Fuel Hotel Marketing Podcast: Episode 136 – Applying Lessons Learned from 9//11 To The COVID-19 Crisis (with Loren Gray)
Sorry about the audio quality on this one. We hope that the content is valuable, though.
In this episode, we talk to industry guru, Loren Gray about his experiences during the fallout from 9/11 and the lessons he learned from running 5 properties during that crisis.
You can also download How Hotels Can Navigate Troubled Times
- Maintaining calm and having a strategy during a crisis
- Budget stress testing and cost-cutting
- Internal Communication
- Perception -vs- reality
- Staffing crossover training
- Creating demand
- Demographics still traveling
The below transcirpt time stamp is off my about 1 minute but it’s an overview of what we discussed:
Hello and welcome to episode 136 of the fuel hotel marketing podcast
I am your host Stuart Butler and this is a very special edition
You may already realize that the sound quality is a little different
We’ll explain why that is in a second, but I am joined today with regulars to the show
You can tell a few plugins, Melissa, Kevin <inaudible> and Phillips Mariska everybody and I was ever a very special guest
He is being complaining and whining and years to get on this show
Long time friend of the show contributed to the thoughts we have on the show is my good friend Lauren Gray.
Oh thank you very much
First time caller, long time listener
There’s a shooter style you can go wrong
She is like a 19 year old female
They are yarn is a good place
So I didn’t know what the 19 year old,
slightly slightly just fractionally
but Lauren came around in the industry to dunk it is we, we were bringing him in for this episode
So I don’t know if you guys know, you’ve heard a bit
Well no, but the news of rude today we’re not even going to give the jingle is the fact that this little thing going on called coronavirus would be 19 I don’t know if you guys write anything about that <inaudible>
no, no, no, no
It’s like facts
It’s passing fad.
It’s a bad idea, right? Jet you may have
problems with after humorous how we deal with strapped in our life and if you walk it and hopefully you, while you’re looking at buckets that district’s a little better, we have a day to give you any information about the disease itself and the spread because I think they a lot of affirmation around
But we’re going to talk about the practical things we’ve learned into the bikes and you know, over the next few episodes I think we’ll, we’ll throw some stuff in and whether those resources come out from people about, you know, how to freak them on in a downturn in the economy, things like that
We can ask downloads for that next week on the West side so they can, we get as a way to help the industry
And right now more than ever you to tell him that we will need a rally data and you know, try to figure out solutions to the challenges that are facing a little bit
So with that being said, we’re going to break it at 30 to two pounds
First pop Lauren has did amazing shows called this week in Huston County marketing
It’s available on this
We can help the County digital marketing.com/buy shows
slash live slash live is we can get it
, And um, every week he and myself and the other boats will call and ramble for an hour or two about the latest news and things going on in industry in today
I missed the episode, but I heard it was prayed and he had a couple of <inaudible> on that or do you want to tell us a little bit about who you had on that? They’ve spoken out, Lauren.
Yeah, it was kind of a magic, a magic moment to be honest with you is it was like a peace treaty was being signed or something
I don’t know
But you know, we had, um, dr Cecil Stanton from, um, <inaudible> the president and CEO of a hoe, which is the Asian-American owners hotel owners association international
, Uh and then we also had mr uh, uh, Bob Gilbert, who is the president and CEO of HSNI, which is the hospitality sales marketing association international
, And uh, it was a great coming together of two very different, uh, associations that represent literally tens of thousands of people in the industry, from owners all the way through to line employees
So it was a great chance to hear them talk about and harmonize really on the, on the topic.
, I I don’t remember it, my 20th in the industry that ever really did do having same platform at the same time and you know, having a Kimball, a message to them
But when you think about the scale, we didn’t color a whole hour long represents close to 50% of the entire hospitality industry in North America
<inaudible> so these dogs are definitely bleeding in the industry
That’s a fraction
And try to control the narrative a little bit and make sure that people aren’t freaking out
You know, I met your family, obviously the resemble of people thought <inaudible> irrational level headed approach
That is, it’s always going to yield better results than your own crazy
As Yoda once said it,
we don’t want to go down that route
What were your takeaways from the, well, it’s funny you and you know, I’m a big star Wars fan as well or we could geek out back and forth and we know we need to do a podcast about that someday
, But um, strangely enough, fear was a part of the topic conversation
, Um <inaudible> it is what’s driving what’s happening right now
We’re in that first wave of, of impact
And I know that you all are experiencing it within the market that you can con you’re involved with and markets that you’re involved with
And it happens literally just like it happened to you today
It’s happening all around where it’s all like Mike Tyson said it
It’s a, you know, everybody has a plan until they get hit in the face
, Um and, and the plans that we had, uh, associated with black Swan events or unknowns or downturn markets and all the things we’ve been talking about over time didn’t prepare us for the sheer bleakness of this and the suddenness of this.
