Oh, No. Not Another Meeting.


You’ve read our recent posts about what you need to give to marketing and what marketing needs to give to you. You’re super pumped up about it and you are ready to take the “interdepartmental plunge” (as I like to affectionately refer to it.) You are going to take revenue opportunities between revenue management and marketing to the next level.

So what’s next, you ask?

The crux of many properties isn’t necessarily the recognition of how departments can help each other out. It can be natural for internal departments to have “walls” separating them, so the real challenge here is how to change the overall mindset so interdepartmental collaboration becomes a real, regular and profitable business strategy.

It may sound overwhelming at first, but there are some helpful tips and techniques that can guide your hotel in fostering strong internal partnerships.

How should you start it out? With a meeting, of course.

Kick It Off With a Meeting

I’m going to be completely clear about something: Let’s try not to make your kick-off meeting another one of those boring office meetings that should have just been an email, ok? You know the meetings I’m talking about. You might be coming back from one right now. I might have just survived one myself. I digress.

It’s important to recognize this meeting for what it’s not. The intention is not for revenue managers or marketers to try to change each other’s roles or job responsibilities. Your responsibilities shouldn’t change – you should only get more. (I kid, I kid.) The goal here is really about sharing critical information that enhances revenue, improves the business and even strengthens each other’s career paths.

To reduce any wasted time (whoa, hold up. Wasted time in a meeting? That’s just ludicrous), make sure each team knows the information they need to bring in advance so they can help the other understand how they operate. For you revenue managers, this means you’re bringing your occupancy forecasts, demand curves, booking pace and guest segmentation data. Your marketing team should be bringing their event calendars, promotions and guest segmentation lists. These pieces of information are the foundation of your kick-off meeting and frame your discussions.

If you find that you’re struggling to create a structured agenda for your meeting, use the following agenda for a simple & constructive framework:

  • Introductions
  • Team goals & objectives
  • Information exchange
  • Changes & opportunities discussion
  • Action items (for each team)

May the (Task) Force Be With You

Next up, designate your task force. Your kick-off meeting was the equivalent of Bill Murray’s ‘baby steps’ out of the room. Your ‘baby steps’ to the elevator (I really hope there are some What About Bob? fans reading this right now) is identifying a motivated individual (or group of individuals) who will take responsibility for recurrently bringing your two teams together.

Task force responsibilities should include:

  • Scheduling weekly or recurring team meetings
  • Creating an integrated reporting process that can be continually updated & exchanged
  • Researching opportunities for cross-department education (i.e. webinars, workshops, online courses, presentations, etc.)
  • Planning social gatherings for team building purposes (preferably ‘dry,’ but that’s really just a judgment call)

Assess Your Data

You’re tweeting, you’re working the corners of Facebook and LinkedIn – I mean, you’re even on Insta. Weekly or bi-weekly meetings simply aren’t enough to keep up with your flash sales, mobile marketing and social media campaigns. If you want to make smarter, better decisions, you need instant access to information. Make the evaluation of each team’s data, processes, and collection and analytical technologies a top priority. Leverage all available functionality to mutually decide what information should be shared and how often it is shared.

Look to assess the following:

  • Marketing campaign calendar
  • Demand forecasts
  • Booking trends
  • Price, promotion & product fencing
  • Market and guest strategy at the regional & property level
  • Occupancy levels
  • Campaign revenue contribution

And there you have it, folks. Three actionable processes (notice how I didn’t say ‘baby steps’?) to increase the profitability in your hotel by working together with your marketing department. If you can regularly communicate, share information and brainstorm strategies, your departments should see enhanced achievements and long-term boosts to occupancy and revenue.

Now for the rest of your day? “Baby steps to five o’clock. Baby steps to five o’clock.”

Thank you for the contributions provided by the IDeaS Consulting Services team, who combine their leading industry insight and experience with analytical tools to align people, processes & tools to drive better revenue.

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