Marketing is more than a full time job
Marketing can seem like a daunting task to independent property owners, and it is often shelved in favour of other more immediate jobs like looking after guests and the daily running of the business. This is a grave mistake, as marketing is crucial for the continued success and future growth of your business. But how to get to a holistic marketing strategy and execution thereof, to gain more direct bookings, improve your sales mix, increase your occupancy and get the recognition your property deserves when not having the needed resources or talents and experience available?
Marketing is a minefield with numerous tasks, dozens of new technology and angles of attack. Here are some of the effective measures that can ensure you hit your marketing targets.
How to cope with ever new technology?
Technology is the new leveller of the playing field. Bigger companies have bigger advertising budgets, more skilled people and greater digital reach, but that doesn’t mean that smaller and independent properties can’t get a larger bite of the apple. New technological innovations have made for more competitive market positions by early adopters. An example of this is the 360 degree Virtual Tour, powered by Google Street View Trusted for Hotels. By adding this very new technology to the digital presence, Lodges, Guesthouses, Hotels but also Tour Operators can significantly improve their market share.
Do small lodges need a property management system? Really?
Independent property owners often manage their bookings in a paper diary, in Excel or on the Outlook Calendar. Others run a Property Management System. But do smaller properties of 4-12 rooms really need a PMS? Is it not too complex and provides a lot of features and functions not needed in such small operations? On the other side, a streamlined rate, inventory and reservations management can have extremely beneficial effects for marketing and distribution. A perfectly configured cloud based platform would allow you to market your room in any number of ways. However it also need to function while offline and it need to be fully integrated into the digital presence, Facebook, local tour operators, DMCs, Google Hotel, online travel agents, meta engines and GDS without adding complexity and cost.
Is eMail marketing still working?
eMail sounds antiquated to some people, but it remains an intrinsic weapon in the hotelier’s and tour operators marketing arsenal. A highly personalised email journey is still a vital part of your marketing mix, as email lists are compiled by people who have registered their interest in your property, or stayed there already. It is a cost effective way of reaching an already interested audience. Whether your Guests, prospects or Tour Operators or DMCs.
Why to stop print advertising and shift to digital marketing
Advertising and direct marketing are still the bread and butter of digital marketing. There are countless ways to utilise these powerful tools, each with its different cost. And, you can optimize them daily, tweak them for a better performance, or shut them down if they don’t seem to work. But more importantly, for the first time you can analyze every cent spent and its return. Something impossible in Print.
Part two to follow shortly.