During a Recovery Connections session on Nov. 18 — part of HSMAI’s Road to Recovery 2020 program — Fuel’s Stuart Butler, Milestone’s Tammie Carlisle, and Sassato LLC’s Dan Wacksman, CRME, joined Wyndham Hotels & Resorts’ Jessica Davidson to discuss how to maximize and measure marketing efforts.
Find attribution models that work for you: “You’ve got to make sure you understand the attribution model and understand the purpose of it,” said Butler, Fuel’s chief operating officer. “The purpose isn’t to have 100-percent precision in decision making. It’s to inform the decisions you make so that you’re smarter about it than you would have been without the data. It doesn’t matter what model you use as long as you understand it, you use it, and you’re consistent with it. I’m a fan of having multiple attribution models and knowing their strengths and weaknesses. As long as you’re educated on what they mean, you can come up with a mix that works for you. You’ve got to be comfortable with it — don’t let other people tell you what they did.”
Know how to build a case to stakeholders: “It really boils down to knowing what your KPIs are and what’s important to ownership,” said Carlisle, Milestone’s head of hospitality. “That way you can go into these conversations and say to them that you want to spend X amount of money and what you anticipate the return being. Know those numbers upfront and ask those questions. Vanity metrics are great, but impression share doesn’t grow your bank account. It can help lead people down a funnel to purchase, but at the end of the day you have to understand what’s important to the owner, and most owners don’t care about impression share.”
Be bold and look at coming out of the crisis ahead: “It’s this dichotomy, where now is the perfect time to try new things and make big changes, but you probably have limited staff and budget,” said Wacksman, Sassato’s principal. “The hotel is in survival mode, so what are you going to do? I like the expression ‘Fortune favors the bold.’ In any downturn, you always look back and say I wish I had the guts to try that thing, and now is the time to actually do it. You may have to do it with some constraints, but you still can do things. You need to be more aggressive in marketing, but be comfortable the results might not be immediate, but it will plant the seeds for you to come out of this a lot quicker than everyone else. One of the key challenges is convincing the GM or owner that even if something won’t achieve immediate results, it will position us better when things do come back.”
Recovery Connections is a weekly program with sales, marketing, and revenue optimization tracks that mix best-practices presentations with interactive small-group discussions. Sign up to watch a recording of this session, access an on-demand library — and register for the next session, “Pivoting to Survive: The Customer Perspective on Sales Innovations in the Covid World,” at 2 p.m. EST on Dec. 2.