I'm not a revenue manager but I get to work with many of them in my role at Revinate. Revenue Managers are data driven and approach problems in an analytical way. They are often blown away by Revinate because it takes unstructured guest feedback and makes order of it by finding trends and easily allowing you to see quantitative analysis of how your property is doing against the comp set. (Or, if you are a corporate user, which properties are leading your portfolio and which ones might need an extra hand.)
Yesterday I attended HSMAI's Revenue Optimization Conference. I attended the event last year but our software was relatively new and we didn't have nearly the customer-base that we have today. It was amazing to hear people talking about Revinate, both in the sessions and in informal conversations about technology.
I wanted to share my five take-aways from the day:
- Step up: Many speakers mentioned that revenue managers need to make more market aware business decisions and take a larger role in the organization. They were encouraged to try to stimulate demand, not just crunch numbers. Since they are at the convergence of social media, distribution and revenue management, they are in a unique position to try new things and really make a difference. Revenue managers were urged to work on their communication and persuasion skills to become leaders.
- KISS: There was a lot of talk about how hard it can be to bring in new technology, especially if there isn't a culture of adopting new things. Hoteliers urged technology providers to keep things simple, versus throwing too many features into products.
- Despire Google's plea that it's just a content aggregator, there is concern that Google search results display OTA prices first, often driving people to book off the brand.com Web site. With the acquisition of ITA, many hoteliers wonder if Google might look at a hotel booking engine next.
- While there was some animosity expressed at Expedia for how long it takes for hotels to be paid for bookings, Amy Severson, the Director of Strategic Accounts make the point that hotels don't realize how much it spends on behalf of the hotel in advertising fees, search fees and credit card fees.
- A new consumer service has hoteliers gasping for air. The service allows you to book a room at a hotel but then allows other hotels to bid for your business. If you can get a better rate, you cancel and book elsewhere. Talk about creating competition.
All in all, an interesting event.