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  • Writer's pictureAdele Gutman Milne, CHBA, CHDM

Are Hotel Operations and Marketing Really the Same Thing?

Updated: Jun 18, 2021

Attention: General Managers, Directors of Revenue, Sales, and Marketing, and HOTEL OWNERS. You won’t want to miss this episode!

For at least 15 years I have presented at conferences and masterclasses the philosophy that "Service is Marketing."

Later, I learned from Porter Gale, who was the VP of Virgin Atlantic that, "Service and Product=Marketing."

But when I heard the brilliant Stuart Butler, and Melissa Kavanagh from Fuel Travel Marketing as well say that Operations and Marketing are actually the same thing, I knew I had to dig deeper into that topic for you here.

Watch the YouTube Video:

Or Listen to the Podcast:

My guest, Stuart Butler is the Chief Operating Officer of Fuel Travel Marketing based in South Carolina is one of the top Hospitality Marketers in the country and the host of the award-winning Fuel Hospitality Marketing Podcast. Stuart and I agree the power of guest reviews is one of the most underutilized and misunderstood marketing opportunities for most hotels.

“Reviews are the byproduct of how you operate,” says Stuart Butler.

Reviews can also be the also foundation of your Hospitality Sales, Marketing, and Revenue success, so they require a team approach.

I hope you will listen to this episode and think about how to update or initiate your reputation management strategy with full team alignment.

Across the industry, we hear leaders speak about the power of leveraging guest data.

Guest feedback is guest data, yet because reputation, guest satisfaction, and guest reviews fall into both marketing and operations, often leaders feel uncomfortable owning it and stepping on the other's toes.

For that reason, reputation is either completely ignored, or it’s relegated to a final spot on a checklist and assigned to someone without the leadership position and authority to analyze and act on the data.

So the friction points go unaddressed.

Other times, a third party is brought in to make it seem to the public as though the feedback was heard, even though it isn't actually being acted upon at the property.

So the friction points go unaddressed.

But now our industry is hitting the reset button!

Now that we are revisiting our activities to find the most effective ways to restore our business after the COVID-19 crisis, we are looking to data to point us in the right direction for what guests need now.

So moving forward, why not let guest feedback be the spark of daily creativity and innovation at the property?

Why not break the silos and let operations and marketing work together to embrace the voice of the guest for insights?

Let's learn how to make the experience of booking and staying at the hotel easier, faster, more convenient, and absolutely more delightful.

Are you wondering how to change your processes to create more loyal guests?

Your guests and your own team have the answers to those questions if you are inviting them to share and truly listening with a humble heart, ready to be helpful.

Are you wondering what you need to change in your communications to best win new guests and manage expectations?

Let's use our compassionate heart and our creative minds to find ways to avoid disappointment for our guests and lessen the burden on our teams to deal with these conflicts.

Every day is a great day to implement innovation when you are listening to feedback from guest reviews and challenging your team to join you on a mission of 100% guest satisfaction.

If you are a GM or a DOSM, you cannot afford to be absent from this conversation with your guests and your line staff.

In this podcast, we discuss using reviews, aka “The Voice of the Customer” to:

  • Identify Friction Points

  • Spark Innovation

  • Inform Marketing Decisions

  • Optimize ROI

  • Motivate Teams

  • Develop Future Leaders

  • Lower Cost of Acquisition

  • Attract New Guests

  • Create True Loyalty

  • Manage Expectations

  • Create Product and Service Differentiation

  • Elevate Perceived Value

Enjoy the podcast and please let us know if you have any questions for Adele.

Send us your email on and never miss another episode of the Hospitality Reputation Marketing Podcast.

Also check out Stuart Butler’s Fuel Travel Podcast:

Loren Gray’s Hospitality Marketing Podcast:

Lily Hospitality Marketing Podcast:

Holly Zoba’s Hospitality Sales Podcast:

Dean Schmit’s Hospitality Meta Search Podcast:

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