We have some marketing top tips for the independent hotelier.
Trying to keep on top of competition while dealing with the issues of attracting new guests and making their stay a fantastic experience plus one that is profitable to you, is not a small task.
1. Competitor analysis needs to be accurate, consistent and timely.
If you want to be ahead of the game, you need to understand your competition inside out and learn their moves. Establish who your real competitors are. This can only be achieved if you know your own goals, how you want to differentiate, which customers you want to attract and so on. It’s about knowing who your market is as benchmarking against that. When hotels are comparing themselves against their true competitors, then they can put the right strategies in place to increase RevPAR, one of the main day-to-day metrics.
2. Loyalty is so important.
People like to be rewarded by collecting points and receiving discounts, which has a direct correlation to rises in revenue while helping independent hotels to stay in line with the moves of the chains.
Offering loyalty discounts will automatically increase direct bookings and therefore reduce commissions to third parties. It’s easier and more effective to get repeat business than generate new business.
3. Reviews and stay on top of social media as this directly impacts revenue.
There is a direct correlation between responding to all guest reviews and rises in revenue. Today, it is common practice for guests to read reviews before confirming a booking. Generally, guests only write a review if they have had an amazing experience or if they have something to complain about. So, if a guest has taken the time to write a review, then it’s important for a hotel to respond. Hotels need to understand that even a bad review can be turned into a positive experience for both the guest and the hotel. Aside from reviews, today being active across all social media that a guest chooses to engage on is an essential weapon in the bid to influence a guest’s decision. See our post on using Instagram for Hotels.
4. Personalisation is no longer just luxury but is becoming the norm.
Customer personalisation is a very important way to retain guests. Hotels today need to deliver a personal service to each guest, by creating a customer-centric business that competes in the digital age. Predictive analytics plays a role because it is based on understanding the relationship between observed actions and future actions. Collecting all possible data about your guests from any possible source is crucial and then use it effectively.
Try to get an understanding of your guests’ likes, dislikes and preferences and using the data and knowledge to provide personal service by creating a unique experience.
5. Tech tools can possibly make a big difference.
There are many different tools available to hotels today that make revenue management easier but unfortunately, the industry-wide problem is that not all tools talk to each other. There are a number of free revenue tools out there like Google Analytics, or some offered through OTA partners, this doesn’t have to be a huge investment, but it is all about using the tools correctly and thinking outside of the box.
SWC Digital can help you address these points in your business and we would love to talk to you further.