Sales Metrics for ROI & Recovery in 2021

As hotels bring back sales teams, it’s more important than ever to measure the things that matter most to business recovery. HSMAI’s Sales Advisory Board suggests the following metrics to track at the property level to ensure sales is delivering effective, efficient, and measurable outcomes.

Special thanks for this project goes to the advisory board’s analytics workgroup –

Amy Infante CEO, GitGo, and chair of the workgroup; Raghav Puranmalka, Consultant, ZS; James Harris, CRME, Executive Director, Sales, Major Accounts, Pegasus; Ed Skapinok Chief Marketing Officer, Makr Hospitality; Gissell Moronta, CMP, Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Atrium Hospitality; and Paula Zeller DVP, Sales & Marketing, Remington Hotels.

Being a Sales Hunter, Part 1: The Essential Checklist

HSMAI’s Sales Advisory Board (SAB) is developing resources to help hospitality organizations that are gearing up to bring back staff and hire for new positions, including sales hunters. The SAB created a three-part series to help sales hunters improve their skills and increase their value to organizations — beginning with this checklist.

Sales is not always about who you know, but who knows you. This checklist of best practices can be used by hotel sales leaders, directors of sales, catering sales, and others to develop prospecting skills — and harness the ongoing process of uncovering new potential customers, contacts, and community networks in order to create a stream of passive sales.

Use this tool as part of your regular process to reveal missed opportunities for new business, expand on current business, and create top-of-mind awareness in the minds of your contacts. No matter the tactic, it is essential to be genuine in all communications. Do not be overly scripted or fake. If you are, your efforts will fall flat.

How to Hire a Vice President of Sales

HSMAI’s Sales Advisory Board (SAB) is developing resources to help hospitality organizations that are gearing up to bring back staff and hire for new positions, including vice presidents of sales. The SAB has drafted this job description template to use as a starting point for the sales vice president role.

JOB DESCRIPTION TEMPLATE: Vice President of Sales – Group

SUMMARY

The vice president of sales will lead the development and acceleration of the company’s non-transient commercial strategy, designed to maximize group, meeting, and conference revenue. This role is anchored in sales strategy and execution, which will serve as the foundation for driving a successful sales plan for increased group, meeting, and conference revenue. The VP of sales will drive, execute, and strengthen this new sales strategy, and help the business to evolve its sales strategy as needed. This role will also be responsible for the strategic positioning of the properties for B2B and group activities. The VP of sales will also directly manage national sales managers and have a dotted-line reporting relationship with each hotel’s director of sales and marketing.

