The Hum of a Well-Oiled Machine: The Benefits of Integrated Sales & Marketing Teams
The rise of new revenue management practices in the past two decades has brought substantial shifts in the way the hospitality industry handles rates and inventory. Despite bringing revenue gains (some suggest as much as 45 to 85 percent), revenue management has not been widely integrated with other core hospitality disciplines, namely sales and marketing.1 Many organizations are now working to create revenue cultures, where revenue management strategies are integrated across all departments, but the process has been slow at least in part because of the limitations of technology. When technology is not integrated in a way that allows multiple key departments to communicate with accurate real-time data, the process breaks down.
No matter how your departments are organized, those who handle marketing and sales and revenue management must be aligned. Harmony is created by communication and communication is made clearer through integrated sales and marketing technologies. Unified teams of this nature yield more revenue and become a true guest engagement engine. A well-oiled machine.
Aligning your teams through integrated technology has the potential to increase revenue in some clear and simple ways.
3D Guest Profiles
The standard guest record is two-dimensional, including identifying information (location, phone number, and so on) and historical stay details. Guest technology that is integrated with sales and marketing means that the guest profile can be enhanced to include a third dimension, a behavioral component with attribution and preferences that will turbocharge revenue capture rates. For instance, NAVIS Reach LifeCycle messaging, which offers automated marketing campaigns based on behaviors and preferences, increases the likelihood of a booking over 13 times the typical email campaign.
Align Buy In, Then Automate As Much as Possible
Misalignment happens easily in hospitality, sometimes even when you think you’re working in tandem. The scenario often looks like this. Revenue management identifies a need period with low occupancy. Then marketing launches a special to their email database. This results in reservations taking calls from angry guests with future stays on the books who want the same deal. This well-intended program may result in a few new bookings, but ultimately causes attrition and decreased guest loyalty.
A more proactive approach brings revenue, reservations sales, and marketing together to strategize what automation can be put in place to impact guest loyalty and increase bookings. In one example, a NAVIS client from California set a goal to take ownership of their OTA guests and drive guest loyalty. Reservations set goals to collect guest email addresses in their integrated CRM. Marketing then created a StayCycle program triggered by the CRM which sent an email to these guests seven days after checking out, offering 20 percent off of their next stay with a direct booking. Revenue management cited a 49 percent open rate and a value of $29 in revenue per email delivered. Success!
Integrated Online and Offline Revenue Results
When online and offline revenue are presented together, the whole team understands marketing initiatives. The benefits are many. First, reservations agents can complete the picture of the guest with valuable information that is shared by guests who may have found a property online but called to finalize the reservation. This is key to appropriate attribution. Additionally, sales and marketing are better able to strategize successful campaigns with a holistic understanding of past campaign successes or struggles, and revenue management principles may be applied with greater ease to achieve the optimal rate for each campaign.
Among the many campaigns that can be tracked across on- and offline channels are Google Adwords—one NAVIS report shows what campaigns are offering the best ROI and what campaigns need to be refined—and Push2Talk and Push2Chat campaigns that offer guests an opportunity to call directly from a mobile device.
Integrated technology is as much about the guest experience as it is about what happens internally. In one study, fifty percent of marketers said that “fragmented technologies impede their ability to create a consistent experience for consumers across the web, mobile, and other channels.”2 Crafting the ideal consumer experience across all paths in the booking process—from website to Adwords to third parties to phone inquiries and beyond—enhances your brand and service levels, which in and of itself increases the likelihood of conversion.
1). Mahmoud, Ahmed. Revenue Management: How to Make It Work Better for You in 2015. Revenue Your Hotel. October 2014.
2). Buchholz, Katherine. 10 Stats That Underscore the Growing Value of Integrated Data Analytics. DialogTech.com. October 2014.