that you know this we might be a lead at the end of the tunnel in 60 days, or maybe even as early as 30 days. Who knows? It depends on how well this gets handled, but all of those things airways to mitigate that with your guests, keep communication open.
Keep it honest things of keeping track of while you’re doing your cleaning standards. You know, most hotel rooms, air cleaned better and certainly more consistently than our own homes rooms at home. That’s a message also, too. If you feel the need, you can admit what you’re doing for cleaning because you can ask your guests as we done with some of our guests on the enterprise arriving, saying to help come your concerns of our cleanliness and so forth, or the cleaning and the concerns of trends of contagion and what have you if you were to remove your personalized for all count, trumps and surfaces when you leave the room for the day and put them in one spot so we can work around that this is a better opportunity because we’re now doing spray detect disinfected in addition to wiping, disinfect and we don’t want to touch your honors.
We certainly want to spray anything on them and then give us a better chance to beam or, uh, diligent, cleaning all the surfaces or going over and say We’re given you ve flashlights to our inspection process as an enhancement. Because even though we clean every day, we clean high touch spaces like light switches and handles and faucets and what have you? Well, with the UV light, we might see places that we clean regularly on deep cleaning your times, but because we’re seeing it in a black way, we might see that we might want to focus on over here.
We need clean that wall. Something happened over there, whatever have you And we won’t wanna go over and clean it where we normally wouldn’t do it on but on a regular cleaning cycle for deep cleaning. Doing these things and addressing them out of concern of the of the guest makes it where we stop our cancellations. Slow down. By doing something like that, we’re gonna expand that into the public conversation. We’re gonna talk about ways to get excited about the trip from a social perspective. So you have to do all those things.
You have to do your stress test of your budget and you have to be realistic on if this has a durability to it. Beyond the short term, everyone’s optimistic. This is short. But if it turns to being longer and longer and longer, having lived through 9 11 we had to go through diminishment of first letting go people that, of course, were our extra hands. We thought we needed them at the time of me, we did. But now we don’t new hires that brought fully trained. Yes. So the loss factor is not as much, but member keep your diligence of you have to follow.
This isn’t force majeure that you just fire willy nilly. If you’re letting people go, you have to have the reasons for this you have to have. Maybe they had a citation of bad performance or something to someone that didn’t. You need to follow the same protocols on the hiring that you did. You can’t just throw those out the window and decided you can arbitrarily pick and choose who you like or don’t like and keep who you want. Other considerations has crossed cell ability. This is an optimistic time to train here, where everyone’s so busy that never had the time make your revenue manager learn front desk operations so they can check people in one.
They’re gonna appreciate the job security of knowing that they could be multitasking because not every day that you need the same level of revenue management, perhaps, and in order to keep their hours up, they might be willing to come in and step into front desk duty. Great Trunk Cross trained them to cross train other people in from other departments to do other things of your banquet group’s heir shut down because there’s just no bigger business into it. Maybe they haven’t interest in learning other Department of Service is capabilities, so they can keep their hours going.
So this is a great time to train these. These air the opportunity soon, so those are some of the aspects of it. Like I said, we could spend all day talking about this. And I certainly don’t want to think that we’re not wanting to willing to win over the course of the week’s, as this continues on will continue to address more more specifics like this in our conversation about how you can function both in short loan term, depart mentally and what have you. But that is our technique of the week basically running a hotel in time of crisis and learning where and how to find business.
And for that, we move on to the next. Now this week’s hospitality news that you should know. So news and show review. We had an amazing show. We had a privilege of having Dr Cecil Staton uh, which is the director of the president and CEO of Alcohol, which is the Asian American Hotel Owners Association. 20,000 strong on also Mr Bob Gilbert, who is the president and CEO of HSM II, which I would dare to say it probably has the same membership roster size off those that are in the operation, sales, marketing and Revenue management department disciplines globally.
There’s a just my global for all that, and they were both on the show with us. That gives you a sense of the solidarity of the messaging of this because there’s so much white noise out there. Asshole, we were joking. You know, last week there were real estate professionals. Now all of a sudden, the Corona virus professionals, everybody has a perspective on this in an opinion, and just like our podcast, there’s That’s a podcast they’re focusing in on this and Webinars and trainings and white papers in people’s opinions and conspiracy theories and so forth.
