MGT 401 Business Internship

Integrative Analysis Report: Hotel Del Coronado

Submitted By: Alexa Martz San Diego State University December 1, 2010

Instructor: Sloan

Purpose Hotel del Coronado- located in the city of Coronado, just across the San Diego Bay, ‘the Del” serves as a beachfront luxury resort. Since its establishment in 1888 the hotel has become an iconic part of San Diego history. It is one of the oldest and largest all wooden Victorian buildings in California, making it a National Historic landmark. The hotel has received numerous awards and recognition, including: the Four Diamond rating from the American Automobile Association, “The Best Hotel in San Diego” by the San Diego Union Tribune and its listing by USA Today as one of the “Top 10 Resorts in the World”. It is at this resort where I interned within the Marketing & Public Relations department. Specifically I worked under the Director of Marketing, Andrea Cunningham, the Director of Public Relations, Lauren Donoho, and the Public Relations & Marketing Coordinator, Keriann Martin. Under the direction of these supervisors I was able to witness the entire marketing process from organic relations and events to creating and implementing a campaign to boost reservations/revenue. As a member of the marketing team I held several responsibilities including: social media and brand management for several online communities, compiling statistics from email marketing campaigns, and directing and editing videos promoting the resort. In this report, I will discuss and show the final products of the aforementioned responsibilities as well as their relevance toward the objectives described in my Project Course Contract (See Appendix A). Additionally, I will examine multiple academic topics that apply to my experience interning at the Del. Following the academic analysis I will reflect on my experience and its contribution to my personal development and future goals. Finally, in conclusion, I will summarize my report and discuss recommended actions for the future.

Learning Experience Discussion Technology of the 21st century has completely transformed the marketing and communications industry, traditional advertisements (magazine ads, commercials, direct mail pieces) are no longer relevant to audiences. People are looking for engagement, they no longer want to read about ‘the story’ they want to be a part of it. Current consumers are active, they are asking questions and seeking answers. Companies are responding to these shifts in various ways, the most successful have built communities on Facebook and Twitter as well as several other online outlets. As an intern for the Del, it was my responsibility to increase our online presence and maintain our brand identity. In addition to social media involvement, I also maintained our conversion report which was compiled of various values and statistics analyzing our returns on campaigns/investments, campaign effectiveness, and audience retention. Ultimately our goal was to not only have a strong online brand identity and presence but to also see tangible results attained from these efforts i.e. increased revenue and customer loyalty.

Keywords & Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Upon arrival at the Del, one of my first assignments was to compile a list of relevant terms used for search engines such as Google and Bing. Majority business endeavors within the travel industry exist online- from destination search to booking, people are using the internet to plan their vacations. Due to this vast market that exists, it is crucial that word of the Hotel Del reaches consumers as soon as possible- i.e. being one of the top 10 results that appear within a search engine. I started this project off by doing an analysis of the resort: Why do/would people come to the Hotel Del? What services/amenities do we offer? What makes us stand out? etc... The list was large but there were a few broad key points that were crucial to the identity of the resort, which included: Location: Southern California, San Diego, CA Product/Service: hotel, resort Reason for use of product/service: vacation, travel, business, getaway Who: families, couples, business men/women, tourists Standout: beachfront, national landmark, historic, wedding From these areas of concentration, I then developed a list of potential ‘search terms’ by combining these words together: ‘California family resort’ ‘San Diego hotel’ ‘Beachside hotel San Diego’

‘San Diego travel’ ... Once this list was made I then researched the current search engine results and analyzed businesses/companies competing for the keyword placement. Through this analysis, I also reviewed the HTML make up of top competitors [right click --> view page source] to see if there were any terms/phrases used that I might have overlooked. I then compiled a database sheet of competitors within various industries: Travel Databases California Databases San Diego Databases Local hotels/resorts Regional hotels/resorts Through this list we were able to see the top 10 search results for specific terms as well as what terms we were already organically resulting for. The Del appeared on the first page for: ‘San Diego hotel’, ‘Beachside hotel San Diego’, ‘Hotels in San Diego’. The fact that Hotel Del came up for these popular terms was a great sign but following my research and analysis I still suggested that we develop content to target terms like: ‘romantic getaway in San Diego’, ‘California family resort’, & ‘San Diego vacation’. Although a bit more specific, these terms would come from audience members that know exactly what they want but need to find the hotel that will do it for them. Appendix C

