“How many Tweets did we get?”
“Don’t forget to include a cool hashtag!”
“Did you post our new rooms package on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, SnapChat and Twitter?”
This week, let’s get back to the marketing truths that will continue to stand the test of time.
Here are timeless pearls of hotel marketing wisdom from a trio of powerhouse marketing mavericks.
1. “In the factory, we make cosmetics. In the store, we sell hope.”
-Charles Revson, Founder of Revlon Cosmetics
Too often, we get caught up in selling room nights and our hotel’s ancillary offerings that we end up seeing our hotels as a product – as a commodity that has a check-in and check-out date. Don’t fall into the naïve marketer’s trap of thinking that what we sell is the same as what we should be marketing. Instead, focus on the emotional benefit a stay at your hotel can bring.
Revlon creates cosmetics, but they advertise hope for women wanting to look beautiful. Apple makes technology products, but advertises individuality. What feelings and memories can staying at your property produce? Is it precious time with family without the confines of a school schedule and work deadlines? Is it a rekindling of romance and closeness? Put less emphasis on rational features and more on how guests will feel.
2. "It's not creative unless it sells."
- David Ogilvy
Talented marketing agencies around the world are accumulating awards for their innovation and boldness. However, whether or not those winning campaigns struck a cord with their target audience and drove sales is another question entirely. Too many hotel and tourism marketers lose sight of their guests and instead craft self-indulgent campaigns that only serve to satiate their own creative egos or a hotel owner’s vanity.
A better motto to live by: addressing your customers’ desires and unmet needs takes priority. Everything else, especially frivolous campaigns that over-compensate with unnecessary creative detail, are just wasted marketing dollars and useless to your customers.
3. “We need to stop interrupting what people are interested in and BE what people are interested in.”
- Craig Davis, former Chief Creative Officer of J. Walter Thompson
On any given day, consumers are barraged by more than 1,200 marketing messages. And, while customers tend to like hotel brands, they can thoroughly dislike ads that are disruptive to their online experience or that flat-out suck. Interrupting consumers with self-serving marketing messages will only draw ire and annoyance. The secret to building intimacy with potential guests is to entice them with entertaining, engaging and interesting content that also imparts a relevant message about your brand.
Instead of the standard auto commercials rampant in their industry, BMW produced a short film series starring celebrities, including Jason Statham and Madonna. Companies like Neiman Marcus and Patagonia create "magalogs," glossy publications that showcase alluring editorial content and photography like a magazine, while nestling in their products in a seamless way.
Creating similarly compelling content doesn’t require a massive budget. Take simple and short videos of your concierge sharing her favorite off-the-beaten path restaurants or of your chef describing his favorite dishes on the menu.
Are you creating content that delights your potential guests? Or deploying ads that interrupt the content they enjoy?