The Bipolar World of Hotel Marketing
Beautiful art on the walls of public spaces rather than behind glass in lobby shops.
The Hilton Model
My wife, Peggy, president and publisher of the Target Marketing Group, travels a lot and is a Hilton Frequent Guest. Hilton treats her very well. Over the years, she has piled up points. When she stays at a Hilton, she's always made to feel special.
Last December, she cashed in some points and we had a wonderful complimentary stay at the Hilton Vienna Plaza on the Ringstrasse in Vienna, Austria, where we could hop a streetcar and be anywhere in town in a few minutes. Included were free breakfasts, and afternoon drinks and hors d'oeuvres in the concierge lounge.
Would Peggy consider staying in a non-Hilton hotel? Only under duress.
When I got into direct marketing 40 years ago, the rule of thumb was that it costs five times more to sell something to a new customer than to an existing one. My guess is that that number is higher today.
Chuck Cavannagh, the 6' 5" impresario of marketing conferences, came out of the insurance business where the working acronym is TARP—Total Annualized Renewal Premiums.
The other term for it is "lifetime value." What is the total amount of money that a customer will spend with you over the entire period you will be doing business together?
In the hotel business, it can be substantial. A guest who is loyal to a chain and runs up bills of $10,000 a year, could spend $100,000 over 10 years.
Is it really smart to charge this person extra for maid service or $12.95 per day rental for a high-speed Internet cable?
If you believe that, you're in the wrong business.
The Rittenhouse Model
Philadelphia's Rittenhouse Hotel manager, David G. Benton, has empowered all his 289 employees to make virtually any decision that directly affects a guest so long as it "isn't illegal, immoral or dangerous."