With hotel companies using an ever-increasing array of distribution channels—all with various customer acquisition costs attached—Hotel News Now asked revenue experts how to trim those costs.
NASHVILLE, Tennessee—The cost of acquiring customers will forever be a thorn in the side of hoteliers and revenue experts. To that end, Hotel News Now asked a group of revenue experts during a recent Revenue Strategy Roundtable how they keep distribution costs down.
HNN asks: What’s one thing hoteliers can do to shrink distribution costs right now?
Chris Cheney, VP of hotel performance and analytics, Stonebridge Companies: “Look at all distribution channels and analyze cost strength on every channel, and that includes direct.”
Mark Creger, VP of revenue management, Stoney Creek Hospitality: “Treat (online travel agencies) as a one-time marketing campaign. The guest comes in, you pay your commission to them, and then make sure the guest doesn’t use them again. Do whatever you can to make sure that they don’t use them again.”
Helga Buszta, VP of revenue management and e-commerce, Filament Hospitality: “In the independent space, it’s really understanding and knowing your customer, and then putting the money, the marketing dollars towards those efforts to win them that way.”
Lloyd Biddle, director of revenue management systems, Hyatt Hotels Corporation: “I mean, every channel has its place, right? So take it when you need (it). Do you want the high-commission channels? Take it when you need it when they’re not full. On those compression nights, shut them off.”
Ashley Manco, director of room revenue, business planning and analysis, 21c Museum Hotels: “Make sure all of your senior leaders at the property understand the true cost of every channel so that they can strategize appropriately.”
Jay Hubbs, SVP of e-commerce, Remington Hotels: “Make sure you’re aligned on which of those channels deliver the best profitability. And when you’re doing that budgeting, say, ‘I’m going to get more of that business in 2019.’”
Johnathan Capps, VP of revenue, Charlestowne Hotels: “Pick an acquisition model and measure it against it. … Pick a model, follow through with it and then measure it against the change so at least you’re tracking to your own numbers and your own changes.”
Garrett Henke, director of revenue management, Hilton Nashville Downtown (Turnberry): “Analyze and understand all the channels and the different costs associated with them. And pick a strategy to be in line with what you need to do.”
Jason Freed, managing editor, Duetto: “Ensure your sales marketing operations teams are all aligned on your strategy. Oftentimes you’ve got marketing making those decisions and revenue’s not involved or vice versa. So just (making) sure you’re coordinating those distribution strategies is important.”
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