Hotel News Now's marketing virtual roundtable discussed these and other challenges that keep marketers up at night with five hotel marketing experts. John Fareed / John Fareed Hospitality: “You mean besides Airbnb? The other day, I was having coffee with an asset manager when she asked the question: ‘John, why do I need to have a sales-and-marketing department for my hotel? If I take all the spend on payroll and related expenses, give it to the (online travel agencies), would it really make a difference to my bottom line?’ “Here’s what I believe: Hotel marketers should be losing sleep at night worrying about their very jobs because the majority have been caught with their pants down. Most have not evolved, still don’t know how to leave the old ways behind and properly utilize the new social media, e-marketing, public relations, promotions—and just straight-up guerrilla marketing tools—necessary to compete today. “Worse yet, hotel marketers don’t know how to effectively measure (return on investment) for their investment-focused owners and asset managers. They just can’t wrap their heads, or their sales-and-marketing departments, around the new investment model, so they get little to no respect around the boardroom table. “As an industry we have handed our sales, marketing and reservations departments over to the OTAs and other third parties. We don’t know how to develop and implement true strategic marketing plans that get results. The few that do (know) have difficulty getting their owners and asset managers to properly fund them due to lack of belief or respect. “It’s a huge issue. As professionals and an industry, we need to develop the necessary talent to deal with the changing landscape.” Get the full story at Hotel News Now