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What's haunting hotel marketers this Halloween?

Tambourine Blog·30 October 2018
Continuing our annual Halloween tradition, we've asked hotel marketers nationwide, across all chain scales and property sizes, what they're most spooked about right now.

Mastering five key guest touchpoints

Tambourine Blog·19 October 2018
The guest experience is a critical component of driving loyalty and guest satisfaction. So it makes sense to perfect every communication touchpoint.

10 Essentials of a Killer Hotel Website

Tambourine Blog·16 October 2018
What is the most important technology in your hotel? While many would say it’s the PMS or CRS, your direct hotel website is a vital, revenue-generating platform hub that is rapidly growing in importance as hotel marketers struggle to reduce the cost of guest acquisition and shift share from OTAs.

Hotel SEO: How will Google's new EAT Algorithm affect your property?

Tambourine Blog· 9 October 2018
In August, Google rolled out a new algorithm update that is already causing widespread changes in both organic and local search engine rankings.

Resort Marketing: 10 Ways To Dominate the Comp Set

Tambourine Blog· 2 October 2018
Resorts face unique challenges. They are usually more expensive, geographically harder to reach and incur longer stays than standard full-service hotels. Many are built in “clusters” in a destination, too, which can make it tough to differentiate one’s product from the resort next door.

Segment Your Past Guest List For Greater Returns

Tambourine Blog·28 September 2018
This week’s Freebie: Sending the same message and offer to your entire past guest database is a thing of the past. Savvy hotel marketers have invested time and effort in smart segmentation.

Friday Freebie: One Timeless Rule Every Hotel Marketer Should Follow

Tambourine Blog·21 September 2018
Charles Revson, the founder of Revlon Cosmetics, famously said,“In the factory, we make cosmetics. In the store, we sell hope.” It’s all too easy to get caught up in selling rooms each night. Most often, hotel marketers are buried under a barrage of daily marketing tasks that take up most of their time. It’s little wonder then that some hoteliers may start seeing their hotel as a commodity – as a physical product rather than a “creator of emotion.”

Hotel Marketing Budgets: How Much Is Actually Enough?

