Hello everyone and welcome to Hospitality Marketing the podcast, I am your host Loren Gray and this is episode #266 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;
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Hospitality Marketing the Podcast Show 266 Transcripts (English U.S.)
Announcer — Welcome to this week in Hospitality Marketing. The podcast show number 266 with your host, Loren Gray.
Hello, everyone, and welcome to hospitality marketing the podcast. I’m your host, Loren Gray, and this is episode number 266. So each week we spent 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 a.m. Eastern US time. So with that, let’s get started now.
Announcer — Today’s new resource tool.
So our tools for review this week are on a certain track, as they always do in coordination with our technique of the week, which will follow shortly thereafter. And these are hosting tools, advanced hosting tools. This isn’t your host Gator go daddy kind of stuff, although they’re not bad. I mean, see panels on Go Daddy. I used for many years always though you are part of, ah, large audience. And even though you may have V i p status like it because I had so many domain names that I owned and so forth.
Um, you always had a wait in line, and it was always reaching out to somebody that always wasn’t your direct connect person. And they always had to go research or talk to a different department to see what was going on. And they’ve gotten worse over time as they’ve grown, they’ve diversified and segmented a lot more, and you’re not necessarily talking to such an advanced understanding user on the other side, fixer and sometimes a lot of times towards the end. Before I switched off of them, it was really talking to one person that was just a mouthpiece to talk to others.
And it was frustrating, especially when it came to business websites and so forth where you needed a solution immediately because of the problem we created, not we’ll get back to you in 24 to 48 hours, or it’ll take this much time to get this fixed kind of mentality. So with that, I stepped up and went into a platform called WP Engine. Now WP engine offers a tremendous amount of tiered services, as do a lot of them and then by all means there is a ton off hosting services out there.
The ones I would definitely stay away from our the useless ones. The network solutions, the WebEx at the web dot coms Those were just bloated, useless, overpriced platforms. I’m sorry. It’s my podcast. I get to say that. I guess, um, they charge too much to do too little and required too many things to get off of it. It’s almost impossible to break free from them once you’re in there and they charge you for everything, even to transfer your domain over to another place and hosting Oh my gosh, Expensive Beyond compare for the limited amounts of services they actually offer and bandwidth that they provide.
Definitely stay away from those ones. Host Gators. Great. It’s similar to go, Daddy. They’re affordable, as I mentioned. And there is a tiered service program. And there is that Leighton see, about who you’re actually talking to get things fixed. But WP engine is a level above, um as also the other tool that about to mention where you really have a very personalized 24 7 services. If you buy that high now, obviously I host on a business level clients as well hosting their websites and we can’t afford downtime. We can’t afford issues.
We can’t afford problems that take time to fix. We need somebody that is immediately on the program. On top of it, 24 7 personalized one on one service. And that’s something WP engine does provide. Uh, they provide free SSL certificates where a lot of these other places charge you a separate fee for those kind of things. And it’s a mandate. You need an SSL, which is a security certificate for your website that authenticates that your website is what it is, whom to its open and owns it and identifies you as the owner.
So there is this collectivity that you’re not talking to some fake site that’s acting like somebody from far distant lands. So WP engine, tremendous amount of service skills, tremendous amount of sales, skill, quality skills we bought so that we pay a good amount of money per month, toe have a very large bandwidth and very large ability to host multiple sites and great 24 7 customer service. The second tool I’d like to bring out that is a competitors There is new to the market, and that is WP super host.
Now it’s actually being offered on AB similar at the time. Go figure. I bring that up. Um, it provides a lot of similar services and a lower scale, which is why I’m throwing it into our conversation today. It’s actually more affordable, and with more storage and more bandwidth than what WP engine offers at that same level, I’m not operating with what I do at that level. So I I’m using W I bought W post Super host just to really be a backup to if I need some places to harbor low traffic, low volume websites but for the volume of traffic that my clients have and and the needs for customer service that I need.
