The following is a guest post from Karen Miranda of Bright Haus…
Hotels are different from any other businesses. They have a constant ebb and flow of customers that can impact their revenue streams in drastic ways. Unlike a supermarket or a clothing store where they may have regular clientele, hotels often have to reinvent themselves week by week. Because of this, it is extremely essential that they take great pains to ensure that their marketing strategies and ideas are working well for them.
“It’s revenue management utopia to work with a general manager and operations team with true passion for upselling. I am not talking about simply offering better room categories to guests. These hoteliers are taking it to the level of art in trying to increase guest spending by an extra euro here and there.”
For the true hotelier, there is much more involved in marketing their hotel than just trying to get the guests to spend more. The type of marketing strategies you will apply to your hotel will depend largely on several different factors you must take into consideration.
Learn to Say No
This may seem strange that saying “no” could be an effective marketing strategy however, some marketing experts find that it is not a turn off to say no to a customer as long as you say it the right way. While a hotel’s main focus is to accommodate their customers in as many ways as possible there will always come a time when it is not always feasible to accept new business. While this may make some hoteliers uncomfortable, saying “no” to a customer because you don’t want to sacrifice quality service can go a long way in bringing them back to you. Consider the comments made by the Blue Magnet on this concept,
“If the partnership isn’t the right one or if the additional business will be burdensome to an already busy team, then it may be time to gracefully say “no.” No business is worth sacrificing excellence and balance, and when the right opportunities come along, you will know that they are right for your company.”
When you are selective about the clientele you accept and what sacrifices you will make you will attract customers that will appreciate the service you provide them much more.
Learn to be Flexible
It is also important to be flexible in your marketing plan. While it is good to have a plan laid out, always keep in mind that the hotel business is constantly changing and evolving. This means it is quite likely that you will discover that once your plan has been completed, it will already be outdated. For example, if you’re thinking social media: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, that’s good. However, you’ll notice that even those formats will change periodically to keep up with the constant change in customer needs. If you’re so rigid in your plan that you can’t make adjustments when it becomes evident, then you’ll likely miss out on some new business that could be coming your way.
Blog, Blog, Blog
A blog is a way for you to literally toot your own horn. It is the perfect way to generate direct business. By attaching a blog to your hotel’s website you’re telling those who land there that you’re an expert in your field and that you know exactly how to fill their needs. As one marketing expert points out,
“We all well know that direct-sales bring a higher margin to the bottom line, than reservations through commissionable third party distributors like OTA or low net rate wholesalers and tour operators.”
If your hotel simply has a website without a blog page you’re limiting your options as well as your bottom line.
Hotel marketing is a real challenge for most hoteliers and has to be approached differently from other businesses. It can be very difficult to keep a constant flow of customers to your door on a regular basis. However, if you want to keep the influx of traffic steady, you will not only need to develop some unique and creative hotel marketing ideas and be able to adjust your plan as needed. There are many things you can do to market your hotel but it will require that you look outside your traditional bag of tricks and come up with something out of the ordinary so that you will not only be noticed but remembered by potential clients.