Hello everyone and welcome to Hospitality Marketing the podcast, I am your host Loren Gray and this is episode #270 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 Podcast Show 270 Transcripts (English U.S.)
Announcer — Welcome to this week in Hospitality Marketing. The podcast show number 270 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 270. So 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 a.m. Eastern US time. So with that, let’s get started!
Announcer — Now today’s new resource tool.
So our tools for review this week one is actually a repeat tool that we have brought in. Uh, now it’s been a few months ago, but it’s relevant again to bring into the discussion, and another one is new to our discussion today, but relevant to our technique as well. And the first one I like to talk about is a platform I use pretty persistently actually use both of these. Um, it’s called mind manager. Now my manager is a platform to create basically work flows funnels, connective it ease.
Picture back in the day when you used to use, uh, conditional logic strings where you come to your first decision. Is it read, or is it blue? If it’s blue, it goes off on its own string of conversation. If it was read, it would be another string of conversation like On and off Switch is conditional. Statements my manager creates those for you. Say it can do things like infrastructures. You know, your your management tree, your logic strings. It creates a lot of programs and and specifics as to how things relate to each other.
It’s very robust in the sense of what it could be used for. You can put in time schedules, tags, notes, conditional statements, work charts, Gantz. It does a lot of thought processes and and the reason why I enjoy using it so much is instead of getting on a white board and creating conditions like, Okay, here we are. We have this choice. What’s this choice? Yes or no? If it’s yes, what is it we have to worry about? And then you break that down into a decision tree after that, and if it’s no, it’s on its own other decision. Tree.
Uh, this one is a visualization tool that could be sure between your team members and allows you to follow the construct of. If it’s this situation, what are our options? And then from those options, what our other options and how do they connect to each other? And now they conditional, Like if we get to this point in the decision, is it connected to another decision? Should we have to go back to another choice? Eso It creates great visualizations, and what’s really useful and beneficial about this is that it could be shared within the team.
So it’s just not one person trying to think through the process. Thistle is a shared doc, so to speak that allows you to collaborate, and people can contribute and add to it and create different visualizations to it. And consider it like in the logic string, where you have processes and you have decisions and from those decisions is results and from results creates conditions and on and on and on, much back in the old computer programming days, where you used to go over and put together what the program did.
Program choice one option a option B okay from option A, you know, situation. Step two. Is that a decision, or is it just a result? And it really creates a great visualization to that. The other tool, which I will bring back to our discussion, is one that I used quite frequently for funnels. And this is guru G r u dot com. Now this one is phenomenal. When it comes to creating funnels of conditional revenue generation, you can add the sources of business. You can add the results of the sources of business and the traffic associated with them.
The conversion values of it, the dollars spend. You can add cost to each of the steps in the process and from doing it. You then can go over and determine whether or not you’re on a cost productivity line. When you’re in a cost lost line, you can create multiple scenarios to compare each other again, saying okay, now that I’ve created this sales funnel, let’s say this is what the platform amusing this is the volume of people have reaching. This is the conversion of expecting this. The cost for me to have done that what’s my cost of acquisition.
Where’s my bleed? Where is it that I’m losing my money potential? Because there’s too many people that I’m not connected to at this particular stage. How can I go back and re identify them or retarget them or reconstitute communication with them? And it creates great things like email flows, re triggers for retargeting and add content retrieving when it comes to add types channels phenomenal when it comes to testing your financial capabilities without actually having to spend the dollars based on the historical conversions that you have and then the hypothetical conversions you might possibly have if you better or worse.
So you can create conditions like if our conversion went down, how would that impact this funnel? If our conversion went up at this particular stage? How would it impact our funnel? So it allows you to create a lot of different scenarios without having go through the process of discovered by actually spending real money to do that great great tool for creating financial flows, cost flows, funnels of all types and variations through all scenarios that really will help you with what we’re about to talk about in our technique of the week
Announcer — Now for this week’s hospitality technique.
So I think the term from our technique of the week is gonna resonate with me on a couple of conversations, both on the live show upcoming as well as possibly a white paper and so forth. Because it resonated with me when I came up with it, and it goes to the times that we’re in right now. We’re, of course, are in budget season, and as such for budget season, we should be at the tail end of what we plan on doing four finances for 2021. Unfortunately, we have a lot of different numbers to work with this year.
We have the historical prior to cove it that are anticipated business and revenues were going to be. Then we have our six months minimum data associated with Cove it for those that stayed open or for those who even who closed and what it meant for an impact of finances. Eso We have six months of covert and the impact on their industry, which we know has been devastating, and it continues to devastate us, and it’s you can ask any person they’re gonna have a different opinion is to what we think is the reemergence. What?
