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What We're Binging: Marketing Podcasts

With more time on our hands and a marketing environment that seems to be changing faster than ever, our team is looking to some of our favorite marketing podcasts to keep us up to date, and ensure we’ve got the newest information to implement on behalf of our clients. 

While you’ll certainly find us listening to some of the big guys (who can resist Gary Vee on a Monday morning?), we’ve also spent some time with some lesser known podcasts that provide great insights and a fresh perspective.

Check out our 5 favorite podcasts: 

  1. Master of Scale: Where else can you find leaders of major marketing leaders weighing in on the days trends? LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman interviews entrepreneurs & leaders who share their stories about taking their business to the next level. You’re guaranteed to learn something – and very likely to hear some great stories! A recent favorite, published on June 9, Strategy Session: The Post-Pandemic Business.
  2. Marketing School : With more accolades than we can list (New York Times Bestselling author and recognition from the likes of Forbes, Entrepreneur Magazine, President Obama, and who can forget – the United Nations), Neil Patel is sharing his brilliance via his podcast, Marketing School. Tune in for very detailed, highly tactical ideas. Patel takes a results focused approach to marketing that we can certainly appreciate & relate to. 
  3. Savvy Social: Short & sweet, but always on point. Andréa Jones uses her up-and-coming podcast to dive into social media marketing, while interviewing experts and pulling from her own experience.  looks at a new social media marketing technique. She interviews leading experts in the field. She also shares insights from her own experience as a social media strategist.
  4. Business Unusual: Often known as one of America’s favorite ‘Sharks’ on ABC’s hit show "Shark Tank”, Barbara Corcoran is a force of wisdom, insight & positivity. She gets right to the point, and shares some of the best business and marketing ideas we’ve encountered. We particularly enjoy hearing her personal stories of taking blending street smarts & creativity to reach massive amounts of success in New York’s real estate market – not to mention how she took a $1K loan and turned it into a $5M company. A recent favorite episode: Persuade Like A Pro. 
  5. Casual Fridays: While it’s become one of the more popular social media podcasts, Casual Friday’s offers an engaging approach by blending “how-to” information with stories from industry leaders. Check it out when you want to be both educated & entertained. 

What are your favorite marketing podcasts? Let us know in the comments below! 

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Rebuilding Trust with your Digital ReOpening Strategy

As society starts returning to this new normal, consumers are looking to escape the confines of quarantine and travel to their favorite destinations. More importantly, they are looking for trustworthy hotels to keep them healthy as they foray into the world. Logistically, we know you’ve already been thinking about how to ensure your guests’ safety. But with trends showing a strong amount of pent up demand and consumer indicating that they want to know what steps hotels are taking to keep them healthy, a strong communication plan is key. After all, if you don’t communicate adequately, those CDC-approved air purifiers you ordered will never get their chance to shine. That’s where your killer digital strategy comes in! If you take the time to build trust by communicating your safety standards online, you can instill confidence in your guests that you are taking their well-being seriously and in turn, encourage bookings at your hotel. 

Here are a few basic measures we recommend to help convey the message to your guests:

  • Create an easy-to-read website landing page including bullets and short lists highlighting new policies and procedures. Keep the content easy to read and understand - everyone’s head is already swimming in an anxiety-ridden cesspool of information overload. Creating an FAQ section with the most common questions you receive will help guests easily find the answers they are looking for, and save you from having the same conversations all day long. 
  • Send an email to past guests or loyalty members explaining updates you’ve made and link to the landing page.  It’s important your most valued guests feel confident that your safety measures are not just performative.  Consider offering guests a direct contact on property to ask questions, creating a pinned post at the top of your social profiles where guests can ask questions or sending out a survey to find out what their primary safety concerns are. P.S. If you’re not already responding to consumer inquiries on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram - shame on you!
  •  Integrate safety protocols into social content; work to keep copy conversational and engaging, but don’t focus too much on getting the perfect wording. The important thing is earnestly getting the message out that you are taking your guests’ well-being seriously.  Post videos of your new cleaning protocols, photos of any special equipment you’ve ordered and open conversation in the comments section. Bonus points if you create a new TikTok challenge along the way. 
  • Utilize COVID-19 specific features on online listing sites. TripAdvisor just rolled out the “Travel Safe” feature, allowing you to select which safety measures you have implemented and link back to the (mobile-friendly!) landing page you created. Utilize posts on Google My Business and the “COVID-19 Updates” section of Yelp to broadcast these new safety protocols as well.
  •  Encourage guests to share their experience online. Now, more than ever, your online reputation will dictate the rate at which your business begins to normalize. The first guests who do come to stay at your hotel will serve as the messenger to the masses. Consumer distrust is at an all-time high and people want affirmation from real customers that their health will not be at risk while staying at your property and leveraging online reviews and social tags/mentions could make all the difference. 