And both of them concurred that, uh, if fear is the worst aspect of this and the uncertainty and the unknown, um, both took their takes as to what they considered to be longevity
Of course, representing what they represent
They’re not going to talk about worst case scenarios
They’re going to, you know, be the life of Brian
Look to the bright side of life, you know, and so they’re going to talk about what to do to come out of this
There are some realities to this
We will get through this
We will get past this, how we all read the numbers or what have you is they both pointed out as a matter of interpretation as to your response times
, Um we did talk a little bit about the mechanics of short term response versus longterm response
, Uh but both of them were very optimistic in, in their, their verbiage as to how they’re trying to get through the cluttered noise of everybody else is now turned into an expert on this stuff where the, you didn’t even say coronavirus a month ago and now you is one.
Um, and so trying to create some similarity in both of their messages
We know that HSMA has put out a series of webinars this past week in response to addressing some of the direct concerns
, They according to Bob, had some great of, uh, audiences with that measuring in the hundreds
, Um there is a webinar responses coming through our, Whoah, Whoah
Had to move, just recently announced moving their conference, which is a indicative result of, of what people should look at of not canceling things so much as maybe re assigning a time for them and optimism in the future
, Um and but it was a unique experience to see that HSMA I talks to line and operations more than they do owners
And here <inaudible> talks more to owners and less operations and so forth
So both cultures got to listen to each other’s perspective
A Whoah talks and you know, they have their, their legal arms in the sense of of Washington DC where they’re very much in the lobbyist of supporting the industry where <inaudible> isn’t there, into the active property involvement and management of those properties
, So uh, it was a great to see both really echoing each other’s sentiments, not methodologies, sentiments as to rational, calm, reduction of fear, clarity of purpose and planning and responses to it.
Yeah, that’s great
And I think that we’ve seen a lot of leadership because these kinds of old innovations in industry, which is really what we mean by now
A calming voice could give us a roadmap and went on here, yo, you know, tries to tell you what to do or to really comment on the situation itself, that that’s not after addition, but we feel like there would be remiss of us if we didn’t take the opportunity to use that platform to maybe help some folks in the industry
And that’s the core of why we started that project of the podcast was we really genuinely wanted to help the industry move forward
And we started a lot of mistakes being made and we felt like he had knowledge and experience that could be shared with the world
And that’s really the purpose of today
We want to talk about, and the reason we have Lauren on, Ron was heavily involved in the operations of broke to fat.
Really a lot of time to fade your black Swan event similar to this happened, which was all of the time, no one shortcoming in it
It created a lot of fear and uncertainty
And that was nine 11 so we were spending some time just talking about the things that Lauren learned during that area
And Aaron came out of it and stronger and more prepared for the next time
, Um but before we do that, I didn’t want to pay this
I went away to California, so it was wheat on a, on gluten truck
I was leery, gone for 24 hours and I feel like everything changed
Wait kids, when I left, it was a year and a lot of memories, but nothing really normal pulling the trigger
I come back a day later and all these majors, 40 seasons are canceled now
Trump declared it a national state of emergency.
Like it’s just, it’s phenomenal
People are taking toilet papers in the truckloads out of shock, you know, it’s the shortest on blood paper is, it was crazy to see how quickly it happened
So Melissa dirty on the fuck real quick
We’ve been monitoring I traffic or carve out time during the outbreak, trying to figure out what it means
So those calories, we know that the airline industry, the cruise line industry is obviously groups and meetings are being devastated already by this
But we were kind of not seeing too much of an impact
Like I would be really the last seven days is where we started seeing a significant slow down
What did you say the last 24 to 48 hours
It’s kind of a flip switch to clip.
It really has
I mean one property particular, I know usually books, I’m just gonna say 40 to $60,000 a day
Yesterday it was 10 $10,000
I mean these are not small
drops in revenue
, They’re they’re significant
And what’s been interesting about watching the data or the pain? It doesn’t seem that, it’s not like people aren’t shopping, right
There’s the mind seems to be that people are curious
That was just the kind of reluctant book and that’s what’s really been exacerbated in the last 24 48 hours for <inaudible>
And people literally don’t know if they can travel with head offices
You know, we have just announced I’ll ruin a bark
, Today the day I get back from California, which included me now being quarantined for 14 days in my house, which means that’s why the downfall of the on the Depakote was a little iffy because, you know, you, there were reporting apologies for that
But know I think a lot of didn’t did
Now if they’ve been up a lot more theory plays and um, you know, I want to be here, the platform that’s fueled it, like thinking in the right direction, you can make decisions that are right for your business
<inaudible> maybe it can help against you.
