2017 was a record-breaking year for U.S. hotels as reported by STR and industry pundits such as Deloitte suggest that 2018 looks just as good, if not better, especially for certain segments and markets.

Is your hotel sufficiently leveraging this opportunity? What is the strategy to ensure your hotel outperforms the competition?

Throughout years of reviewing marketing plans, I'm amazed at how many hoteliers confuse the two core issues of strategy and tactics or fail to address them all together. Strategy is the 'what,' as in 'what are you planning on achieving?' and tactics are the 'how,' as in 'how you are going to do it?'. Without these two components clearly spelled out (whether it's in a formal plan or simply a strategy statement paper) the hotel is rudderless, without any clear direction and unlikely to perform to budget or against competitors.

A minimum of three and a maximum of five key strategies are recommended, and they are often tied to the business mix or market segmentation. These are the critical 'must do's': if they aren't accomplished, the hotel will underperform.

The number of tactics is limitless, but they should all link back to the strategy. A best practice is to organize them by month or by quarter and make them 'SMART.' Each tactic should be written for specificity so that it can be easily understood by others, measurable (preferably quantifiable), actionable with details, and include who is responsible for execution, as well as the timing for completion.

Revisit the 2018 marketing plan and make sure it speaks to the geographical market trends with strategies clearly identified and tactics that galvanize the sales team to aggressively find and close business. If not, challenge the team to come up with the strategic direction and corresponding tactics to support it. And like everything in life, ensure implementation with regular follow-up for results.

“If you don't know where you are going any road can take you there.” 
― Lewis CarrollAlice in Wonderland

If you would like to talk more about how to ensure 2018 is a banner year for your hotel, feel free to reach out at jo-anne@jhhospitality.com

Here’s to an amazing 2018!

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