SCOPE OF RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Grow New Group Business:
    • The VP of sales’ objective is to drive national sales managers to hunt new group business, focusing on associations and event planners in the assigned region, and to leverage the full portfolio of hotels to be able to grow group revenue.
    • They will be responsible for driving this strategy and driving incremental group revenue including room nights, conference space, and food and beverage.
  • Sales Roadmap:
    • The VP of sales will be responsible for advancing the group sales roadmap, modifying direction if necessary, and aligning resources and cross-functional interdependencies to execute on the strategy.
    • The VP of sales is a strategic-doer and must be able both to think provocatively and strategically to advance group and meetings business, and to assist in closing large national accounts as necessary and to work with lodge teams to evolve event delivery processes and procedures.
  • Drive Sales Performance:
    • The VP of sales will develop, execute, and track performance of group sales programs and processes for existing and new properties. As markets and hotels vary, it will be important for the VP of sales to understand how to create metrics and rhythms that make sense across the enterprise and on a local level — linking performance management and measurement to individual accountabilities.
    • This role facilitates sound decisions that balance the business’ need for local customization with the benefits of company-wide practices that leverage the company’s scale and reinforce consistency across regions.
  • Sales Department Communication Rhythms:
    • Working closely with the broader commercial and revenue management organization, the VP of sales will create communication rhythms with sales teams, GMs, and other stakeholders to ensure that the communication of strategies is consistent yet flexible to adapt to changing conditions and that plans for implementation and execution are clear and include solid measurements of accountability.
  • Drive Trough Occupancy Strategy:
    • Ultimately, the objective of the VP of sales is to maximize occupancy and revenue during trough revenue periods through driving group business during non-peak times.
    • The company is uniquely positioned within the market for groups and meetings, with an inverted demand on inventory leading to weekday trough periods. As need periods vary by location, a quick ramp-up is essential to understand revenue cycles and offerings by location.
  • Innovative Offer Development:
    • Linking to consumer research, brand positioning, and transient guest demand, the VP of sales will elevate group and meeting product offerings. While strengthening the core products of room, conference, and catering revenue, they will leverage the brand and in-lodge experience to develop a broader array of products, services, and experiences such as corporate team-building workshops and family-/school-oriented events and parties.
    • By deeply understanding the needs and expectations of the segments of our target group guest, the VP of sales will unlock new value and stimulate incremental demand to drive organic same-store profit while shaping future development and existing lodge renovations.
    • Although the role will focus on driving revenue growth in core areas of rooms, conference services, and catering, the VP of sales will also be tasked with harnessing the unique attributes of the brand and each property’s amenities to grow average spend per guest. They will partner with a cross-functional team of marketing, revenue management, and operations leadership to evolve pricing and packaging.
  • Functional Leadership:
    • As a member of the senior management team, the VP of sales will create relationships with sales teams, RVPs, GMs, and other leadership.
    • The VP of sales will advise properties of ways to continuously improve sales effectiveness and efficiency through product, people, process, tools, and technology, and will advise sales teams on all sales standards and operating procedures.
    • The VP of sales will create a performance-driven culture enabling professional growth of existing colleagues while attracting high-performing industry talent.
  • Establish and Implement Processes:
    • Processes for clear communication between sales, event fulfillment, and guest services will need to be further developed and maintained to ensure the company consistently over-delivers on sales promises.

PERFORMANCE AND SUCCESS MEASURES

  • New group sales and revenue
  • New group catering revenue
  • Increased trough revenue
  • Increased Revenue Per Available Room (RevPAR)
  • Guest satisfactions for attendees and event planners
  • Building of sales talent pipeline
  • Positive working relationships with team and other senior leaders

REPORTING RELATIONSHIP

  • [List title and bio for the person this position reports to]

KEY INTERNAL RELATIONSHIPS

  • Chief Commercial Officer
  • SVP, Revenue Management and Chief Analytics Officer
  • Corporate Director of Revenue Management
  • National Sales Managers
  • Sales Directors, Sales Managers, and Sales Coordinators
  • General Managers
  • Corporate Revenue Management Team

EXPERIENCE BASE

  • Similar Verticals:
    • The VP of sales will have prior experience in a multiunit business in highly competitive, fast-moving verticals such as hotel, resort, restaurant, travel, multiunit retail, entertainment, financial services, or media.
  • Large and Small Companies:
    • The VP of sales will have experience delivering results in leading sales organizations, in both large and small company environments. The key is that they know how to stretch precious resources — money, headcount, and time.
    • This is often more about attitude than experience, and candidates need to demonstrate they are resourceful and comfortable in an ambiguous and fast-paced environment.
  • Customer Experience and Consumer Insights:
    • The VP of sales will have experience understanding a company’s target consumer and positioning offerings to drive heightened guest satisfaction, greater brand loyalty, and increased profitability.
  • Sales Market Strategy:
    • The VP of sales will have experience with all activities related to conceptualizing and implementing national sales strategies and achieving the sales mission and objectives while protecting and building the brand.

SKILL SET

  • World-class hospitality sales and sales operations skills — technically and operationally proficient
  • Creative and influencing horsepower — smart, out-of-the-box thinking, and a magician with building relationships
  • Collaboration — works with peers across many functionalities
  • Innovative and creative thinking, balanced with pragmatism
  • Listening skills, minimal ego — listens first and then responds
  • Complex, solutions-focused problem-solving skills with hands-on ability
  • Organizational skills and attention to detail
  • Ability to stretch people and money and compress time

PROFILE OF IDEAL CANDIDATE

  • Highly resourceful
  • Agile and can adapt quickly to a changing environment
  • Financially and strategically minded and able to close the right business
  • High degree of emotional intelligence
  • Strategic doer
  • Visible, respected, and inspirational leader
  • Flexible and adaptable
  • Results-oriented with keen selling mentality
  • Enthusiastic, with pride and passion for winning
  • Impressive work ethic
  • High level of integrity and trustworthiness

How to Audit Your GDS Info

HSMAI’s Marketing Advisory Board Tactical Workgroup has produced a series of resources directed at helping hospitality marketing professionals drive revenue recovery. This one focuses on best practices for auditing the information you share on global distribution systems (GDS).

