Hotel Marketing Podcast Episode 215 – Building a Digital Marketing Strategy From Ground Zero

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On today’s episode of the Hotel Marketing Podcast we’re going back to the root of everything and work on our fundamentals.  Just like with sports, if you find yourself struggling or are just getting started, mastering the fundamentals is the key to winning.  

In the case of a hotel’s digital marketing strategy, the 1st thing you need to do is actually have one.  Ground zero, starting with nothing, at the bottom, with only opportunities ahead of us.  This is where Emily Dailey and the team at First Hospitality really shine, taking a property from the ground up through to success.

So, let’s dive in and start building your marketing strategy and start driving your occupancy.

Above is a sample of marketing deployment. I think of it as a quadrant of owned vs 3rd party and digital vs traditional. Generally I will work from the top left corner (owned digital channels)  first when building a program. This is one of many ways to view deployment and a simple, non-exhaustive list. 

Q&A With First Hospitality

  • TravelBoom: I often get the question from new hoteliers of how much they should invest when starting a new property. Do you have a percentage or target that you like to use as a benchmark?
  • Emily Dailey: Depends. Consider: market, brand, room count, property complexity, ADR and performance goals. Build from there.  You can consider ADR/ Room count formula or % of year 1 to 3 projected revenue, but definitely only a ballpark

  • TravelBoom: In a world where you can only do three things to market your hotel, what three  strategies would you employ?
  • Emily Dailey: I often focus on three goals: Brand Recognition, Direct Booking, ADR. Start in the top left of the quadrant. Website first, Direct booking listings next, OTA as a final. Content is still king. 

  • TravelBoom: Independent hotels have a lot more flexibility to try new strategies and tools to help drive RevPAR, however flagged properties are more limited. Is there anything you would recommend to the manager of a flagged property to help drive bookings & occupancy?
  • Emily Dailey: Leverage all available brand tools. Great new programs with Marriott, Hyatt and even Choice… Red Roof etc. Content content content. Consider supplemental tools like virtual selling tools.



JW Marriott Anaheim rolls out seed-to-table program


60 Seconds To Success:

Emily Dailey of First Hospitality shared the 60 Seconds To Success Today:

I was just reminded that marketing is still a relatively emerging field in hospitality, like revenue management was say 15-20 years ago. 

The biggest challenge most marketers will face is getting buy in. Buy in in the form of support, or money, or talent. I encourage marketers to tap into the existing meeting structure and ask for the first 10-15 minutes of an existing revenue meeting to chat high level marketing strategy (STRATEGY is the key word here!). I call these “Marketing Rev Max Calls” I suggest you focus on three areas:

  1. Reaffirm high-level property goals and upcoming need periods/ segments
  2. Past marketing campaign performance to goals (x campaign generated x revenue and room nights or x exposure)
  3. Get answers on upcoming strategy, new rates, packages, events, spend


Special Guest: Emily Dailey of First Hospitality

Emily Dailey of First Hospitality joins the show today to share her insights gained over 15 years in the hospitality industry. Her experience with major brands and independent hotels gives her a unique perspective on launching and managing properties large and small. She and the team at First Hospitality manage over 50 hotels and restaurants throughout the US and are forging new grounds in property management.

Learn more about First Hospitality at or on LinkedIn at You can also connect with Emily directly at or at


Submit your questions and topic ideas on Twitter to @_travelboom or


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