Down Times are the Time to Innovate

Do Hotels Innovate Better During Tough Times or Good Times?

By nSight Founder Rich Maradik

We’d all like to think that “good times” are when we innovate the most. That’s when we have more resources and more time for new initiatives. But in my opinion, the reality is just the opposite. Hard times force us to be smarter about doing things better.

Consider this. 2015 just wrapped up and by all measures, most hotels had a good year. RevPARs are up and so is profitability.

That’s not to say that hotel production numbers came easy in 2015. Everyone with a stake in a hotel’s performance had to work very hard to move the needle.

So as we all came back to work in 2016, the volatility of the world economy dominated the news. None of us planned on a 10% stock market correction, much less higher levels of economic uncertainty.

This created new feelings of uncertainty and doubt. Right when everyone is staring at 2016 budgets that are all above last year’s performance.

 

So how are hoteliers starting to react?

Smart hotels will act by thinking through every way possible to do things better to ensure they make projections for the year.

The Sales Departments think of new ways to get group leads; Marketing considers different campaigns. Revenue Management teams practice new strategies around channel profitability and forecasting.

Tough times make us work harder. Uncertainty makes us innovate. It’s where we grow as people and as organizations.

I can’t predict what’s going to happen this year. But I do think that these last few weeks made us all feel more uncertain about the future than we did when the calendar changed to 2016.

Ask yourself this – compared to last year, have you thought more or less about how you will change your game in order to achieve revenue numbers for the year ahead? If the answer is “more,” that’s proof positive. In tough times we do get more serious about doing things better.

 

Take-aways

Here are five ways in the areas of Revenue Management and Marketing that hoteliers are innovating in 2016:

 

  1. Integrating goals and strategies of marketing and revenue teams, enhancing collaboration and data sharing
  2. Looking at consumer shopping data beyond hotel website analytics to elevate consumer targeting and ROI
  3. Moving beyond banner ads to more creative digital strategies, trying video, messaging, social media branding and online PR/influencer outreach, conversion rate optimization (CRO) / improving website experiences and more
  4. Leveraging Big Data on consumer behavior for guest profile insight and predictive analytics
  5. Using content management to tell the story of the hotel and engage guests, bringing more visitors to the hotel website

 

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