A Crystal-Clear Vision for 2020

For many people, the start of the new year means evaluating what worked and what didn’t work in the previous year and establishing a plan to achieve or, better yet, exceed their goals in the coming year.

This year is different. The social, economic and political landscape had major changes in the last few years that saw many norms disrupted. What worked in the past might not be options in the future.

If we learned anything in 2019, it’s that uncertainty is here to stay. From an economic perspective, in the last 6 months forecasters were all over the board, predicting everything from prosperity to a softening economy to a full-on downturn. A few even dared to mention seeing a recession in their crystal ball for 2020.

Socially, people were ever more public about sharing every detail about their lives, from posting photos of their dinner plate to ‘liking’ soundbites from political figures they support.

What does all of this mean for hotel marketers, general managers, and owners?

  1. Stay true to your brand. Whether you’re posting on social media, retargeting a banner ad, hosting a blogger/influencer or conducting a site inspection for a corporate meeting, remember that all aspects of your communication must reflect the brand image and promise.
  2. Have a clear understanding of what your hotel does well, especially compared to your competitive set. Is the hotel really a group hotel? Or is the hotel the best leisure destination in the city? Define this in terms of the benefit to the customer, and then frequently and consistently communicate it at every opportunity. Brainstorm even more ways you can operationally improve service delivery to your customers and become the undisputed #1 in the city—your customers’ ‘go to’ destination.
  3. Question all sales and marketing programs, advertising, and tools. Challenge the team to determine the ROI on legacy programs. Even if the programs are great, they are a waste of money if they aren’t being optimized. If it’s decided they need to be maintained, determine a plan to leverage and get greater exposure or revenue.
  4. Make 2020 the year you really learn about social media, SEO, and other ways to market through technology. Ask questions, even if they are basic, when your marketing team come to you with monthly results or a new opportunity. Maybe try something radical like turning off a program, such as SEO, for a month to see what impact it has on business.
  5. Stay nimble. Watch what your competition is doing in every aspect of the business, including rate changes, packages offered, advertising and PR, and leadership changes. Be involved in the community including organizations such as the Convention and Visitors Bureau. Develop a Plan B the minute there is any type of change in business levels.

It’s the start of a new year and a new decade. Dedicate time to make your vision for 2020 crystal clear all while staying nimble and being true to your brand promise.


"2020 is going to be a turning point. A chance to reset, to decide what’s important and what’s worth working for."
Seth Godin

Take the Next Step Now

Need help clarifying your Vision for 2020? Hire Jo-Anne and she will transform your organization by:

  • Defining Your Hotel’s Positioning and Marketing Plan
  • Optimizing Your Sales and Marketing
  • Turning All Your Employees into Drivers of Revenue

If you would like to hear more, simply reach out to Jo-Anne at
[email protected]

About Jo-Anne Hill

Jo-Anne is an industry expert who founded JH Hospitality Consulting to help hotels around the world dramatically improve revenue and profitability in creative ways. Her strategic thinking, skill, and practical approach to problem-solving come from hands-on experience at companies such as The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts, Mandarin-Oriental Hotel Group, Dorchester Collection, and Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts.

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