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  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • Why User Generated Content is The Great Equalizer in Hotel Marketing

  • The rise of user-generated content is one of the most disruptive forces in hospitality since hotels moved their marketing materials and booking engines to the Web. Why? User-generated content is the great equalizer of marketing. It allows consumers, not brands or properties, to own the reputation of a hotel. It allows boutique hotels with small marketing budgets to compete against large chain hotels with lavish loyalty programs. It allows great service and quality to drive marketing through consumer reviews.

    When I was a marketing director for a consumer products company in the '90s, our website was the most important part of our marketing mix. We spent hours agonizing over wording and design, imagining that each pixel could somehow affect our brand. It was the primary way we spoke to our customers. In addition to telling customers who we were and what we did, the website needed to reflect our corporate values and our personality. And of course it needed to drive sales.

    Today, there are infinitely more ways for a company to reach customers online. As the head of marketing at Revinate, my job is to engage with our prospects and clients in communities -- both real and virtual. I tweet ...

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Hotel Business Review Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt

John Ely
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Marco  Albarran
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Jerry Tarasofsky
Roberta Nedry
  • Nervous Service
Larry  Mogelonsky
Coming Up In The February Online Hotel Business Review


Feature Focus
Hotel Social Media: Engage, Promote, Personalize and Reward
The evolution of social media continues its rapid advance and integration into hotel operations. No longer condemned by some traditionalists as a "passing fad" or a "nice-to-have" by skeptical accountants, it is now a fully accepted customer engagement touchpoint that must be appropriately funded and professionally managed. And companies can no longer assume that merely having a "social presence" is enough. In order to capture the attention they seek and to achieve the returns on investment they desire, companies have to prove their value to social media users who are educated, empowered, vocal and selective. And the strategies for accomplishing this are diverse and distinct. Reputations need to be monitored and maintained on travel review sites, which are quickly evolving into "real-time" networks. Customer service issues and complaints are more frequently identified and resolved in public social forums. Hotels are obliged to choose which social networks best serve their needs (Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Google Plus or Twitter) and to utilize them to engage, promote, personalize and reward their existing and prospective customers. Video is becoming increasingly popular as a communication tool and therefore must be professionally rendered, and blogging is now an accepted means to promote brand identity and thought leadership. And finally, effective paid advertising and marketing campaigns need to be devised to target potential customers on social media sites. The February Hotel Business Review will examine all these critical issues and explore how some hotels are successfully utilizing social media strategies in their operations.