What revenue managers need to do to successfully align with marketing: 3 of 3

What revenue managers need to do to successfully align with marketing: 3 of 3

As a hotel revenue manager, you’re likely to be a data-driven pricing optimiser, focused on bringing in the right bookings at the best prices to boost your hotel’s profitability. But with pricing as your primary lever, do you sometimes butt heads with your marketing colleagues who are paid to be more creative?

It sometimes seems like the two teams speak different versions of the same language. To translate, it's helpful to foster a stronger collaborative mindset that better aligns marketing and revenue.

In the previous part of this short series, we considered how marketing departments can strive for better collaboration. In this article, we pivot to the other side and explore what revenue can do to foster more productive partnerships. When both sides do more together, there’s a clear impact on the hotel: more profitable revenue, delivered more consistently.

Since accountability for profitable revenue truly lies with both the revenue and marketing teams, success stems from streamlined collaboration. Once the objectives, strategy, and tacts are aligned, it’s possible to successfully deliver that profitable revenue at a more consistent cadence.

Encourage a collaborative mindset

team-collaborationTo unlock the power of the data that lies with both revenue and marketing, teams should approach collaboration with an eye towards regular knowledge sharing that unlocks new opportunities and efficiencies. Hotel revenue managers must do their part to drive this initiative forward.

Start by leaning into the commonalities between marketing and revenue, The shared interest in building a sustainable brand with a stellar reputation that brings in profitable revenue can be a strong motivator for collaboration.

In our experience, the shared purpose can drive momentum. Revenue management is a team sport that requires finesse, communication, and clarity, says OTA Insight’s Global Commercial Manager, Thierry Collard, a panellist on our recent on-demand webinar on this subject:

“Successful revenue management takes close coordination across all departments - from marketing to sales to reservations - to build a holistic, strategic approach to optimising a hotel’s potential. By sharing knowledge, it's far easier to outpace expectations.”

Do this: Sitting in a team cluster can be conducive to quick collaboration within your team, but can also isolate your team from marketing. Try a rotating hot desk schedule, where someone from marketing swaps desk with a colleague in revenue. This builds empathy, which fosters stronger bonds between teams.

Welcome marketing’s contributions

For revenue managers focused on data, it’s easy to overlook marketing’s contributions. There’s no ill will; rather, it’s a feeling that the data delivers a stronger revenue impact that broad-brush brand marketing. However, your marketing colleagues can add nuance and colour, painting a more accurate picture of guests.

To achieve the goal of stronger, more fruitful collaboration, give marketers should have enough time at weekly revenue meetings to share not just the latest campaigns but the segmentation insights derived from recent successes and failures. Discussing data regularly at meetings means that teams make visible commitments to each other.

By setting their own performance targets, there’s ownership that creates accountability - not to mention healthy social pressure. When you allow time for both revenue management and marketing to share their data-driven knowledge, you raise awareness and reduce barriers.

Do this: Bring data to the regularly scheduled revenue/marketing meeting. Be sure to explain where the data came from, why it’s relevant to the group, and what it reveals. By clearly communicating the value of this data and analysis, you make a more clear case for further collaboration.

Take advantage of your existing data

When you try to do too much, your team will be stretched thin. Less will be accomplished while stress mounts. To avoid the feeling that closer alignment with marketing will become a burden, or an additional item on the long to-do list, determine which existing analyses can be repurposed.

By sharing already-existing work, you save time and increase the efficiency of allocated resources. For example, there’s no need to add another meeting to the books. A simple reframing of existing revenue/marketing syncs can make those meetings much more effective.

As far as some of the work that revenue managers do every day, consider sharing your daily analyses around comp set monitoring and your hotel’s competitive price positioning. The key is to leverage existing tools and data sources cross-functionally, and pull this data into a unified view that can be shared among teams, says Collard:

“It’s very important to have an aggregated system that has both the internal and external data in one place. Then you need to make data accessible within the teams - and make sure everyone is comfortable using it.”

Do this: Don’t think of this as extra work. It’s simply repurposing and extending the value of work already being done.

