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Thing that make me a bit cross (marketing)

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Joey Camb

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I am in a trade association with other B&B's and we operate as friendly competition (ie referals when we are full and so on) We are quite busy normally and people keep saying to me"Oh how are you so busy we are very quiet?"
1. I work very hard and do a lot of research and marketing
2. I am not telling you or you will do it to.
However what makes me cross is they wait till they are in a financial mess to do anything. You have to keep moving and marketing just to stay in the same place if not better.
Or am I bonkers? I am not sitting about waiting for customers to find me and then being surprised when they don't!
 

EmptyNest

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You are right on! If others aren't going to do their own..why should you do it for them? I have tried to offer advice and get "poo poo'd" by some innkeepers...so now...I keep my mouth shut and they can just suffer. It isn't worth it to me.
 

Morticia

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Good for you to keep working at it! We have a saying here that we use when one of us is doing better than the others...'Luck of the draw.' We've all seen it when one place is hauling them in off the streets like there's no tomorrow and then they have no one and someone else fills up. The Google gods were smiling that day on someone other than us. (Or vice versa.)
 

Breakfast Diva

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"You have to keep moving and marketing just to stay in the same place if not better."
You are absolutely right! Especially in economic down turns, we have to crank up the marketing and think outside the box more than ever.
Every year I try to think of some different type of PR or marketing move I could make that no one else is doing. I posted about my Facebook ad and even though I didn't get any direct reservations from it, I'm thinking of taking my PPC budget and continuing with the FB. Trial and error. I spoke with another innkeeper and they have had some success with the FB ad, so maybe I need to change up my approach with it. I have one more really different "trial" I'm doing this year which is a rewards program that is advertised on tv...so far I've gotten one 3 night booking with extra add ons from it, so my initial payout is covered already. We'll see what happens with that one.
I help other innkeepers in my community, but I sure don't tell them all my secrets!
 

Joey Camb

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"You have to keep moving and marketing just to stay in the same place if not better."
You are absolutely right! Especially in economic down turns, we have to crank up the marketing and think outside the box more than ever.
Every year I try to think of some different type of PR or marketing move I could make that no one else is doing. I posted about my Facebook ad and even though I didn't get any direct reservations from it, I'm thinking of taking my PPC budget and continuing with the FB. Trial and error. I spoke with another innkeeper and they have had some success with the FB ad, so maybe I need to change up my approach with it. I have one more really different "trial" I'm doing this year which is a rewards program that is advertised on tv...so far I've gotten one 3 night booking with extra add ons from it, so my initial payout is covered already. We'll see what happens with that one.
I help other innkeepers in my community, but I sure don't tell them all my secrets!.
Exactly I can tell you guys because you are not any kind of compeition (ie completely diferent country)! I had not thought about Facebook adds but I am going to look into it. It is just this attitude of I'm not doing very well, and I say well what have you tried and they say nothing. Well do nothing get nothing! For example one of the big agencies called highway have virtually stopped sending people to one of my neighbours as she is such a fuss pot (ie minimum 3 night stay for a particular conference etc) that they have got to the point where they can't be bothered with her. Where as I have gone out of my way to build a good relationship with them so I am the first place they think of to send people or to ring to get more rooms if they are short. You only get out what you put in.
 

Breakfast Diva

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Yesterday I did an inspection of a b&b that is applying for membership in our association. They've been innkeepers for many years and are very discouraged because business has really gone down in this economy the last two years.
Here's what I found:
  • horrible website with bad small pictures and was created 8 years ago without updating (except for room rate)
  • no online calendar or online reservations system
  • 3 week cancellation policy in an area where all other b&bs have 3 to 7 day cancellation policy
  • are listed on only 3 directories
Hmmmm....ya really think it's the economy???
 

JBloggs

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Yesterday I did an inspection of a b&b that is applying for membership in our association. They've been innkeepers for many years and are very discouraged because business has really gone down in this economy the last two years.
Here's what I found:
  • horrible website with bad small pictures and was created 8 years ago without updating (except for room rate)
  • no online calendar or online reservations system
  • 3 week cancellation policy in an area where all other b&bs have 3 to 7 day cancellation policy
  • are listed on only 3 directories
Hmmmm....ya really think it's the economy???.
Breakfast Diva said:
Yesterday I did an inspection of a b&b that is applying for membership in our association. They've been innkeepers for many years and are very discouraged because business has really gone down in this economy the last two years.
Here's what I found:
  • horrible website with bad small pictures and was created 8 years ago without updating (except for room rate)
  • no online calendar or online reservations system
  • 3 week cancellation policy in an area where all other b&bs have 3 to 7 day cancellation policy
  • are listed on only 3 directories
Hmmmm....ya really think it's the economy???
100% agree.
The website is everything, for an inn to open or even exist, they need to realize this! When I see the new inns for sale on BBONLINE (in the newly listed inns from the past 30 days) there seems to be a trend of really crappy websites, not many with online reservations, or pertinent information.
All those policies and fine print make people click on to the next B&B, I know I do, I have said that this past year when planning a couple short getaways that made me pull my hair out.
And yet, there are still those B&B's open in the year 2010 that do not have an availability calendar or online reservations. There is one in a city near me, the owner is delightful, she excels at making her guests thoroughly enjoy their stay. She is PAYPAL ONLY, she has no avail calendar, so I cannot even check to see before I refer callers to her, and it just stinks, plain and simple. She has not changed the website one iota from the day she launched it, one done by a nephew or brother or something.
We have to stay ahead of the curve, like mentioned this forum is very unique in comparison to some out there who argue if online rez are necessary. DOH! If you want guests, let them book the rooms, please, stop making it difficult.
PS looked at an online system as some other family had booked this place at Nags Head in the Outer Banks NC, from there it took me to a new booking engine and didn't retain my information, I put in the dates and it showed 1 adult, so I changed/corrected it to 2 (which s/b the default anyway), lost everything the page went down, had to google the place again to find the website, and start over. What did I do? I walked away, said FORGET IT! STUFF THEM.
 

Joey Camb

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Yesterday I did an inspection of a b&b that is applying for membership in our association. They've been innkeepers for many years and are very discouraged because business has really gone down in this economy the last two years.
Here's what I found:
  • horrible website with bad small pictures and was created 8 years ago without updating (except for room rate)
  • no online calendar or online reservations system
  • 3 week cancellation policy in an area where all other b&bs have 3 to 7 day cancellation policy
  • are listed on only 3 directories
Hmmmm....ya really think it's the economy???.
Exactly!
 

EmptyNest

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Yesterday I did an inspection of a b&b that is applying for membership in our association. They've been innkeepers for many years and are very discouraged because business has really gone down in this economy the last two years.
Here's what I found:
  • horrible website with bad small pictures and was created 8 years ago without updating (except for room rate)
  • no online calendar or online reservations system
  • 3 week cancellation policy in an area where all other b&bs have 3 to 7 day cancellation policy
  • are listed on only 3 directories
Hmmmm....ya really think it's the economy???.
dUH....stubborn innkeepers stuck in the past...with probably the "build it and they will come" attitude...they have got to learn. If they are going to be in business, they must act like they are running a business Gheez...get real people.....:-(
 
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