If I, if you just, if I can drop in something that you just said, Stuart, that I agree with mostly, but I actually disagree with partially we’re on the first wave
Nobody’s died yet
Nobody’s been fired yet per se
, Um the real impact, the initial impact is right now we’re still in the shock factor
This is what happening right now where all of a sudden we’re seeing it in the news and until you lose somebody, you know, or until you lose the business as your business is the first hit
That’s the, that’s the one we were talking about, the, you know, the analogy of my Tyson’s statement kind of thing
And right now nobody’s getting fired
, Uh doors aren’t closing
Businesses aren’t failing
That’s the part that is the conversation to be had now is the preparation of what you’re now going to do now that it’s reality.
Yeah, for sure
And I think it’s inevitable that um, those, those tough phone <inaudible> now we were already kinda, you know, and we’d be talking on your shirt long for several months mainly because of the data <inaudible> but it looked like we were heading into <inaudible> in the market
You know, we’re on the back of eight or 10 years straight of growth of ADR and occupancy
, Um unprecedented in our industry, but we saw that definitively slowing
We didn’t feel like it can fit into a recession, but I’d like to say with a major black Swan event and gets off the definition were blacks, Walker, no one’s were coming out of left field and kind of strawberry
I mean, literally the global pandemic, you can help people more than they’re already
Other than the reality is, you know, be what people are going to travel
No question you will
People are going to have group meeting and that’s going to have a devastating impact on our industry when she goes beating that, you know revenue is going to be down
So we’ve got to figure out how to we deal with that
How do we make the best out of really, really called situation
That’s the reality with them.
You, I’m not dealing with the front part and I’m a little what’s going around and then define it to run a marathon on the back of having the flu.
That’s good molecular and I get up super excited.
It was many hours for training
Here’s the blood and black and and frustrated texts back and forth
But we were already telling us accountability buddies <inaudible>
Melissa, was it true the rumors about the fact that you carried them the last mile?
I gave him a video of Melissa finishing crossing the finish line and I picked it cause I think a little bit for her
But she did break
She ran through the finish line and there was a guy walking in front of that
It looked like she’d just gone <inaudible>.
Alright, so let’s jump into the topic
So Lauren, tell us a little bit, where were you back at the nine 11
What were you doing?
I had five hotels in the Florida keys, uh, four of them in key Largo, one of them in key West and that market at the time, um, salespeople weren’t salespeople
They were order takers
We always had somebody interested in doing business with us
, Heck it was the Florida keys
Um, we had 58 to 40% of our traffic was walking traffic, no pre reservation
Everyone thought there was infinite amount of inventory in the Florida keys for hotels
So we always had a line at the front desk
, Uh and then nine 11 happened
And for people that may not remember the extra detail in Florida, we also had the anthrax scare with Boca Raton, which is lending itself a little stronger to the dialogue of the similars between nine 11, uh, and in Florida compared to other places was that there was this not just fear of travel, fear of going outside, fear of going to places in general where there were people not knowing if there was something that was able to be caught or shared.
So there was a little bit more of a taint of that in similarities to what we have right now
, Um and all of a sudden, literally as it happened today for some of y’all are dealing with, in some markets and other markets have experienced the road, there was no cars, there was nobody at the front desk and the staff has that same full staff that was busy as heck was wandering around like lost souls
Like now what? What happens now? You know, the shock of the reality of the news was one thing, the reality of their lives was just begin to sink in
, Like Oh my gosh, job job security
Do you know somebody coming with anthrax or something and do we need to take, you know, not shake hands, all this kind of stuff was there
I think that’s one of places I want to stop
The compensation is talking about internal communication
You know, what did you say the approach all be transparent with your thoughts about the reality
All that may be layoffs and the folks that are here now if they, but you know we do let these guys go cause we have to to vibe
I wrote bow trans ban
Where you and what were the kind of messages you were spending for the front line?
Well first off it was, there was actually three current conversations, diff at different timeframes
One was the assurance to everyone that we are aware that we have some to do something to do
And that was the general population
The next immediate conversation was the executive committee conversations of what is our plan for this? What is our response? Not just to generate business or find business or whatever that solution is
That’s an its own
But what is our plan for? What happens if the business isn’t returning in a short time, medium time, long time
And what did that, what does that mean for us? And then the third conversation we had was with general population saying that we’re doing everything I can to, to keep business coming in, that we’re going to begin communicating with people and keep them informed
We used to have what was called net mus, uh, in the morning.
Uh, nobody ever tells me anything
, Meetings I’d made them that every department had to show up for this
And you know, they, you know, somebody tell me how to show up and share the news
Like this is what businesses is what we’re doing
You know, Bob’s painting the wall over here, Tom’s doing this renovation, whatever
So there was always that constant medication
So you can’t stop those and you can’t ignore the realities of what’s happening
So you included it into the dialogue of daily, this is what’s going on
But we didn’t share with them that we were creating prioritizations and you know, risk lists and fallbacks and all this other stuff.
