Transcript of "Ten Years Of Hard Lessons Building Hotel Websites"
Allen Management Hotel Group – Michael L Allen, President
<ul><li>FIRST PRIORITY of the "website / internet marketing strategy" should be to drive sales. If you are not driving sales your wasting money! </li></ul>
<ul><li>Don't leave the functionality and business process design to the tech guys. They don't know the hotel business </li></ul>
<ul><li>Own everything, the domain, the content, the code - web developers / designers come and go quickly. Build on what you own over time. It’s a process not a product. Expect to be working on this from now on! It’s too important to set it and forget it. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Register for your own Google Local Business Account. Don’t leave this in the hands of your developer. TOO IMPORTANT. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Make sure that the code is well written and compatible across all OS and Web platforms (this is trickier than it sounds. You pay for what you get) – Ask for references. Think BIG Screens (Plasma TV’s) and small screens (Mobile Phones) </li></ul>
<ul><li>Start with the implementation of a Content Management Solution [CMS]. An in expensive ($200 onetime per seat) good one is Adobe Contribute CS4. Your developer will not want you to do this as it will reduce his billable hours. You will want it as it puts you and your staff in the driver's seat for content changes and updates. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Keep everything FRESH by changing it at least every two (2) weeks. (See previous slide) Emailing changes to your web developer takes way much time and costs too much $$. Move all this work in house, preferably to the SALES staff themselves. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Flash Videos of REAL PEOPLE saying great things about your hotel products, people and service will create and the BUZZ that the sales staff need to "make the sale". Use www.theFLIP.com ($180 ea) to make this fast and easy for Sales Staff to get these on the fly in real time. All videos can be uploaded in flash or Youtube with no developer hours / $. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Add interactivity now to the site, blogs, forms, client area. If the budget allows implement a Customer Service Contact System, like LivePERSON.com ($200 - $500 / mn) or chat, click to talk, email tickets, faq's. DO NOT USE EMAIL for this. The staff will be overwhelmed by the email tidal wave + you spend a fortune protecting against span and virus. </li></ul>
<ul><li>TRACK everything. Use the free tracking tool Google Analytics. World Class reporting that can be integrated with sales tracking, all for FREE. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Start now building VIRAL Marketing Strategy... a) Create and upload customer testimonials to YouTube b) All Employees of Hotel should register with LinkedIn. Their "profile" should be reviewed and edited by the sales staff (everybody should be "Linked" together"), everyone should encourage “Guests" to join in. Sales Staff should regularly update their profile with QA's and "what I am doing" tweats. BUILD BUZZ! </li></ul>
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