Dear old dad. We tested his patience. We emptied his wallet. We admired him and we feared him.
While it is easy to give most credit to our moms for the timeless life lessons we adopted, dads deserve to be acknowledged for their own impact on our lives. In fact, their endless lectures to us have also turned out to be some pretty darn good hotel marketing advice!
In honor of Father’s Day, we’re presenting our favorite "dadisms" that prove that your pops – whether he knew it or not – has serious marketing advice. Here are our favorite, wise hotel marketing insights hidden behind your dad’s most repeated quotes:
Dad: As Long As You’re Under My Roof, You’ll Follow My Rules
Hidden Hotel Marketing Advice: Your branding - and all it promises - matters. It’s what sets you apart from every hotel in your comp set. It’s what will catch your audience’s attention and make them remember you from the clutter of other marketing messages. It guides your hotel’s entire experience, even before a guest checks in.
Too often, we see hotels who lack a specific brand or message. They truly don’t know who they are in their market, what personality they should exude online, or what images and words would communicate their unique message best. Even worse, new marketing staff or vendors, who may not have studied your brand standards thoroughly, end up creating assets or content that don’t align with your brand at all, which only confuses travel consumers further.
Protect your brand and your image. It’s all you truly own in the fight for market share online.
Dad: I’m Not Yelling At You. I’m Helping You Hear.
Hidden Hotel Marketing Advice: Don’t be quick to get defensive or write off those negative guest reviews. After all, your hotel product is the most important part of your marketing! While it’s certainly true that you can’t please everyone, underneath every bad review lies a kernel of truth. Most especially if the same complaint comes up more than once. In that case, fix the problem pronto! The key is to not ignore negative reviews. Plus, don’t respond to them using a robotic, corporate response which communicates that you have no true intention to do anything about it. While it may be difficult to keep up with all the reviews that come in everyday, at the very least, make it part of a weekly or bi-monthly routine to comb through all the recent reviews and make notes on every issue that comes up.
Track what is coming up the most and make the necessary changes. By listening to your past guests, you can make your guest experience even more remarkable.
Dad: Will You Kids Please Shut Up For Once?
Hidden Hotel Marketing Advice: This is something every hotel marketer should be reminded of every once in a while. It’s not about you. A majority of hotel marketing campaigns are decidedly self-centered, only touting their hotel’s beauty and benefits. But, in reality, modern travelers aren’t booking your hotel for your luxury bedding or your 24-hour room service. They come for the experience. Their experience. So, stop talking about yourself! Your marketing should answer every guests’ universal question: “What’s in it for me?” Showcase what can make your guests’ stay unforgettable and remarkable. Make your hotel campaigns about them, not you.
Dad: Stop Crying. You’re Not Bleeding.
Hidden Hotel Marketing Advice: Pull your chin up, kid. Marketing is all about trying new ideas and new ways of doing things. Don’t be upset if a marketing campaign that you poured money and staff hours into fails miserably or doesn’t produce the results you were betting on. See it as a learning opportunity and move on. Some of the most successful hotel marketers are those who continue to take risks and try new ideas. If you’re not making any mistakes whatsoever, that probably means you’re doing things the same way you have for years and years. This stationary position means other hotels are adopting new tactics, attracting more guests, and leaving you in the dust. And, that will be something to cry about.
Dad: Who Cares What Those Other People Think?
Hidden Hotel Marketing Advice: No matter what you want to believe, your hotel does not attract everyone. Nor is it meant to. Every hotel has a certain audience who is most likely to book a stay. So, don’t waste your time or your marketing budget on creating campaigns that are meant to convert anyone and everyone. The highest chance of success comes when you narrow in on a specific market, then come up with brilliant and well-thought-out campaigns to reach that audience. Take the time to create specific buyer profiles for your top three customer segments – down to age, gender, and lifestyle characteristics – and create all of your marketing assets to address one of those guest types.
Dad: They Don’t Make Them Like They Used To.
Hidden Hotel Marketing Advice: Modern hotel advertising looks nothing like it used to. Gone are the times when you could count all the ways to attract guests using just five fingers: direct mail, billboards, public relations, broadcast media and print media. Now, technology has created a complex web of channels, platforms and online possibilities. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with all the new tools and technology out there to reach your next guest, from CRM software, to search engines, to the latest social media platforms. We recommend assigning one or two of your marketing staff to keep up-to-date with all the upcoming marketing trends in hospitality and other industries. Then, report quarterly to the rest of the team so everyone can collectively decide if any are worth pursuing now or later.