Website Maintenance & Calendar Updates As a resort, the Del operates like a mini-community if anyone needs anything they can get it on site. Between our three restaurants, bakery, ice cream shop, spa, and various boutiques there is always something going on. Some of our weekly events include various restaurant happy hours, local band performances, and spa specials. Additionally we host several remarkable events for the holiday season. In order to keep all of our guests updated on the latest ‘happenings’ we host a calendar of events on our website. It was my responsibility to make sure that this calendar was kept up to date and was linked up to the appropriate online booking engines. In order to do the calendar updates I accessed the back end of the website, The Del uses a program called CMS400 that enables a ‘workarea’ to be provided making updates fairly easy. It was important to know basic HTML in order to format the content in a legible, aesthetically pleasing way. Some basic terms I used often included: <em> </em> : emphasis or italics to specific words and sentences

<br> </br>: indicates a new paragraph <strong> </strong>: makes the letters bold Paragraphs needed to be informative, engaging, and abridged. It is important on calendar entries to grab the attention of the reader just enough that they want to find more information. The calendar is intended to be a mere summary where as the denoted landing pages served to ‘tell the story’ and prompt booking. The example in Appendix D illustrates the calendar entry for Thanksgiving dinner at The Del [which held nearly 2,500 attendees this year]. Other entries I contributed were: Hallo’wine’ & Spirits, 1500 Ocean Beerfest, and band performances at the Sundeck Bar & Grill. Appendix D Email Marketing and Conversions One of my weekly tasks included the maintenance of our email marketing campaigns. At the Del we use a program called BlueHornet which is a service provider for ‘eblasts’ that provides users with templates, analytic tracking, audience segmentation, and archived history. Each message starts off with a denoted campaign goal whether it is to raise awareness of an event or generate an increase in reservations/revenue. Once the goal is set my supervisors would develop a particular deal or package to send to members of our databases. Each database is segmented into several profiles including: resort members, guests of the hotel in the last 12 months, retail, outside leads from wedding vendors, and travel consultants. Pending on the particular campaign goal a specific demographic/database is targeted and the message is formed to captivate their attention. Within Appendix E two examples are illustrated, one message is our monthly eblast to outside leads we have attained through wedding vendors/magazines/websites. This message is intended to let a bride and groom to be know that the Del is happy for their engagement and available whenever they need them. Since the Del has been voted the ‘Best Wedding Venue in San Diego’ for several years, catering/events in the wedding industry are one of our biggest sources of business/revenue. Another example comes from our ‘Bed & Breakfast’ campaign which was sent to 77,967 people within our database stemming from past hotel guests. It has been proven that it is most effective to hold onto past cliental and develop relationships with them to establish loyalty which is why we offer several specials to these guests. One of the most crucial entities of these messages are the SRC tracking links embedded into them. Within each message there are 3-5 links placed in various areas to analyze the behaviors of our audience. By understanding the clicking patterns and behaviors of our audience we are able to develop the most effective email marketing campaigns possible.

After each message is sent out, we monitor them on a weekly basis for 4-5 weeks to analyze audience behaviors: clicks, reservations made, time & date opened, forwards, etc... Through this analyzation we have built and maintained an Excel spreadsheet that consists of various statistics: click thru percentages, open rates, return on investments, revenue, and reservations made. Several pieces of information and statistics are attained from the BlueHornet program since it builds and maintains each message sent as seen in Appendix E. In addition to the BlueHornet program, the Hotel Del website is monitored by Omniture Adobe Site Catalyst which is an industry-leading product that provides marketers with one place to measure, analyze, and optimize integrated data from all online initiatives across multiple marketing channels. Although BlueHornet does track conversions made from the email it only tracks direct click and conversion, not relative pathways. Through Omniture, we are able to track the click-thru pathways of audience members even if they wandered from the direct landing page correlated to the original email message which enables a more accurate result to be extracted. Appendix E

