Hotel management companies (HMC) find themselves grappling with a myriad of challenges in the current digital marketing landscape, including driving innovation, standardizing processes, scalability, changing vendor products, and privacy and legal concerns.

HSMAI hosted a Chief Digital Officers from hotel management companies during a recent Executive Roundtable. Drawing insights from these industry leaders, this article highlights ten best practices that can help organizations effectively navigate these challenges.

1. Transitioning to Google Analytics 4 (GA4)

With the sunset of Universal Analytics, teams need to familiarize themselves with GA4’s new reporting structures. Offer training sessions and up-to-date resources to keep teams abreast of these changes.

2. Staffing and Talent Retention

Strengthen your Employee Value Proposition (EVP) by understanding the motivations of your existing staff. Offer competitive benefits, growth opportunities, and a positive work culture to retain top talent.

3. Brand Growth & Portfolio Management

As brand portfolios grow, consider diversifying marketing and operational strategies to cater to different segments without diluting the core brand values.

4. GDPR & Data Privacy

Regularly update teams on data privacy regulations. Implement strict protocols for data acquisition, storage, and processing to ensure compliance.

5. Launching New Products

For data-intensive products, ensure that IT, marketing, and sales departments collaborate closely, ensuring seamless integration and utilization of data resources.

6. Sales and Acquisition Processes

Use Consent Management Platforms (CMPs) to manage user consents efficiently, ensuring legal acquisition of marketing lists and other data-driven processes.

7. Innovation & Branding

Engage users through feedback loops and actively involve them in innovation processes to ensure that branding efforts resonate with evolving consumer expectations.

8. Customer Behavior Insights

Use advanced analytics tools to anticipate shifts in consumer behavior, allowing for proactive strategy adjustments.

9. Cost Management

Regularly review budgets to ensure that rising costs don’t stifle innovation. Look for cost-effective yet impactful marketing and operational strategies.

10. Managing Upward & Supporting Initiatives

Foster a culture of open dialogue between different organizational hierarchies. Clearly communicate the ROI and potential impacts of new initiatives to get stakeholder buy-in.

By leveraging these best practices, companies can not only address current challenges but also position themselves for future success.

We’re grateful for the candid discussion from the executives from 13 companies, including:

  • Aimbridge
  • Bluewater Development Company
  • Concord Hospitality
  • CoralTree Hospitality
  • Highgate Hotels
  • InterMountain Management
  • Lodging Dynamics Hospitality Group
  • NCG Hotels
  • Outrigger Hospitality Group
  • Peachtree Hospitality Management
  • Stonebridge Companies
  • Sun Outdoors
  • HHM Hotels

HSMAI hosts this unique by-invitation only forum annually for HMC CDOs. If you are interested in being invited next year, please email Bob Gilbert.


HSMAI is a global organization of sales, marketing, and revenue optimization professionals representing all segments of the hospitality industry. With a strong focus on education, HSMAI leads the way in identifying and communicating trends in the hospitality industry. Operating as a leading voice for both hospitality and for the sales, marketing, and revenue optimization disciplines, HSMAI connects its members with customers. Founded in the United States in 1927, HSMAI is a membership organization comprising 5,000 members from 35 countries and chapters worldwide. HSMAI operates around the globe via regional boards of directors and staff. There are four regions: the Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe, and the Middle East, with a Latin America region under development. Each region has geographic chapters and signature programs and services for association members. HSMAI has a Global board which is made up of delegates from each region. 

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