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Hospitality Marketing Solutions from David Brudney & Associates
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"This is a terrific article and so VERY relevant."
Maureen Callahan, V.P. Marketing, Destination Hotels & Resorts

David Brudney & Associates
2938A Luciernaga Street
Carlsbad, CA 92009
Phone: 760-994-9266

David vs. Goliath, Leveling The Playing Field In Attracting, Retaining Hotel Guests

David Brudney & Associates- Hospitality Marketing Consultants
David M. Brudney, ISHC, a nationally recognized spokesman for hotels and a veteran with four decades of experience, is the principal of David Brudney & Assoc. of Carlsbad, CA

David M. Brudney, ISHC, June  2000

Real world?  Big v. small has become a "reality-check" and cost issue.  Surveys indicate that all hotels spend as much as six times more to capture new guests as they do for repeat guests.  I believe todayís hotel mantra should be "letís optimize every guest experience so guests canít wait to return - - and tell a friend!" 

Smaller independents and boutique hotels are able to hold their own and, in many cases, outperform chain properties all over the U.S. by  focusing on a combination of solid guest identification, needs-and-wants assessment, satisfaction, recognition and reward programs. 

"getting to know their existing customers better"

Successful Independent and boutique hotel operators have realized that limited dollars, resources and distribution channels make it near impossible to compete with mega-chain brands and their sophisticated, attractive frequent guest programs.  Rather than attempt to go head-to-head in the global, national, regional and local market places, smart independent and boutique operators are protecting and expanding market share by getting to know their existing customers better - - their needs, their preferences and the primary reasons for their patronage and loyalty.  This vital information is now being recorded electronically and, when deemed absolutely necessary, manually by hand.

There may be a multitude of reasons for why todayís hotel guests select a small independent or boutique hotel over a chain-affiliated property.  The reason could be price.  Availability.  Location.  Possibly, a friendís recommendation.  All things being equal, however, I believe that more and more guests are making hotel selections based upon comfortability, recognition and service.  Status is a whole other issue, one to be addressed in a future article.

"build a solid data base on all guests, electronically or manually"

Here are some good tips for independents and boutique hotels for both attracting and retaining todayís (and tomorrowís) guests:

  • insist on a clean, safe, efficient, user-friendly operation
  • (owners) donít assume, inspect what you expect
  • if on site food and beverage can not be presented and delivered correctly, on time and affordable, insist that all guests are introduced to neighborhood, value-priced F&B options
  • learn as much as possible about guests and guest needs, desires
  • build a solid data base on all guests, electronically or manually
  • new data base mining companies can help match preferred guest profiles and deliver lists of hundreds of prospective new guests
  • customize an appropriate reward program for your preferred guests
  • communicate with guests via e-mail or direct mail between visits
  • recognize and thank guests at both check in and check out
  • develop a satisfied guest "sales force" to spread the word amongst family, friends and co-workers
  • insist general managers make local sales calls daily 
  • seek out new, advantageous, neighborhood marketing partnering relationships

More and more owners, operators and franchisees are turning to established, hands on, professional operations and marketing consultants for help today in implementing successful new concepts and programs.

About David Brudney & Associates

David M. Brudney has become a charter member of Laguna Strategic Advisors and was a founding member of the International Society of Hospitality Consultants. Brudney is a veteran sales-and-marketing professional concluding his fifth decade of service to the hospitality industry. Brudney advises lodging owners, lenders, asset managers and operators about hotel sales and marketing best practices and standards of care, and conducts reviews of sales-and-marketing operations throughout the world. Brudney is a professional speaker, teacher, mentor and sales trainer. Previously, Brudney held sales and marketing positions with Hyatt, Westin and Marriott.

Contact:  David M. Brudney, Principal
David Brudney & Associates
Carlsbad, CA 92009
Phone:  760-994-9266
Email David Brudney
Web Site:   www.DavidBrudney.com

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