Ten Rules to Effective Electronic Distribution
Eric Gourdie and Kristen Palmquist, Sceptre
In this article, Eric Gourdie and Kristin Palmquist discuss the importance of having a total Revenue Management philosophy at the property as the ultimate key to success for good revenue and electronic distribution management at the property. They also outline the 10 “Golden” Rules to Effective Electronic Distribution.
1. Utilize a dedicated distribution expert who provides guidance and recommendations
A hotel must have an effective electronic distribution effort if it hopes to maximize the revenues it obtains from these channels. As a result, the hotel needs to have a dedicated resource on its team that can lead the electronic distribution efforts. This position requires an experienced staff member who can allocate time solely for this purpose.
2. Establish and deploy an electronic yield management strategy
The hotel must establish an effective yield management strategy for its electronic distribution channels that is derived from the overall yield management processes.
3. Proactively review and refine your strategies and tactics
On a regular basis, the key individuals involved in electronic distribution should meet to review production, strategies and tactics, as well as to set goals.
4. Align your electronic distribution strategies with your sales & marketing plan
The best electronic distribution strategies are tightly integrated into the hotel’s overall sales and marketing plan.
5. Ensure rate parity and availability across all channels
Hotels must insure that is an intelligent relationship between rates displayed on the various distribution channels. To a large degree, rates should either be essentially equal or there should be a logical rationale between rates, such as a hurdle or “fence” that distinguishes a low rate from an unrestricted rate.
6. Use effective on-line descriptions and images to promote your property
A great on-line description and images of your property can make the difference in a guest booking your hotel or the hotel next door. Consumers want to know what they are getting.
7. Optimize your web site’s visibility and deploy a booking engine
The main goal of any web site is to book rooms. To do this, hoteliers must effectively show Rooms, provide Rates, and offer online Reservations.
8. Know your electronic distribution opportunities
With new web sites and GDS opportunities materializing daily, it can be difficult to keep on top of it all. Sceptre helps you identify the right opportunities.
9. Maintain close relationships with your key distribution providers
Maintaining a good relationship with your key distribution partners can insure you are given the first opportunity to participate in new programs and are made aware of the ways you can increase your visibility within their system.
10. Conduct ongoing research of industry news and program opportunities
The electronic distribution environment is very dynamic and is changing rapidly. It is important to keep track of the changes and new options available to the hotel.