Social Media & Brand Management Majority of consumer decisions in this generation are based upon the recommendations of others, whether positive or negative. People want to hear about experiences so they can gauge whether or not it is worth their time or money. One of the leading online travel databases is Tripadvisor.com. It is here where people are able to leave comments/feedback based upon their experience with a hotel, restaurant, or attraction- the Del offers all three. As a social media and brand manager for Hotel Del, I oversaw six different review pages: Hotel del Coronado [as a hotel] Hotel del Coronado [as an attraction/national landmark] Beach Village 1500 OCEAN Sheerwater Crown Room at the Del Within social media it is crucial to maintain a consistent voice and image, it is also important to engage with people to be relational and responsive. Initially my supervisor, Lauren Donoho, assigned the Hotel del Coronado [as a hotel page] to me and asked that I write responses to the positive remarks made by guests. Prior to doing so I reviewed the past history of manager responses gauge an understanding of the voice and online presence that existed. Through this analysis I wrote down a list of terms and statements used by my supervisor to keep the personality consistent some of which included: “We are thrilled...” “We are glad to hear...”

“We appreciate...” “..experience the amenities, services, and nuances that make The Del special” It is important to let the guests know that regardless of their praises or concerns we appreciate them taking their time to share their experience with others as well as ourselves so we know where we exceed and where we are falling short. Tripadvisor serves as an incredible customer satisfaction forum, enabling us to recognize particular staff members for their stand out performance as well as fix any issues pointed out by the guest. Unfortunately we cannot be everywhere at once and it is through this site that we can get an overall feel of the customer experience during their stay at The Del. As time progressed, my supervisor was pleased with my responses and ideas that she gave me the responsibility of the other landing review pages including the not so positive comments. With each new page existed an entirely different target market and customer experience, I spent a few days researching the businesses including: weekly specials, hours of operation, menus, seating/ dining options, and pricing. It was with this understanding of operations that I was able to understand where customer experience and resort policy met. Online customer service is a challenging aspect of the business industry because it is not real-time and we can only use words to express our gratification or apologies. A few examples of reviews and review responses are found in appendix F. Appendix F

Online Public Relations This fall/winter the Del hosted several special events in celebration of the holidays: Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Although we maintain our own website calendar community outreach is crucial to the success of our happenings which is why we contact various local media outlets. Through these outlets we are able to increase the potential online audience by about 1,000,000. Site hoteldel.com sandiego.org signonsandiego.com ecoronado.com Unique Visitors 31,706 134,925 883,984 3,582

In order to be featured on these sites I contacted the media relations directors of these companies as well as used online identities we had been assigned to submit content/press releases. In the course of my service we were placed in several articles and calendars pertaining to the sites highlight on community events. Since companies and online media outlets do not always contact organizations that our featured I set up a ‘google alert’ :

This alert enabled us to view our most online activity, features, and impressions.

YouTube Channel As the second largest search engine online, presence on YouTube is extremely important for experience oriented business such as the travel industry. Using video enables people to see, hear, and vicariously attend happenings at the Del from the comfort of their home. It also gives them a feel of what amenities and attractions the resort offers to its guests. My supervisor and I came together to determine what the vision of our YouTube channel would be, eventually we decided that in order to engage our online viewer we wanted to give them something they would not usually see or know. The series was to be called “A Day at the Del”featuring special events/attractions and the executive chefs, wine-experts, and event planners that make it all possible. Upon conceptualization I made a list of contacts at the resort and emailed them about the idea, although some hesitated at the thought of ‘camera time’ everyone agreed they wanted to be a part

of the project. From October to December we scheduled five interviews and segments we wanted to feature including: Behind the scenes at the Spa Pedaling for Patriots- a cross country bike ride Ice Skating at the Del delicious by Daphne, how to make fortune cookies Wine pairing for the holidays On October 27th the project officially started with the arrival of two CIA agents who had rode their bikes from Florida to San Diego, CA to raise money for families of fallen CIA agents- the tour was called “Pedaling for Patriots”. I used a Flipcam to record footage of the couples arrival to Coronado, the surprise visit from family members, and Rob’s speech concluding the ride-it was an incredible moment to be a part of.

