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Forget Powerpoint. The Why, How, and ROI of Real-Time Reporting in Hotel Marketing

Ditch the Meeting-Killer PowerPoint Reports. Want Sign Off On Your Hotel Marketing Programs? Present Real-Time Metrics that Matter to GMs

Your monthly marketing presentation is next week and it’s time to step up your game.

However, you encounter this all-too-familiar scenario: your marketing meetings start strong. You talk about property strategy, cost reductions, bookings and OTA revenue, but then the meeting veers off course. Suddenly, you’re deep in the weeds explaining that one irrelevant data point that’s captured your GM’s attention and shifted the mood in the room.

What started as a conversation about the larger strategic vision for your hotels morphs into “Why does X hotel have more Instagram fans than we do?”

Before you seek permanent refuge in a cold, dark room, know that this scenario could have been avoided had you considered tailoring your meeting-killing PowerPoint to an executive audience.

In a joint study conducted by Salesforce and LinkedIn, executive leadership relies on two metrics to determine the success of your hotel marketing strategy: revenue growth and ROI.

The Tension Between Marketers and Executive Leadership

Yet, in a Fournaise Group study, 63% of marketers “don’t include any financial outcome when reporting on and presenting marketing results to their CEOs and top management.” As a result, 70% of CEOs don’t trust their marketing team to grow their business.

However, misalignment often presents trust-building opportunities. As hotel marketers, we have tremendous access to real-time data and powerful revenue and cost efficiency insights that can be gleaned as a result. Now, you have the ability to show how your work generates top-line revenue growth and/or cost savings. In today’s economy, not only do marketers have to understand and predict the needs and wants of their guests, but they also have to translate their customer’s voice to business use cases, projected revenue, and justifiable expenditures.

In a 2012 Fournaise Group report, 69% of CEOs believe marketers reside deep within their social and creative bubbles, focusing “too much on parameters such as likes, tweets, feeds, or followers—the very parameters they can’t really prove generate more business-quantifiable customer demand for their products and services, and the very parameters judged “interesting but not critical” by CEOs.”’

In short, CEOs believe marketers lose sight of the larger objective of getting dollars in the door.

The Power in Getting the Right Data to the Right Audience

Your marketing reports should never be a one-size-fits-all solution. The metrics that are key to customer retention are markedly different than the GM’s priorities. So, trotting in a report that contains your latest social media fan count may not be the best solution. Executives are myopic in nature, and tend to view divisions as revenue or cost centers.

In an interview with McKinsey, Philips Healthcare CEO Deborah DiSanzo reiterates the power of presenting the right data to the right team: “The most important thing for a chief marketing officer is to have the data, the facts, and to be eloquent in presenting them. If you are to be trusted, you need to speak with authority. Make sure you speak in terms of marketing plans with a return on investment.”

Presenting a customized report to your GM can go the distance in garnering trust, which opens the door to pursuing agile programs and strategies that bear a larger calculated risk or longer return. In Saleforce’s 2016 State of Marketing Report, “83% of high-performing marketers have the executive team’s complete commitment to their marketing strategy”—that’s nearly 3x more than underperforming teams! If your performance reports home in on how your programs align with your hotel’s business objectives (e.g. increased bookings, greater market share), and you’re able to communicate how you’re using your marketing dollars efficiently and effectively (demonstrated through ROI and ROAS), you’ll strengthen your relationship with management.

Here are four key metrics that will pique your GMs interest:

1.    New/Repeat Customer Acquisition: Show the percentage of guest bookings (or repeat bookings) that occurred as a direct result of your marketing tactics. You can either show % of additional bookings or any increases in revenue generated by new and prospective guests. For example, say you had a guest stay at your property last year. This year, your marketing team offers them a 25% discount off their stay and a free welcome bottle of champagne. The guest redeems the offer and stays 2 days longer than their prior visit, incurring additional revenue in meals purchased and booked excursions through the property.

 

2.    Projected Revenue Contribution: Once you’ve demonstrated your department’s positive revenue impact, you can outline future programs that aim to generate new bookings or customers, which can be sourced by your team or influenced by it. This could be in the form of third-party partnerships (synergistic brand partnerships or additional OTAs), email marketing and guest re-targeting, etc.

 

3.    ROI and ROAS: ROI (return on investment) and ROAS (return on asset spend) are probably the most powerful data points you can present to leadership as it is a direct assessment of the performance or your marketing tactics. ROI and ROAS show where dollars are allocated most effectively and the relationships between marketing channels that serve to make spend more efficient. They’re also a healthy predictor for budget planning, resource allocation, and go-forward marketing plans.

 

4.    TripAdvisor Sentiment Score: We know that TripAdvisor has become tablestakes when it comes to vacation and hotel planning. High ratings drive consumer confidence. Marketers can directly demonstrate their impact on sentiment through TripAdvisor influencer partnerships, email sequences triggered after checkout encouraging reviews, and through indirect measures such as brand messaging and campaigns, which shifted or elevated the perception of the property.

A Real-Time Data Dashboard Can Drive Impact

Hotel Heartbeat cuts time-consuming tasks by aggregating your metrics into one dashboard. Imagine a customizable, 360° view of your hotel’s media and PR intelligence, social analytics, marketing metrics, reviews, and more in real-time, in one place, on any device. The days spent weeping because you presented a PowerPoint that was a meeting killer? Over. The hours spent on customizing reports for execs? Gone. You can create one report specifically for them, which they can view in real-time on any device.

Now you can get back to what matters most—building relationships with your customers and standing apart from the pack.

Want to learn more? Book a demo today. 

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