This is an old golfing analogy. Simply put, it means the great big long shots which look really impressive (especially on the telly) mean nothing compared to being able to putt. It's putting that wins the game. The ability to putt earns the money.
The expression popped into my head this morning as we compared two websites: One the result of nearly £10,000 in designer and developer time, the other the results of £3,000 of marketing time.
The former looked lovely, but has a look to book conversion ratio of less than 1% (what we in this country call "all fur coat and no knickers"); the latter has a look to book conversion ratio of about 20%.
There are more differences:
Continue reading "Drive for show and putt for dough"
If you follow the writing of people like Seth Godin, especially his work on viral marketing and "Tribes", you might be interested in this blog John Sviokla's blog
Take a look, you'll find out about a website called Groupon.
You know how I'm always banging on about boring websites? This one certainly isn't!
Continue reading "Attract new customers! Be different, be fun! Here's how."
If you subscribe to online marketing newsletters, you'll be familiar with all the things that are going to happen tomorrow. Predictions are everywhere:
- People will only book hotels using their mobile phones.
- Social networking will dominate booking and destination research behaviour.
- 75% of all travel bookings will be made online by the time I'm drawing my pension.
You know the sort of thing.
Continue reading "Manana, manana"
I get a hard time from some of my colleagues about my attitude to Twitter (and not just Twitter, I have the same problem with a lot of online social networking tools). I can see how it could be useful, but I keep finding that it takes so much effort that it can generate a lot of heat and very little light.
In other words, it just doesn't generate the results I'm looking for. I can spend my time much more profitably doing other things. I'll get around to it one day, but at the moment I need to do other things.
One of the problems I have with social networking is that it's all about...
Continue reading "Twit-to-who?"
I'm just back from an interesting little conference about the opportunities for hotel marketing online.
Towards the end of the day, lots of hoteliers were milling about, excitedly twittering about how they were going to get stuck right in to blogging, FaceTube and social networking in general.
There was a lot of "we will build it and they will come" mentality in the room. When I asked people what sort of things they were going to say when tweeting on MyBook the answers left something to be desired. When I asked how they planned to measure the performance of their efforts I was obviously speaking in the wrong language.
So gentle reader, here are five essential steps you need to take if you're going to reach marketing heaven...
Continue reading "Five steps to hotel marketing heaven"
The recent publication of the Hotels.com survey of hotel prices caused a bit of a furore in our local newspapers: Journalists delighted in pointing out that hotel prices appeared to be descending through the floor; hotel managers felt compelled to demonstrate that their chosen business strategy was the right one.
It was in the newspapers last week, it'll be wrapping up fish suppers this week.
Of course, this is more of a publicity exercise for Hotels.com than it has to do with accurately reporting hotel prices.
Continue reading "Much Ado About Nothing (the Hotels.com survey)"
Elsewhere in this blog you'll be able to read about my take on the craft of developing scenarios. Scenarios are essentially "stories" which attemept to illustrate how events may play out in the future. They help us to interpret present day events and their implications for what we're doing ("what we're doing" being a euphamism for "business strategy").
It has just struck me that there is another, powerful use for "memories of the future": You can use them to illustrate to a prospective customer what it might be like to stay at your hotel...
Continue reading "Memories of the future - do try this at home"
I'd like to take a moment to record my thanks to those of you who are kind enough to use the comments section of this blog to send me encouraging messages...
Continue reading "A note of thanks"
Years ago (more than I care to mention) when I was a student of hotel management (thinner, hairier, fitter and very stupid) I can remember going on a site visit to the kitchens of a University Hall of Residence. It was there that I first came across the phenomenon of employees not always appreciating the technology they're given to help them do a job better/quicker/more accurately/safer. In this case, the manager (or "Bursar" as they are sometimes called in this country) took us to see his lovely new pot wash unit, installed at a cost of a couple of thousand pounds. This was a very impressive bit of kit, with scrubbing gadgets and pressure jets - yes, it could truly take the misery out of washing pots.
So much so that someone had cut the electrical plug off it...
Somebody in the organisation didn't like the new gadget. This left £2,000 worth of kit sitting there doing nobody any good.
Fast forward a few years and it's still happening.
Continue reading "How to ensure your technology investment works! Invest in the people..."
Life is good!
I've just experienced the JOY of dealing with somebody who read an article on this blog AND ACTUALLY DID SOMETHING ABOUT IT!
I was looking for a hotel room for a couple of nights for my next visit south. In fact, I needed a room for three nights, but the booking system only seemed to want to sell me two. The electronic hamster ran round and round inside the booking engine for a while and eventually we compromised on two nights. Then, disaster. The system doesn't like my postcode - verboten! Cease and desist! You're not real, your postcode tells us you're not...
Continue reading "I liked it so much, I booked the room!"