Do you want to elaborate on that or what are some of those tactical things you’re doing?
One of the first things, Oh, I’ll first eminent things was where is there still business? W uh, you know, all of a sudden we weren’t getting the same business
No cars were driving in
People weren’t coming in
So we had to literally go to the basics of, well, people are still unfortunately passing away and they’re still funerals and they’re still people getting married despite the concerns and certain uncertainties and people are still buying homes and people are still risking the travel because this is something that they still are willing to do
All things that we’re still facing right now
And so this is back in the fax machine days was, okay, let’s get the phone books out and start contacting these places and seeing what we can negotiate as a business, opportunities of offering them new negotiated rates, LNR rates
, Uh that was first phase.
And that was also a training aspect
Salespeople didn’t know how to sell
They didn’t know how to pick up a phone and start talking to people about, hi, I know you’re a scuba diving shop in Miami that sends people to us, are used to a how can we get that back? How can we offer you something that makes you willing to send people back down to us? You know, they didn’t know that
Usually they were telling these guys to bugger off because they already had too much business
So it was kind of a humbling hat in hand
, Hey we’re sorry for being pains in the butt last but we really, really would like to talk to you now
So that was a little learning curve for that
And then the other was, um, taking your budget and stress testing it
And what I mean by that, there’s lots of ways to doing it really.
But the most fundamental is simply whack off percentages of revenue and see what ugly costs come up that you can a, not control B if controllable, what does that mean? And three, what do you do about it? And you bring this down to scale to you know, section by section by section until you realize how little of what you can afford to pay for that keeps lights on for business or whether you actually have to close the door and say we have to wait for business to return
We can’t run the business and we almost got to that scale
, Um like I said, it’s easy to first look at people that aren’t performing and you know, reducing that there’s people then that were new and realize that they’re first on the auction block when it comes to reducing costs to keep those that were more trained.
Then you start looking at people that are cross trained that you can use in multiple circumstances, in situations because you may not need them as much in their original role and you can use them elsewhere
And when you have to then start cutting those people, then you get down to your core people that are your best at what you’re doing that are the most costly to try to get back should business return
And then you go through that layer
If it continues on longer than you anticipate
And we got down to the point where our executive committee was our operational team, the GM myself was running between hotels, um, checking people in at the front desk, our housekeepers, all head housekeepers of all the hotels aggregate where our cleaning crew for the rooms, uh, our engineers were the repair people in the room and even we had to reduce that down to, we kept one engineer for three hotels cause they were close to each other
So we got to that point where we had to let go people that we cried letting go because of the durability question
You have to confront the, if this lasts, what does this mean? And as you know, there’s even worse horror stories in Orlando and so forth where whole hotels molded out because they couldn’t pay the power bill to keep the air on
So that’s the durability question that we have to, you have to consider that in your planning process
You have to have that painful conversation
The exec team,
so you’d <inaudible> you’d literally mapped that out
Can you take your buy that, take a percentage off and run scenarios through and when you’re doing that, would you walking to the ration did you did that? Because a lot of folks are mindful of the locking you want to do is pop the quality of Thebans who for the few people that are coming, you want to make sure they have an outstanding time because that’s the only way you’re going to lie, that they come back and say, go spread word of mouth and Eric, they become a loyal tuck at the vandals for your brand
Without that, you know you’re in a spiral
That’s far right
How did you, how do you ensure you’re not sacrificing the quality of the product at the same time as you meet people?
There’s three components to that as well
One is that your pricing strategy maintains your tier level
What I mean by that, if you’re normally at a, at a third position within a a comp set of five, then you maintain your price strategy compared to the ones below you
Nobody wins by racing rate down to the bottom
We can have that conversation all day
, Um but keeping your rate integrity also means that for the people that are still coming to you, we have an added component now that I didn’t have to deal with back then and that is the 800 pound social media gorilla and also a consumer sentiment sites that just didn’t exist back at this time
So you have to worry that if you reduce your service scale or reduce your rates, that you have people coming in at a lower rate because you’re, you’re just reducing expectations as well.
You no longer keep the bellman or the floor staff or what have you, or you’ve reduced your service profile to accommodate for the lower rates that you’ve gone below on
You’re going to have a worst worry in the future when business comes back that you have to come from underneath that reduction in your review scores than you ever would if you just kept a higher rate mentality or higher service, a level that you originally would’ve kept and maintain your review scores that you have to worry so much about now that we didn’t have to worry about back then, but it’s not selling more than you can service then that is a definable number by rooms
, Uh some things that kind of bleed over to current strategies that we did back then
Everybody got upgraded
Everybody stayed in our best rooms
We did not put them in the lower rooms.