It just wasn’t a viable option to use in that that scenario. But for if you’re creating domain that starting from zero so the traffics very low will potentially grow. WP host is a great start. They to offer SSL certificates inclusion uh, they to offer, um, the lots of great tool services for what new Web hosting needs to be and that they don’t incrementally charge you for those things. They include them in those things. That makes it very, very valuable. So my first tools WP engine dot com My second tool is WP super host dot com, and that brings us to our technique of the week
Announcer — Now for this week’s hospitality technique.
So our technique of the week as my statement of the freedom of operating your own website, why I bring this up? Well, we’re faced with a very current situation, obviously with covid and our impact on our industry, which has been devastating. And, uh, and you heard me complain about and point out that the sheer lack of support capabilities of brand and brand has failed. In my mind, it’s responsibilities to those that have paid for its value. On of that is the capability of creating your own content in your own ability to tailor your message to the uniqueness of your property.
Um, brand has failed on that. They continue to fail on it, very slow to little response from it. They’re offers are anemic. Um, you know, they’re not leveraging the brand value proposition where it comes to the usage of additional points or whether or not they’re offering beyond a covert disclaimer uh, just recently? Well, not recently. It’s been now a couple of months, but well, one month, but Mary just rolled out there. Cove in 19 module for your hotel, which was five months too late. Uh, they have nobody sitting in the chair opposite the phone.
If you were to make it. There is no internal resource is there is a disclaimer on their brand sites that indicate that due to cover their response time is zero to nil on slow at best. So ah, lot of hotels they’re looking to taken initiative for themselves are really limited. Limited to serve a few, very few options. One of them might be to create a content rich site for your destination on what I mean by this is a portal site. Uh, this is, uh, because it’s my podcast of those that Listen, uh, this is ah, kind of a gray zone area, So please be cautionary when I met.
When I use this is a recommendation, but it’s taking and creating website that features where your hotel is located and highlights your hotel. Now, of course, you’re gonna be using the booking engine towards your mother ship. You know, whatever brand. Maybe, of course, you’re gonna great links that you have in promotions that will go to if you’re speaking to those. But it gives you also a voice of opportunity for several things. One that it allows you to monitor metrics of travel and traffic that is coming to this white at this site and looking at what they’re looking at, that their interest in this gives you the latitude to put in a lot of local content.
Put in a lot of local events have put a lot of information about the hotels in that aren’t saying that you are the hotel. You’re not being the X y Z brand hotel. In location you are the X Y Z look destination website That’s being helpful to let people be aware of. Now. Of course, you’re saying, well, that’s gonna compete with CBT, DCs and so forth. Okay, measure up to what they’re doing. How are complete? Are they and how much do you have to compete to share space on their platforms with all the other hotels that are trying to do the same thing?
This gives you the chance to create your own voice. This is not for the timid, and this is not for those that aren’t willing to put the time in the effort. This is a lot of work, but the value reward of this is very profound because it now gives you a platform for people to discover what it is you want to tell them about your destination and your value proposition of your product. There I would also go so far as to say, is to not limited to you because obviously that’s self limiting.
You’re not really adding the total value proposition by just featuring your hotels perspective of things, things you start talking about that are in the market. I would reach out to your your local businesses that are just as much in need of support as you are and say, Let’s collaborate. I’ll let me bring you on to the website. Let me put in stuff information for you. We’ve mentioned this on many times before. It’s a strategy component. What you could do is a hotel you to share audience as it were.
Blend what you have is an audience with those off audiences of those that are in your market for for the restaurants and for the events and for the theater actions and so forth that are operating or have some capability of contributing with you. And it’s creating collaborative. It’s creating a kind of what the school systems air doing where if you can’t be in class and you can’t be just in viral, that they create these little pods. Self help groups is really what it looks like. It gives you the opportunity to find people.
They have a similar desire to draw attention to your market for them and you and through that collaboration, develop a voice, and that’s what building a site can be for you again. It’s a lot of work. It’s rewarding, and it’s very beneficial to you. And to those that participate with you, it’s not hard. It’s it’s. It could be a simple as a generic platform on Wix, which I would not recommend necessarily. Um, that’s too vanilla and controlled and contrived. WordPress is a great universal platform. It has a Agillion plugging capabilities and support capabilities and, ah, very easy learning curve for it.
