Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Road to Effective Channel Management - Part 1: Understanding today’s scenario


Heads in beds is the key driver for all hotels – we know that if you don’t have the occupancy to meet running costs then you will become another of those properties closing each week. The recession has bitten hard but it’s also the result of a much more competitive hospitality industry.

Today’s world requires a much more aggressive approach to sales and distribution. Your hotel needs to be visible, it needs to be value driven and it needs to be easy to book.

You may have developed clever ancillary revenue strategies, improved your customer service or completed a major refurbishment of your rooms – but without a clear distribution, pricing and revenue strategy you will continue to struggle against stronger and more knowledgeable hoteliers.

City markets are becoming more volatile with hoteliers selling on an average of 10 websites, some sell across as many as 24 or more, are you matching this sales technique?

Hoteliers can update their rates up to five times a day to secure their much needed occupancy levels, you too need to ensure that your rates are consistently reflective of market conditions and you do not price yourself out.
 
To help assess the effectiveness of your hotel’s channel management techniques, you need to measure and benchmark your current strategy.

We no longer sell rooms, we sell products. For the guest it’s the entire experience from researching accommodation, booking, checking-in right until check-out.



You need to know who your product appeals to, or who you want to appeal to.

Start by finding out what people already think of your product by looking at guest reviews. This will also give you more information about your guests – who they are, what they like, age, and lifestyle – from a review you can build a whole personality profile.

Once you have identified your target audience and what you are selling, you then need to market it. You wouldn’t market a business suite to leisure travellers, so you need to make sure you are visible in the places corporate travellers’ book.

You need to know what other hotels are charging, make sure that you know the exact value of your product against others. It is important that your walk-in rate is different to your online rate; this will help you secure more bookings in advance while maintaining integrity. 

Check out Road to Effective Channel Management Part 2.

 
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