Tambourine ·20 September 2018
According to a recent study, Booking.com and Expedia return $16 for every dollar spent on marketing. This looks great on paper, but the reality is that over the last decade OTAs' return on marketing investment decreased by 15%.This explains why Booking.com dramatically decreased its advertising spend.The same story is playing out across the hotel marketing landscape... cost-per-acquisition is soaring, and if the Goliaths of the industry had to change their strategies, it's probably time to sit down and address the elephant-in-the-room: how much should you be spending on marketing?First: What's in the Marketing Budget?Allocations within the marketing budget vary from company to company. According to The CMO Surveysponsored by Duke University, Deloitte LLP, and the American Marketing Association, "less than half (47.9 percent) of companies include expenses for marketing employees in their marketing budgets. Most companies (61.3 percent) include direct expenses for marketing--such as advertising, trade promotions, and direct marketing--in their marketing budgets, but this varies by industry (See below):What does your hotel or resort include in its annual marketing budget? Do you include employee or outside agency costs in your budget How about OTA commissions or GDS fees?This is a critical definition that will determine how much you need and how your results are perceived by ownership.THE INVERTED U-CURVEHotel marketers can learn a valuable lesson from Malcolm Gladwell in his inspiring book David and Goliath. In the book, Gladwell talks about "inverted U-Curves:""Inverted-U curves have three parts, and each part follows a different logic. There's the left side, where doing more or having more makes things better. There's the flat middle, where doing more doesn't make much of a difference. And there's the right side, where doing more or having more makes things worse," according to Gladwell.The curve has been around for over a century and it has been applied to a wide range of different situations:Money: Scholars who research happiness suggest that more money stops making people happier after they exceed $75,000 per yearClass Size: Contrary to popular belief, a class size decreases beyond an optimal number, learning effectiveness decreases. Apparently, the optimum number is 18-24 students per classPunishment and Crime: Past a certain point, cracking down on crime and locking people up stops having any effect on criminals, makes crime worse and the juvenile delinquency rate increasesSimilarly, hotel marketing budgets have an inverted U-curve; doing too little will result in sub-optimal results, but doing too much is often wasteful.So how can you identify this sweet spot?WHERE ARE YOU ON THE CURVE?Hotels on the left side of the curve (usually large branded properties) typically allocate little to no budget in marketing beyond their brand fees.They often have a lackluster brand.com web page, no outside marketing investments and their distribution relies almost entirely on third-parties. The good news is that if your flagged hotel is on that part of the curve, any additional marketing investment will help you move to the flat middle of it, where investments and return are in balance and your profitability is at its zenith.The majority of hotels fall between the left side and the flat middle of the curve (and need to spend more to achieve their goals. However, if you categorize OTA commissions as marketing costs, virtually every hotel immediately moves to the right side of the curve, where spending more often delivers diminishing returns. As Kalibri Labs notes in their recent report: Demystifying the Digital Marketplace: "if you're growing top-line revenue --but you're spending a lot to do it--then you're ultimately less successful in contributing to overall profits. Not an optimal strategy."However, if profit is not your primary goal (i.e. hotels rebranding, new openings, brand awareness projects, etc.) spending MORE may be the correct strategy, but for the vast majority of hotels (if you believe Malcolm Gladwell) it is not.So, how much is too much when it comes to hotel marketing?Marketing effects profitabilityAccording to a recent Gartner Research study, companies spend an average of 12% of their annual revenue on marketing. A recent CMO Survey comes to similar conclusions, highlighting how tech companies are among the biggest spenders (14%) when it comes to marketing. The hotel industry, however, seems to pay an even higher price (up to 25%, according to Kalibri Labs). Tom Klein, the former CEO of Sabre, recently stated in a Tnooz interview that Travel "is not 90% margin like many of the businesses that Google and Facebook and others are in." With OTAs' average commission at 19% and direct booking cost-per-acquisition growing year after year, industry margins are under siege.So while ADR and RevPAR are important metrics, you should also focus solely "ProPAR" (Profit per Available Room): the revenue generated per room minus the investments needed to acquire the guest. Here again, we strongly recommend categorizing OTA commissions as marketing costs to get a true picture of your marketing budget and its effect on profitability!WHAT ABOUT DIRECT BOOKINGS?Because of high 3rd party acquisition costs, there has been a lot of attention on building direct channels, just think about Hilton's Stop Clicking Around campaign:The unavoidable truth is that it is also very easy to overspend when it comes to direct booking investments and you can find yourself on the right side of the inverted-U curve without even realizing it. Similar to the OTA channel, direct reservations also have growing costs.Special discounted rates, loyalty programs, hotel digital marketing, PPC, metasearch engines and social media ads to name a few. Our advice to clients has always been: "you should have an unlimited budget for things that work..."This philosophy requires a near-manic obsession with ROI tracking and analytics that requires serious software and some intensely nerdy data, scientists. As the CMO Survey reinforces: when respondents were broken into three groups--high, medium and low usage of ROI analytics-- marketing budgets were 70 percent larger in the high group than the low group.HOW MUCH IS TOO MUCH?Before you can determine how much to budget for marketing, hotel execs need to answer three critical questions:1. What are the revenue targets by segment? (more on this here)Without a concrete understanding of targets by segment, hotel marketers cannot quantify (or deploy) their budgets properly... leading to misalignment with ownership and missed targets.2. Where is the property in its lifecycle?Recently opened hotels, or properties which went through a rebranding, in fact, should be less focused on return on investment and more on building awareness. In cases like these, 20-25% of annual revenue spent on marketing is common. If, on the other hand, your hotel has matured to a more advanced stage and it's been in business for 3+ years, then 8-15% of your annual revenue on marketing should be more than enough to guarantee you a good balance between profit and visibility.3. How much revenue is marketing accountable for...?As the CMO Survey points out: "Marketing is responsible for leading revenue growth at 38.4 percent of companies. These companies have larger marketing budgets as a percentage of the overall company budget than companies that do not assign primary responsibility for revenue growth to marketing."

Hotel Marketing Budgets: How Much is Actually Enough?

Tambourine Blog·18 September 2018
According to a recent study, Booking.com and Expedia return $16 for every dollar spent on marketing. This looks great on paper, but the reality is that over the last decade OTAs’ return on marketing investment decreased by 15%.

Why every hotel paid media campaign needs a landing page

Tambourine Blog·14 September 2018
This week’s Freebie: Every marketing campaign should lead to a corresponding landing page. So, you’ve come up with a creative marketing idea to draw in winter bookings. You create catchy marketing emails and witty social media posts to lead people back to your website.

Can paid social media advertising rescue low booking periods?

Tambourine Blog·11 September 2018
No matter how well you run and market your hotel or resort, there’s a good chance you’re going to face some seasonality in your demand patterns, which inevitably manifest themselves as the mortal enemy of hoteliers everywhere: the dreaded low period.