For the next few days I created an introduction for all of the Day at the Del segments as well as edited and put music to the footage from the ride to create our first episode. I had only used iMovie once before this project but through the instruction of several online tutorials and trial/ error I learned how to: Cut clips Use transitions Time music Overlay graphics and video Time text/videos/photos upload to YouTube Additionally, I learned how to add annotations and links to videos on the YouTube channel. These annotations prompt action from viewers and enable them to be led to our webpage, booking engines, and other video content. Since the end of October we have produced two videos that have been viewed nearly 300 times. Appendix G

Concept Integration and Application Multi-channel Marketing Customers are using multiple channels for most of their shopping and purchasing endeavors ranging from interactions with kiosks, websites, and stores themselves. In order to appeal to current, future, and older generations it is imperative that companies position themselves within these lifestyles. The multi-channel marketing theory demands that a company manages all contact processes between customers and channel participants during all phases of the relation through combing two or more marketing channels to reinforce each other ( xx). Traditionally business was conducted face-to-face within a store front or office setting, now with online and mobile technology consumers can purchase anything from anywhere. Due to these lifestyle variations, Hotel Del Coronado has converged traditional and digital media to appeal to multiple audiences through its on-site front desk/concierge service, resort walkthrus, website booking engine, and engagement in social media. Specifically, through its reservation and check-in system The Del implements a hybrid between traditional and new technology. Although guests may book and reserve a room through an online system, they still must check in face-to-face with a customer representative. Especially in the hospitality industry we have to make sure we continue to provide the best interactions and experiences for our guests whether or not ‘technology could do the job’. With the near million dollar budget allocated for the Hotel del Marketing plan, efforts to gain and maintain customers are focused in several different areas including: traditional media- radio advertisements, commercials, magazine features (paid & unpaid), direct mail, and brochures as well as new media- email, video content, banner advertisements, social media presence (Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, & Trip Advisor), and website information/links in general. With this marketing mix, the Del is able to reach guests one-to-many, one-to-one, and mid-level. Even though it is difficult to manage such a multitude of channels and audience segmentations, the mix in channel presence has not only increased our presence in the mind of consumers and online, but we have decreased our spending and environmental waste-by limiting our number of paper resources distributed and focusing on new media. For an idea of how far multi-channel reaches customers take a look at the numbers reached through the following mediums: 3,899 Facebook friends 1,842 Twitter followers 1,146 check in’s on Facebook places 378,109 subscribers to our email system 3,283 check in’s on Foursquare

Brand Personality Described as a set of human characteristics associated with a brand, brand personality gives a company the opportunity to build relationships with its consumers (Aaker). We are in a time of a relational marketing boom, companies everywhere are trying to join the conversation and engage with their consumers. Due to this focus on relation, companies are further establishing their brand identities with content, voice, and interaction. One of the most influential pieces to this game is social media. Social media enables companies and people to maintain online identities and share their daily lives with one another. Through Facebook and Twitter users are able to share with their networks personal feelings, photos, favorite songs/videos, and what they are doing. People use social media to interact and maintain relationships with their friends or acquaintances, which is why it is important for companies to focus on using the networks as a CRM (customer relations management) tool rather than a marketing tool-granted the two will coincide eventually. At the Hotel del Coronado we have used a multitude of channels to market and express our brand identity, as mentioned prior, but our main focuses are: Physical experience at the resort Facebook.com TripAdvisor.com Twitter YouTube

Prior to starting these endeavors company management had to decide what image they wanted to portray. According to Jennifer Aaker, brand image is composed by these traits:

General Brand Image SINCERITY EXCITEMENT COMPETENCE SOPHISTICATION RUGGEDNESS domestic, honest, genuine, cheerful daring, spirited, imaginative, up to date reliable, responsible, dependable, efficient glamorous, pretentious, charming, romantic touch, strong, outdoorsy, rugged (Jennifer Aaker 1997)

Hotel del Coronado Brand Image Strengths SOPHISTICATION SINCERITY EXCITEMENT COMPETENCE Weakness