We also took advantage of because of the reduction, putting out of service rooms, that gave us a long curve of engineering and housekeeping, deep cleaning things that we, because when we were used to be busy, couldn’t get to this was a great time to tear the dry wall out, so to speak, and do those kinds of things
Should you have the capacity or Boeing bank to do that, then consider those as options during this time as well
But we did that on some of our rooms that we always had to undersell because of their Quadel quality issues in comparison to the full inventory
We were able to bring them up to a standard, so in business did come back, we could bring ourselves into a better rated position for them.
I love that
I love that you’re standing up or case man overdeliver and nothing
Do you have a availability that you can manipulate it that way to give people free upgrade? Such a cute little, you know, surprise and delight opportunity
I’ve seen so many people every day with their rate to make right now and I keep coming back
When people ask me about it
Did you go to look at the reason why the lack of the bond exists today? It’s not a rate driven thing
It’s a theater and you drop, you dropping your rate today by 50% is not going to necessarily create extra demand
So instead of dropping your rate, we were encouraging your clients to maintain rates, you know, sacrifice occupancy
If you have to try to find ways to create um, or eliminate the fear that Douglas, so maybe we’re, you’re reevaluating your, your cancellation policy so that if you’ve got people that are looking to stay in the summer <inaudible> the reality is probably with this burner bark, much like influenza and other similar coronavirus says it’s going to be very much minimalized before the summer comes around when <inaudible> offered some of these, these things that we’re putting in place now is going to take effect and get through that come from the summer, we’re probably going to have an okay summer from a hospitality in the U S for domestic travel.
So how can you get that book, these bookings on the books now? Well encouraged people with the book by reassuring them that if they do, they’re not going to be penalized if the worst case scenario happens in there
Tom comes back, there’s a lot of the, a lot of the insurance companies announced that they won’t pay up for cantellation through to Corona
So this is an opportunity for you are telling you to take on some of the burden of the risk and say, Hey, we’re in this together
We’ll take on that risk
If you want to cancel this stuff, they’ll go in on, we brought you back and it’s a risk you can take a hit
But it could also be the thing that saves you in this dining situation.
So actually quoted you on today’s show with uh, with the presidents when they were on there and the recount something that we were at the last normal conference, I think before the world fell apart and navigate
, Um the happiest moment in the travel journey is the anticipation, expectation and planning process
Well here we have everybody sitting up in confined space self, you know, self quarantine, which is a term I didn’t even know existed, you know, a week ago
, Um and, and you know, they have time to read, they have time to view, they also have time to dream
And all we did was put a Dyke in front of a river and the water is building up behind it
The anticipation of travels growing
The people sitting at home are getting cooped up, their kids are going crazy
Just play the baby shark song for 10 minutes.
You feel you feel like every parent in the world
, Okay so this is all building up
The more now that you can add into your social organic and even paid social, get in front of people about talking about future tense things to look forward to come over 30 days from now that give, give up the 30 days right now other than we can talk about some of those strategies of what you can do now but you know, look, talk, start talking about future tense stuff and away from all your storylines, cultural, culinary, family, adventure, soft adventure off the beaten path
You get used to create those storylines and you start sharing content
It’s very similar going back to nine 11 where we didn’t have a lot of ways of reaching guests in their pre arrival
Now we have infinite ways and you know, we used to send snail mail stuff, brochures and stuff, anticipating their arrival when they come really trying to build it up because email was still relatively new and not as used as as as it could have been, but it’s still, people don’t rely upon, it was like a secondary means of communication, so to speak.
But you know, snail mail all the time
We used to send crazy stuff and so we really tried to build the hype and then of course the expectation of saying we’re going to put in the biggest room, the best room we have
It’s gonna be right on the water, this whatever
Just got them just frothing like eh
And so they truly enjoyed their experience and we got so much one’s business came back to his bit of normalicy of repeat guests that we really wanted to go over and keep that going, but we got too busy to keep it going
It’s like now we have the technology to do that
We can keep that going, which is really cool.
The one thing I do know is once they talk to their students, they look, I don’t want to vacation.
