But is marketing actually the problem?
Sometimes it happens that we lose sight of the main objective....
I'm often contacted for sales consulting (let's say they ask me about Revenue). I immediately try to identify the structure, the context and above all the critical points: in short, before speaking, I like to have a picture of my client.
The question -understood- is always the same: can you increase my revenue?
As a bad salesman, instead of guaranteeing an immediate increase in bookings by applying an aggressive-suicidal pricing strategy, I feel obliged to disenchant my interlocutor.
This happens because, at the end of the analysis made with my collaborators, it emerges that marketing is the last of the problems of those who have contacted me.
By studying the sentiment of that Hotel, we discover that a not so brilliant reputation and maybe competitors who do their job very well are now eroding its potential clientele.
Browsing the web, we read that some dedicated head of reception even takes the time to respond to reviews - rightly negative - with aggression and arrogance, not even remotely imagining that, on the contrary, those embittered guests are providing free valuable advice.
There are serious problems in room cleanliness, maintenance, essential services; the staff at the front desk doesn't shine in attitude or courtesy, breakfast is a pain in the ass, and we worry about marketing, revenue and conversion.
May be we have focused on the wrong target?
Most of the time I fail to instill this "doubt" and the result is that I miss a business opportunity: there is a company or a consultant who arrives, and without even knowing how a room in that hotel is made, promises huge increases in turnover that are very attractive to my interlocutor.
I try to put myself in the shoes of the listener and realize that, in these cases, my solution is not painless and does not promise immediate results.
The working hypothesis that I am contemplating involves, first of all, a sincere self-analysis and then a series of radical interventions: marketing and revenue, at least at this stage, would be useless to talk about. Even counterproductive.
The other hypothesis simply contemplates a different tariff management and zero investment. The results will be seen immediately and everyone will be happy.
Always as a bad salesman, I get over it and tend to justify the hotelier who opted for the second option.
I'm sad to think what will happen: sure, bookings will increase but with them will come bad reviews. Since whoever is running this operation has the sole purpose of increasing (mind you, momentary) sales, they will have no qualms about burning the structure in the online world within two years and then running away with the loot.
At the end of the brilliant consulting action, the appreciable results will be a vertiginous decrease of the average fees (ADR for the lovers of technicalities) but also, as a mathematical consequence, an equally vertiginous collapse of the reputation.
So let's never lose sight of our real job: selling hospitality with professionalism.
Marketing, revenue, social and other very useful business tools will assist us in growing when we are ready to do so.
When we finally have a trained and professional staff, a clean and efficient, maybe even pleasant facility and an organization that doesn't break down when the rooms are finally all occupied, then yes we will have to use all the tools that technology offers us.
In short, let's do things in order of priority!