IT’S IMPORTANT BECAUSE …

Global distribution systems (GDS) enable transactions between hotels and travel agencies, giving them 24-hour access to live inventory and rates. They provide hotels global reach for relatively low costs.

To optimize your GDS-produced revenue — as well as the potential for revenue — audit your hotel’s information in every GDS where it appears. Ensure that content is up-to-date and consistent across the GDS.

STEP BY STEP

The following best practices by content type are a helpful guide:

1. Photography Requirements and Details

  • Up to 25 pictures can be displayed in the GDS/ODD channel in the highest possible resolution.
  • Maximum of seven photos for each room type (the photos should show distinct differences in the room types).
  • Resolution of photos should be 300 dpi.
  • To resize images, consider using a free image editor such as PicResize or Pixlr.

2. Property Description

  • The hotel description serves as the opening statement to a travel agent utilizing the GDS to sell your hotel and to potential guests.
  • Include the key selling features.
  • Agent reading time is short, so descriptions should be interesting, detailed, and inviting, yet objective and concise.
  • Description sections are typically limited to 500 characters.

 3. Property Information

  • Allowable special characters are limited to the following: period, forward slash, and hyphen; others will be removed.
  • Include basic property details, such as:
  • Name
  • Address
  • Website
  • Phone
  • Time zone
  • Number of rooms
  • Check-in/checkout time
  • Currency
  • Agency commission percentage
  • Latitude and longitude (see Google Maps for assistance determining this)

 4. Lanyon Property Type and Rating (if applicable)

  • Where options are provided, choose the best one.
  • Include AAA Diamond rating, Mobil Star rating, OHG rating, RAC Star rating, etc.

 5. Location of the Property

  • List airports in order of proximity to the property.
  • Include airport name, three-letter code, and distance from property.
  • Don’t forget to include applicable regional airports for business travel.

 6. Directions

  • Provide basic directions to your hotel from multiple different geographic map points.
  • Directions should be simple, clear to understand, and stick to major thoroughfares rather than local shortcuts.

 7. Property Amenities

  • This is typically a checkbox within your distribution system.

 8. Hotel Policies

  • Deposit policy: If you have multiple deposit policy periods, they need to be listed separately. An example of a deposit policy is “All reservations require credit card deposit of 100% of stay due at time of booking.”
  • Guarantee policy: If you have multiple guarantee policy periods, they need to be listed separately. An example of a guarantee policy is “All reservations require credit card guarantee due at time of booking.”
  • Cancellation policy: If you have multiple cancellation policy periods, they need to be listed separately. An example of a cancellation policy is “Reservations must be canceled 24 hours prior to arrival to avoid a penalty of one-night room and tax.”
  • Terms and conditions: Include any additional information. For example, is your property completely nonsmoking? Depending on the GDS, there may be checkboxes in this section to attend to as well.
  • Pet policy and deposit (if applicable): For example, “Pets allowed,” “Pets allowed free of charge,” etc.
  • Additional services and fees: Check all that apply (for example, “Early checkout,” “Late checkout,” “Extra adult,” “Rollaway,” “Valet parking,” etc.).
  • Include all accepted payments, taxes, surcharges, and fees.

 9. Room Type Details

  • Each GDS returns 15 to 20 room/rate combinations on a general search.
  • Create simple, clear room types that promote the value of the offering.

