What’s on the Minds of Marketing Leaders?

By Juli Jones, CAE, Vice President, Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI)

HSMAI’s Marketing Advisory Board (MAB) held its annual retreat last month to identify the most pressing issues facing hotels on the marketing front, and outline plans to provide marketers the insights, tools, and best practices they need to address them.

Marketing in a Digital World: While originally founded more than a decade ago to help the industry navigate the then new digital marketing ecosphere, today’s Marketing Advisory Board has an expanded scope, focusing more broadly on “Marketing in A Digital World,” as opposed to just digital marketing. So, in addition to tracking new issues on the digital front, the advisory board advises hotel marketers to broaden their own areas of focus as well.  Key aspects of marketing to stay abreast of on- and off-line include:

  • Public Relations
  • “Traditional” offline channels (e.g., in-hotel marketing, on-property collateral, print, TV, radio)
  • Loyalty
  • Branding
  • Experiential marketing
  • Social
  • Alignment with sales, revenue optimization, and distribution
  • Attribution modeling
  • Campaign tracking
  • Full-funnel media strategies
  • Integrated marketing
  • Local market-based marketing
  • Reputation management

Top issues and disruptive forces: What are the top issues and disruptive forces facing hotel marketers today? MAB members identified:

  • Competition that owns their own technology (like Airbnb)
  • Rate parity and meta (especially when it comes to Google)
  • Keeping up with governmental regulations
  • The economy — prepping for a potential downturn, and setting rates responsibly to protect brand and rate integrity
  • Getting to a precise calculation of ROI on marketing initiatives
  • Gen Z — adapting to and keeping up with them
  • The convergence and confluence of disciplines and stakeholders throughout the revenue generation, capture, and optimization cycle
  • Consumers’ consumption behavior when there are many, many channels from which they can choose
  • Consolidation via mergers and acquisitions on both the hotel company and technology partner fronts
  • Attribution modeling — being clear on what is being measured, having internal alignment, learning from other industries, and sharing best practices
  • Loyalty — friction/lack of convenience is a problem that hotels must overcome
  • Getting clean data — it is hard to get data you can trust when owners’ investments in technology and other related tools and initiatives are often short-term focused
  • Keeping good talent

Look for the Marketing Advisory Board to address these and other issues at the HSMAI Marketing Strategy Conference on Jan. 22 and in other initiatives throughout 2020.

Categories: Marketing
Insight Type: Articles