Revenue
 

At the sharp end of hotel revenue and reputation management in India

A few weeks back, I spoke at a conference organized by Travelclick and IDeaS in Mumbai, primarily about how social media and online reviews are changing the landscape of hotel revenue management.

The audience at the event were mostly folks from a number of hotel revenue, marketing, sales, and corporate strategy departments.

After the talk (presentation embedded below), I spoke with a number of people in the audience on the topic and collated a few of the themes coming up in the discussions:

1. There are still hotels in India that perform revenue management in an Excel spreadsheet. But, they do realize the potential and need of a revenue management tool/application. When they grow in terms of number of hotels, they are planning to adopt a revenue management software.

2. Majority of the revenue managers are new to the concept of linking social media and revenue management.

3. Online reputation management firms like Revinate, ReviewPro, and TrustYou have a wide opportunity in the Indian hospitality sector, with a number of major global hotel brands opening properties (or expanding operations).

4. New social media channels such as Twitter’s Vine and Quora are on the radar of social media operatives.

5. An interesting question asked from one of the attendees: The #1 reason why people leave a hotel website is to check the hotel’s review in other channels/websites. This can be solved by bringing the hotel’s review (from other channels) into the host website. But, by doing this, aren’t hoteliers increasing the probability of the consumer to read a negative review about the hotel? What is your answer to this?

6. Brand poaching is still commonplace among Indian hoteliers in search. When searching for a hotel name, OTAs show up in the sponsored ad space followed by the hotel’s website as the first search item in result. Google travel industry head, Siddarth Dabhade, says such activity can be curtailed if the hotel’s brand name is trademarked.

NB: Profit image via Shutterstock.
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Karthick Prabu

About the Writer :: Karthick Prabu

Karthick was general manager for Tnooz in Asia until September 2014.

 

Comments

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  1. Abhishek Singh

    Hi Karthick,

    Great post. By the way, have you seen the case study on how Infosys has helped Accor achieve their social integration goals? It’s pretty cool. Do check it out -> http://www.infosys.com/newsroom/press-releases/Pages/driving-social-shopping-accor.aspx

    We are planning to introduce the same technology to Indian hotels as well in due course.

     
  2. Alan Young

    Alan Young SVP, TrustYou

    We too believe that India will be an extremely interesting market related to review aggregation, monitoring, marketing for the hotel industry. One thing that hotels must not lose sight of is the fact that they not only need to monitor and respond to reviews, but they also need to be aggressive in ensuring that they are marketing these review proactively on their brand.com sites. This will ultimately ensure that they receive direct bookings.

    Our company is firmly committed to helping the India hotel industry be at the leading edge of Online Reputation Management.

     
    • Abhishek Singh

      Hi Alan,
      I do believe TrustYou has some advantages compared to its competitors for the India market. So I wish you all the best in achieving your goals

       
  3. Martin Rusteberg

    Siddarth Dabhade answers correctly that registering a brand as a trademark will allow the trademark owner to file a trademark policy complaint in regards to keyword bidding on Google, however this is not valid in every one of Google’s markets, not valid for all products or services or use of the trade mark in the ad context and trademark registration as well as the trademark notice process to Google can easily take months if not a year to be processed.

    Google has just (March 2013) relaxed their rules on trademark usage globally, so this is unfortunately not the reality…

     
    • Abhishek Singh

      Agree with you Martin. OTAs with deeper ad-spend pockets would always be in a position to outbid the hotels themselves. However, listing on Hotel-Finder, gives the ability of price comparison to the customer on the search page itself. That may be a better option to fight the bidding war with OTAs, as inherently customers do prefer to book directly from the hotel-brand-site, if price parity is maintained.

       
 
 

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