In the hospitality industry, trends are constantly changing, thereby presenting you with an opportunity of devising functional strategies and an effective hotel marketing plan. But devising a marketing plan may sound as daunting as rocket science. Whether you’ve established a new hotel or are working to rebrand an existing one, having a defined marketing plan is essential. Without it, you may end up targeting the wrong audience or max out your marketing budget with minimal return on investments. Likewise, ensure that your plan is not a monster. It should be precise, focused, constructive, and tailored to your business needs.
But how do you create a functional hotel marketing plan? Worry not! We have shared with you a simple 5-step process for creating an effective marketing strategy that feels less like rocket science.
1) Be honest about your hotel marketing position
Before diving deeper into the challenges and opportunities that lay ahead, you need to be honest about where your hotel stands in the marketplace. Ask yourself, what makes your business standout? You can achieve this best by examining in-depth, the 5C’s of marketing.
- Company: What’s happening with your hotel business? Are you trying to rebrand? Are you changing your service or product offering?
- Competitors: What are your close competitors doing differently even in adverse conditions?
- Customers: What are travelers’ perceptions towards your business? How often do they communicate their grievances?
- Collaborators: What is going on with your partners, be it service providers, travel agencies, or PR firms?
- Climate: Is the economy favoring your business?
Knowing where you stand is the first step towards devising an inclusive and effective hotel marketing plan.
2) Set your goals and objectives
By now, you already know where you stand, and where you need to improve. Perhaps increasing your occupancy rate, attracting young travelling explorers, engaging more with potential guests on social media, adopting a channel manager to help you drive those sweet bookings, or addressing those hurtful online reviews that threaten to damage your online reputation. It’s now time to set clearly defined goals that are fine tuned to your needs – a one-size-fits-all hotel marketing strategy template will not do it for you.
Your marketing goals ought to address your specific barriers while setting your hotel apart from competitors and resonating with your guests and target audience.
3) Pick the appropriate strategy
After laying out your set of objectives, choose which one(s) you want to focus on and further decide how you will easily track its progress and the potential impacts. You can achieve this by conducting a thorough SWOT analysis – one of the best tried and tested tools for business planning.
You’ve probably heard of SWOT analysis, but if not, here is a brief refresher; SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. In short, a SWOT analysis will give you a clear idea about the strengths and weaknesses of your picked strategies. Complement this by conducting a cost-benefit analysis of different strategies and the ideas you and your colleagues have brainstormed.
4) Implement your plan
With an appropriate strategy in place, now you are well aware of what is required from you. But how will you do it? By following through. It makes no sense to invest so many hours of work into what you deem an appropriate hotel marketing strategy then disregard it entirely in the end. Following through with your goals is what will guarantee the success of your plan.
At this stage, you can identify:
- The departments in charge for individual changes made
- How to monitor and measure the progress of your goals
- The deadlines for individual tasks
5) Marketing budget
Now, let’s talk numbers. How do you fair budget-wise? Is it enough to accomplish the marketing objectives you’ve stipulated? Here are a few considerations for a marketing budget that can guide you:
- Expenditure on Google and Facebook Ads
- New photography for high quality property images and short videos
- Buying an appropriate software for Search Engine Optimization and key-word tracking
- Hiring a PR firm
- Building or upgrading an impeccable hotel website
We strongly recommend that you do not ignore the financial impacts of your marketing plan. The ever changing landscape of the hospitality industry and emerging trends may see your constant adjustment to strategies damaging your business purse. Allocate resources to your hotel marketing plan wisely!
Well, that wasn’t as intimidating as rocket science after all! With just five simple steps, you now have an effective and comprehensive hotel marketing plan tailored to your business needs, and a budget that is less harmful to your financial pool. Stick to it, adjust it if necessary, and marvel as your bookings, brand visibility, and overall revenue gradually increase.