Three Easy Marketing Ideas for Hoteliers

Brian DeaganDespite unpredictable economic conditions, one truth endures for the hospitality industry – there is always room for improvement to the guest experience. Positive statements about “improving the guest experience” are a constant in marketing meetings – but how? Yes, resources are scarce, but investment in the guest experience is paramount, so an efficient and accountable approach is vital. The most modern, effective, and accountable approach is found in direct digital marketing.

The following three examples illustrate dramatic improvements to the guest experience and the basic business value possible when you incorporate a data-powered, multi-channel direct digital marketing strategy.

1) A Simple Shoulder-Stay Promotion with Onsite Targeting Technology
Because online booking is the entry point for a transaction, the booking process must be smooth and easy. However, the booking engine still provides an opportunity to up-sell by offering a shoulder stay package – without disrupting the mandatory ease of the process – using onsite targeting technology. Onsite targeting transforms formerly static space on a webpage into a “live zone” capable of rotating dynamic content based on information like a website visitor’s browsing activity or preferences. If a guest indicates their stay will end on a Friday, you can use a live zone to offer a discount for the guest to extend the stay through the weekend. If a guest indicates their stay will begin on a Monday, you can use a live zone to offer incentives for the guest to arrive during the preceding weekend. Using direct digital marketing, a shoulder stay package is easy to setup and maintain for the marketer, but it also delivers value to the guest.

2) Keep Guests Informed with eConcierge Programs
The email channel is most frequently used for building loyalty by virtue of its importance to the prospective guest. But traditional messages and uses of email have grown stale — consumers are becoming less responsive. Direct digital marketing’s data-driven foundation transforms a stagnant email approach into a valuable eConcierge program for guests, demonstrating that a guest is not an afterthought once they have booked a room. An eConcierge email program simply delivers three emails to a guest at regular intervals once they have booked a room. The first email welcomes the guest, the second educates them on amenities and events in areas that may interest them, and the third email is an up-sell. Each of the three emails contains smart content based off of known or behavioral data about the guest, captured in the universal profile management system. For example, email number one can be a personalized thank you from the property manager while email number two can offer discounts to an on-property restaurant. The final email is ideal for demonstrating an understanding of an individual guests needs with a link to quickly book a tee time at a golf course or an easy room upgrade. Providing every guest with access to an automated, smart, and measurable eConcierge program successfully leverages the email channel to enhance a guest’s experience.

3) Easy Check-In/Check-Out with Mobile Technology
Check-in and check-out are also key components of the guest experience. Simple mobile programs — like an express mobile check-in and an express mobile check-out — significantly reduce the amount of time a guest is forced to wait in line, opening up time to explore the various amenities available on-property. As guest mobility increases, the ability to communicate with them while they are on-the-go is increasingly important. Providing the opportunity for a guest to sign up for text message alerts while on-property is another way to open a convenient communications channel with a guest.

The three examples outlined here are only a brief introduction to how an effective direct digital marketing partner can help hoteliers and other providers positively impact the guest/customer experience. Data-driven direct digital marketing opens the door to redefining short-term goals and building long-lasting, profitable relationships.

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