 10. Inventory Best Practices

  • Create and load meaningful descriptions of your rooms. Properly defined room descriptions convey the value of your rooms. Higher room types need to say clearly why a client should pay extra for this room.
  • Use the sequencing functionality to sequence your room types from lowest class to highest class.
  • Load inventory as far out as you are allowed, or at least 18 to 24 months out.
  • To comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act, properties can:
  • Include the word “accessible” in the room type name as applicable.
  • Describe a room’s features in enough detail to reasonably permit individuals with disabilities to determine if the room meets their accessibility needs.
  • This applies to all room description fields.

 11. Room Type Name

  • The GDS limits the total number of characters to 43.
  • Room names that are more than 43 characters will be truncated on the GDS.

 12. GDS Seamless Room Description

  • Include room type details and key selling points.
  • The maximum number of characters allowed — including spaces — is 47 per line for up to two lines.
  • All details will appear in all-caps and without punctuation.
  • Bad example:

HIGH FLOOR ONE KING BED NON-SMOKING ROOM

AND CONNECTING ROOMS ARE AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST

  • Good example:

EXECUTIVE RM DBL BEDS HSIA AVAIL LUXURY LINEN

PKG LG BATH AVEDA BATH PRODUCTS 320 SQ FT

 13. Room Amenities

  • Include room amenities using the GDS checkboxes.

 14. Property Level Rates

  • Best available rate (BAR): Daily rate and typically default. There should be no rate that is lower unless it is qualified or fenced.
  • Negotiated rates: These are defined as confidential rates contracted with a specific company restricting the access to certain travel agencies. There are GDS loading instructions for each of your negotiated rates. Check expirations.
  • Consortia rates: Consortia rates are typically entered in a different place.
  • Packages (if applicable): Due to the limited number of characters allowed in the description field, packages should be simpler and more easily defined as a value (for example, “Room and breakfast”).
  • Load all room types against your BAR rates (including suites). Set no more than 5 to 6 public rates.
  • Sequence your rate plans. The recommended order is 1) BAR, 2) discount/promotional, 3) package. The recommended rate sequencing is lowest rate to highest rate.

 15. Rate Plans

  • Each standard and negotiated rate plan is entered separately. Where options are provided, choose the best one.
  • Rate plan name (as you would like to display to your customer): The GDS limits the total number of characters to 43.
  • ID-required plans: These might include government, senior citizen, travel agent, and AAA. Add a comment to the GDS “Rate Plan Description” field, such as “Must present special ID upon check-in in order to receive the rate.”

 16. Rate Plan Policies

  • Only needed if there are different or additional policies from standard.

 17. GDS Negotiated Rate Loading (if applicable)

  • This may be different depending on the distribution and GDS platform, but typically applies to Sabre, Galileo, Worldspan, and Amadeus.

 18. GDS Rate Plan Description

  • Maximum of 47 characters including spaces per line — including spaces — for up to two lines.
  • All details will appear in all-caps and without punctuation.
  • Include rate plan details, key selling points, or restrictions.
  • Examples:
  • FREE PARKING BUFFET BREAKFAST
  • 20 MIN MASSAGE 15 PCT COMMISSION
  • GOVERNMENT ID REQ AT CHECKIN
  • NON-COMMISSIONABLE

19. Dining Options

  • List restaurants located on or near your property in order of importance.
  • Where options are provided, choose the best option.
  • Include room service and hours of operation.
  • All text will appear in English only.

 20. Meeting Rooms

  • This information pertains to onsite space only.
  • Include number of meeting rooms, total meeting space, largest and smallest room space, and largest and smallest capacities.

 21. Recreation

  • Select and provide details of all recreational facilities available to the guest (for example, golf courses, health club facility and equipment, swimming pools, etc.).

 22. Safety Features

  • Check all the safety features applicable to the property.
  • Some GDS may ask for COVID-19 safety procedures.

 23. FEMA ID (if applicable)

  • This can be helpful when booking government business.

 24. Property Services

  • Check all services applicable to the property.

 25. Reference Points

  • Reference points are used as search qualifiers in the GDS to locate properties near a location.
  • Where options are provided, choose the best option.
  • A minimum of 10 reference points is recommended.

 26. Marketing Messages

  • Available in Sabre, Apollo/Galileo, Worldspan and Amadeus.
  • Carries by distribution system.

