Let’s Talk Hospitality Marketing
With over a decade of experience in Hospitality Sales & Marketing, especially in the area of Marketing & Communications, I am definite hotels’ Marcomm teams have heard this one too many times; “Let’s launch/promote this “XYZ” & make sure the media knows about it”.
And what do most Marcomm teams do?
- Receive brief details about the product/promotion for content
- Search for attractive images for key visuals
- Put together all artwork visuals such as posters, press releases, flyers, social media etc.
IN THIS ORDER……
Sounds simple enough? Yes, it is. But too much simplicity signifies mediocrity or even non-competitiveness.
Imagine how many hotels or restaurants there are in Bangkok, or even just along Sukhumvit Road. Now……mediocrity works? You think?
I’ve written quite a few articles evolving around The Myth of Hospitality Marketing, the topic of which could be easily narrowed down into three points:
- The term Public Relations or PR has been generally used to cover any activity whatsoever needed to execute marketing work.
- “Awareness” is oftentimes overrated. Yes, awareness is good. I love awareness. Because it potentially brings in clients; whom of which convert into revenues. Thus, awareness is only good if it turns into sales.
- It’s easier and quicker to jump to the end of the “marketing lifeline” (that’s what we call it at our office, PaM++)
Huh?? You say? Exactly….so, let’s look at each one in detail.
Public Relations has become a verb in Hospitality Marketing
WIKIPEDIA states that “Public Relations (PR) is the practice of managing the spread of information between an individual or an organization and the public. Public relations may include an organization or individual gaining exposure to their audiences using topics of public interest and news items that do not require direct payment.”
Thus, it’s sad to know that PR is always mistaken for all marketing activities and it’s sadder that most hotels and even some GMs still generalize; using the word “PR” for everything related to the work that their marketing and communications departments are doing.
That may be so due to the fact that years ago, there was not much to be done besides PR functions.
But this is 2021!!
A holistic approach is the way to go, or what we call Integrated Marketing Communication ((IMC) or simply put, Connected Marketing. No ONE activity will work effectively on its own.
What are you in business for?
This part here is short. Of course, having promotions and the supporting key visuals out there ensures you get some sort of exposure.
But…we’re in the business for revenues, right? not just exposure. Exposure is super nice when you show the results around to the management & the board, but when it comes time for P & L meetings, only numbers matter. Thus, a critical need for the “marketing lifeline”.
The Marketing Lifeline
This is critical if your objective is long-term sustainability (which it should be!), not just short-lived exposure. You need to ask yourself these 4 little questions before promoting or launching anything:
- What do you want to do?
- Who do you want to talk to?
- Who are you? or who do you want to be perceived as by these people?
- What are you going to say to them?
In order to ask these questions, believe it or not, the Marketing Lifeline comes into play.
Here’s how it goes for not just hospitality marketing, but all marketing……(in this order, yes)
- Marketing analysis, feasibility, product vs. target groups
- Branding & brand identity
- Positioning matrix & synchronization
- Marketing strategy (integrated marketing)
- Marketing plan & budget
- Cost-effective tools & channels
- NOW…you can do PR activities and start promoting
Don’t fall into the Myth. Don’t jump right into #7.
And I’ll end this with a quote I had made on www.hotelierherald.com, “Effective marketing requires a long term and holistic view that outlines the hotel’s overall marketing efforts, in the context of the GM’s overall business plan…”