Best practices: How to best manage distribution channels

New distribution and revenue management strategies

New distribution and revenue management strategies can also take into account a guest’s propensity to spend on hotel amenities.Pictured: New distribution and revenue management strategies can also take into account a guest’s propensity to spend on hotel amenities.

“The future of distribution is going to be total revenue management, incorporating customer valuation and worth into the process,” said Erez Jontef, VP of revenue management at Northwood Hospitality.

Customer valuation takes into account the value that customers would be spending at the resort, or external spending at other venues, said Jontef. New tools can extract this information through social media and other factors.

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Hoteliers should also keep an eye on the costs associated with each distribution channel as part of their overall strategy. “Instead of balancing the various channels, optimizing the mix by market would lead to the most successful topline revenue and bottom line profit situation,” said Jontef.

Hoteliers should also bear in mind how distribution relates to the larger picture, said Michelle Woodley, Preferred Hotel Group’s SVP of distribution and revenue management.

“I can’t just look at my tablet and say tablets are generating all those sales, instead of looking at the bigger picture and how they got there,” said Woodley. “You can spend a lot of time tracing back that customer, and there’s definitely a tension and value to understanding how the guest got to you in the first place.”

Tracing the guest’s path to purchase touches on multiple areas of the business. “There’s a convergence of discipline in hotels,” said Woodley. “You can’t just look at distribution as a silo; it also ties in with sales and marketing.”

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