Special thanks to TravelClick for providing many of these best practices.

How to Hire a Sales Hunter

HSMAI’s Sales Advisory Board (SAB) is developing resources to help hospitality organizations that are gearing up to bring back staff and hire for new positions, including sales hunters. The SAB has drafted this job description template to use as a starting point for the sales hunter role.

JOB DESCRIPTION TEMPLATE: Sales Hunter

SUMMARY:

Prospect for new and needed period business, and negotiate and book group room nights and meeting space (set at specific goals) to meet and exceed guest room occupancy, guest room average rate, exhibit hall occupancy, exhibit hall revenue goals, and booking pace goals. Develop relationships with new accounts to ensure repeat bookings and referrals.

ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Increase opportunities to book maximum number of room nights, room revenue, and total square foot usage.
  • Increase hotel’s ability to maximize annual occupancy with a focus on business from [insert need period] of each year.
  • Develop relationships with targeted companies and prospect for new business.
  • Conduct site tours and familiarization trips.
  • Establish good working relationships with other departments.
  • Ensure continuity of flow for clients and work with conferences for a seamless transition post-booking and throughout the events.
  • Book businesses with best possible ADR and banquet F&B, keeping budgeted figures in forefront.
  • Travel to industry functions [list industry shows] to develop new business contacts and sales leads.
  • Develop and maintain effective relationships with [list brand, management company, and/or owners] with a focus on developing new contacts and new accounts.
  • Other duties as assigned.

QUALIFICATIONS:

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Education and Experience:

  • Bachelor’s degree preferred.
  • Six+ years of hotel experience and four+ years of sales-related experience required. Sales experience in [insert markets] markets preferred.
  • Experience in proactively building in-person sales calls.
  • Experience in trade-show connections, pre-, during, and post-show.
  • Experience selling [insert description of property — think about addressing size of hotel, number of guest rooms, amount of meeting space, chain scale, and property type (e.g., full service, select service, etc.)].
  • Proven track record of acquiring new business.
  • Creator of long-lasting relationships.

Skills and Abilities:

  • Persistence: Able to be persistent in a professional and positive manner.
  • Language ability: Able to read, analyze, and interpret general business periodicals, professional journals, technical procedures, and/or governmental regulations. Able to write reports, business correspondence, and procedural manuals. Able to effectively present information and respond to questions from groups of managers, clients, customers, and the general public.
  • Mathematical ability: Able to work with mathematical concepts such as probability and statistical inference, and fundamentals of plane and solid geometry and trigonometry. Able to apply concepts such as fractions, percentages, ratios, and proportions to practical situations.
  • Reasoning ability: Able to define problems, collect data, establish facts, and draw valid conclusions; interpret an extensive variety of technical instructions in mathematical or diagram form; and deal with several abstract and concrete variables.
  • Computer skills: Knowledge of [insert software and systems with which you require experience (e.g., word-processing software, spreadsheet software, accounting software, payroll systems, development software, internet software, database software, contact management systems, etc.)].

SUPERVISORY RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Shared management of one sales assistant.
  • Carry out supervisory responsibilities in accordance with the organization’s policies and applicable laws.
  • Responsibilities include interviewing, hiring, and training employees; planning, assigning, and directing work; appraising performance; rewarding and disciplining employees; and addressing complaints and resolving problems.

WORK ENVIRONMENT:

  • The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
  • While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently exposed to outdoor weather conditions. The employee is occasionally exposed to work near moving mechanical parts and risk of electrical shock. The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.
  • The job involves this amount of travel per year: [insert percentage of time and/or total number of days].

PHYSICAL DEMANDS:

  • The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
  • While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to sit and talk or hear. The employee is frequently required to stand and walk. The employee is occasionally required to use hands to finger, handle, or feel. The employee is occasionally required to lift and/or move up to 30 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, peripheral vision, depth perception, and ability to adjust focus.

TOP PRIORITIES:

  • [List priorities for first 30 days.]
  • [List priorities for first 60 days.]
  • [List priorities for first 90 days.]