We’re gonna look like one of the sources of business, one of the channels of business on and on and on. Everybody has an opinion as to what we think we’re gonna be coming into and from our current scenarios with Cove it. But my technique of the week I’ve turned in as spend to survive or spend to thrive. Which are you one are you doing? And I say this in contrast to people that I’m dealing with those that are my clients, those that aren’t my clients, those that are asking for advice so that we deal with on the live show those that we dialogue with on presentations and seminars and webinars and on and on and on.
There seems to be at least two camps. There are those that are looking to harbor their finances whether the storm, so to speak, batten down the hatches, uh, survive through the process by absolutely minimalist expense and to basically keep themselves on life support, hoping that by doing so they will retain enough liquidity and financial capability that when the market where they’re located begins to show signs of reemergence in some way that they could take advantage of that. They have the financial capabilities to step into that market and begin to reestablish their business footprint and voice within it.
Then there’s the others that are taking boldface attempts to be a scree Ativan possible and as innovative as possible, and find ways in which to thrive even in the current environment. Adaptive ways of generating new business in different channels, seeing what channels are still able to contribute to their business, and for those that aren’t not to waste their time on, or at least to keep in bay. Variations of what they would be doing for marketing as it comes to that particular channel should begin to emerge back again, either which way being in the budget season, both of these air considerations that need to be understood both from a self preservation point of view and also from ability for emergence and voice and Brandon Market uh, there is no right way to this.
This isn’t one over the other. There are markets that are totally under the the burden of not emerging in the near an imminent future, and no matter what you would do to do whatever you could in your market? Will you find enough business to actually do the business you need by the money that you spend that just to return on? Investment isn’t there. There are other markets that are in a quandary there, up and down, based upon the ups and downs of what we’re facing with with co vid ups and downs is, to the perspective perception of their of their destination in comparison to other destinations.
And so as such, they have hot and cold opportunities. They chase after business when the sun shining and quickly hide when the business and weather turns poor. When it comes to not people coming to your market, we’re all filling in some ways, that sense, because all markets have gone through hotspots and ons and offs and closures and shuttering Z and then re emergence and then partial re emergence. And you look at every flavor in our country so far as to some places that allow certain percentages other markets that don’t allow any percentages.
Some places that are from the companies that are within that market are not doing any business that requires hotels or even for that matter restaurants. So we all have our different variations to this. So there again, there is not Oh, you should only spend to survive. Or you should only spend to thrive. There are variations and middle grounds to this, which is why we’re talking about this now. Because in budget season we need to make these decisions as to how we’re planning for 2021 which means, But I was back to are a bit of a tool discussion with my manager dot com and Jiro dot com.
They’re two different tools that can augment our conversation as to how we are looking at future tense. We can’t take the numbers that we had prior to co vid and simply say, Oh, well, when we get back to the business that we used to have these numbers that we relevant and yet we can also not take the past six months of numbers and saying we’re always gonna be in this type of market. So we have to realize that we have to survive on whatever scraps of business that we can and thio survival of the fittest and to not spend money where there’s no money to be made.
Uh, there is a mixture between the two of those. There is the emergence Market is, well, there’s the potential that the market won’t retain itself in the way it is now. It will change in the future, tense out, be it not and may be eminently but in a few months longer, so forth and so on. So you may need to have more survivalist mentality for a period of time that transitions into more of a thriving mentality as time goes on. After that point with different segmentation is and different channels that air contributing to your business.
So with that in mind, you need to have a budget that is both flexible, variant, dynamic and based on survivability, which is zero option budgeting and also on thrive capability, which is channel optimization, return on investment capabilities of percentage, voice and market gathering. And to that end, I would say on the thrive perspective, you need to have that type of budget that says, should we see rich pickings, so to speak, a channel that can provide good quality content business for us, then have a plan ready to pull the trigger on that?
Do you take off the shelf and you know what you’re going to do. You know what you’re going to spend, You know what you anticipated Return on is you know what your value of that is. You know what you should be offering on that market is you already have the collateral that is needed for that particular channel. Whether it’s visual, whether it’s text text, whether it’s rate, whether it’s date opportunities, where the length of state fences for arrival, departures, wherever the variations are, you need to have a plan and prep for that.
Budgets now aren’t just about the numbers of contribution from top line flow in generalities toe all the cost ings associated with the departments that air engaged with the operations of the hotel or the restaurant, you have to look at what those variations of top line revenue are and the impact of what the survivability or usability of the different departments are with them being prioritized, even forced ranked as to which ones get the money’s first compared to the others. And what is what levels of survivability there may be that some departments cannot keep certain numbers of people within their infrastructure if the revenues are not at a certain level.
This all has to be calculated out in your current budget acumen to know what it is at what level you could survive at what context for all the departments that are used or could be used or may not be used through what process of survivability or thrive ability within the future tense. So because of that, using tools like my mansion, where you get to map out the flow of what you think is going to happen using things like G rou, which will work through the scenarios of what it would take to go over and maintain revenue revenue business is based on certain channels and so forth.
