HSMAI PERSPECTIVE: Defining Success in the New Market

By Robert A. Gilbert, CHME, CHBA, President and CEO, Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI)

Tomorrow’s KPIs are the subject of a lot of speculation — including at HSMAI’s upcoming Global Curate event.

“What one or two key performance indicators are you most closely watching to measure your company’s success today?”

It’s a loaded question if ever there was one. Among the many things that the pandemic has disrupted throughout the hospitality industry, how we measure success is at the top of the list. That’s why it’s so important to figure out — and why determining the most relevant post-COVID KPIs is the focus of our upcoming Global Curate program. (Learn more from our interview with Lori Kiel, chair of HSMAI’s KPI Workgroup and a presenter at Global Curate, in this month’s issue of Executive Insights.)

In advance of Global Curate, we put this question about KPIs to participants at our most recent series of Executive Roundtable programs for brand and HMC sales, marketing, revenue, digital, and loyalty professionals. This is part of our ongoing effort to figure out how the pandemic has changed the industry and to develop resources that will help sales, marketing, and revenue professionals respond. The chart below highlights key responses from our Executive Roundtable participants, who are tracking their companies’ success with a mix of traditional and situational metrics:Traditional metrics always have their place — with Executive Roundtable participants continuing to use classic KPIs such as RevPAR (revenue per available room), occupancy level, volume of leads and conversions, RGI (revenue generation index), EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization), GOPPAR (gross operating profit per available room), and ROAS (return on ad spend).

Situational metrics — adopted on the fly in response to the pandemic — often include traditional KPIs that hotel companies are now looking at more closely or with more frequency, such as traveler confidence, cancellations, and search engine trends among travelers. They also include less-tangible factors such as employee health, the importance of listening, and dedication to clean initiatives.

What our Executive Roundtable conversations made clear is that there is remains a great deal of uncertainty around what KPIs will be most relevant to sales, marketing, and revenue optimization as we emerge into the post-pandemic hospitality market. If you’re a registered contact for an HSMAI Organizational Member company, you should have received an email invitation to Global Curate — meaning you can help us figure that out; check the event website for more information. If you can’t join us, don’t worry: We’ll be sharing the result of Global Curate with the entire industry.

Categories: Marketing
Insight Type: Articles