Uh, you’re not really hurting yourself. You can learn so much from it. But the cool part is you get your own metrics. You use your own information. You get your own insights. You can create your own CRM for it that shared with others in your community. A swell that helps everyone, a saying goes. As the tide rises, so do all the boats. This would help you and others. It’s not in violation of your brand relationship. And if you’re an independent hotel, it’s even more reason to have yet another way to discover your product.
This is a universal solution for everyone, but it’s, ah, heightened solution for brand ownerships. Uh, should they take this on now again? It’s not developing a website for your hotel. That’s a brand violation for those brands that restrict that not all brands do, but most do. So you’re not creating a vanity site for yourself. You’re creating a portal destination site that features yourself in the context of your destination, along with a lot of other information that is relevant to your market. It’s very helpful, very supportive, and can help your local community in more ways than just helping yourself.
So that is our technique this week.
Announcer — Now this week’s hospitality news that you should know.
So news and show review. We had a great show. We had Melissa Cavanagh from Fuel Travel. Once again, they had their ninth Siris of the consumer the travel consumer sentiment survey on. But it was always interesting to see the Evan and Fall Evan rise. I should say of sentiment as it relates to travel interest, um, frequency of traveled, how soon wished to travel the types of people there 20 to travel the types of people that aren’t traveling.
Um, of course, being mindful that it is September 11th, we started the discussion with remembering where we were 19 years ago. For those of us that were in the industry and old enough to be involved with these things and what impact it created and what we learned from it, it was a great starting point. Then we dove into the sentiment travel, uh, study, um, interesting the numbers that she was referring to, some of the interesting numbers that popped up, which, of course, the link to their sentiment survey and all things to the show that we’re talking about today will be, of course, on hospital digital marking dot com forward slash podcast that you can download.
Ah, player or actually watch a player and all these notes and links and plus the transcripts in English and plus also, we transcribe the podcast in 11 languages. So if it’s ah in not in your native tongue, you can go over and look at the close captioning in 11 different languages based on those that air listening to us globally. We thank you for all of that. But some things were like 50% have traveled since the pandemic has started, which is interesting number. And that’s 50% of those that wanted to travel, not talking total population.
We’re talking about those people that indicated they were wanting to travel. 50% of them have traveled in some capacity since the pandemic started. Um, 30% of all current travel is last minute. We have already experienced that in our booking windows. So that’s like a thank you, Captain. Obvious. But it is a reaffirmation of what we already know. Um ah, vast majority of travel was staying in traditional hotels. We know that we were fighting this perception that Airbnb or VR beos or vacation rentals were, ah more safer perspective resource for people to use that disparity between the VAR variants between that and hotel usage is lost and gone.
Hotels have reclaimed their dominance in comparison to that, as the truth of it comes through that it is not necessarily the case. There are conditions and associations with it. Absolutely. Do they have an impact on people’s decisions of travel? Absolutely. But is it the driving force of why you would choose one over there? Over that has changed? Um, another is there is an overwhelming desire that be aware of local availability is, ah, high reason. Decide for travel that goes back Thio Just what we just talked about for tools and technique, but also what we’ve talked about before in social messaging.
Conveying what is open and available around your hotel is a critical component of why people will stay with you, knowing what restaurants and what their level of services and restrictions of service and local guidelines and and municipal laws are. Plus also, whether they deliver, pick up or what have you is a key component of whether they’re going to stay with you compared to another option. Obviously, people don’t travel even if they have to buy by my purpose. They’re just not going to stay in your hotel room.
And so on the edge of the bed, waiting till they leave, they’re gonna want to eat. They’re gonna wanna go places. And if you’re not providing food, better services, which they need to know about anyway. It’s also knowing what else as options around you as well that also gets expanded into the well. If I’m here and there’s something is there something going on that I want to go see is their attraction that I could go do And if so, what does it mean to get there? Do I have to make reservations on and on and on?
