What can you learn about hospitality from a billionaire? Quite a lot as you might expect.

One of my favorite lessons comes via Patrick Lencioni, an expert on leadership and corporate organizational health. He tells a story of a billionaire client who best expressed the power of teamwork this way.

If you could get all the people in the organization rowing in the same direction, you could dominate any industry, in any market, against any competition, at any time.”

He’s right, but getting everyone in your hotel rowing in the same direction is one of the most difficult jobs an owner or general manager faces. One way to begin is to concentrate on one area at a time – like marketing and sales.

The Problem

Historically hospitality marketing & sales have been one of the most decentralized areas of the industry. Critical functions like sales, call center, web development, email, social media and public relations are oftentimes organized in distinct, individual silos.

Where silos exist lines of communication breakdown making it virtually impossible to get sales and marketing rowing in the same direction. Silos, therefore, prevent hotels from dominating their market.

The Solution

Breaking down silos, opening lines of communication and getting the marketing and sales team all rowing together is perhaps the most productive decision an owner or general manager can make. All it takes is a willingness to do something different, but something that has a proven track record of driving substantially more revenue. And all you have to do is embrace it.

It is called integrated Customer Relationship Marketing or iCRM and is visualized in the following chart.


Click Image to Enlarge


The objective of all marketing and sales is to move individuals through the Customer Lifecycle from awareness, acquiring them as a guest and eventually turning them into a loyal brand advocate – the most profitable customer any hotel can have.

With iCRM every discipline a hotel needs (public relations, social media, email, web development, etc.) is contained within a single agency. This eliminates silos and opens up cross discipline communications. Just as important, iCRM saves the GM time by making it significantly easier for him/her to keep all partners up-to-date on the hotel’s strategies and ensure the entire team is constantly rowing in the same direction.

The foundation of iCRM is built on the hotel’s centralized marketing database and is the most critical component. It is used to identify individuals in their customer lifecycle journey, nurture the relationship and move them along to becoming loyal brand advocates. If you are thinking of iCRM make sure the agency you select has a team of experienced database marketing experts working on your business.

At MP&A Digital & Advertising we schedule weekly or bi-weekly Action Plan calls with every client to discuss sales, hotel updates and progress on current and future assignments. We also discuss how we can develop stronger marketing campaigns that leverage every discipline to create greater impact for every dollar in the client’s budget.

Does it Work?

Retaining an experienced integrated CRM agency like MP&A Digital and eliminating silos can produce remarkable results. In our experience, every client that truly embraces iCRM has seen dramatic results.

  • One luxury resort eliminated seven different outside agencies/suppliers (silos) and revenue doubled over the course of the next 2-1/2 years.
  • The #1 TripAdvisor hotel (out of 300) in one destination embraced integrated CRM and revenue increased 50% over three years.
  • A small luxury hotel now competes effectively against a luxury chain property for the top spot in occupancy in their destination.


Is the billionaire right? Is the key to dominating competition getting your entire team rowing in the same direction? We think so. And if you do too, then one of the quickest and most financially rewarding ways to start is by integrating marketing and sales.

Launching integrated campaigns that move people along the customer lifecycle will generate significantly more occupancy and revenue than pushing individual messages from disparate silos.

If you have any questions, please contact me. I would be happy to help.

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