The e-commerce role at a hotel can be difficult to define and often falls between the gaps. So where does it lie? With the sales and marketing team, or with the revenue management team? As it requires skills from both departments, a collaborative approach is usually the best mix.
A common definition of revenue management is “the right product, available to the right person, at the right price, at the right time”. If we bring this back to “marketing 101” with the 4 Ps of the marketing mix they are price, product, promotion and place. If we look at this in the context of the 4 P’s:
• Right product = P2
• Right person = P3
• Right price = P1
• Right time = P4 (channel and segment mix)
Many believe that revenue management and marketing are considered to be opposite skills – one analytical, the other creative – there is a lot the two disciplines have in common and working together can help to make a hotel more profitable.
Five Questions for a Revenue Manager to ask a Marketing Manager
1) What data do you have on our target market?
Google Analytics holds a wealth of information that could help a Revenue Manager in decision making i.e. it could be as simple as we see traffic peak in February but more bookings in March – could this help with pricing decisions? Google Analytics also hosts information on audiences and personas that could assist Revenue Managers in coming up with new packages.
2) What are our timelines?
What kind of timelines does the Marketing Manager need to put an effective campaign in place? After all, the coordination of a campaign can take time – from preparing artwork with your graphic designer to getting the campaigns set up on the right platforms and databases to getting in touch with media outlets; the list is endless! If the Revenue Manager is concerned about bookings for a certain period, when should they alert the Marketing Manager to start working their magic?
3) What are we talking to the public about?
What was our most recent press release? Will this generate demand? Did we offer anything as an incentive to book or highlight a specific USP that might increase demand for that service in the hotel, i.e. ‘our Spa has the best back massages’. The price point for the hotel should also help to reinforce the brand messaging if the hotel is being described as luxurious in copy it should be reflected in the rate.
4) What are our KPIs?
A Marketing Manager may be performance measured on website traffic, the ROI for paid campaigns, database growth whereas a Revenue Manager may be measured on RevPAR, ADR, RGI, occupancy rates etc. The common denominator is that they are both working towards the same goal – guest bookings at an optimal rate. Bringing together each disciplines perspective on achieving their KPIs would definitely go a long way in achieving the goal of driving guest bookings.
5) How successful was our last campaign?
Coupled with the KPIs above did we go out with the right offer at the right price point? Was this the right business for us to get at that time? Did our message align with the guest experience? Collectively reviewing the campaign could lead to more successful campaigns in the future.
Five Questions for a Marketing Manager to ask a Revenue Manager
1) What data do we have on our guests?
Revenue Managers have access to the third party extranets which can provide a wealth of information – their demand, pick up, where the guests are coming from, lead time etc. All this could assist with targeting in future campaigns.
2) When are our need periods?
When does the hotel need business, i.e. historically you may be fully booked for the May bank holiday weekend so advertising money does not need to be spent on this time. A sub-question to this could also be, ‘we’ve filled the May bank holiday weekend but where have our guests come from, is there an opportunity for channel shift to get the business at a lower cost?
3) What are the barriers to booking?
This may be more a question for the reservations team but when people phone the hotel to enquire about booking the hotel, what are they hesitant about, what makes them not book? How can the marketing messaging be adjusted to address this?
4) When do we see the most pick-up?
While this relates to the second question, this helps a Marketing Manager be more proactive in planning campaigns for the future. They may look at business on the books for June and think that the hotel is in need of more bookings for that month but a Revenue Manager may know that the biggest booking window for June is May so there is no need to be concerned (just yet!). This should tie in with the Marketing Manager keeping the Revenue Manager informed on how long campaigns can take to roll out.
5) What channels are we selling on?
How is your brand being portrayed on other channels? What imagery and copy are you using? It is an idea to hold back some more iconic imagery for exclusive use on your own channels as third parties will use the imagery you provide them with to promote their platform.
Revenue Managers and Marketing Managers have a shared goal: to keep the cost of sale down by driving direct business. The most successful customers we have here at Avvio ensure their Revenue, Sales and Marketing departments work collaboratively and have aligned their goals.
Work with a partner like Avvio’s award-winning digital team who focuses on the important areas for your property, keeps you updated on the key advancements and continues to develop your digital strategy in line with your goals.