We are into a digital era. It is often said that if your business is not online, it does not exist. Marketing your hotel business has thus become multi-dimensional. Gone are the days when people used to rely only on word of mouth, newspaper advertisement, leaflets and sales personnel. In the current internet era, a small marketing team is good enough to manage a multinational business. Thus, it is extremely important to curate a perfect marketing plan. Let’s cover a few tips for a successful hotel marketing plan in this post.
Before we head on to the points to create a perfect hotel marketing plan, let’s first discuss what exactly a marketing plan is.
“A Marketing plan is a part of the overall business strategy that contains the blueprint of overall organisational effort in terms of marketing, advertisement etc in the coming financial year.”
There is a lot of things that must go into the process to devise the best hotel industry marketing strategies. An understanding of the hospitality ecosystem holds the key but there are other important things that need to be considered while creating a perfect hotel marketing plan.
Let’s begin discussing a few of the strategies and top tips:
Align the hotel marketing plan with the corporate objective
Have a look at the corporate strategy of your hotel first. It is crucial to know the below before even proceeding with the hotel marketing plan.
- The mission of the Hotel and the corporate mission for hotel chains
- The vision of the leaders / top managers
- Budgeting- how much to invest and what return to expect
- Assumptions in collecting data and devising an action plan
Once the above is clear, move to the next steps.
A proper Market research is a must
This is crucial. Lots of hotel marketing plans lack this fundamental thing. There is little market research before devising a good plan.
Even before collecting data of the market segment for your hotel, it is important to ask yourself a few questions.
Who are my customers?
Who are my key competitors?
Is the market growing or stagnant?
What’s the demographic detail of the existing and potential customers of the hotel?
and similar questions.
Then based on the answers collect data which are easily available on the world wide web. Once the key areas to collect data are figured out, it is easy to get data without even a need of hitting the road. The old school style of collecting data has been replaced by the emergence of world wide web and market research firms.
Carry out an in-depth Hotel Industry Analysis
It is extremely important to do some background research of the industry you are operating in. It is like studying the route before thinking about the destination. This can be extremely important when you plan to market your hotel as if you get the people or price wrong, it can lead to a downslide of turnover and profits.
the key areas to look at while doing the analysis are:
- SWOT Analysis – Hotel industry SWOT analysis and then an analysis of your hotel individually can give good bird’s eye view of the overall market.
- PESTLE Analysis – This covers even the macro environment and should be used especially when the marketing plan is for a group of hotels.
- Marketing Mix– 4 Ps and 7 Ps and 4 Cs
Check the below image from Traveltech Strategies for a snapshot on what to consider for devising a good hotel marketing plan. Have a look. There are more variables to consider than what you would have assumed. It is these variables that could give your hotel a competitive edge.
Is the hotel marketing plan innovative?
If you are not stressing on innovation, it is extremely difficult to gain a competitive edge.
There are hundreds of new hotels opening in all regions of the world and the customer is expecting more and more at a lesser price. Thus it is crucial to get innovative to ensure more bookings and sales for your hotel.
Innovation can be either transformational or incremental. For your hotel marketing plan, look for incremental innovation in areas like:
- How to get better customer visibility
- How to create a better reputation
- Getting better screen time
- marketing services in an innovative and customer-friendly manner
and there is transformation innovation most of which at this time is dependent on artificial intelligence and machine learning.
The hospitality industry has witnessed a lot of top innovation. It is important to keep being creative and innovative in how you and your team approach hotel marketing.
Extra focus on Digital marketing
It is crucial to go with the flow. Digital Marketing trends in the hospitality industry must be assessed and considered while creating a hotel marketing plan.
The top focus should be on:
- Data-driven marketing
- Marketing automation
- Artificial Intelligence and Machine learning
- Chatbots and personal assistant features for better customer service
- Mobile-first strategy
- A proper content management strategy is a must for your hotel.
The image below displays that your hotel could find itself in the bottom half if the content strategy of the hotel is not documented. So, it’s a must to have one in the hotel marketing plan.
Image Courtesy- HotelSpeak
Try not to be in the bottom 40% and definitely not in the 6% who don’t even bother to have a content marketing plan embedded in the marketing plan for their hotel.
Teamwork- Listening to others is a must
The hotel industry is all about people and service. It is crucial to understand both the internal customer and the external customer.
The internal customer is the team and a plan on paper is not good until it has the potential to be realised and executed well on the ground by the team.
so, it is crucial to listen to others to device a great hotel marketing plan.
Invest in a Better Website for brand building
This definitely is one of the crucial and most important tips for a great marketing plan.
In today’s technology-driven world, a website is one of the best marketing tools for hotels.
Website is your organisation’s identity in the current era.
People first see the website of the hotel before even looking to buy any of the services on offer.
Thus, it is important to put up a strong first impression.
Over time it helps to create a good reputation and brand. It should be used in conjunction with social media marketing.
Study your competition and give them a place in the marketing plan
Competitor analysis is crucial. It is important to understand who the competitors are and which of the competitors can become an opportunity for the hotel in future.
Competitor analysis help in benchmarking and understanding the customer overlap.
It also helps in creating a better plan than competitors and then outpace them in growth.
A clear and decisive action plan is a must
Now for last but not the least. A tip towards creating a great hotel marketing plan.
The plan that stays on paper is of no use. There must be a clearly achievable and decisive action plan well documented. This is to guide the team to follow a path for achieving the results that the market plan strives to achieve.
A lot of points should be considered to take a holistic approach towards marketing strategy for your hotel.
Image Courtesy- MBAskool
A clear, concise and inclusive hotel marketing plan needs a lot of groundwork.
A lot of expertise, hard work, precision and experience is involved in devising top marketing strategies to ensure that your hotel gets more bookings and improves in customer base and reputation.
We hope the above-mentioned points would help your hotel move in the right direction as far as marketing for growth is concerned.