Um, the really scary number, which I want to point out to out of that conversation, is that they found out that 70% want to hear about all that information. But unfortunately, Onley 30% actually get that info. So we’re failing at our communication off that data. We’re not helping ourselves by not communicating that type of information through what mediums we have, which goes again back to our tools and technique of this week as having a portal or capability or social platform, which we can share that dialogue of that information if we can’t do it on our branded sites.
Obviously, independent hotels have greater latitude of adding it to their website. All those things need to be exercised. We’re only doing a 30% good job for the 70% of people that were looking for. Um, Interestingly, the number of from people less likely to not travel if a mask orders was enforced locally went up, meaning. If your local area requires a mask, people are saying that they’re less likely to travel to you. Don’t know. That’s a sad number considering circumstances. Maybe people are still looking for the last bastions of I don’t care.
And I want to go somewhere cause we’re still dealing with the risky traveler in the market where people who have either consider themselves immune or this is not that to the severity that they think it is. And they think that it’s something they should be avoiding by wearing underwear mask. Um, there’s still out there, and there’s still a large percentage of them, so obviously that number may reflective of that, Um, 84% of people are willing to travel now. That doesn’t mean that they are going to travel. But there is a high demand interest or latent pent up demand for people wanting to travel.
Um, figures are likely travel in the next 30 days so that people are anxious to do something that we’re reaching that that penned up feeling. I mean, I know that personally first hand is do a lot of my friends and and people that I talked thio that were passed the six month mark, so to speak. Eso it’s kind of Hey, guys, uh, got to do something. Get a little stir crazy here. So there’s a large penned up short term travel demand, obviously with safety in mind. Um, also, too, if you’re within one hour of travel, you have a 60% likelihood of traveler interest.
Meaning that, um, you drive markets to your key. And I don’t know, this sounds like a captain obvious moment, but your drive market is your short term window of get away from the house for even whatever period of. And you’re a prime candidate for that selection process. Nobody really wants to include the long term flight travel plans or even short term flight travel plans. For the most part, they don’t want to exercise long term drive plans because they still have to stop somewhere else anyway. So to get out of the house and just change pace change venue, do something different.
Your high candidate, if you’re within the drive markets, will continue that in their market strategy. Um, also a large majority. People want to travel to a small town rather than a big city again. I think it more of a captain obvious moment of affirmation of what we already know. People are less wanting to go into densities of populations and more likely to get away from more people so they don’t feel a stressed about having to wear the mask in the distancing and the crowding. And oh my gosh, there’s people coming into the restaurant and now we can’t sit 6 ft apart thing whatever, because that creates people’s insecurity of the current conditions.
And I agree with all of them. I don’t wanna be in a crowded restaurant or a group of people or people that ignore wearing mask and cities create that higher tension of, you know, possibilities that you’re gonna be facing that so small towns distancing, spacing, all good stuff. Um, also to there was some short discussion that transit ref part was down by 40.7%. A group of farmers down 79. 3% thes all numbers. We know we know we’re in the bottom of a pit right now and you know, to say that we’re happy that we’re close to a 50% percent occupancy on average, but the A D R s.
So although ah, lot of hotels are not financially margined to operated those levels and we’re seeing that as the obituary list grows of hotels that have failed or permanently closed because they’re financially on insolvent to maintain operations on that za shame the hotels that had a bit of a financial war chest or and or had Ah, good margin ing as to what they’re operating as can operate that thes for a period of time, but not for their entire life duration, which has changed our budgeting a tremendously this year to a zero option budgeting program so that we’re looking at sustainability, not profitability, and that creates a different scenarios to prioritization of channels, conversions and dollars spend.
Um, because we are in that budget season. And if you’re going to be making a budget similar to how you made it last year, you are going to fail because you can’t really base it on those things anymore. Um, we did, uh, gosh, Medicine made a search in today’s environment we had a great conversation about that is always was continuation from last year. Last week’s discussion very lively. Positive discussion between Dean Smith and Stephanie Smith was a fun discussion to continue on with as well. The news article I’d like to bring up is one that we did not have the opportunity to discuss on the live show, and they came from focus wire and that was breaking out of the silo.