At the end of the day, we are all flying in uncharted territory. The most important thing you can do as we embrace this new normal is to stay transparent and open the conversation with your guests. This will help build trust with both new and existing guests. And as we all know, trust breeds loyalty, so treat these circumstances as an opportunity to create devoted customers for life!

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5 ways to optimize your Cvent presence and increase RFPs

To the modern hotelier, Cvent is a primary channel for sourcing new group business. This industry giant is the place to be when it comes to attracting meeting planners to your property – and as expected, it’s where every one of your competitors is hanging out as well. So what can you do to make sure you’re visible, and getting your fair share of RFPs? With a wide variety of technology and tools available to members, it’s not uncommon to find that hotels have not fully optimized their presence on the Cvent platform – unintentionally excluding themselves from valuable requests. 

With a little time and attention, though, your Cvent marketing dollars will prove to be a valuable investment.

We’re here to help you wade through the “Dos and Don’ts” of Cvent with these 5 tips to help simplify the supplier experience. 

1. Know what you have: Understanding the deliverables on each product you’ve purchased is the first step to optimizing your marketing dollars. For example, did you know that the 3-Diamond profile includes a sidebar, image-based callout on the Cvent Supplier Search page for your area? When was the last time you reviewed the copy and image being displayed there? Take the time to assemble a list of each included feature on your profile and the products you’ve purchased, then check off each as you add and optimize content. There’s nothing worse than a pricey product being under-utilized and not bringing you the group leads you were hoping to capture. 

2. Fully Optimize Your Profile: Your profile is a sales kit - use it to sell the entire experience and convince planners that this is an event venue they can’t afford to ignore. Spend time building a profile with quality content, beautiful imagery and descriptive, experiential copy. 

- Add experiential copy. What does it look like to attend an event in your meeting spaces? How does it feel? Could you capture the essence of an upbeat team building experience, or an engaging post-conference discussion taking place over drinks and dinner? Avoid just listing your awards in the copy. These are important, but they are already displayed in their own section of your profile.   Get creative with authentic, descriptive copy and earn that RFP.

 - Complete your Meeting Spaces charts with lots of detail and many different photos. This is where you can help your planners envision hosting their event with you, as well as understanding the capacity and layout of available spaces. This section is vital, yet many people neglect to complete their Meeting Spaces charts. If you were a planner, would you take the time to ask for additional space information from one venue, when the other hotels you were considering had made it immediately available?   Be one of the properties offering tons of information and pay attention to curb appeal. Hack: this is a great way to add a lot of extra content and imagery to your profile without having to spend money to upgrade your profile. You can even upload different room configurations, each with their own description and photo:

- It’s undeniable: a picture is worth a thousand words. Use modern, recent professional photography of your meeting spaces, hotel rooms, property and amenities. It should go without saying, but do not use photos from the 80’s or grainy cell phone images. Your photo gallery allows you to visually sell the experience, so it’s worth an investment. Prior to any photoshoots, ensure that everything is clean and photo-ready: stage your meeting spaces, add a few props or even schedule a shoot to take place while a group event is happening. Don’t just post empty conference rooms and your run-of-the-mill room images - there are better ways to set a visual tone. 

