Telephone tracking is still relatively unused across the hotel industry, and yet it’s probably the single best way of determining which areas of your marketing are working.

I’m not referring to those nasty 0845 numbers that threaten to double your phone bill within 5 minutes if you call from your mobile. No, rather we use a local number to where the hotel is situated.

We rent that tracking number for £1 per month. That’s it.

There’s a simple redirect in place, ensuring that the phone that rings is the reception, or the hotel’s mainline, so the customer doesn’t know any different.

Why do we go to this effort? Simple: if determines marketing effectiveness.

Imagine that you want to stick a half-page ad in three local magazines and run a door-drop leaflet campaign to promote various aspects of the business; weddings, F&B etc.

Each of the three pieces of marketing has a unique tracking number and each campaign costs £500 to implement. Your cost of telephone tracking is £4.

At the end of the first month, you’ll see which piece of marketing made the phone ring more.

It’s not an exact science of course – you have to allow for customers who will see the ad or leaflet, visit your website and then call, or of course, book online.

But ensuring that you have some idea of which element of your marketing is producing the desired result can ensure that you don’t continue to throw good money after bad month after month.