We knew that the Del had a reputation for sophistication due to the recognition we have received through local, regional, and national awards, as well as our target audience, history and denoted pricing. But we wanted to improve in the areas of sincerity, excitement, and competence. Upon analysis of The Del’s image, we recognized our strengths as well as our weakness which is what we planned on using social media to eliminate. Making note of these areas of brand personality & identity we further analyzed the definitions of these terms, as noted by Aaker:

Areas of improvement SINCERITY EXCITEMENT COMPETENCE domestic, honest, genuine, cheerful imaginative, spirited, up-to-date reliable, responsible, dependable, efficient

Perceptions of a brand personality trait come to be associated with a brand in a direct and indirect way; by the people associated with the brand: users, employees, and products themselves as well as: distribution style, brand name, product-related attributes, and advertising approaches. We understood that we could not manage each and every personal or physical interaction a guest has with the hotel, but we wanted to try as hard as we could.

For each social media outlet we developed a separate algorithm based upon the outlet’s audience, behaviors and capabilities: Social Media Website Facebook Activity
Facebook is a social networking website — a gathering spot, to connect with your friends and with your friends friends. Facebook allows you to make new connections who share a common interest, expanding your personal network.

Content
Applications used: photos, media content sharing, likes, and review

Image
We want to provide & share media content [articles, videos, photos], events, & fun facts with our audience members as well as respond to their comments-engage, interact (provide answers to questions, solutions to problems etc..). We are also looking into providing special deals for friends or ‘likes’. We want to respond to all feedback of guests- positive & negativeaddressing their comments & concerns.

Goal
increase: interaction engagement ‘likes’ friends brand image: genuine cheerful responsive efficient knowledgeable appreciative

TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor a free travel guide and research website that assists customers in gathering travel information, posting opinions of travel related issues and engaging in interactive travel forums Twitter is a social networking website that enables its users to exchange news and opinions. The editor's “tweets” are sent via short message with a maximum length of 140 characters and can be subscribed to.

Applications used: consumer travel reviews, star ratings, usergenerated photos, general information about the hotel

increase: interaction engagement guest & company relationship brand image: genuine responsive efficient knowledgeable appreciative increase: interaction engagement retweets followers direct messages brand image: genuine cheerful responsive efficient knowledgeable appreciative

Twitter

Applications used: micro-blogging, media-content sharing, opinionsharing

We want to provide & share media content [articles, videos, photos], events, & fun facts with our followers: respond to their comments-engage, interact (provide answers to questions, solutions to problems etc..). Retweet members of our network when applicable. Providing special deals to followers

Social Media YouTube
YouTube is a video sharing website on which users can upload and share videos. Applications used: video sharing/ viewing, comments We want to provide & share media content- ‘A Day at the Del’with our audience members as well as respond to their commentsengage, interact. Providing special deals for members of our channel. increase: interaction engagement views brand image: genuine cheerful exciting efficient knowledgeable appreciative

Through each of these endeavors we ultimately positioned the Del as a ‘jack of all trades” providing sophistication, excitement, hospitality, and reliability.

Six Leadership Styles Daniel Goleman has successfully created a model describing the phenomena that good leaders are effective because they create resonance (Goleman 1). Resonance refers to the quality of sound, being deep and reverberating. When dealing with leadership, resonance is attained by the way people act toward a positive direction in accordance to themselves and the feelings of others. Within his theory, Goleman describes six leadership styles that create resonance:

In my experience at the Del I was under the supervision of three separate directors: Marketing, Public Relations, and Communications. Although each supervisor had a different style of management and personality, they each resonated with me due to their authenticity and commitment to values and priorities. Within the Marketing & Public Relations departments at the Del the leaders, my supervisors, operate consistently within the Coaching and Democratic styles of leadership (Sometimes Pacesetting applies as well, depending on a deadline/project). Style, in most cases, is influenced by six different factors: 1. Level of leader: position, years with the company, etc... 2. Role: responsibilities, direct or complex? 3. Number of persons lead 4. Time frame: goal/project 5. Domain knowledge 6. Subject of decision As an intern, these factors influence the way my supervisors interacted with me. It was crucial that they Coached me to help identify my strengths and weakness, to teach me new concepts/ operations crucial to the field/business, as well as delegated certain tasks. Additionally they were Democratic to enable us to understand one another, work together, and teach. I mention that Pacesetting became a factor as well because deadlines and stressful environments do exist and if

we expect to get anything accomplished we need to be challenged and pushed to accomplish certain goals/expectations.

