Running a hotel, even a tiny bed-and-breakfast, requires time, planning, energy, and passion. Like any other business, an owner can increase productivity and offer better service to guests by delegating tasks to professionals.
Marketing forms an integral part of a hotel’s success. Required to increase sales and revenue, a hotel marketing agency brings new ideas and professionalism to the table and allows you to concentrate on other aspects of the business.
However, one should not overlook the importance of communication between a hotel sales team and a marketing agency.
Whether working on strengthening your hotel’s brand value, increasing direct bookings, or indulging in digital advertising, marketing is a collaborative effort that requires constant teamwork.
Benefits of hiring a hotel marketing agency
Hiring a digital agency to overlook your promotions, website, social media, and marketing has several advantages, of which the following stand out;
Saves time – With the marketing agency handling your advertising, you can focus on running the business and catering to guests.
Brings professionalism – Digital marketing incorporates several techniques, ranging from SEO and influencer marketing to metasearch, Big Data analysis, and brand strategizing. An agency saves you from having to hire extra employees to manage the above.
Help stay consistent – To stay relevant and rank high on Google searches, a hotel must constantly update its website with fresh content. An agency can help optimize your website, run your blog, and update features when required without any delays.
Questions to ask the marketing agency
Besides hiring a hotel marketing agency, it is equally important you pick the right one. Here are some essential questions to keep in mind before you make a decision;
Does the agency have prior experience working with hotels?
Hiring a leading hotel marketing agency like Adigital means you have access to unmatched experience. An agency that has worked in the travel industry knows the business inside-out, is aware of your competition, and has knowledge about what works or what does not.
Can the hotel digital agency customize the marketing strategy?
It is best to work with an agency that can cater to your specific business needs. You do not want to hire someone who uses the same cookie-cutter techniques with all of their clients.
This is also where communication between your sales team and the marketing agency plays an essential part, as it is up to the sales them to keep the agency informed about any changes in the hotel.
Is the marketing agency promising instant results?
Believe it or not, any hotel marketing agency that promises instant results is a big red flag you want to avoid. Advertising, SEO, and social marketing require time and analysis before showing positive results.
A digital agency that has a quick turnaround is probably using illegal black-hat SEO techniques that are harmful to your online credibility in the long run.
What’s going to be the digital marketing budget?
The budget is another essential part of any discussion with the marketing agency. It further plays a significant role in the ongoing communication between them and your sales team.
As a business, it’s always good to have a rough figure in mind before meeting the marketing agency. This way, the agency can plan a strategy around the proposed budget.
Adigital, for example, particularly takes pride in offering diverse options based on big and small hotel digital marketing budgets. We can customize your branding and marketing strategy so that you get maximum results without having to put any strain on your expenses.
Importance of communication between the sales team and hotel marketing agency
Handing over the task of digital marketing to an agency is the first step in streamlining your online presence.
However, digital marketing requires constant communication with the agency to see maximum results.
The primary reason why it is important to communicate is that you and your sales team have more knowledge about the hotel than anyone else.
Remember, your sales team is the face of the hotel, dealing with guests directly. As a result, they have extensive knowledge of what guests want, like, or dislike. You are the source of information that the marketing agency relies on, based on which it formulates its branding and sales strategy.
Communication points between the sales team and the hotel marketing agency
Below we discuss some essential communication points between the hotel sales team and their marketing agency.
While some of these are undoubtedly worth deliberating during the first meeting, they still require constant updates to maximize sales and revenue over a period of time.
Marketing output is unquestionably the main dialog between the marketing agency and your sales team. It takes into account the end purpose of the marketing plan. You need to inform the agency whether the hotel wants to focus on branding, increasing online reach, social interaction, or direct sales. Keep in mind that each aspect requires a different type of approach.
However, the requirement for constant communication comes from the changing need of this market output.
For example, during low season, your sales team can inform the agency that they can focus on branding or promotional sales. Whereas just before high season, the strategy could lean towards attracting more direct bookings.
The more information a marketing agency has about your target audience, the better they can design the website experience.
The idea is to capture the overall aura of your hotel and reflect the same through the website. Does your hotel attract couples, younger travelers, or families? Is the ambiance of the hotel trendy, romantic, or historical?
While you might have a general sense of the audience, different times of the year often see different travelers. So even if your resort caters primarily to couples during the high season, it might attract families on Christmas. And thus, it is up to the sales team to communicate this with the marketing agency so they can advertise accordingly.
Unique Hotel Features
Hotel features keep changing, rooms get re-done, on-site restaurants and their menus alter from season to season, and there are often new additions in service and amenities.
Regular communication between the sales team and marketing agency allows the latter to highlight all of this information and use it to promote the hotel across various channels.
A marketing agency cannot offer discounts or special promotions without the explicit consent of the hotel. Thus, it is up to the sales team to inform them about any upcoming deals, festival promos, customer-specific discounts offered through email marketing, as well as special events on the property. Continued discussions between sales and marketing let everyone prepare for such changes in advance.
Moreover, the marketing agency can share analysis based on Big Data which the sales team can then use to offer discounts, particularly to increase bookings during the off-season.
The vital point to remember is that the flow of information between the sales team and the marketing agency is not a one-way street. Both parties share information that helps increase the hotel’s overall revenue.
Keeping a check on rate parity and updating room rates on the hotel website is time-consuming and best included in your complete package with a hotel marketing agency.
Therefore, the sales team has to keep the agency up-to-date with any changes so that they can make necessary alterations wherever required.
We now return to the sales team being the face of the hotel. Whether at the reception, customer care, or sales representatives, these hotel employees deal with guests daily.
Consequently, they have first-hand information on customer feedback, what the competition offers, and possible changes that can lead to a better guest experience, leading to increased sales.
For instance, if guests repeatedly complain about the booking process, it is up to the sales team to inform the marketing agency about changes required on the booking platform.
Similarly, suppose guests mention that the main reason for booking a stay is the hotel’s location or the indoor pool. In that case, when shared with the marketing agency, this information allows them to focus more on these aspects to increase future sales.
In the end, like in any personal or business relationship, communication is key.
By keeping the channels of dialog open between the sales team and the hotel marketing agency, you can achieve better results much faster and aim for more holistic growth of your hotel business.