The International Network of Hospitality Consulting Professionals

A Quarterback for the Digital Services Playbook

What do Superbowl champions and hospitality organizations have in common?

They both need:

  1. Winning playbook to beat the competition
  2. Great coaches to provide direction before during and after engagements
  3. Quarterback to execute a winning plan in real time

The owners of both are the key to success.

1 Winning Playbook

A winning digital services playbook combines sales, marketing and revenue management to steal market share. Like Superbowl winners, the playbook is a dynamic document that continues to change. Team owners and coaches produce the strategy then players follow it.

It requires considerable thought and research.  Developing a winning digital services playbook should be a major focus of hospitality owners and managers.

A digital marketing playbook must include events in the city, spend, organizational goals and timeline of offers. It should also anticipate market changes due to seasonality and competition.  This playbook should be shared with players of vendors and revenue management as well.

2 Great Coaches

Hospitality digital marketing is complex.  It involves a holistic strategy that combines website design and functionality, search marketing, social media and content marketing plus e-mail and campaign marketing.  Typically, there are vendors that provide advice and guidance against data and systems in each of these areas.

Like Superbowl champion owners choosing coaches, hotel owners must make the right decisions about which vendors to partner with. Like the digital services playbook, putting together the best combination of vendors is an important task for owners.  These coaches should be able to challenge the strategy and get the most of out of each of player.

3 A Great Quarterback

Executing real-time hospitality digital marketing in a changing market is hard.  Like a winning quarterback, making the right play calls and timely adjustments is based on being able to read the situation. Keeping an eye on key performance indicators for digital marketing plus revenue management results is crucial.

There needs to be a digital marketing quarterback capable of making the right calls based on great coaching and a solid playbook.  A quarterback doesn’t have to be right all the time.  But they should be right enough to post a winning “score” for the owner.

Advice for Owners and Senior Managers

  1. Spend time, effort and resources on digital marketing strategy. Ensure the strategy aligns with property assets, human and material.
  2. Pick the right vendors and partners that fit the organization’s goals and are willing to work together.
  3. Hire the best “quarterback” to develop and execute the digital services playbook.

About the Authors:

This is a joint article between Cayuga Hospitality Consultant members Bill Carroll and Stephanie Smith of Cogwheel Marketing. Bill is a former university football player and coach.  Stephanie loves Hokie football.

Chris Breikss of Major Tom made the suggestion of having a good digital quarterback as a key to success during Cayuga Hospitality Consultants annual meeting and was the inspiration for this article.