Blog 43: Creative Marketing Ideas for Hotels
In a world where we are learning to cope with the pandemic and it's boon of a hybrid lifestyle, where virtual meetups can't rival the feeling of vacationing with friends, where our work lives can be managed just as effectively from home, where we've found a new definition of the word 'in-person', we shouldn't forget that it is the human touch we all thrive on as humans.
Nobody has felt this greater than the hospitality industry. Customer experience has never taken the backseat for any hospitality business but effective and impressible marketing strategies have come to the forefront now, at a time when business needs to be earned and even loyal customers need to be lured back into hotels.
Let's have a look at some very interesting marketing gimmicks applied by industry leaders, and how you can adapt them to your needs!
1. Kimpton Hotels launched their 'Off the Record' project in 2019 inviting some of their favourite bands to play at intimate spots at their hotels. Bands and soundtracks were chosen to match the destination and this is what Kimpton has to say about it, "Through Kimpton Off The Record, you’ll get front row access to an unforgettable and intimate music event, bringing you closer to great artists. Together, we believe that being your true authentic self makes life more extraordinary. That’s when heartfelt human connections are born. Stay human with us."
No worries if you are unable to invite popular bands. Why don't you curate a hotel-personalised Spotify (or any other local music sharing app) playlist for your guests and invite them to follow the playlist at check-in. There's no way guests won't be impressed and it's a low cost strategy that can be changed according to your requirements.
2. The London Hilton on Park Lane recently renamed themselves to 'London Hilton on Park Kane' to support the England football team's captain, Harry Kane, during the Euro 2020 finals. A subtle yet very effective way to boost media presence during a major sporting event.
To adapt this strategy, you could start campaigns with unique hashtags during sporting events, invite local sportspersons to endorse the campaign and go the extra mile by revamping additional space into a stadium and host guests to watch the event, in-person or virtually!
3. A while ago, my family and I stayed at the Kempinski Seychelles Resort and were so impressed by the personalised message on the TV screen when we first entered the room. It showed our names, current weather and appropriate greetings according to the time of the day. While this is now common at many hotels, it exists to be a memorable tactic.
Take this a notch further by investing in a video personalisation software for your hotel. You can add personalised videos/audio clips to your event proposals or confirmation emails. Guests tend to drop likes and dislikes from the moment of their first interaction, so why not leverage that into better content to leaving a lasting memory for your guests.
4. GLH Hotels launched the 'Choose your own room' service back in 2016, allowing guests to pick the exact room they'd like to stay in. A search facility allows users to filter results based on location, price, amenities as well as room layout and floor plan. Guest reviews are captured for specific rooms, not just the hotel - so users can check out what other people have said before they book a specific room.
GLH's service is very tech-intensive and if you don't want to invest into something like that, you could try micro-categorization of rooms. Instead of the basic 3 to 4 categories of rooms offered, break them into sub-categories and detail the purpose of every room. For example, sub-categories including For Families, For Business, On A Budget, With A View and Suite Stays make it easy for people to find exactly what they are looking for, and gives you an edge!
5. 4 out 5 guests are most likely to take back toiletries from their hotel room if they've enjoyed the products. Malmaison Hotels took advantage of this statistic to rebrand their toiletries to say 'the best shampoo you will ever steal', not only encouraging guests to 'steal' the bottles, but also to remember where they got it from. An indirect marketing tool providing the brand an inch over the others.
Include this strategy in your marketing mix by coupling it with a sustainable practice. How about providing branded, small paper bags to your guests for them to take back home partially-used soaps. Since these half-used soaps were going to find their way into your landfills anyway, you can help the environment and your brand by promoting a sustainable practise with your name on it! You could also swap the standard soap bars with organic, chemical free soaps to really nudge your guests.
We, at Hotel it Out!, would love to hear about more quirky marketing mixes adapted by you or if you're about to incorporate one of the above! Let us know in the comments below or drop us an email, and we'd love to do a feature on you (read: subtly marketing Feature it Out!).
Until the next blog,