“In marketing I’ve seen only one strategy that can’t miss – and that is to market to your best customers first, your best prospects second and the rest of the world last.”
– John Romero
Marketing is a critical component of the hospitality industry. It reaches your target audience, builds your brand, and boosts revenue. In today’s digital age, a comprehensive 360 marketing plan and strategy is essential for any hotel or resort looking to stay competitive and grow their business. This article will provide actionable tips and insights for hotel and resort owners, managers, and marketing professionals on how to develop a 360 marketing plan and strategy.
Case Study: Hilton Hotels & Resorts
Hilton Hotels & Resorts is a hospitality company with approximately 570 properties on six continents. The company’s 360 marketing strategy has helped it reach a wide audience and drive revenue growth. Here are five ways Hilton implements its 360 marketing strategy:
- Personalization: Hilton uses data and analytics to personalize its marketing messages and offers to individual guests. This allows the company to provide tailored experiences that meet guest needs and preferences.
- Comprehensive digital presence: Hilton has a comprehensive digital presence across multiple channels, including its website, social media, email marketing, and mobile app. This enables the company to reach a wide audience and engage with guests throughout the customer journey.
- Compelling storytelling: Hilton’s marketing campaigns focus on compelling storytelling that resonates with its target audience. For example, the company’s “Stop Clicking Around” campaign emphasizes the benefits of booking directly through Hilton’s website, while its “Expect Better, Expect Hilton” campaign highlights the quality of its service and accommodations.
- Loyalty program: Hilton’s loyalty program, Hilton Honors, is a key component of its marketing strategy. The program rewards guests for staying at Hilton properties and provides personalized offers and experiences based on guest preferences.
- Partnerships and sponsorships: Hilton partners with brands and organizations to promote its properties and enhance guest experiences. For example, the company has partnerships with Uber, Live Nation, and the McLaren Honda Formula 1 team.
Step-By-Step Guide in Creating a 360 Marketing Plan for A Hotel/Resort
Creating a 360 marketing plan for a hotel or resort can seem daunting, but with a clear roadmap and actionable steps, it can be a manageable and effective process. Use this guide to create a 360-degree marketing plan for your hotel or resort:
1. Define Your Objectives
Defining your objectives is the first step in creating a 360 marketing plan for your hotel or resort. Your objectives should align with your overall business goals and be specific, measurable, and achievable. Some common objectives for a hotel or resort marketing plan include:
- Increasing bookings: This objective focuses on increasing the number of bookings and reservations for your hotel or resort.
- Building brand awareness: This objective focuses on increasing the visibility and recognition of your brand among your target audience.
- Driving revenue growth: This objective focuses on increasing revenue and profitability for your hotel or resort.
- Improving guest satisfaction: This objective focuses on improving guest satisfaction and loyalty, which can lead to increased repeat business and positive word-of-mouth referrals.
Consider your target audience, competitors, and market trends while setting goals. After defining your objectives, you may use them to steer your marketing strategy and evaluate your campaigns.
2. Identify Your Target Audience
Identifying your target audience is the second step in creating a 360 marketing plan for your hotel or resort. Your target audience should be defined based on demographics, psychographics, and behaviors. Hotel and resort target audiences should consider these demographics:
- Age: The age range of your target audience can affect the services and experiences you offer.
- Income: The income level of your target audience can influence their spending habits and preferences.
- Location: The location of your target audience can impact their travel patterns and preferences for accommodations.
- Occupation: The occupation of your target audience can influence their travel habits and preferences.
When identifying your target audience, it’s important to also consider their psychographics and behaviors, such as:
- Interests: The interests of your target audience can impact the types of experiences and amenities you offer.
- Values: The values of your target audience can influence their decision-making and preferences for accommodations.
- Needs: The needs of your target audience can impact the types of services and amenities they require during their stay.
- Travel Habits: The travel habits of your target audience can influence their preferences for accommodations and experiences.
Once you have identified your target audience, you can segment them based on these factors and develop guest personas that guide your marketing strategies. This helps ensure your messaging and experiences are personalized and resonate with your target audience.
3. Analyze Your Competition and Market Trends
Analyzing your competition and market trends is the third step in creating a 360 marketing plan for your hotel or resort. This step involves researching and analyzing your competition to identify gaps and opportunities for differentiation, as well as monitoring market trends to stay ahead of guest expectations. Consider these factors when studying your competition and market trends:
- Competitive Analysis: Assess your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses and market positioning. Look at their pricing, amenities, services, and marketing strategies to identify areas where you can differentiate yourself.