Personal Reflection From the start of this internship, I knew I was going to be challenged. I knew that although I had learned concepts and terms from the classroom, nothing compared to the real-world. Truth is, every company operates differently. There are different expectations, operations systems, employees, and the overall products and services offered . No matter what company a person is hired for, everyday is going to be a learning experience--I love that. This May I will be graduating, no question is more prominent these days than “What are you doing when you get out of school?” My answer... “I have no idea.” Heres the deal: I like too many things and to be quite honest, I am good at a lot of those things (and if I’m not good, I’ll learn how to be) that’s my personality. One of my biggest passions is hospitality and service. I throughly love and enjoy helping others in any way shape or form. I love providing an environment for others to have an unforgettable experience with friends, families, and complete strangers. It is this passion that lead me to apply and ultimately attain the internship position at the Hotel del Coronado. For the past three months I have been given an immense amount of responsibility, I have learned how marketing & public relations departments operate with multiple entities, and I have been challenged. As seen within the appendices of this notebook, I have been able to assist with, maintain, and create several important campaigns & projects that contributed to the Hotel del successes this season. In all honesty, I struggled at the start of this internship. From 9-5 Monday, Wednesday, and Friday I sat in an office researching, running analytics, optimizing SEO, and maintaining databases. I was learning an immense amount from my supervisors and personal research. Although I appreciated and enjoyed that, I wasn’t around people enough. I thrive off the energy of others and hearing their stories. People intrigue me, they are our most precious source of capital in the entire world and I like making friends/building relationships with them. Sitting in the office was not enabling me to do that, aside from my officemate who was another intern from Point Loma Nazarene University. But, I asked to be challenged and that is what I was given. The Rolling Stones once said, “you can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you’ll get what you need”, and that is what happened. I was entering the real world and in the real world you cannot have everything you want, although it is important to want somethings that you have otherwise happiness would be impossible and thats what truly is important (apologies for my sidebar). The point is, I needed that experience. I needed to learn about analytics, SEO, online customer service and conversions and if I did not sit in that office and listen to the instructions and advice of my supervisors I would have never learned. Eventually I was given my project with the YouTube campaign and I was able to step out of the office and onto our beautiful resort property to meet influential people that bring daily experiences to our guests. I was able to get a backstage view of several departments and vicariously experience special services at the Del like our spa treatments. I was able to interact, off-line, and I was finally able to appreciate and love the hybrid of multi-channel marketing at the Del.

Now the question is, do I see myself working in the travel/hospitality industry? ...yes! I just know now that I definitely need a mix of marketing channels and interaction in order to live up to my full potential. I am extremely proud of my accomplishments this semester in meeting the learning objectives and goals set-forth at the beginning of my internship term. I have learned an immense amount about the marketing & hospitality industry that will continue to follow me in my future endeavors and I just wanted to thank The Del and my supervisors for that.

Conclusion Under its management of KSL resorts, the Del and its team of sister resorts strive unite with one value: service. Aside from being a world-renowned resort the Del offers guests, visitors, and employees an experience unlike any other teaching us to serve and anticipate the needs of one another, as well as ourselves--I’ll never forget that. In addition to providing a warm, welcoming environment for guests, it is also imperative that companies within the hospitality industry get involved with the online world. Social media, website, brand identity & content optimization have proven to be significant factors in the continued success of our business and I look forward to bringing that insight to other companies.

Please take a look at the project examples within the Appendices following this page.

References

Aaker, Jennifer. "Dimensions of Brand Personality." Journal of Marketing Research (1997): 347. Print. Yulinksky, Corey. “Multi-channel marketing: making ‘bricks & clicks’ stick.” 1-5. McKinsey Marketing Practice 12manage: All You Need to Know about Management. Web. 21 Nov. 2010. <http://www. 12manage.com/>.

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