You know, if you’re on a beach destination and walk out of time now to be talking about, you know, who wrote relieving strikes from eliminating everything
You talked on her, you know, you of started talking about social media
I hate spending on advertising
One of the things that people turn to often when they’ve been down there in the economy is cutting the advertising bucket or the overall marketing budget in general
But they typically look at advertising folks almost and you know, a good friend of the show and it’s going to be a guest on next week’s show
Kim Tito always talks about when he was back at, um, property groups and that the jury had downstairs and they came to him and said, we need to talk temp the fan on 20% off the budget, whatever it was
And he pulled out data and showed him exactly what that would do to demand tippy debt
, So you know, we believe it’s probably your worst thing you can do, especially if it’s performance pay down, you’re measuring the ROI and you’re getting a paper
This is an opportunity I can take market share, sit up on back on my other phone thing, come out of the situation stronger for
kind of like an advertising group that had been, I’m on a part of and they were, they were all talking about our ocean back on budgets right now
And I said, well why would you do that if people are looking for the things that you’re advertising for that specifically search campaigns, if they’re still searching your keywords, why would you pull back in there? The town intervention when they’re cooped up,
I actually scare my clients with telling him, it’s like, so you’re going to shut your streetlight off when people, you’re just thinking they’re going to find you with dark lights, you know, uh, you’re, you’re literally turning off the very sign
How are you going to run the race car if you don’t have gas in and your revenues, your gas stream
So you know, right now I’m loving the fact that companies are doing what you’re saying they’re doing
Because where I was fighting for inches on market voice, I’m gathering miles of it
I’m on terms without increasing my budget
I’m on terms I would never have fathomed to pay to do because the price went through the basement where a Dino discovered San Antonio or or the Alamo or downtown hotel Vancouver or something, used to be 1518 bucks in its prime
I’m getting for dollars in pennies.
And even though yes, the click throughs are less, I from talking from a thousand people, I’m talking to 10,000 people
So even if you add a couple of decimal places, I’m still 10 X-ing my return on those things
So this is the time that you can really gain market voice and share a voice because you know, I look at it that when the market does come back and it will for whenever it does, I like to be the guy in front of the line going, Hey remember me, I’ve been talking to you the whole time
You know what I mean? And it’s going to help in that sense
If I would say, you know, to the folks who are listening to that, a lot of folks are in the box and they’re going to have pressure from the ownership right now, letting me come in and have these conversations that they haven’t already thing we need to talk about
Where are we going to cut budget
You need to be strong and you need to use data backed us off
In fact, if we do that run through your ankle, this is number 10 if we chop this, this is how you’re reducing your revving opportunity
Every dollar refund because you look <inaudible>
We know that you’ve got a good attribution model and then you can justify every dollar you spend and say, this is not my moment
It may go back to them, push back and tell you, Hey, if we do that, that’s debating a really bad problem
We’re going to accelerate my spiral and we’re all going to be talking a lot Volvo, nothing about mine.
So our story, I think some of that goes to what I was wanting to send to you
If you, if you cut that off, yeah, you can show them the exact stats in the world
We’re going to lose likely this many bookings, this much revenue, and that’s just from the advertising campaigns you had currently running in your butcher beeping out is the awareness that those create that isn’t trackable
So I mean there, there’s a whole other facet to it that they really can’t track that is still, it’s still there
That may not be as Tammy
in a good sense
This is a lesson to be learned on the impact of diminishing your marketing and the ripple effect that it creates
Because here we’re looking at if we think optimistically that we’re going to have 30 days of fear, let’s be as optimistic as optimistic can be, I guess
, Um and so we have this gap point in the demand factor
We know that this is going to ripple through our summer
The best we’re going to get for summer is going to be drive traffic
That other avenues might open up even when they drop open up the borders again
But there’s going to be a hesitancy on international travel and so forth and so on
They certainly not gonna be the numbers of normal
, Um you know, so it’s going to have that ripple effect and then going into third and fourth quarter.
As much as you want to feel optimistic, it’s going to have an impact on
Usually those are diminished seasons for some markets, major markets
And that means that you’re not going to get the return that you were going to get to replace what you lost for the summertime changes
So you’ve got to look at your entire year for that
And it kind of goes steward to where I quoted you on for guests centric
When you’re looking at reality right now today have cancellation policies and you know, what should I do? I’ve got people that have prepaid and other, they want their money back, so forth and so on
What you do now in crisis is more impactful on people’s perception of your business than anything you did for the past 10 years when business was good because they’re going to remember it
There are people to this day that from 2008 2001 will not do businesses with companies because those companies held their feet to the fire, made them pay money they didn’t have because they wanted to just get the dollar the day and forget the dollar the next day
And now if you’re guest centric and you’ve always been a proponent, your team has always been proponent of that
If you’re guest centric, these people remember your kindness and they will come back to you because of it.
Yeah, and that’s especially true on the group side
There’s a lot of, a lot of groups right now be forced to cancer, right? It’s not something they particularly wanted to do, but a lot of businesses, they have these policies that are preventing on essential travel <inaudible> and then ended up traveling and getting, so it’s really not the conference organize it
A group meeting organized this fault, but it’s happening, but it’s going to impact their bottom line
They’re going to lose massive revenue
Since a lot of folks, if you, if you who are telling you now make that bad situation worse by enforcing policies
That word in policy was to deal with situation by this <inaudible>
It’s just almost the false majority, right? It’s something that no one could have predicted
So it just way common sense these to prevail and you need to have a common sense golden rule type approach to deal with the situation I was dealing with.
