Have ever wondered if you are using the right marketing strategies to help you exceed your revenue goals?

Do you feel like you know one area of digital really well but might be missing out on some other important segments?

For a comprehensive overview of the hotel marketing world, this is the program.

Certified Hospitality Digital Marketer

In 2012, HSMAI release a study guide & certification for the digital marketing targeted specifically to the hospitality business.  The guide and test were written by the Digital Marketing Advisory Council for HSMAI.  Unlike it’s counterpart, the revenue management certification (CRME), there were so many changes in this discipline that the CHDM  guide and test have been updated five times since 2012.   It could only have been kept up to date and relevant because a diverse group of hospitality digital marketing professionals were willing to share their expertise to this endeavor.  

The Backstory

Our new program – the Hotel Digital Marketing Essentials – has evolved from the certification study guide.  The facilitators for the virtual class are the current and past chairs of the Marketing Advisory Board for HSMAI and continue to be involved with the care and feeding of the CHDM.   We will likely be releasing the next edition sometime in 2020.  

Interest in learning more about this discipline has been growing over the last few years and there have not been a lot of structured programs created that have the unique knowledge base of our industry so we decided in order to ensure we have an educated workforce, we partnered with HSMAI to put together this program..  

What will we cover in six weeks?

We have broken up the program into logical sections – Paid, Owned, and Earned Media, which covers everything from websites to social, PR to email marketing, and really everything in between.  Additionally, we added in a fun walk through history, as it pertains to hotels and digital marketing as a pre-class exercise. And we added in analytics, intermediaries and vendor management.  We cover every critical area you may come across.  In the table to the right, you can see specifically what we will cover each week.

We have put together a 15 minute video that walks you through the significant developments in our world since 1995.  We also ask all of our students to join Trello – a software app (free) that we use throughout the course to complete our various activities and homework assignments.

We will cover strategy in this first week – building a strategy that closely follows the path of our customers.  We will also define what Paid, Owned and Earned actually encompass.

In part one of owned media we will cover the hotel website – specifically content, imagery, SEO, merchandizing and the booking engine.

In the second part of owned, we will focus on CRM, eMail marketing, loyalty and recogniztion and the analytics around owned media.

This week we will explore the world of social, public relations, reputation management, influencers and the tracking and analytics available in this space.

We will delve more deeply into paid advertising – search, display, and meta.  We will also look at affilate marketing, social media paid and the tracking and analytics available in this area.

In our final week we will cover the OTAS – Models and Strategies, as well as tracking and analytics.  We will also cover vendor management and finally, the role of the digital marketer as the internal communication hub.

In class we will cover primarily theoretical knowledge – but in order to ensure you also walk away with a practical grasp on the discipline, there will be a homework assignment each week that will put into practice what you learned.  You may partner with a classmate at times and the additional work will not exceed an additional 60-90 minutes per week.  More than likely, you will find the activities interesting and end up delving in more deeply, but that is up to you!

Our Facilitators

Holly Zoba

Principal, Scout Simply

Holly Zoba spent the first 15 years of her career in hotel sales and marketing for Hospitality Partners and the last ten years developing programs to help hotels increase their sales through digital marketing and employee training at Signature Worldwide.  Last year she launched her own training program - Influencer Sales, which is a blending of traditional sales approaches, new strategies and technology.  In addition to digital sales training, she is also a full stack web application developer - MERN which means she can write both the front end and back end of a website, if necessary.  Her company, Scout Simply, helps hotels find revenue through sales and marketing training, as well as sales audits and some consulting. Zoba continues to be a part of the HSMAI Marketing Advisory Board and has continued to make updates to the CHDM since the original in 2013.  She was recognized in 2014 by HSMAI as one of the Top 25 Extraordinary Minds in Hospitality Sales,Marketing and Revenue Management. She is a frequent industry speaker and has authored several articles in industry publications. 

Dan Wacksman

Principal, Sassato

With over 20 years of senior level experience in hotel marketing and travel distribution, Dan Wacksman has recently launched a new company, Sassato, to help hotels and travel related businesses to improve their performance in marketing, distribution, technology, and implementations. Prior to this, Dan was Senior Vice President of Marketing and Distribution for Outrigger Hotels and Resorts, where he oversaw Marketing, Digital, Loyalty/CRM, Contact Center Operations, OTA relationships, and overall distribution strategy. Previous roles include; Managing Director for GTA China and Regional Director for GTA Asia, where he had overall responsibility for offices throughout the region (at the time GTA was one of the worlds largest wholesalers), General Manager of Aoyou.com, an Online Travel Agency based in Beijing and Director of Strategic Development for Travelport where he was involved in acquisitions and strategic initiatives. Dan currently serves as the chair for the HSMAI Marketing Advisory Board, teaches a digital marketing class at the University of Hawaii, and is a frequent speaker at industry events. Dan was recently recognized by HSMAI as one of the Top 25 Extraordinary Minds in Hospitality Sales, Marketing, and Revenue Optimization.

Who should take this class?

The course is aimed at anyone who wants to feel more comfortable in the world of hotel digital marketing.
If you want to get your CHDM and would like some help prepping for the test, this class is for you.
If you work in revenue management and you just want to know more about the discipline but have no interest in getting your certification, this class is for you too.
If you work in sales and are often expected to wear a marketing hat, this class is for you.
If you work at the front desk or in banquets and you would like to move into eCommerce, this class is for you.
If you sell websites to hotels and you want to learn more about the other parts of hotel digital marketing, this class is for you.
If you think marketing is boring, this class is probably not for you!
There is no prerequisite to take this course. In order to take the CHDM and get certified, you will need to complete an application and have enough points to be qualified. But to take this program, that is not a requirement. You just need to have an interest and a desire to learn. And $395 (that's the price).

Register Here

We have one more class in 2020.

Class times will be 3:00pm – 4:00 pm, eastern.

Pricing is $395 per person.


September 14 - October 19

*Participants seeking to apply for the Certified Hospitality Digital Marketer (CHDM) exam will receive at $75 discount off the (CHDM) exam fees. Please contact Kathy Tindell at 703-506-2010 or ktindell@hsmai.org for more information.

We have five sample CHDM certifications questions in this quiz – are you feeling lucky?  Go ahead, take it for a spin! We won’t count it toward your final grade!