A list of data resources to use

hotel-from-aboveAs a revenue manager, you already do plenty of analysis daily. You may be surprised at the insights that your marketers can provide around segmentation and guest personas, which can then inform how you approach your pricing. We’ve covered a lot of what marketers can offer in Part 2 of the series.The key is to leverage existing tools and data sources cross-functionally, and pull this data into a unified view that can be shared among teams, says Collard:

“It’s very important to have an aggregated system that has both the internal and external data in one place. Then you need to make data accessible within the teams - and make sure everyone is comfortable using it.”

It’s not about doing extra work; it’s about extending the value of what’s already being done by both teams. Look to your marketing colleagues to provide ongoing insights around:

  • Guest personas. While these don’t change that often, it’s surprising how many hotels don’t make these personas a part of training for revenue teams. Marketing must align the organisation around target demographics.
  • Guest preferences. Keep everyone up to date on who your guests are, as well as what they expect before, during, and after the stay.
  • Guest reviews. To back up your personas and preferences, make it a habit to share recent guest reviews to identify opportunities for marketing and revenue campaigns.

When revenue uses marketing’s segmentation and real-time conversion data to ensure that its revenue strategy reflects the most recent guest behaviour patterns. Here are the various datasets and insights that revenue managers and marketers must share and benefit from mutually:

  • Demand data. Each market has its own ebbs and flows, which evolve over time. Lean on your revenue colleagues to keep you appraised of these trends.
  • Stay patterns. Understanding how far in advance guests book, as well as how long they stay, should underpin marketing campaigns. Without a clear understanding of booking window patterns, marketers may resort to panic discounting or have a marketing automation drip campaign that misaligns with average booking windows. Keep in the loop with revenue on these patterns - and listen carefully to any insights they provide around any shifting patterns.
  • Booking evolution. Pricing trends for competitors mean marketers can more easily understand the competition’s pricing position. Revenue managers must also understand the booking evolution on their own hotel’s website, as pricing affects conversions, says Luke Terheyden, a solution architect at Hotelchamp and the other panellist on our webinar:

“Let's say we see a huge spike in visitor searching for particular set of dates, but we don't see many bookings coming through. This suggests that there something going wrong, perhaps with the pricing.”

  • Business origin. This data is immensely valuable for marketers honing in on promising segments or drilling deeper on segments they’re looking to grow. If you know that Americans tend to book further out, you can collaborate with marketing on a targeted campaign that reflects these unique characteristics.
  • Demand-based pricing. Since low-demand dates are easily identified in revenue management software, marketers should use these dates to target date-based campaigns or for flash-sales to boost demand for underperforming dates.
  • Events. Both revenue and marketing teams can identify potential campaigns or offers that specifically target certain events. This information can also prevent marketing from inadvertently running a promotion during a period of high-compression, says Collard:

“Revenue and marketing must be aligned and using the same calendar. This allows teams to work together to create packages around specific events, and avoid making mistakes that result in lower-than-forecast pricing.”

Featuring in our full eBook, here’s a quick reference of other useful data that revenue managers could share with marketers

  • in-situ-1-revenue-management-and-marketingPricing intelligence. Revenue’s dashboards visualise demand and rates by market segments, channels, source markets, groups, and corporate clients. A firm understanding of these trends helps marketers deliver more compelling campaigns. For instance, rising demand from a specific geography may indicate a need for a targeted marketing campaign.
  • Local market demand data. Revenue managers use local market demand data to forecast revenues and set future prices. This data can also be useful to marketers, who can discuss patterns with revenue managers to get a sense of what's driving demand: is it a geography, special events or a new hotel? Marketers can leverage this information into current and future campaigns.
  • Comp set benchmarks. Highlights unexpected spikes for dips in comp set rates. These changes may suggest marketing opportunities - for example, if a nearby hotel is at full occupancy due to an on-property conference, a micro-campaign can target guests who can't be accommodated at that hotel.

This article is the last part of a short series focused on aligning revenue with marketing. Part 1 provides a short overview of the topic, leading into our new eBook that dives deeper into this essential component of hotel profitability: collaboration between revenue and marketing. Part 2 looks at how revenue managers can align better with marketers. This content follows on from our expert-led webinar, now available on demand.

eBook: How to align revenue management and marketing to deliver revenue results

Aligning revenue and marketing can deliver greater revenue results for hotels but is easier said than done. Download this guide to set yourself off on the right track.


Found this interesting?

Share on social