Friday Freebie: If you do anything this budget season... do this

Tambourine Blog· 7 September 2018
This week’s Freebie: The most critical thing you do to ensure success is getting the budget you need to achieve your revenue targets… so you better ask for the right amount!
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Tambourine announces expansion: new east and west coast offices

Tambourine · 3 September 2018
Tambourine, a marketing technology company for hotels, resorts and tourism destinations worldwide, has announced its expansion to new offices on the east and west coast.The expansion will triple the size of the Company's current offices and enable the fast-growing firm to attract expert digital talent on both coasts.As part of its expansion: Tambourine will relocate its headquarters to 25,000 sqft at Trade Center South in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The Firm has also recently opened its first west coast office in Carlsbad, California."Our new headquarters location was selected to create a modern, positive working environment for our talented and growing team," noted Tambourine President Rafael Cardozo. "Technology enables our team to provide customized, scalable deliverables that empower the hospitality industry, but our team still thrives on close-knit collaboration and our new office will reflect that."Tambourine's expansion is a result of its rapid growth and popularity with branded and independent hotels, resorts and hotel management companies seeking to drive more direct business and consolidate the complex hotel digital marketing services required to compete for guests in today's hotel market.
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4 Smart (and FREE) Tools To Spy On Your Compset

Tambourine Blog·24 August 2018
This week’s Freebie: Monitoring your hotel’s comp set is key to staying one step ahead. Hotel marketing success doesn’t happen in a vacuum. It’s vital to keep up with all the changes in both the industry and your markets. And, just as crucial to monitor your comp set, their hotel or resort marketing strategies, then improve your own.

What's wrong with your hotel website? Ask your call center team

Tambourine Blog·21 August 2018
Hotel and resort marketers have a powerful secret weapon, which in many cases is grossly underutilized: their call center reservations team. Even for hoteliers with a robust direct website, call centers remain a vital link in the booking and communications chain and are a near boundless source of guest information and insight.

Friday Freebie: Use Data to Get More This Budget Season

Tambourine Blog·17 August 2018
This week’s Freebie: This budget season, you’ll need to prove how much hotel revenue you brought in or risk losing your funds.

What does the #1 hotel in the world know about hotel marketing?

Tambourine Blog·14 August 2018
One way great hotels can get even better is to learn from the best. In this case, we’re proud to be talking about our client, Nihi Sumba, an island resort that has earned the distinction of being the best hotel in the world according to Travel + Leisure readers. As such, James McBride, founding partner and CEO of Nihi Hotels, has a wealth of knowledge that hotel marketing professionals can leverage to grow their own successes.

School Up for The September Slow Down

Tambourine Blog·10 August 2018
When summer travel is in full swing and occupancy (and temps!) is in the 90s, it’s easy to forget what may be looming up ahead… the back-to-school slowdown.

Five ways to avoid the Summer lull in Group business

Tambourine Blog· 7 August 2018
For many hotels, summer can be a time when group business dwindles to a crawl. The large national association and annual company conventions tend to dry up during the summer, and if you're located in a warm-weather destination, convincing guests to bask in the heat may be a tall order.
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Friday Freebie: Three easy ways to tighten the bond between marketing and revenue management

Tambourine Blog· 3 August 2018
The days of hotel marketers and revenue managers working in separate silos are over. Opening up dialogue and combining intelligence between these two departments are the first steps towards becoming a profit powerhouse.
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20 free tools every hotel marketer should know about

Tambourine Blog·31 July 2018
Whether you want to supplement your current paid marketing programs or if your hotel owners didn't allocate enough to your marketing department this year, here are 20 free hotel marketing tools to use: The post 20 free tools every hotel marketer should know about appeared first on Tambourine.
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Friday Freebie: One Secret Your Booking Engine Wants You To Know

Tambourine Blog·27 July 2018
This week’s freebie: Smart hoteliers are pulling the curtain back on their booking engines to find which room types are highest in demand by the day. This vital piece of data allows them to price each room type accordingly for maximum revenue.
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Friday Freebie: Stop Hidden Costs From Driving Customers Away

Tambourine Blog·20 July 2018
This week’s Freebie: Don’t wait until guests press ‘Book Now’ in your booking engine to announce new charges. Present all costs, including resort fees, as soon as possible.
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What is 'programmatic advertising' and why should hotel marketers care?

Tambourine Blog·17 July 2018
Most hotel marketers associate traditional ad buying as a hit-or-miss strategy. Buy space in a magazine… pray for an unknown return. “Programmatic advertising,” which has generated a lot of buzz in the last few years, is data-powered and designed to help hotels target their audience with remarkable accuracy, provide greater insight into who’s responding to the ad and eliminate the guesswork behind hotel ad buys.
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Friday Freebie: Ditch the Extras to Clear the Path to Purchase

Tambourine Blog·13 July 2018
Each week we share one impactful hotel marketing tactic that you can implement immediately to drive more conversions and more revenue. This week’s Freebie: Stop cluttering the booking experience with too many options. Want to drive guests to make quicker transactions? Stop offering too many options to sift through!
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The 10 Commandments of Hotel Email Campaigns

Tambourine Blog·10 July 2018
Email marketing is one of the best ways to retain customers by engaging with past, present (and future) guests. Smart hotel marketers prioritize keeping up-to-date on email marketing best practices in order to continually improve their programs and reap a growing return on investment.

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