Hospitality marketing teams have a tough job to do these days. Pivot, pivot – and pivot again. As we all know, the familiar world around us has become quite unfamiliar, and, the predictable – unpredictable. With so many situations up in the air, it often feels like a challenge to just stay sane.
In light of this, here are recent marketing and branding techniques that Hospitality professionals can count on to stay relevant:
Express your core values in your original, authentic voice. Staying true to who you are is what your audience depends on in both good times and bad. If you speak out of character, audiences may second guess your integrity or purpose – ultimately turning loyal fans into never heard from again contacts.
Be mindful about what you say and how you say it. If you don’t have a brand book or brand guidelines for your operation, work with your internal team or an outside agency to set them up. There is no better time, than now.
Your audiences, now more than ever, are looking at you with eyes wide open. They want to dream with you, plan with you, and hear from you. Use your most successful channels of communication and be sure to stay connected. Audiences are frenzied for information.
Here are some frequent questions:
- Are you open?
- When will you open?
- Do you have grab & go?
- Do you have contactless services?
- Is your pool open?
Tell them all about what you’ve got. Use whatever approach is best for your brand – just don’t go dark for long.
Honesty is the best policy. All eyes are on your brand during this time, but this has both pluses and minuses. If you have a misstep, it is okay. After all, it is not always what you do, but how you react and respond.
It is imperative to be honest about your services and what your hospitality experience looks like for guests; don’t over promise and under deliver.
Providing reassurance to your audiences in messaging is crucial during these uncertain times. Travelers and guests want to know it’s safe to visit you. They appreciate a look inside, a genuine exploration behind the scenes – and they seek out information about both their potential new experience, as well as the cleaning standards and protocols a property has in place. Ensure audiences can access this information readily. Don’t make them search long and hard for it.
Pre-Stay Survey Audiences
We all get marketing emails after purchasing something or staying somewhere, for example:
- “Rate your Purchase” or
- “How Was Your Stay? Tell us!”
However, what if you allow your audiences to shape their experience now vs. later? Provide your key audiences with a survey before they visit your location to gain valuable insights about what matters to them. Let them speak to what their expectations are, what they are cautious of, and what they would like to see. It is with this valuable information that marketing & branding professionals can utilize real data to shape the most effective strategies.
All in all, infusing these five techniques into your marketing and branding strategies will help keep you connected to audiences in this ever changing world. While just a scratch of the surface, communication is at the helm of each of the above strategies. Think about them and deploy them for a running head start – and an effective result.
Cara Federici is Principal and Founder of The Madison Melle Agency and consultant with Cayuga Hospitality. Cara demonstrates performance excellence in hospitality, specializing in branding, marketing and operations management within the boutique and luxury-lifestyle sectors. Her extensive leadership skills acquired from on the ground management include launching multiple, highly sought after hotels and luxury residences across the globe. She is a trusted Senior Advisor, often acting as Owner’s Representation in support of Capital Partners, Real Estate Developers, Independent Owners, Management Companies, and various other Stakeholders who are focused on capturing the highest return on investment. Cara studied at design at Parsons and holds a certificate from Cornell University in Real Estate Development and Asset Management as well as a B.A. from Tulane University. Cara is a visionary and seasoned hotelier with a proven track record of success.