What can Travel Marketers Learn from Groundhog Day?

February 3, 2015 • By
Tambourine Hotel Marketing Every year, northerners pin their happy weather hopes on a furry, little rodent. It seems a bit crazy until you look at the town of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. Groundhog Day in Punxsutawney attracts over 40,000 visitors. That’s just a little less than Disneyland sees on an average day. Punxsutawney offers no rollercoasters, princesses, or even warm weather. The only thing Disney and Punxsutawney have in common are rodent mascots. Of course, it’s not all about the rodents. If it were, everyone would have a rodent. They’re easy to come by. What’s difficult is marketing a furry creature people normally don’t like. You know what they say: If you can market a rodent, you can market your hotel!

Everything is a Marketing Opportunity

Initially, Groundhog Day was a German holiday called Candlemas. It evolved into Groundhog Day around 1887 when a newspaper claimed Punxsutawney Phil could predict the weather. Somehow the story stuck. Although, it’s likely that there were always small-minded folk who couldn’t grasp the groundhog’s genius. Luckily, enough Punsxutawnians believed for the holiday to grow into a national tradition. They showed off their groundhog like a YouTuber with cats. And it’s paid off. You might look around your area and think local events only make sense to your residents. An event may seem small to promote or too odd. However, that is exactly what many of today’s travelers are looking for... authentic experiences!

Don’t Kid Yourself: If It’s Broken, Fix It

While Punxatawnians claim Phil can predict the weather, history tells us Phil is bad at his job. He’s been predicting the weather for 129 years and has about a 39% success rate. Much to the dismay of northerners, he almost always sees his shadow. Now, I’m not suggesting we replace Phil. Let the Groundhog be. Punxatawnians must know Phil fails most years. Although they continue to stand behind him, because Phil attracts tourists. They can afford to kid themselves. You can’t. If your marketing plan isn’t creating direct bookings for your hotel, it’s time to make changes.

Know Your Options

Despite his failures, you might hire Phil if you needed a weather-predicting groundhog. (Let’s hope you never need one.) After all, how many of these groundhog’s can there be? Well, there’s Staten Island Chuck, who once bit the mayor; Balzac Billy, who is really a man in a groundhog suit; and Gary the Groundhog, who claims Missouri groundhogs are smarter than Phil. Many of them have better success rates than Phil. You can’t just go hire a groundhog; you need to do your research. Likewise, when you consider a new marketing tool or service, it’s easy to get blinded by the hype of one company. But all services are not the same. Your needs are unique. Your guests are special. Get informed before you act.

Marketing wisdom is everywhere you look.

Whether Phil sees his shadow or not, we see marketing potential everywhere. What’s your favorite story of finding a marketing metaphor in everyday life? About Tambourine Tambourine uses technology and creativity to increase revenue for hotels and destinations worldwide. The firm, now in its 33rd year, is located in New York City and Fort Lauderdale. Please visit: www.Tambourine.com

Direct Bookings, Marketing Advice, Marketing opportunities, Marketing Plan