Images and profiles we like: Imagery: Rancho Bernardo Inn Profile as a whole: Nemacolin Woodlands Resort

3. Promotions: Did you know that using  promotions will  DOUBLE your visibility on the Cvent Supplier Network? They’re included on all 2-Diamond and above profiles at no cost, and tie your profile into the Promotions Hub area of Cvent. This is a separate search engine from the Venue search, designed to list only special offers and promotions by region. Cvent estimates that 70% of planners click through this search engine as part of the sourcing process. The offer does not have to be “big” to be included. Keep in mind the Promotions tool is very flexible. You can list many things within the promotion itself – from Need Dates with special rates to less-specific perks and seasonal promotions.   If you don’t have a live promotion, you are not listed on the Promotions Hub and are therefore missing out on a lot of visibility. Why limit yourself to only the regional Venue search tool, when creating a group offer will not only increase visibility, but could even help fill need periods?

4. Need Dates: The “Need Dates” tool is another opportunity to boost your presence in the regular Supplier Network Search. When a planner types in a city name and their event dates, any property who has matching need dates gets an attention-grabbing icon added to their listing on the search results.  If you don’t use the Need Dates tool, you can’t take advantage of this little trick to get noticed in the search. 

5. Measure Demand, Response, Conversion: Understanding where you sit with group RFPs and the data behind converting those leads to booked business will help you set benchmarks for improvement. Cvent offers many free tools built in to your profile and the proposal management technology that you are already using. Invest a little time in learning how to measure Demand, Response and Conversion. 

Demand: Several features, including the Comp Set Dashboard (Business Intelligence Tool) and the simple Venue Reporting tab allow you to visualize, download and deep-dive into the leads being submitted to you - and even to your competitors. Simply running the Proposal Status Report (available under the Reports tab) will give you a comprehensive list of all submitted RFPs, the RFP type, planner information, dates, meeting space and sleeping room requirements, their location and how they found your venue. You can even compile a list of planner emails for future email campaigns. It’s extremely useful information, and it’s available to you at no cost.

Response:There are also a number of tools to understand how the RFPs you’ve received are being handled. On your Venue Dashboard, the Response Rate Graph gives you a snapshot of your RFPs by response status – a great quick check on the overall efficiency of your RFP management. You can further dive into RFP responses on the Reports tab.

Conversion: Use Cvent’s reporting features to understand how received RFPs are converting to actual business. You can pull an RFPs Won and Lost report, RFPs by Category report or even a list of Turned Down RFPsdirectly in the Reports tab of your Cvent profile. Use the decline insights columns (ie. the “Reason” and “Reason Comments” columns) to understand why you weren’t able to book that lead, allowing you to compile conversion trends over time and maybe convert that lead the next time around! 

When in doubt, schedule a quick call with Hooray to walk through the ins-and-outs of your current suite of Cvent products. At Hooray, we have certified Cvent experts on our team ready to double-check that you’re getting the most of what’s available to you on this valuable group business platform. 

We will ensure you are making the most of your marketing dollars, appeal to new planners, and help boost the number of group RFPs coming your way.

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From the Hooray Lab: ReEngage Platform

A visitor has reached your website.  Maybe they’ve looked over the events calendar, browsed your photo gallery, or window shopped your spa menu. They like what they see, so they enter potential stay dates.

And then, just like that, without any warning…they click that dreaded “X” and they’re gone. They dive back into a sea of websites, possibly checking around to see what your competitors are offering. 

Things were going so well, but your marketing mind is left wondering – what could we have done differently? 

Enter, the Hooray ReEngage Platform. 

The ReEngage Platform retains and converts guests who would have otherwise abandoned your website. As a consumer begins to exit your site, they are served a customized offer via a pop-up BEFORE they leave - potentially converting them into a sale that you would have missed. 

Let’s get into the detail, shall we? 

