Here are the 10 Rules of Hotel Marketing as far as online marketing goes. I’ve reviewed them since they were written and little has changed, they are still as valid as they were at the time.

I keep them on the screen during the Q&A periods of my speaking engagements because it keeps the bored people busy with something, but to my astonishments this is what most people take pictures of, so I thought it would be something for the more professional crowd to have. I originally published this article on WIHP Insights and Publications page here it is again.

I’ve tried to keep them fun and light because at the end of the day, who needs more rules.

1. If you want fast results, protect yourself from brandjacking.

2. If you are uncertain of where to advertise, find out where OTAs advertise.

3. The alternative to good advertising is more OTAs. It’s not wrong, it’s just a different strategy.

4. If you think there’s a war against OTAs think again. Almost one quarter of your direct bookings happen because you are on OTAs.

5. Occupancy is a result of the right rates and the right visitors, both are under your control.

6. A hotel has three parts to its marketing plan (a) location (b) comfort and (c) value. The best hotels are equally good on all three. But any hotel can excel in one and that is it’s marketing edge.

7. The USP is never what you think it is. It’s what your guests think.

8. If you can’t track direct results it’s not marketing. It may be PR but thats a whole different field with a whole different view.

9. The four key performance indicators of your website are: Turnover generated, visits to site, conversion rate and of course budget spent to make that happen. Learn to read them in your sleep, they’ll save you lots of hot air.

10. The easiest way to increase rates is to increase service and guest satisfaction; because you can’t move the hotel nor renovate it over-night.