And having to industry leaders that represent well over 50% of all staff people within, or people within the industry by their membership roster ship was a great harmonious conversation. Both gentlemen were very gracious, but their time and well over an hour spending with us going through the processes of what each membership organization is doing, obviously. Ah, Ho has a arm of it, which is a lobbyist that’s very tired, too, connected with what the government is doing him, reacting to it and so forth and there talking about their season, was talking about their affected engagement.
With that Mr Gilbert Bob was talking about how we’re getting in, distributing their webinars and so forth to their constituencies to understand immediate decision processes and action items to do within the property levels and management levels of the hotel’s themselves. So really fascinating. Great dialogue. I was joined also by Mr Edward ST John’s from Flip Thio, Mr Robert Cole from Mark Cheetah, Ms Kat Mohammed, which is the director of education for a whore who was really gracious enough to actually brought sea. So to our to our discussion and Miss Lily Markham, England, with T. C. R M Revenue Management Service is and also think up service is she has to cos she operates as President CEO and then also later in the show, after we had the first hour of with Mr Stanton and a doctor stands in Mr Gilbert, we went over and had Dean Schmidt with Derby Soft amazing strategist from Medicine Search come and discuss Ah lot about direct channel chance to own that.
And then Amy and Fontaine, who was a great discussion about B two B relationships and how those air long term horizons the gaps for creating now with this have a 17 21 month window out front of it that’s creating issues. So know that this is the time that you need to pick up the phone and keep those relationships personal. Recognize their issues, treat them well. You don’t be treated to the fear on the other side of the phone. Don’t enforce by contract. To this day, there are people that remember cos that held their foot to the fire and made them pay attrition clauses and cancellation fees in full when we had the calamities that we had in 2001 and to this day will never do business with them. Why?
Because, as I mentioned earlier, kindness at this time is remembered forever. So, too, is the lack of it. So keep the heart of the servant of what hospitality means treat. The guests begets centric, can address their concerns and treat them like if you’re on the other side of the phone or other side of that conversation key element to that process. Like, say, we have two and 1/2 hour conversation. Our lead topic was really entwined in the conversation into at point. It’s entwined on our podcast today, and that is digital marketing.
The age of Corona virus. What travel brands? A need to know. And that’s a broad spectrum when I say that what’s happening with O. T. A’s and what they’re doing and not doing what brands are doing and what they’re not doing? What we is independent hotel years when I say we. But those as independent hoteliers are doing or not doing are all influential into how well we concede in the short term. Losses, long term strategy and potential gains or losses depends on how well you organize yourself and planning ahead off the crisis, not behind it.
In retrospect. So remember, you can find us on Google play apple iTunes I heart radio soundcloud stitcher, Spotify, Pandora. The list goes on to 39 different platforms that you can find us on if this is the first time you listening to us. Thank you so much. Please leave a comment. Leave a review. Hopefully, a positive one subscribed to us on whatever platform you found us on, so that you can continue to be notified when we’ve post every week. Our new podcast, both which was the current ones of hospitality marketing.
We’re launching two other new podcast with some of our other co host from the show. One of is going to be hospitality revenue management. Another one is hospitality sales, so you’ll start seeing those showing up in these platforms as well. The fun part is, is you can also listen to us on your arm and Amazon Alexa, Google assistant or Siri just simply say, Hey, whatever. Whoever it is Google, Amazon, Lex or whatever are gonna go whatever play the hospitality marketing podcast and play the latest version that’s being number 240.
But no matter which one you use, if you like the show again, please rate as police of the comet. If you have any suggestions or insights, any feedback to me you can reach me at Lauren L O R E N at hospitality digital marketing dot com, for the replay of this and all the show notes, and the other is referring to out of the show, you can go to hospitality. Digital marketing dot com forward slash podcast You look for Episode 40 and also there’s a link to all of our previous pod cast to that.
And also, please don’t forget our live video talk show when I just talked about with a great post that we get to join with us and participate every Friday at 11 30 Eastern US time. Called This Weekend Hospitality Marketing The live show Simply go to hospitality digital marking dot com. Forward slash live Look for show number 243. There would be able to walk away. Watch the recording of Mr Gilbert and Dr Staten will turn on our discussion from last week and again. We thank you for the privilege of your time, and we look forward to talking to you next week.
You have been listening to this week in Hospitality Marketing, the Podcast show 240 brought to you by hospitality, digital marketing and support of the HSMAI, the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association. International rights reserved copyright 2020