How hotels can be defined commercial success. Um, really great, fascinating. Kind of like, Yeah, we’ve been saying that for a while, but this is the reality of it. We’re faced with the fact that we are under the assumption or belief that nobody’s gonna be investing in something new, a k a technology that will allow us to be more responsive and more sensitive to the variations of revenue management requirements and the integration of revenue management. with all the other disciplines. We talked about this convergent things and and and for those that know me, I have been on the road for many years, 33 cities and counting That used to do for hs Maya’s rocket program, which was literally, literally revenue optimization.
Convergence Education Training, which was talking about the practical integration approach. Data sharing step by step KP sharing common goals, common language convergence between revenue management, marketing and sales and, additionally, eventually, and also the problem of operations accounting and R N h. R. And so it is a matter of certainty that you cannot be siloed revenue management. Back when we went through 2000 and eight, we realized that we needed to be better at understanding our sources of business, our clientele from those sources of business, their demand cycles from the sources of business, the information about those where those sources of business are and their motivation for travel, and that stayed on the marketing side.
Revenue management had to get better back then as to how to yield what the price capabilities were for those segments, but they didn’t talk together. Now we’ve learned that they need to talk together. Data that marketing is be using is invaluable to revenue management. Data that revenue management is using is invaluable to marketing sales. That data that they’re aware of in the capacities of what they could draw and bring into the conversation are invaluable to the other two. Without that combination between all three of those and Mawr, you’re not going to get out of this successfully.
Well, you’ll limp at best and fail it like most likely so putting this convergence of all these things together and realizing that you have to invest because six months from now to eight months from now, 12 months from now, whenever the emergence of this demand for travel is allowed toe fully come into play into the market from where we’re going to think it’s to be from surveys like what fuel traveled has done and so forth. We need to be able to predict where it’s coming from, what amount of money they’re gonna be wanting to spend at what rates for what durations and how to communicate with them.
Well, all those questions are in different disciplines right now. If you haven’t converged them together and finding the technology that is under development with a lot of companies right now to better do that job, to draw in the information from marketing, to draw in the information from every management, to draw in the information from sales and create a singular understanding of what we’re doing is critical for when that market emerges and we’re ready and prepared for it. And that’s what the article really pointed out to is when it is bringing out the style hotels can redefine commercial success is really talking about coordinating and collaborating those disciplines and those in pieces of information in a way that is truly useful for everyone as we get into the markets that are going to require that kind of information so that you have with that is our news and show review.
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So I don’t want to take over those numbers. Those air live shows numbers so used to referring to those also, um, if this is your first time hearing this, of course, please subscribe to us on the platform that you most like comfortable use may be the one that is that you discovered us on. If not, you can always go to hospitality. Digital marketing dot com forward slash podcast. They’re Look for show number 266. There will be a player of the podcast there, plus all of our show notes all the information.
Use all the links associated with what we discussed. Also, a great list that, um, Robert Cole, from Archie to prescribe Does is a list of each week for us so that we have a very well curated list of information that is relevant to the hospital in the industry for the week. That will also be on there. If you’d like to subscribe for free to his to his newsletter, you can do so at bit. Lee b i t dot l Y forward slash uh, rock Cheetah All lower case no space that you could go over and keep up with all the the list that he curates The weeks Robert is a phenomenal data scientist that works with Focus wire as well as J D Powers and a lot of other very esteemed name throwing companies.
Uh, that we can put out there also, too. Don’t forget our live video talk show that you could join and participate in each Friday at 11:30 a.m. Eastern US time called This Week in Hospitality Marketing the live show simply go to hospitality digital marketing dot com forward slash live There you can go over and see all the episodes that we do each week for their and also to sign up for future episodes as well. Thank you for the privilege of your time and we look forward to talking to you next week.
Announcer –You have been listening to this week in Hospitality Marketing the podcast show 266 brought to you by Hospitality Digital Marketing in support of the HSMAI, the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International. All rights reserved copyright 2020.