How Hotel Brands make Marketing Budget’s GO Further – Coupling Strategy with Execution by Outsourcing
Hotel owners and investors are moving into 2021 with tighter budgets and more operating expenses than ever and are exploring how to make their hospitality marketing budget stretch as far as possible. Everyone across the industry is cutting unnecessary costs and seeking transparency for where they can get the highest ROI for their dollars. Where brands cut and furloughed employees through 2020, they are now preparing to ramp back up for 2021with high hopes of tourism bouncing back alongside consumer confidence as the vaccine is distributed.
However, for those seasoned marketers that were let go, coming back to an unstable industry is less than appealing. Reluctant or having moved on to utilize their strengths and apply their marketing strategies to other sectors, the hospitality industry is now thin when it comes to knowledgable talent that can satisfy hoteliers and investor’s high demands with limited resources.
Reverting back to the old strategies, Sales & Marketing Plan, and customer experiences that were SOPs for hotels pre-COVID are no longer an option in the new landscape where consumer’s digital savviness and expectations have advanced and are evergrowing. As we support international brands, hotels and resorts, we are seeing a recurrence in what these brands’ currently support v. what their new and expanding expectations are of this role and we have some insights that you might relate to.
With a Director of Marketing (or seeking one) Our Clients are Experiencing:
Issues Finding Competent Talent (& Innovation)
+ The Talent Pool is Slim & Scarce. Brands with enough properties kept their excellent marketing directors and many of those that didn’t have moved outside of the industry.
+ A Limited, Specialized, Localized Focus. Their tiime is spent with On-Property initiatives, membership programs and closing sales with a short-term emphasis. instead of building brand value, equity and reputation effectively for more long-term gains.
+ Creating & Overseeing the Sales & Marketing Plan. These are the hotel marketing strategies they then manage with an Agency of Record to design, create, manage and get reporting of the agency’s efforts.
Limited Marketing Budgets
+ Low Occupancies Leaves Little Profit for Marketing. Brands with the Marketing Budget are having to divide resources to pay internal employees, their marketing agency and execution spend atop their SaaS solutions & tech stack.
+ Need the ROI to Go as Far as Possible. While some reports provide direction for what marketing efforts are most lucrative, the transparency and insights to drive the marketing strategy is not there or competitive enough. Unclear on where to spend resources they are stopping spending altogether.
+ Unaware How Best to Leverage Current Assets & Network. Strategically handicapped with how to use the existing assets, list, partnerships and network through these times, these resources are untapped revenue centers.
Traditional (& more so Ineffective) Marketing Tactics
+ A Flat, Outdated User-Experience. Unengaging content, unintuitive website design and non-dynamic or flexible campaigns create experiences that don’t convert. People are seeking a digital experience and information before ever getting on-property and they gravitate to those that offer this seamlessly.
+ No Dynamic or Flexible Roadmap. Driven off the old Sales & Marketing Plan that is more a paperweight than a dynamic strategy, many are using antiquated techniques and modern software solutions that are handicapping their effectiveness and results.
+ Working in Silos with Minimal Holistic Integration. Marketing and Sales aren’t aligning strategies and tactics to achieve property goals. The result is less RevPAR and repeatable results to drive profits.
Losing to Established Regional Competition
+ Branded Properties & Portfolios Outperform Them. While they have regional knowledge this doesn’t benefit the companies growth and equity as much as effective hospitality marketing strategies across a niche of an industry. Companies in the area have an edge and gain market share and RevPAR.
+ Push Deals & Offers instead of Building Brand Value. Set with the intention to fulfill monthly goals and sales targets, their priority and efforts go to these sales initiatives, instead of competing by building a valuable and attractive brand.
+ Don’t Position or Price Them Fairly in the Market. Focused on group or event sales and marketing and on property initiatives, some brands don’t price or position themselves as competitively as they could in the destination losing guests and profits.
A Lack of Transparency & Repeatable Results
+ Access to Limited Data & Resources. Hotels are not getting the data they need from partners or subscription services dedicated to agencies to help influence the decisions they make.
+ No Data Background or Broad Industry Experience for Insights. Even when they do have the right data many do not have the experience of working across a dynamic set of hotels, geographies and multiple campaigns worth of experience to leverage the insights and learnings for effective strategies from the data.
+ A Narrow, Hyper-focused Perspective. With limited insight into one property, demographic or area in comparison to global industry trends, many internal Marketing Directors have specialized knowledge about a marketing category that keeps the company static without much room for innovation, new strategies and tools.
If brands continue to leverage and pursue this internal marketing support and specialty, they are surely going to be behind the curve of the rebound and lag in their adoption of travelers as the tourism market rebounds. For those that seek more progressive strategies, engagement with travelers and marketing strategies that attract and engage consumers they will be the first to garner the market that is seeking to travel and maintain high rates for doing so. Those that implement some of these techniques but not to the extent or quality their local competitors do will have to be satisfied with lower occupancy rates, room rates, durations of stay and lean on OTAs to fill inventory.