Offers Based on Interests = More Bookings

Gone are the days of the ‘one message fits all’ approach. ReEngage will allow you to dynamically suggest offers based on a visitor’s website behavior. Checking spa appointments?  Offer a resort credit for treatments.  Looking into tee-time availability?  Include a pro-shop voucher with a two-night stay.  

ReEngage can also be used to help guide consumers to book during need periods.  Triggers can be programmed to encourage midweek bookings by, for example, showcasing a special incentive to visitors who are looking to check in on a Tuesday or Wednesday.  Or, visitors who spend time on the meetings page could be served a pop-up with group “Hot Dates.”  This is a tool that allows the property Revenue and Marketing teams to work synergistically and speak directly to the consumer – and with a message they actually want to hear

Greater personalization leads to better retention and strong conversion rates. 

Image of offer served on website

Simple, Yet Powerful 

In developing the ReEngage platform, the goal was to create something user-friendly and easy to update. The result is a flexible, tactical tool that can be changed as needed to correspond with the property’s revenue or performance targets. Once logged in, users will enjoy real-time editing of offers, copy, photos, and trigger parameters. Start and stop dates are also included, eliminating the need to log back in and remove an offer that has expired. 

Measure & Report

In addition to full on-property control, ReEngage also includes a real-time reporting dashboard. Dive on into the data and gain insights into user behavior, see which offers are turning into bookings, and track clicks, impressions, and revenue. With this data, you can make real-time optimizations to your pop-up offers – ensuring even stronger conversion rates. 

Re-Engage expands the guest communication opportunities and empowers the marketing and revenue teams to be nimble in their offerings and respond to prospective guest behavior. Show your customer you’re listening, and they just might give you another chance – to the tune of up to a 29:1 ROI. 

Want to learn more? Get in touch! 

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Sin City? We're All In.

Hooray Agency Announced as Agency of Record for Resorts World Las Vegas 

If you’re going to Vegas, you might as well go all in – and that’s just what we’ve done as the Advertising Agency of Record for Resorts World Las Vegas. As the AOR, Hooray will be responsible for establishing the brand's identity from the ground up. Through world-class branding, integrated advertising and customer-centric experiences, we will deliver a grand opening vision that is bold, unique and establishes Resorts World’s position as a truly one-of-a-kind destination in Las Vegas.

Because bigger is always better in a city like Vegas, Resorts World Las Vegas will boast 3,500 guest rooms, a 5,000 seat theater, and 100,000 square feet of LED screens for displaying entertainment on the outside of the building. The property will offer an abundance of entertainment spread across various “experience zones”, so consumers can custom tailor their visit. In the mood for authentic street food? They’ve got it. How about Michelin-starred dining? They’ve got that too. And, of course - the largest pool deck in all of Las Vegas. Dive on in, everybody.

“After a rigorous selection process, we are honored to be the agency selected for Resorts World Las Vegas,” said Steven Seghers, President of Hooray. “From the very beginning, there was an electric synergy between our two teams. Resorts World wanted a partner who would reject traditional marketing approaches in favor of work that cuts through the clutter, and Hooray has a proven record of producing disruptive, compelling ideas that span the creative gamut.”

Hooray will work closely with Resorts World leadership to establish a truly unique and ownable value proposition, including the creation of a proprietary brand platform, an overarching tag line, a new, leading-edge website, and a comprehensive advertising campaign aimed at establishing Resorts World Las Vegas as the preeminent luxury, lifestyle and entertainment hospitality experience on the Strip.

“We are excited to partner with Hooray to solidify our brand position and create authentic stories that showcase Resorts World’s service-first philosophy and commitment to providing remarkable experiences for its guests,” said Scott Sibella, president of Resorts World Las Vegas. “We’re introducing something completely new to the Las Vegas Strip and feel confident Hooray’s impressive hospitality pedigree, unique strategic approach and fearless creativity will help bring our story to life.”

In this case, everything that happens in Vegas does not stay in Vegas. So follow along on our social channels as we provide updates on this exciting new project.

Disclaimer: We apologize for any selfies taken after 11 pm on The Strip.

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