I’m on a committee that’s old, not to a conference right now
I’m going to just make a tough decision
It’s not until may, but the board decided they were going to postpone it to the full prop
People reached out to the team and they put up sockets or a bunch of penalties, but they said, listen, we trust you
We know you’re going to come back is what we’re going to do
You know, it wasn’t free that we’ve got, we lost some deposit, but it was, it was something that was palatable and more than fair and guess what? We’ll go back to that dog
They be joked about it and we’d never go back to them again
And we tell everyone, we, Nick, never, nobody got back to them
So don’t, don’t talk
You never see twice your face
Don’t say, I’m going to hold these cops keeping the fire because I need this revenue from this one a bad right now the long term effect that I have is going to last a year
Then you will not be able to recover the way you would want to be treated.
Very much so
Speaking of which, I know you all are a huge advocate of independent hotels and so forth
Talk about an opportunity of an opportunity of an opportunity
This is the chance for us to shine as hoteliers because brands do not have an answer to this
, They they, all their hotels are looking up going, okay, brand, I pay you, what are you going to do for me? And, and theirs and they can’t
, There’s we’ve always known there’s a gap point between brand marketing, branding for itself and property centric and there’s, and, and they don’t have answers to help everybody
There will be attrition in their ranks because they can’t save everybody
And in even in that themselves, they can’t even save themselves per se
Nobody’s really Bon voyage right now
, So uh, you know, it’s one of these, they don’t have a scalability in place and this isn’t a huge opportunity for the nimbleness and reactiveness.
I give you both, all of you
I thought three of you compliments and your whole team because the fact that you’re buried with calls means that you’re have well-informed clients that know that they need to be asking you, did you shut off my European campaigns? Did you target my drive market? You know, I talked to some organizations and brands and they’re like, well, brand’s doing whatever brand’s doing
, Yeah that’s not a good answer
You know, they, there’s a lot of things they don’t even know that it’s being dumped from or not being done for them because it’s always been kept behind a wall
So this is a wonderful opportunity for independent hotels to gain valuable market share and voice because of how they are guest centric
They react to how they’re adaptive to the, to the market’s interest and the types of travelers are looking for, branches can’t do that
They’re just have to stand there and wait for people to show up at their door and offer what they can.
I 100% agree
We thought we’d get another day of the cold every quarter
The client most of the day to that and I’m gonna let them go have a drive
That’s when you need a step up
That’s when you need, you know, if your agency out is, you know, just doing the bare minimum of doing that
There’s nothing, most things that laid awake down
You don’t have a pot
And you don’t have someone that’s trying to help you through this situation
So yeah, we’re preparing a lot of things that the hell in tables, like a tech about a white paper coming out next week
It will be available on our website and we’ll do an episode of that as well
In the meantime, there’s a lot of resources out there, a lot of webinars being put on a lot of white
They bourbon download on 80 5th of May.
I handle a lot of patients
To me, I’ve got all kinds of lot of grades and then I don’t want a great result is um, you know, this didn’t to stick to your fundamentals
, Honestly the timing of locks we deputize really interesting
, Um and so one 35 we’ll be talking about Google is going to destroy us all and how we needed to focus on the fundamentals and the guest centered
So I have what we do, what assets do we have, you know, we get people, we have the guest data and we had to get customers
Now more than ever is well meaning especially things like guest data
Lauren touched on it earlier, doing outbound, cold direct mail at this point to try to drive to mind from your loyal guests is really important and then thinking about the messaging, right? Embracing policy, read it then.
Sorry about that
It probably was me, I think I tried to turn up the audio to make sure I got to get clean recording coming back from Moby to me
It’s on marker 42 minutes, 40 42 42 minutes in two seconds was a star 0.4 from my point.
, Lauren I really appreciate you being on the show today and I know we could probably talk for about 20 more kind of <inaudible> or any more box you can offer.
No, I think, I think you’ve, you drive drive the things I think were the most important out of all of it and I’d want to don’t sound like a broken record
, I’ve I’m pretty much echoing what you guys do each week
Guest centric service is going to win the day
And I mean that from just not from our service profile of what you do for your clients, but also what CLA, what are our hoteliers are doing for our guests that we’re taking care of them
, Uh there are some things from uh, a communications point of view
We talked about communicating with our teams, but we didn’t really touch strongly on communicating with our guests in as much
And we need to do that as well
, Uh pepper in like we’re doing a retargeting of people that are on arrival
We’re retargeting on their social platforms, soft communications of how we’re enhancing our cleaning policies within the room to make the, you know, addressing their concerns of what am I going to a clean place.