Will you then create really ah, book of a budget variations, highs and lows, mid streams, different types based upon flexibilities of what the changing landscape the ever changing landscape would create for you. So because of that, it’s very important to think about the spectrum of what your budget has to cover, not just the attainment of, well, we have some plans of what the money is there gonna be, Uh, let’s just put, you know, Jen Realities back in the day where we used to have 4%. Everything changed the data on the book to be in the current year and slap it back up on the shelf until next year.
We had to redo it again. Those days are gone. Now it comes to ownership. Needs to understand how is it going to be able to maintain their notes there, fixed overheads, their costs of actually maintaining the asset. And then we have to look at the operational costs. What is it that was gonna take for us to do these things in the long term context, short term context, current context, all those air variations that have to be mathematically calculated to know where our survivability czar, where are thriving capabilities are and which ones you’re doing?
So that is our technique of the week.
Announcer — Now, this week’s hospitality news that you should know.
So our news and show review for the weekly live weekly show that we had this week. We had ah lot of fun. We actually had a guest co host Peter Russell, who it was the director of operations Excuse me, operations director at Russell Partnership Technology, based out of London in the UK and he was on with friend Brass Oh, dear. Near and dear friend of mine that I spent many a many a time with traveling for H S m ai During the Rocket Prasit programs, which was theory, revenue optimization, convergence education and training programs went to 33 cities throughout Canada and the U. S. Uh, preaching the gospel of convergence between revenue management, market marketing and sales.
And Fran has, uh, decided to step in and help the Russell Group and bringing their new product to market, which is a new way of creating budgets for hotels. Uh, in a very short brief time. 20 minutes to be exact on most instances that are highly accurate and useful when it comes to basically knowing what you’re gonna be doing for budgets, which lends itself to what we’re talking about today, really, which is being able to understand your financial perspective is what’s going forward in the future. Um, the idea that having a flexible, highly adaptive, multi use budget that creates multiple scenarios because, as we talked about earlier, you just don’t have one path with this.
You don’t have just Oh, this is our budget for 2021. Everything is great. We’re using. You know, the numbers that we need. There’s no other numbers to use. You have to create motive Aryan scenarios. You have to create conditions. You have to create what ifs. You have to look down pathways of funnels like we talked about, like the tools we talked about earlier with mine manager in gear. Uh, we have the techniques of whether or not you’re You’re in a conservative perspective financially, which is spent to survive.
Are you in an aggressive market presence and ability to try to build business, which is a spend to thrive? Um, thes. All go to being able to build constructive budgets that have the impact of what your financials mean to your top line revenues being filtered into your operational costs. That is no easy task for any of us that have done budgets. It is a arduous task. It’s not as simple as plugging in one number, and all the other numbers magically change where, in this case, this tool from wrestle technology actually does that you can create variations to your top line revenues.
You can create variations into your operational departmental expenses and you can see the flow through issues that are created, whether you have funding for certain departments based on their percentage criteria, it does really cool, uh, ways of looking this. We also have Dave about from Salt Hotels. Owner Felt Hotels with us as a spokesman are already using the product and being very, very happy with the fact that it creates for adaptive perspective as to variations on budget. We all know that daily. Our perspective on our markets are constantly shifting the demand, the the the operational expenses to it through the urban flow of the workloads that we have, the labor costs, the operational costs, the additional costs of PPE products and so forth all have financial impacts on what we have to plan for.
There’s nobody that wants to go over everyone shortfall of cash flow and find themselves into a debt situation. And if they are in a debt situation, how much money do they have to incur in the debt situation to maintain operational capabilities? Also, with us as guest co host were Adele Gutman from Reputation uh um not management. Marketings could be aspire reputation marketing, to be exact. Dean Schmidt with, uh, base Camp Meta and Meta search marketing. He does both the platform availability for people from research, and also we will handle the meta search for companies.
And he’s building a name unique platform that allows for individual hotels to operate their own medicine to on Google, which is highly needed since most hotels don’t even think about getting the message because they see themselves as one off they can’t afford the financial commitment to get into a lot of these third party channel controllers that require usually large upfront money is to be able to do so. Uh, this allows them the affordability of stepping in and being able to be at least on the largest entity within the meta search space, which is the Google Hotel Finder.
Also with us was Ben Handley, with three and six marketing. Edward ST Onge would flip to and Stuart Butler also with fuel travel, um, great dialogue both on the budget side of things as to what goes into the process of budget use and the flexibility of budget use, which ah, lot of times it’s a you consider be possibly a dull thought like oh, who want to talk about budgets now, more so than ever. As we mentioned earlier in the podcast, we’re in that budget season already. We aren’t they to historical tail end of the budget season.