Why Content Is Still King

HSMAI’s Marketing Advisory Board Tactical Workgroup has produced a series of resources directed at helping hospitality marketing professionals drive revenue recovery. This one focuses on the continued importance of content.

Content matters. It represents one of your hotel’s key “salespeople,” available to guests whenever and wherever they are along their purchase path. Whether your guests are dreaming, planning, booking, experiencing, or sharing, content performs a vital role in the process.

Given the extreme volatility of the past year, hotel marketers have had to adjust their content — among other things — at a rapid pace. Key features and amenities that were once the hallmark of your property may have changed, possibly for the first time ever.

Ensuring that you have updated and complete profiles online assists with your placement on many sites and informs prospective and returning guests about your property’s amenities and features. Plus, at a time when staffing levels have been reduced, front-desk agents have been asked to cover more areas of the hotel. Having correct and complete information in your online profiles can reduce call questions for your front desk or call center.

PRIMARY SITE

Your branded and/or standalone website(s) should be the official repository of information on your hotel. Ensure that all information is as updated and complete as possible. While branded websites have clear sections and bulleted areas for listing amenities, standalone sites may not. Think about the key areas and items that bring guests to your hotel and ensure they are fully represented on your site.

OTA/THIRD-PARTY SITES

In addition to your hotel’s primary site, third-party sites must be kept up to date. Your placement on an OTA’s search results are absolutely affected by the completeness of your content. Some third-party sites even have a “completeness score” to flag for you what is missing from your profile.

Reviews also affect this sort of placement algorithm. If your listing contains misinformation or lacks clarity, it can result in poor reviews, which can drive down your placement as well.

SOCIAL MEDIA

While the amount of specific content may be less on social media sites than on traditional listings, the content should be still be as complete and consistent as possible.

STEP BY STEP

Make sure your guests know what to expect, and work to improve your standing in search results:

  1. Your first step should be to work with your operations team to identify any changes in amenities or service offerings.
  2. Then audit every site where your hotel appears and update information on any amenities that have changed. Ensure that each listing is 100-percent complete.
    • Note if pool and fitness center hours/availability are affected by local ordinances or staffing levels.
    • For F&B outlets, answer important questions including: Is your onsite restaurant open? Is the restaurant open but the bar closed? Have the hours changed?
    • For F&B offerings, are you no longer offering breakfast buffets but still offering a hot breakfast?

108 Terms Every Hotel Sales Professional Needs to Know

Can you define the term “displacement analysis” off the top of your head? What about “EBITA” or “FFO”?

As silos in hotel organizations continue to erode, and as sales professionals engage at a higher level with owners, asset managers, GMs, revenue management teams, and marketers, they are increasingly expected to demonstrate their knowledge of the sales discipline as well as operations and other functions. If you want to further your career in hotel sales, you need to brush up on your business acumen. One easy way to do that is to sharpen your understanding of the acronyms, jargon, and terminology used in and around the business of hotels. It will help you strengthen your skills, build your reputation as a knowledgeable team member, and form the foundation for your future success.

Check out the list of terms that HSMAI’s Sales Advisory Board identified as being crucial for every hotel sales professional to know.

The Voice of Revenue Managers

ZS and The Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI) have partnered to develop this Voice of Revenue Manager (VoRM) study to better understand how Revenue Managers are allocating their time. Among the key findings:

  • Less than half of RMs time is dedicated to revenue generating activities (49% on average)
  • RMs spend on average 5 weeks of full-time effort on RFPs and 6 weeks of full-time effort on budgets (between 8-17 weeks total on just these two activities across chain scales)
  • RMs spend about 76% of their weekly time on non-stakeholder facing activities and only 18% of time with stakeholders. 13% of their week is spent updating the many systems they interact with, and only 5% in revenue strategy meetings.

The following resources are available:

» Study Press Release: ZS and HSMAI study shows hospitality revenue stumbling blocks

» Feature Article: Are revenue managers spending enough time actually generating revenue?

