Category Archives: marketing


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.


Successful Geo-target marketing for SME’s

IKEA have used geo-targeting in their marketing mix since 2014 along with ASDA and Morrison with great results – a 32 % to 60% increase in store footfall and 3 times the industry standard for click conversions.  We wanted to explore how geo-targeting could benefit an SME,  helping them to deepen their relationship with a major stockist who was taking on new lines and grow their market share for new listings with a new stockist.

What did we do?

We reached out to potential purchasers who were geographically centered one mile from a stockist’s store. Our market research, helped us be very specific in our target audience; we settled on females vegans aged 18 to 35.  The media we used was engaging, with an individual targeted message super relevant , we also launched the campaign to run during “Organic September”.

There were three rounds of targeting, the first for product awareness, the second while the products were on offer and the third after a period on offer without geo-targeting.

 What happened?

We launched on Facebook and Instagram, settling on Instagram as the campaign progressed as the CPR was much lower. An investment of less than £16.00 pounds in each round saw reaches of over 1000 with an average engagement of 10%. A 72% uplift in sales was recorded over the period and latent growth continued in sales after the campaigns completed.

This particular brand has recorded an uplift of 40%-60% of sales when their products have been stocked for a period and are then discounted, here were new lines and new stockists, a very different challenge. We know from experience that discounting is often an unsustainable marketing tool which eats into profit and is likely only to see this new buyer repeat a purchase when the product is again discounted.  What geo-targeting does is drive footfall; it advertises a product to a greater proportion of people who want that product and who are near to a point of delivery.

Whats really exciting for us is that this approach is likely to work for a myriad of different businesses. If you think about where your customers are, how far they are likely to travel to purchase your services or goods and what they are interested in then geo-targeting with social media could deliver a significant uplift to your sales.

As advertisements become more and more customer-specific this is a cost-effective way of harnessing the approach and deliver innovation to your category managers, innovation is often one way that their success is measured.