Are You Prepared to Seize the New Hospitality Marketing Opportunities?

Hotels and resorts need to catch up with other sectors of the tourism industry. Travel products are ideally suited to online sales. Travel has been the most popular service sold online. 35 to 40% of the total online retail revenue comes from travel products, but of that, airlines represent 62%, while hotels account only for 14%.

Travelers don’t only browse the Internet to make travel reservations; they also use it to find out about destinations, hotels and resorts. More and more people are relying on the web for travel information rather than referrals from friends and acquaintances.

Hotels and resorts need to understand that in the near future much of the marketing of their products and services will be outside of their control. Direct bookings cost hotels and resorts less. Directing more travelers to their own online distribution channels is the key focus and the only way to win. Hotel operators need to be innovative, creative and find ways to outsmart the intermediaries.

The demand for travel and tourism will provide opportunities for the hospitality industry to grow. Actions must be taken, are you prepare to seize the opportunities available?

What Should you do in 2010?

Do not cut your marketing spending, but re-evaluate the marketing efforts and advertising budget, and focus on ROI
Shift funds from offline to online advertising formats
Shift funds from brand-building to direct-response initiatives
Track every dollar spent with website analytical and campaign tracking technology
Launch a comprehensive online marketing strategy to reach potential customers
Launch online marketing strategies to reach impulse-buy customers
Identity and promote the unique value(s) of the hotel
The basics should include the following:

Website Re-design and Optimization
Search Marketing
E-mail Marketing
Strategic Linking
Website analytics and campaign tracking
Social Networking
The Internet is the largest and most important marketing and distribution channel in hospitality. Resort Creative Solutions can implement a successful step-by-step action plan that will generate significant additional revenue, increase market share, occupancy and rates.

Resort Creative Solutions helps hotel & resort developers and travel destinations retool under-performing marketing programs to accelerate sales performance. We build brands. We make relationships. And emotionally connect them in engaging, entertaining and interactive ways. It’s quite simple and profitable.

Small Business Internet Marketing – 2 Costly Web Design Mistakes All Business Owners Should Avoid

Did you know that many small businesses sabotage their online marketing efforts before they ever begin?

They do this by either overspending, or underspending, on website design services. In either circumstance, these websites rarely realize a positive return on investment. This very often leads business owners to mistakenly conclude that their business cannot benefit from online marketing.This article will show why these websites should be avoided by business owners who want to market their goods or services online.

Mistake #1: Hiring Overpriced Web Designers The first mistake that many businesses make is wasting their marketing budget on website creation.

Web designers regularly charge small businesses as much is $5000 or more to for websites that offer little or no marketing value. And while web designers often create beautiful websites, the costs can be astronomical. In the worst case scenarios, small business owners will spend their entire online budget just building a website. Once small businesses fall into this trap they end up with a nice looking site that gets no traffic and makes no sales.Remember, website creation and online marketing are two entirely different things.

Mistake #2: Signing up for free website, often through large directory services that sell advertising:

Free websites usually perform just as poorly as overpriced ones. Very common problems include:Free sites usually include paid advertisements that distract visitors from and derail the sales process. Most people visits small business websites because they are at least considering spending money on their services. The last thing any small business wants is to have visitors click on ads and leave the website before that visitor becomes a customer.Also, free websites are usually very poorly optimized for search engines…so they attract very little traffic and convert very few visitors into customers. The offer of a free web-page can be tempting to many business owners. But it is important to remember that without targeted traffic any website is nothing more than a business expense. A website needs to be optimized to get traffic and also to help turn visitors into customers.

Effective websites get real results. When small business approach web design from a marketing point of view they get better results. Online marketers understand that websites must be positioned to attract targeted traffic. Effective websites also incorporate direct marketing principles by including a strong call to action of every page. Lastly, these sites are reasonably prices so small businesses can invest their marketing budgets on actual marketing activities instead of site design!

Effective marketing websites are positioned to attract targeted visitors (traffic – usually by showing up at the top of the search engines for relevant search terms). They also have a strong call to action on every page. Each call to action invites a direct response, moving visitors through a sales funnel designed to get more customers.

To recap, spending several thousand dollars or more on website design is counterproductive for many businesses when the sites are designed without any consideration given to marketing effectiveness. Web design alone is not a profitable marketing expense. Rather than spending $5000 to build a website, most small businesses are better off spending $1000 on website design and $4000 to drive targeted prospects and convert those prospects into hanging customers.Free websites are also counterproductive most of the time They are usually rank very poorly for important keywords limiting their ability to rank high in the search engine. As a result, many business remain virtually invisible to potential customers searching for their services online.

Investing in a high-quality, reasonably priced direct response marketing website is usually the most profitable approach for small businesses. With a proper website in place, a businesses invest in marketing activities that help it grow.

Waste #9 – Failure to Implement Direct Marketing

Throughout my consulting experience, I have come close to creating the core five. This would include Direct Marketing step #7 of the 7 Steps To A Lot More Sales System.

This is because the most underutilized marketing asset in any company is the phone. It is so inexpensive yet can yield so many new profit opportunities. Any use of phone could be classified as direct marketing. It can be used to generate leads, repeat business, up selling, close sales, follow-up on prospects, etc. Yet, many companies don’t use it as they should.

Much of the same could be said now for E-mails. They can do much the same as a phone – contacting prospects, following up on presentations, up selling, creating newsletters, etc.

Direct marketing includes: direct sales by salespeople, e-mail marketing, web marketing, teleprospecting and telemarketing, direct mail, etc. These are all marketing methods that can be tested on a small scale, without risking a lot of dollars to find out which can work and which won’t work.

One of the biggest marketing wastes is that companies roll out marketing in big numbers before testing on a small scale first. For example, one artist’s marketing director invested $20,000 to print and mail 20,000 catalogs to museums. Not one sale. He should have tested with 2000 first to see if anyone was interested. This would have cost $2,000 instead of $20,000. He wasted $18,000.

There are probably staff members in every company that could test offers, etc. on the phone. Contact top customers to up sell or invite them in for a special offer. Salespeople can be calling during downtime.

Clearly, one of the biggest wastes today is that companies are not testing direct marketing on the world wide web. Waste #10.

For a free copy of the “10 Biggest Marketing Wastes” report and to learn more how you can find new cash and new sales by eliminating these areas of waste in your marketing, please visit