» Study Reports:

  • Full Report
  • Chain Scale Breakdown: Upper Upscale
  • Chain Scale Breakdown: Upscale
  • Chain Scale Breakdown: Luxury
  • Chain Scale Breakdown: Midscale

Please provide the information below to receive a link to the full report and chain scale breakdowns.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

» Study Videos

Results Commentary by study co-author Paresh Bhandari, ZS

Results Overview from Kelly McGuire, Managing Principal for Hospitality, ZS

Industry Implications with Rosewood Hotels

Checklist: What Can You Do to Strengthen Your Personal Brand?

Personal branding is a hot topic for the hospitality industry. HSMAI’s Sales Advisory Board discussed the issue during its monthly call last month, while HSMAI’s Rising Sales Leader Council recently came up with this quick and simple checklist “to help guide members of the hospitality industry with building and strengthening their personal brand to always stay relevant in our rapidly evolving industry.”

Personal Branding Checklist:

  1. Know your value or value proposition for what you bring to the table.
  2. Find an advocate or a mentor…also being an advocate for someone else could help you long term.
  3. Be a thought leader — share relevant stories and articles on LinkedIn to optimize your profile and make sure you are looked at as a trusted adviser.
  4. Keep up with your LinkedIn! Your LinkedIn profile should be a mini version of your resume and should highlight awards you’ve receive and goals that you have hit. Also remember that your headshot and headline are important.
  5. Network as much as you can, as often as you can:
    • Know what associations to look out for.
    • Know what other groups to look out for.
    • Follow up after meeting someone.
    • Pull attendee lists prior to an event and create a networking game plan.
  6. Learn broadly — it’s no longer just dates, rates, space, and relationships, but we now must also know safety and wellness protocols. Get into as many areas as possible, especially if your desired area is not available.
  7. When sharing posts on Linkedin, think of yourself as a blogger for the industry. Share relevant articles and mention why you think it is interesting.
  8. Improve your online footprint.
  9. Market yourselves for the year that you live in. Evolve with the changing landscape.
  10. Continue to take time to strengthen and improve your personal brand, especially as you evolve as a person throughout your career.

For another helpful source on personal branding, the Rising Sales Leader Council recommends watching this video.

Effectively Market Hotels on Facebook: Creative Testing Ideas

HSMAI’s Marketing Advisory Board Tactical Workgroup has produced a series of resources focused on leveraging Facebook — which 70 percent of travelers use every week — to help drive revenue recovery. The first resource focused on how to use dynamic ads. The next one addresses creative testing ideas.

THE ISSUE

When planning media strategy, we often don’t know what will work best in terms of creative type, objective, optimization strategy, and other variables. This is true for all parts of the funnel — from awareness and consideration to prospecting and retargeting. We can hypothesize and guess what works best, but without answers rooted in data, we’ll never be certain.

IT’S IMPORTANT BECAUSE …

With limited media budgets, it’s important that every dollar is spent in the most efficient and effective way possible. Without understanding what works best with data-backed results, we are guessing which variable to leverage for the long-run.

WHAT YOU CAN DO

Split tests are easy to set up, quick (you may get results in a few days), don’t require high investment, and incur no added costs. In addition to split tests, advertisers can run lift tests that measure incrementality at the conversion level. Lastly, advertisers can run brand survey tests to assess the incremental effect on brand metrics like ad recall or perception.

Guidance in Ads Manager ensures that the budget is aligned to gain statistically significant results. Apart from the one variable, ensure there are no other differences between the cells. Budget should be divided evenly between each cell.

To get started, you’ll need an ad account in Ads Manager. Depending on which type of test is chosen, you will have to determine:

  1. Which variable to split test (creative, optimization, etc)
  2. Which pixel event to measure incrementality for via conversion lift
  3. Which brand questions to ask for a brand survey.

STEP BY STEP

  1. Get inspiration: https://www.facebook.com/business/news/experiment-test-and-learn.
  2. Learn about testing: https://www.facebook.com/business/help/1915029282150425?id=2564729006895902.
  3. Set up a split test: https://www.facebook.com/business/help/1159714227408868.

EXPECTED COST

The setup of one split test takes five minutes. You can set your budget as low or as high as desired. Once there are statistically significant learnings, the Ads Manager buying platform will tell you.