Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Lust is more profitable than likes.

Lust is more profitable than likes.

One of us has been judging an advertising awards show over the last few weeks and was struck by how often results were measured strictly in terms of clicks and likes with no mention of bookings, revenue, occupancy or ADR.

You know, revenue-producing stuff.

Some of the results pointed to X-number of website visits, but never said anything about conversions or even bounce rates, both of which seem kind of important as far as performance measurement is concerned.

Sure, clicks and likes are good things. But it occurs to us that in any advertising or marketing communications, the point of the exercise ultimately ought to be to create desire for the client - specifically in our case, for a hotel or resort.

Desire can lead to measurable results, as in bookings, revenue, occupancy or ADR.

It's not enough for people to just show up. That's kind of like measuring success only by how many people walked into your retail store without taking into consideration how many of them bought something. The goal is to get people to buy something, preferably without having to put it on sale.

That's what creating desire can do for you.

Because lust is more profitable than likes.


Friday, September 6, 2019

The red-headed stepchild of the hotel business.

The red-headed stepchild* of the hotel business.

When it comes to marketing communications and advertising in the hotel business, transient is usually the Glory Road and groups, well, aren't.

Typically, groups get a very small dedicated chunk of the marketing communications budget. Which is kind of odd, because hotels will sometimes shoot for more than 60% of their business from groups. Even though meetings and social affairs are usually lower-rated business, they can still help your bottom line. And your sales team can only do so much.

So what are you planning to do for groups? Besides just pushing the sales force to get out there and work harder. Marketing communications has a longer and wider reach than a sales team and can multiply the effect of whatever they can do. 

Why not spend a little money to beef up the groups section of your website so it’s something besides floor plans and “click here for an RFP?" Sell the place. Create some desire.

Or run an actual ad campaign. Tell the world what you have to offer. Use traditional and digital media and LinkedIn to talk to a larger group of prospects than a sales group could reach in a year.

Do some cross-selling on-site. Many of your guests have some sort of a connection to groups or events. Even just something as basic as a rack card (remember them?) in every room or a message that pops up on the in-room television or when they log on to your wi-fi can make an impression. One that doesn't cost you much. It's almost like an instant fam trip. 

And finally, recognize that, in a very real sense, you have two different businesses operating under one roof. So brand the groups experience at your property. And by brand, we mean a supportable distinction around which you deliver a unique value. Not just “luxury in the city” or something. 

Your transient brand – if you have one – doesn’t automatically translate to groups and meetings. See more about Brand and its value here.
The point of all this is that marketing communications can do a lot for the bottom line. More than just sending the sales force out with a new e-brochure.

*This is where we are in America today. Is "red-headed stepchild" offensive? Jeeze, we don't know. Maybe? But what's done is done.


Tuesday, August 27, 2019

This is different

Admit it. You'd like to be able to do stuff like this.

By Guarda(Chuva). It's different down there.

Via Ads of the World.

Friday, August 23, 2019

Advertising is getting over-complicated

Advertising seems to be getting a little too complicated these days.

by Woody Hinkle

My favorite quote in the movie “Art & Copy” is from George Lois. He’s talking about getting excited about what we do.

“Wow, look at that pen. Yeah, it’s a little this. It does this. Wow, that sounds interesting. Let me sell that motherfucker.”

Hold that thought.

After a recent LinkedIn exchange about Jerry Della Femina’s classic “From Those Wonderful Folks Who Gave You Pearl Harbor,” I went back and re-read my copy. (I read half of it during those long waits while having a stress test, which gives you an idea of both how long and boring a stress test is and how old I am.)

Advertising looked like so much more fun then. Not just because of the mythical fooling around and drinking and craziness that may or may not all be true, but also because what they did then was, for the most part, use creativity to sell their clients’ products or services.

You know, “Let me sell that motherfucker.”

Fast-forward to today and the mixed-blessing that All Things Digital have brought us and we’re busy with analytics and clicks and complex tracking links and such. Creativity in advertising hasn’t exactly taken a back seat, but it’s not always riding shotgun, that’s for sure.

Too often, I think, creativity in this digital age comes mostly in the form of what whistles and whirly-birds you can deploy in your leaderboard, cube, takeover or expandable. This is technical wizardry that doesn’t have a lot to do with concept, writing or art direction. (Unless you are big enough with a client well-heeled enough to be doing television, of course.)

The propeller-heads (if you will forgive a pejorative use of the term here – and even if you won’t) who created and manage the various media channels and platforms we use, don’t all have backgrounds in the creative arts and many don’t really understand the role of creativity in advertising, I don’t think. And they have limited us to very small spaces in which we’re as worried about k-weights as we are about concept.

Maybe I’m just not too bright, but it seems like we’ve over-complicated the thing. Something has been lost. Not just much of The Joy Of Advertising As Many Of Us Knew It, but also the use of creativity to excite people about our clients’ businesses. It’s getting nudged aside in favor of the pursuit of analytics. The goal is often to talk to an algorithm rather than people.

Analytics are important. So are tracking links and k-weights. But I hope we don’t lose sight of what an awesome tool creative advertising can be. That is, if you think that the job is creating desire.

Which I do. I’m in favor of generating lust, not likes.

Let me sell that motherfucker.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Everybody likes to laugh

Everybody likes to laugh.

Over the years, we’ve used humor in hotel advertising. Like these ads for the Pier House Resort in Key West – for the hotel and one of the bars there.

If you Google “funny hotel advertising” you are guaranteed to come across a wide selection of very funny ads for a happily (even proudly) shabby hotel/youth hostel/something-or-other, the Hans Brinker Hotel – “quite honestly not the best, but definitely the most memorable hostel in Lisbon and Amsterdam.”

Definitely not for everybody, but very much for their target. Their ads have been winning awards for years – and this budget hotel is known around the world. This is fairly typical of what they do.

They have a great not-for-everybody-but-just-right-for-the-right-people website too.

A salesman once said “nobody ever bought anything when they weren’t smiling.” We’d suggest that perhaps a casket for a loved one might be an exception, but the point is well-taken. And a bit of humor could be just what we all need these days, don’t you think?

Humor isn’t all that easy and not everybody is good at it, but here’s a little secret: Your ad agency loves. So maybe let ‘em take a run at it.

Everybody likes to laugh.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

The path to direct bookings

The path to direct booking is really pretty clear.

In almost any Google Analytics report you see, branded searches produce the most website visits. That is, a search for "Your Hotel," not "Hotels in Town."

So it seems to us to be fairly simple:

Increase awareness for "Your Hotel" . . .

        which will generate more branded searches . . .

                which will generate more website visits . . .

                        which, if your website is doing what it ought to do, will generate
                         more direct bookings.

Of course, if your goal is increased occupancy at any rate, garden-variety PPC alone can do a fine job of pushing discounted rates. But in a way, that sort of fights with the goal of increasing revenue with more direct bookings. You can give away revenue on an OTA. So maybe PPC alone isn't the answer.

So it begs the question - how do you generate more awareness for something other than discounted rate?

Advertising (online, print, social media, etc.) and public relations.

It really doesn't have to be that complicated.