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Do’s and Don’ts for 2019 Hospitality Marketing

If you have a Hospitality business, chances are you will be recovering from a busy Christmas and New Year and now focused on marketing for your 2019 bookings. Below are some simple hints and tips to help to maximize the value of the business on your books (BOB) for the coming year.  January is one of the busiest months for bookings, so you really want to nail your marketing in this period.

Don’t discount your peak summer months or half terms in a January Sale!  You know that you can sell these weeks out at your top rates so why would you discount in this period?  If you do you are basically throwing money away,  just a 10% discount on 10 cottages/rooms would cost you £12,000  of lost revenue over the summer months based on £2000 per unit/per week.

Do know what you booking window looks like for different periods, so you can offer discounts and deals appropriately. Smarter marketing will deliver results, See above!

Don’t try to compete for business by running expensive PPC campaigns to market without trying to stimulate business through cheaper and more effective routes.  If you do decide to run PPC or similar campaigns manage them closely to measure their effectiveness.

Do ensure that your website is UpToDate and fit for purpose. Do check to see what any updates looks like on a Mobile as well as a Tablet and Desktop.

Don’t forget about advocates and regular customers. Find ways of incentivizing them to recommend you to others and ways to encourage them to book themselves.

Do make sure your 2020 rates are in the marketplace. Some of your customers will want to book that far ahead so make sure you have these agreed and loaded into your PMS.

Don’t compromise design in your communications, think about how your email communications look to the recipient, follow brand guidelines (use of the logo, fonts, pictures) always check the look at the communication on mobile before sending it. Sending badly designed communications is one sure way to get people to unsubscribe or not take the action you seek.

Do Check that your social media posts are,  on message, look professional, follow your brand guidelines, are grammatically correct (yes, really) and that the offer or incentive to book/take action is clear.  You have the attention of a potential customer for just a few seconds.

Do put yourself in your customer’s shoes, think about what the buying experience look like for them. Is your website easy to navigate?  does it tell stories about the experience of staying with you ? does the booking engine itself make buying easy – can buyers see multiple buy options with good photography (if one room/unit is full is the customer offered an alternative?)  Are your after-purchase comms thoughtful, timely and targeted?  Do you offer packages/ options they seek such as flexible arrival days, short stays, family together discounts?

 

Next month we look in more detail in what makes a great Hospitality website, the key components and the nice-to-haves.

Susie Hudson.

Hospitality Marketing – motivated by analysis, not guesswork.

 

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