Yet I know from so many people’s perspectives they’re no closer to a solution of their budgets than they were at the beginning of August. There’s such uncertainty level that we’re dealing with in such an uncertainty level and change in market. They were constantly figuring out that no matter what our best laid plans of mice and men are, we find ourselves automatically throwing and wanting that up and tossing it into the waste basket, because everything that we based it on has in some way changed well. This tool then tools like this, which there’s nothing like this one in particular from Russell Technology allows you to adaptive lee, change budget scenarios.
It allows you to look at variations as we talked about. So imagine combining that with a little bit of what we talked about earlier, with mine manager mapping out your strategy G rou mapping out your funnel opportunity and return on investments and value propositions of strategies for marketing and the cost structures associate with and then taking that information and plug it into a tool like this from Russell Technology that allows you to go over and adaptive Lee. Look at what This type of cash flow scenarios. What your actual operational expense breakdown would be like with that kind of cash flow.
Very powerful tools to use for it. We, uh, talked also with Peter as to what their future road maps are about putting it into the cloud and actually including other A p I interfaces. Being able to look at it at at influences within the market strategy on the budget process in the future tense so that you’re not having to manually enter in the variations. Some variations can actually impact your budget to know that that’s diminished revenue source. What does that do to your budget? This is an increased revenue source that what does that do to your budget?
Some really cool future roadmap ideas that they have. But right now this is their initial launch of their initial product on highly recommended. Of course, the notes and links associated with the product will be available in the the show notes. Actually, there’ll be a link for a 20% discount on it plus is also very affordable. I think he was mentioned it was in the 4 to $500 range for $50 or something like this, us to get this, which is very affordable, very well priced. This is an invaluable tool that once in you can consistently and persistently use it.
It’s not like, Oh, you have one shot at and then you have to keep you buying it. This is very affordable, very useful. Excellent price point to this, especially for what you get is a result from his usability of it so highly recommend that you look at to that. And then I said on the show notes there is a link for a 20% discount so that you can try it for even less. We also talked about how some companies are changing what they’re doing. Uh, that we’ve never done before.
And our example to this was global passport by Citizen M. We talked about the fact that this and then came to the market with the idea of saying, Look, we’re only gonna sell 1000 of these premier pipe memberships. They allow you for Ah, certain number of nights stays per month for a year, which comes down to about $50 a night and includes breakfast includes all these benefits to it and so forth that any of this isn’t and properties globally. We think that they’re going to sell well beyond 1000. They only proposed that they’re selling their 1st 1000 make it a lucrative and and enticing for limited offer capabilities.
But we feel that this is an interesting avenue of discovery, of looking for future tense sales with current price offers. We’ve seen this in people trying gift certificates, which have been highly successful. We’ve had guest host that talked about hotel bonds in which people could buy money. Now spend money for a hotel, and it goes up in value in six months than you have now, a higher value that you could redeem with a hotel for a stay. We’ve looked at these variations where hotels in the cash flow now, but may not have the current demand, now can sell something now that gives them the cash to maintain operational expenses.
But in the future, tense have a redemption value that is rewarding to the person that took the investment in. So we had great conversation about that which was Global Passport Party since them again the link to that topic, courtesy of Mr Robert Cole with Rock Cheetah who sends us a very well curated list each week. If you’d like to sign onto his free list, we constantly say that you can do this. So by going to bid Lee B i t dot l y four slash rock cheetah all lower case no space that you can sign up.
It’s a great list, uh, completely pregnant to that week in hospitality. What’s going on that effects potentially your business and news that that that can affect what it is that we’re doing each week and with everything changing literally each day, if not each week. It’s a very highly sensitive and good ear to the ground when it comes to things that you need to be considering. As you keep making plans in the forward tense, so do you have it? Remember, you can find us on Google play apple iTunes I heart radio soundcloud stitcher Spotify, Pandora Tune in the list goes on and on to 39 platforms and counting to be exact or even on Amazon.
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And, of course, for an archive of all of our previous podcast, you could go to hospitality digital marketing dot com forward slash podcasts. Um, there you can find this show on all previous 269 again. All the show notes and links that we referred to in our conversation today will be there the tools and everything so you can get all the information as a follow up to our discussion off the podcast There. Also don’t forget our live video talk show that you could join and participate in every Friday at 11 30 Eastern US time called This Week in Hospitality Marketing The Live show.
And for that you can simply go to hospitality. Digital marketing dot com forward slash live. Our latest episode was also 270. Go figure, uh, you could go back and listen to the entire episode I referred to in our recap of the show review for this week. So again, thank you for the privilege over 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 270 brought to you by Hospitality Digital Marketing in support of the HSMAI, the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International rights reserved copyright 2020
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