Reminding them that hotel rooms clean are cleaned more, buy more frequently and better than most people’s homes are on a daily basis
And that, you know, asking the guests to, to help us help them in the sense that rather than leave all of your things on countertops and so forth, that perhaps putting them into one central area so that we can get better to the countertops more effectively because we’re enhancing our cleaning from not just wiping but spraying to disinfect as well that we’re incorporating new aspects of a UV lights and flashlights is our inspection process that although we clean common areas and high touch points like, uh, handles and doors and switches and so forth, we, we deep clean, uh, less frequently walls and so forth
And with the, the extra inspection, maybe we’re being attentive to make sure that maybe there’s areas that we need to touch more frequently or may have been used and we need to clean them.
So these kind of soft communications to our arrivals reduced our, our, our cancellations
, Uh on the short term people felt comfortable they were coming to a place that was addressing their concerns
, Um and then we can, we, we actually might brag and bring that into our public conversation on social as well
Cause it was so successful with the, our test on the, on the targeting
So things like that, communicating with our guests, not hiding from them and certainly not talking around them
, Uh you know, distracting them
, Like Oh it’s sunny and 72
And then we’d still want to make sure you’re comfortable coming to us
So I wanna sure
We threw that into I guess.
Yeah, no, I think it’s a good point
So if want to find out more about the Lauren one watch could show Elliot from today with, with the folks from the owl <inaudible>.
As mentioned on the website, the hospitality digital marketing.com forward slash live, the show that ran today with the two presidents on it
, Uh the two presidents, um, is show number two 40
, Um we’ve been doing for a little over six plus years, uh, every week and we’ve had the privilege of Stewart
Thank you for always being there with us
, Uh and you guys are, you know, I would love for all the fuelers to join us cause we keep steward in line
, So uh, you guys are always welcome to join us whenever you have the chance if you’re not already doing too much right now
, So but that’s the place to find us for the show
And then we also have our own podcast, which is not near as cool as you guys and certainly not award-winning like you guys and that is a hospitality marketing
But we do have an Alexa skill, which you don’t have
Then all you have to do is go to Alexa or Google assistant
Why you did it? Did you do it?
And I didn’t need to, I can’t do that
And I said, I’m not going to say there’s one in my room, but I did tag a L E X day played a few <inaudible> and it just played
<inaudible> did it itself senior
Even Amazon made it for you.
I think once you, once you’re award winning, he does it.
I think you’re right
I think once you get the plaque you’re good.
Have you listened to your podcast? I haven’t tried it on.
It’ll come through on Google assistant and Siri too
They both do the same thing
So yeah, it’s cool stuff.
So again, tell us the name.
Oh, that’s hospitality marketing, the podcast
It’s really creatively original.
And then we didn’t really talk to much, but your, your video showed it
Did Armando sometimes go down live on Friday every week at 1130 Eastern time
It’s unedited, unscripted, and compound
We have a lot of opinions.
We do get a lot of opinions
We were very polite to our presidents today when they’re on there, were very courteous to them
But we a rabbit hole, a lot of stuff
, And and we are right
We don’t agree, but we’ve been doing it now for a little over 60 will be seven years in August, although you tell me I can’t have my first year birthday
, So uh, but uh, yeah, but we’re, you know, it’s, it’s been a lot of fun and it’s been a success really because Stewart and you’ve been on it and everything else and we get those great intellectual opinions and veggie the way you, most of you guys know, he steals all your ideas and brings him onto the show
Just so you know
, Okay cool.
Get you on there, the <inaudible>
Thank you so much everyone for listening
Thank you Lauren for being on the show
I know this was a different kind of episode, but the quality of the downs a little different because the bed situation and the tone is probably a little different, but this is the situation with Rodale
We appreciate you tuning in each and every week and we are here for you
You need to buy gold related from situation you’re dealing with and your proxy and you can always shoot us an email info after you’ll travel
I’ll call me will give us a call or numbers on a website
You’ll travel, I’ll call them
We hit the industry, help us through this crazy phenomenal time militia
If they want to find out more about you or have a conversation
I am on Twitter
They want to reach out to your rep and they do that
You can find me on Twitter at @pforiska
going to notice to this week’s show at <inaudible> dot com slash podcasts and click on episode 136 again, we have a download available next week and fuel travel.com/download which will have some advice on how to market during downtime and then that’ll be very valuable
And again, we’ll turn that into a podcast that sir two weeks from today and we’ll continue to kind of offer advice or approach your channel and through the channel and through Lawrence
So over the next 30 60 90 days, however long the tapes have to get through then and then we’ll be there with my patients on the other end too that they, how to take advantage of the situation and maximize your market share so that adept for the day show
Until next time you have been listening to the Fuel Hotel Marketing Podcast.
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