Gousios

4 ways in which Hotel Marketing ensures the customers we want

OPINION

by Tasos Gousios (*)
At a time when competitiveness in the hospitality sector is undeniable, the success of a hotel is closely linked to how it develops and how it promotes its image, services and facilities.

Hospitality Marketing is not just a service. It is the bridge that connects the property to the general public. Through a specialised scientific, but also empirical approach, strategies are created and implemented that highlight the personality and advantages of each hotel and ensure those customers who are looking for those very characteristics.

This is achieved in practice in the following ways:

  1. Strategic Planning
    Strategic planning includes the exploitation of the characteristics of the accommodation, the highlighting of its comparative advantages, the analysis of market trends, the study of the competition, as well as the actions and activities to be implemented, such as the following:
  • Selection of Markets based on geographical and demographic characteristics
  • Creating a narrative
  • Pricing policy
  • Positioning on online websites and booking systems
  • Sales and Promotions

In the resulting business & marketing plan, the services offered are described in detail, costed, priced, the channels and the way of distribution of the services are studied and the appropriate promotional actions are proposed, either through traditional or digital means (digital marketing).

     2.Branding – Production of communication material
Branding is not limited to the design of a logo and its application in all cases where it is required. It is all the actions needed to position the brand in the mind of the consumer. Special emphasis should be placed on creating a strong brand, which focuses on meeting the needs and desires of the customer, creating emotions, but also on communicating the vision and strategy of the company by fostering unbreakable bonds between managers – employees – customers.

The basis of every communication action is the primary material, which consists mainly of texts, photos and videos. The following are considered essential:

  • Creating a narrative – descriptive texts
  • Photographs – Video recordings
  • Design and printing of printed material – production of digital presentations
  • Website and social networking pages

     3.Creative use of digital tools
We are in the age where digitisation has extended to almost all activities of daily life. Consequently, it is more than imperative to use digital tools that serve the operation and provision of high quality services and at the same time are vehicles for extroversion and promotion. The most essential for any accommodation are:

  • PMS for organizing and managing reservations and more
  • Online booking engine for direct bookings
  • Channel manager for selection and automated updating of booking websites (booking, expedia etc.), metasearch channels (tripadvisor, trivago etc.) and ADS – GDS systems

     4.Promotional actions
In an ever-evolving environment, using the right tools and outreach actions is vital. The most important actions are the following:

  • Sales to travel agents and professional or social groups and institutions
  • Management of google my business, booking engine and channel manager
  • Social media management and targeted promotion on social media
  • Design of email campaigns (newsletters)
  • Search engine visibility
  • Participation in exhibitions
  • Organisation of fam trips for agents and journalists etc.
  • Advertising in Greece and abroad

How the above methods are applied

Practically and theoretically we find three forms of implementation of all the above described above.

The large chains create in-house marketing departments, which are staffed with qualified personnel who have the knowledge to select suppliers that are suitable for the realisation of the objectives.

In the second case, which is usually found in small and medium-sized establishments, the owner undertakes to carry them out, involving himself in, for example, the management of OTAs and social networks, a practice that is also reinforced by the large booking and social media platforms with their various DIY fast-track seminars. For more specialised tasks such as creating a website or installing digital tools, he turns to people he knows from his immediate environment, often with the main criterion being the lowest cost.

In the third case, which again concerns small and medium accommodation, all the above actions are entrusted to an external partner, who has the know-how, experience and the staff with the different specializations, marketing, copywriters, photographers, graphic designers, programmers, social network managers, etc. and the owner focuses on what he knows how to do well and is his main task, taking care that his visitors get unique experiences, and at the same time saving time and money.

Good luck! The road is paved, Greece is consolidating its place on the tourist map, it remains for hospitality entrepreneurs to make their choices for a sustainable and sustainable tourism development.

(*) Mr. Tasos Gousios, MSc Tourism and Culture Planning and Development, is a Tourism Development Consultant – Founder of Alpha Marketing

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