In the run up to Christmas, arguably the biggest seasonal occasion of the year, consumers are bombarded with marketing messaging. Brands of all shapes and sizes launch creative and engaging campaigns to fight for their share of voice.\u00a0\r\n\r\nThose who create good quality campaigns reap the rewards and that is why seasonality is so important. But what happens when you are responsible for a chain of hotels, with different managers in each, all working independently? How do you make the most of your biggest asset - your brand?\r\n\r\n\tWhat are the benefits to a centralised system - A centralised marketing tool will save organisations, such as those working in the hotel and leisure business, time and money, eliminating two other problems faced by multi-site operations; stock obsolescence and cost. Within a hotel group there will be a number of outlets in different locations each with their own operations managers. It is also likely that these people will all have individual ways of working. While one might be proactive, planning in advance of a seasonal occasion, another might be reactive, leaving everything to the last minute. While some hotels will order thousands of items and use them throughout the year in a bid to save money, others place their orders as required resulting in higher costs per unit, but less waste. The best way to ensure that all sites can make the most of the opportunities that seasonal campaigns such as Christmas present is by employing a central marketing system. This will allow for users to download items such as posters, flyers, emails, point of sales, food menus and promotional items as and when required.\r\n\r\n\r\n\tWill a centralised system stifle creativity - Providing each manager with access to campaign materials online systems standardise communications without being too restrictive. The single most important part of any campaign is the brand. The whole purpose of marketing communications is to build a brand and with it customer loyalty. Creating separate materials from each location can dilute messages and leave the audience confused. Using a central system provides each user with a single point of contact for all of their needs, as well as maximum order quantities. As all hotels are ordering from the same point of purchase the unit costs of each item are lower and greater efficiency is achieved.\r\n\r\n\r\n\tHow can you be assured that brand guidelines are followed - Corporate brand guidelines are essential to ensuring consistency. While a business can share their values, the difficulty of a multi-site operation is implementing these across all promotional items during seasonal campaigns. Brand guidelines can make all the difference and can create some uniformity between sites. You wouldn\u2019t expect to see a leading retailer using a slightly different looking brand or messaging at each outlet; strong branding creates an expectation, and the same should be said of hotel groups. Having consistently branded items and campaigns, which use the same core messaging, builds trust, confidence and loyalty from customers. Using the same logo is not enough, pantone references across all materials should be used and that is where relying on a single source supplier can benefit a business. The company you work with will understand the guidelines you have and reflect these across all materials, so that consistency is a given and not a problem\r\n\r\n\r\n\tIs it important to create consistency across mediums - As online communications become increasingly important, with opportunities for consumer engagement across multiple platforms and channels, consistency is not just a consideration across sites but also platforms. As a result it is essential that campaigns are delivered consistently across any device and again, using a single source supplier can achieve this. Multi-channel communications have opened the doors for hotel groups, giving more touch points and opportunities for brands to engage with their customers. What they need to consider is how all of these channels will work together to build the brand and for that consistency is absolutely key.\r\n\r\n\r\n\tHow difficult is it to implement a centralised online system - It isn\u2019t difficult at all and as long as you work with a specialist it can be implemented quickly and with the minimum of disruption. When hotel groups are planning seasonal activity, with printed items, email campaigns, digital activity and promotional items all required, each site will invariably spend time calling round multiple third party suppliers placing orders with each. The whole process will be simplified by using a central marketing system. Relying on one partner who can specialise in all areas; making campaign planning simple, providing a full service and delivering cost efficiencies will bring multiple benefits. Building a brand can be expensive but there are ways that hotel chains with multiple sites can save money and a single source supplier is certainly one option.\r\n\r\n\r\n\tCan hotel groups really save money using these systems - There\u2019s no denying that in today\u2019s increasingly competitive market, the hospitality industry need to continue to engage with new and repeat customers, but they also need to build a consistent brand and be inventive with saving money. During seasonal occasions, which are often the busiest periods for hotel and leisure companies, each location should be focused on ensuring their customers have the experience they expect. Using a central system for all marketing requirements allows for this to happen. The real question is can hotel groups afford not to make the very most of these growing occasions.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nShelley Milner works for Paragon Group UK Limited, the hospitality marketing support experts. Paragon\u2019s Ecommerce Platform (PEP) is a centralised marketing web platform that allows users to manage their legal, corporate and operational printed documents, along with marketing campaigns at the touch of the button.