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As a hotel’s Director of Sales or Marketing, I perceive all negative publicity as an opportunity to convert sales and attract more viable sales leads. The whole point of such challenging situations is to make the best of such situations through maximizing on possible booking opportunities in within the negative awareness already created. It is true that every cloud has a silver lining, and staying positive is a sure way of identifying the hidden opportunities.

In the event of a negative post, I would initially respond to the post through polite language that should seek to offer the post owner an opportunity to visit our premises for a fully sponsored site visit.  My post should refute the claim in the mildest manner so as not to attract another argument with the original post owner or any of the followers. I would create a unique approach and use the hotel’s meeting planner to track down the post’s origin and woo the bitter customer or the competitor into paying us a site visit. The meeting planner often schedules meetings to sale contracts for blocks, thus an individual meeting should speak of how serious I consider our image and reputation. The approach should not be aimed at demonizing whatever the post owner posted but to authenticate the origin. This might give us a real insight in our unseen weakness that would have genuinely triggered the post or confirm our supremacy through confirming the post was hate oriented and holds no substance.

Upon successful accommodation of the fake post owner, the hotel would then seek to have him either respond directly to his original post or have us use that as a chance to capture the experience and use it in advertising. This promotional advert will be intended mostly for popular User Generated Sites that have common contents of our perceived competitive set. This action is aimed at generating some extra yards in our competitive advantage already established thus attract potential customers from the sites.

It is important that we do not come out as argumentative online, because this is a market segment that has a massive potential in terms of customer base. Care must be observed especially where the customer/ fake post owner is anonymous or not open to objectively seeking for solutions to any resultant problem. The same applies to those customers who refuse to accept any form of apology/compensation if a fault is accepted and go ahead to respond rudely.

Fake Post: Howarth House Hotel

Howarth House is a hotel in Lytham St Anne, which is in England’s Lancashire.

The post claimed the hotel was a nice place but its management was very rude. The accusation is that the management turned down an expected call from overseas (Australia) and said it could not put the caller through to the hotel’s guests who had retired to bed early. The receiver also lied about the place not being thus did not have telephones in their guests rooms. The owner of the post with fake information is adamant and highlights the phrase ‘we are not a hotel’.  He further seems to disagree with the owner about what time is considered to be too late, for putting phone calls through to guests.

The Hotel owner responds by clarifying that lateness is relative and based on experience some of his guests retire early to bed. Out of courtesy the hotel provides privacy to guests and do not interfere with their evenings except for emergency. He is however candid in accepting fault for saying Howarth House is not a Hotel. Judging from his explanation, the response of Howarth not being a hotel can be deemed to be logical because some situations can lead to intentional misrepresentations if that outweighs possible damage from telling the truth. 

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