5 Valuable Tips for Getting Your Marketing Absolutely Right.
Hotel Management isn’t something that’s planned out once, put into place and left – it’s a constant evolution of changing markets, expectations and balancing your daily duties to get it right. Getting your marketing right takes time, effort and a drive to do it properly. But when you hit your mark, and your guests are checking in more often – you’ll find that your marketing strategy is working.
Sometimes you’ll hit on a new strategy, and see results straight away. But most of the time, your success will come from cumulative effort and flexible plans that you’re prepared to adjust or scrap should the need arise.
Here are our Top 5 Tips for successfully Marketing Your Hotel
You Need to Know Your Metrics, and Any Service Changes
Before you can start measuring any level of success, you need to know what success looks like. The Hospitality Industry relies on the Customer, and their expectations, needs and wants are going to change – how you translate this into a business plan will largely depend on your venue – the size, location, target audience, and what you’re looking to achieve with any given campaign.
With platforms such as Social Media, there are always new algorithms and patches being introduced, changing and refocusing the way your audience engage with you. If you’re not aware of upcoming service changes, not only could you fall behind, but you could end up falling foul of service violations.
Once you know which platforms you’re going to use, and who you’re aiming for, you can track your Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) and start to make sense of the data analytics. You should be constantly evaluating your efforts, budget and staff to ensure that you’re reaching the right mix of business targets. Ensuring that your data management is legal, up to date, and provides you with the analytics you need is an important part of this process.
You Need to Plan Ahead – But Also Be Prepared to Be Reactive
There will be some times that you can plan for, and others where you can’t – how you handle these situations will not only tell you a lot about your business, but it tells your customers about your brand as well.
Where ever possible, you should be liaising with other teams – including events, customer care and revenue management, at the earliest possibility. This will give you a better opportunity to spot areas of weakness, determine events that your hotel can benefit from associating with, or identify new opportunities.
If things go wrong, you need to make sure that your team is placed to react as fast as possible. This speed can make all the difference between a small issue and a fully blown crisis – especially over social media. There have been numerous hospitality businesses that have said or done something, and then failed to react before the public consciousness became aware of the situation, and as a result suffered enormous reputation damage and loss of profits.
With so much other competition available, it’s vital that you’re prepared for as many different eventualities as you can think of. You might never experience some of these scenarios, but if you know what to do – you and your staff aren’t going to panic if it happens, and can go straight to fixing the problem.
You Need to Keep Informed and Up to Date
Knowing what’s happening in and around the industry is vitally important – not just when it comes to customers. If new legalities and expectations are being ushered in, you need to be ready to be compliant, and if your customers are looking for a new approach to business – if you’re not aware of it, you’re automatically excluding yourself.
You should be looking at both sides of your business – both customer facing and business. Reading customer reviews and feedback will help you assess how well you’re performing with your guests, and staying up to date with business news will give you better opportunities to work with local markets and the industry as a whole.
You Need to Know What’s Important and Define Your Goals
It’s important that you prioritise the needs of your business, but you must also remember to prioritise the needs of yourself and your staff – without your team, your hotel can’t operate. Communication is so important to get right – it should be a two-way street, where your staff have the opportunity to share their questions, comments and concerns in a safe environment – for example you might not like to hear what they have to say, but if it benefits your business – then you need to listen. They may not feel comfortable speaking up in a meeting, so it’s important to have a suggestion box, or some form of digital communication that works to support them as they work to support you.
It’s important that you work together to achieve your goals, and understand that not every step can be a large one – but as long as it’s a step forward, it’s one in the right direction.
You Need to Be Consistent with Quality and Content
There is so much competition in the hospitality industry, that even the biggest brands find themselves having to work harder for customers. No one can just assume that people know who they are and can coast on the success of their brand. If you want to be seen, heard, engaged with – and more importantly, booked – you need to make an impact.
Being consistent with the quality of your content is the first step – if you think something is ‘good enough’ then it’s not, everything your website, social media page, blog, video channel, magazine – whatever, puts out has to be of the same high standard and recognisably yours.
Then it has to be consistent – if people don’t see you, they’ll forget you. By having a regular posting schedule, you’ll be able to see when and where your customers are online, and better refine your efforts.
Getting your Marketing right isn’t easy, and it’s not a short term fix – you can’t set it and forget it. You need to work hard at creating the right content, to show the right people, at the right time.