At SoCap, we have proposed a unique marketing strategy for independent and boutique hotels as well as emerging luxury brands to leverage themselves; hiring a Fractional CMO in lieu of hiring a Director of Marketing and Sales for their business or property. While this progressive approach might be too innovative and forward-thinking for some, others are viewing it as an opportunity to have their overall marketing budget be performing better with an experienced hotel marketing agency that is also able to execute and oversee the strategy, and otherwise, internal marketing director would devise at a fraction of the cost. For those hoteliers with emerging luxury brands that seek alternative marketing strategies that prioritize performance, we invite you to explore the benefits of outsourcing your marketing needs versus hiring internally to oversee and report on your marketing initiatives.
With a Fractional CMO Brands can Expect to Benefit by:
Specialty Industry Knowledge & Experience
+ Diverse Learnings & Insights Translate to Better Results. A broad range of industry learnings are able to better drive performance across more effective messaging and positioning, online user experiences and call to actions, multi-channel integration, campaign development and more technical skills like A/B split testing.
+ Integration Across Departments Drives Profitability. Aligning marketing’s goals and strategies alongside Sales to adapt rates & Revenue Management relations drive more profitable results.
+ Innovation & Partnerships Boost Performance. Agencies have additional dedicated resources and partnerships to explore, evaluate and test the emerging technologies on the market. Bringing the best to their clients, empowers their clients to save that energy for other initiatives while they still benefit from the new tech.
Beyond Leadership, Direction & Vision.
Get Experience, EXECUTION & Results
+ Divide and Conquer to Put Everyone’s Efforts to the Highest and Best Use. Allow your on-property team to utilize their time and resources where they are best harnessed with things like local photos, case studies, sales and partnerships. Meanwhile, your agency of record or fractional CMO can strategize and execute campaigns at their optimal performance for the best results.
+ Design Strategies & Seamlessly Execute Them. Aligned with your internal vision, they can develop a hotel or resort marketing strategy and tactics that fulfills short-term demands seamlessly with your team.
+ Constant Focus & Agility Toward Goals. Daily the team and various departments are overseeing the campaign’s performance and adjusting with the team, instead of having limited time and purview from solely one person.
Progressive & Performance-based Marketing Stretch Scarce Budgets
+ Increase Spend on Execution of the Strategy. The performance of a campaign goes up when the same marketing budget goes to more execution from people to ads. Limiting the redundancy of multiple strategists, the salary and benefits internally now go to drive bookings.
+ ROI Effectiveness Enhanced with Reporting & Insights that Drive Strategy. As an Agency of Record, a Fractional CMO is able to have more agility with the subscriptions and tools coupled with a team that can derive more insights from multiple brands to influence the changes for a more successful strategy.
+ Seamless Integration Across Marketing Outlets, Tactics and Techniques. Collaborating internally with one Project Manager to oversee the execution of the strategy, there are more people and less effort to quickly stand up integrated campaigns for your hotel or brand.
Enhanced Transparency, Reporting & Insights.
+ Agency Tools & Subscriptions Provide More Detailed Reporting. Commercial subscriptions to multiple SaaS solutions are more accessible and provide more sophisticated learnings, functionality and insights than a hotel or emerging brand can afford & leverage as an agency team can.
+ Broad Experience Translates Better Insights & Campaign Adjustments. Data insights across multiple brands and international properties that can be layered for deeper learnings from agency tools optimize performance & conversions.
+ Alignment & Integration Across Brand & Departments. Align and better leverage Marketing, Sales & Revenue Management Reports for sustainable tactics. This Hospitality Commercial Strategy is able to achieve more repeatable results, be more agile, more integrated for the brands profitability, growth and sustainability.
Being Long-term Focused.
Long-term goals and aligned efforts to drive revenues and profits with the foresight to drive reputation, brand equity, and pricing for long-term dividends
+ Strategic Growth to Build Brand Equity through Tactics over Time. Having developed the strategic roadmap for growth across multiple brands and locations, Fractional CMOs and their Agency of Records are able to leverage experience to ensure short-term and long-term growth goals are met.
+ Gain Leverage in Expansion & Acquire Cash Cheaper. Crafting the story of a model for sustainable success, brands can finance loans cheaper with the leverage of a profitable growth strategy.
+ Exit & Sell at a Higher Multiplier. In creating more value for the brand, we can position the acquisition to be more profitable for both buyer and seller, creating a transaction that is significantly above market value.
Each brand must be able to access and weigh which of these approaches, benefits and resources are more valuable to them. Our invitation is merely that as consumers and the industry progresses, does it make sense to reevaluate how your team works towards goals, better performance and collaboration in new ways?