- SWOT Analysis: Assess your strengths and weaknesses, as well as market opportunities and threats, using a SWOT analysis.
- Market Trends: Monitor market trends to stay ahead of guest expectations and industry changes. This includes tracking changes in guest preferences, technology trends, and economic factors that may impact the hospitality industry.
- Innovation: Find ways to differentiate oneself from competition. This may include developing new amenities, services, or experiences that align with market trends and guest preferences.
- Partnership Opportunities: Consider partnership opportunities with other businesses in the hospitality industry or related industries. This can help you expand your offerings and reach new audiences.
By analyzing your competition and market trends, you can identify areas where you can differentiate yourself and stay ahead of guest expectations. This helps ensure your marketing strategies are relevant and effective in reaching your target audience.
4. Develop Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
Developing your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) is the fourth step in creating a 360 marketing plan for your hotel or resort. Your USP is what sets you apart from your competition and communicates the value you offer to your target audience. Here are some key considerations when developing your USP:
- Identify Your Competitive Advantage: Consider your strengths and what makes your hotel or resort unique. This may include your location, amenities, services, or guest experiences.
- Focus on Guest Benefits: Your USP should communicate the benefits guests can expect when choosing your hotel or resort. This may include convenience, luxury, personalized service, or value.
- Be Clear and Concise: Your USP should be communicated in a clear and concise manner that is easy to understand and memorable for your target audience.
- Align with Your Brand: Your USP should align with your brand identity and values, and be reflected in all aspects of your marketing strategies.
- Test and Refine: Once you have developed your USP, test it with your target audience to ensure it resonates and communicates the value you offer. Refine it as needed to ensure it is effective in reaching your marketing objectives.
By developing a clear and compelling USP, you can differentiate yourself from your competition and communicate the unique value you offer to your target audience. This helps ensure your marketing strategies are focused and effective in reaching your business goals.
5. Define Your Brand Identity
Defining your brand identity is the fifth step in creating a 360 marketing plan for your hotel or resort. Your brand identity is the visual and emotional representation of your hotel or resort, and communicates your unique value proposition to your target audience. Here are some key considerations when defining your brand identity:
- Brand Personality: Your brand personality should reflect your hotel or resort’s unique characteristics and the values you want to communicate to your target audience. Consider your tone, style, and message.
- Brand Name and Logo: Your brand name and logo should be straightforward, distinctive, and reflect your brand personality. Consider the colors, fonts, and graphics that best represent your brand.
- Brand Voice: Your brand voice should be consistent across all communication channels and reflect your brand personality. This includes your website, social media channels, and marketing materials.
- Brand Story: Your brand story should communicate your hotel or resort’s unique history, values, and personality. This can set you apart from the competition and connect with your audience emotionally.
- Brand Guidelines: Develop brand guidelines to ensure consistency in all aspects of your marketing strategies, including messaging, design, and tone.
Develop your brand identity to promote your hotel or resort to your target demographic. This helps ensure your marketing strategies are effective in building brand awareness, driving bookings, and creating loyal customers.
6. Develop Your Marketing Mix
Developing your marketing mix is the sixth and final step in creating a 360 marketing plan for your hotel or resort. Your marketing mix refers to the combination of tactics and strategies you will use to promote your hotel or resort and reach your target audience. Here are some key considerations when developing your marketing mix:
- Product: Consider the unique features and benefits of your hotel or resort, including amenities, services, and guest experiences. Ensure your offerings align with your target audience’s needs and preferences.
- Price: Based on competition, seasonality, and guest demand, determine the best hotel or resort price plan. Consider discounts and promotions to incentivize bookings.
- Place: Determine the distribution channels and partnerships that will help you reach your target audience. This may include travel agencies, online travel agencies (OTAs), and direct booking channels.
- Promotion: Use a mix of advertising, PR, content marketing, and social media to promote. Ensure your messaging aligns with your brand personality and USP.
- People: Ensure your staff are trained and empowered to deliver on your brand promise and provide exceptional guest experiences. Consider partnering with influencers and brand ambassadors to promote your hotel or resort.
- Process: Ensure your guest experience is seamless and enjoyable, from the booking process to check-out. Continuously evaluate and refine your processes to improve guest satisfaction.
You can reach your target demographic, establish brand awareness, and boost bookings by creating a thorough marketing mix. Continuously evaluate and refine your marketing mix to ensure ongoing relevance and effectiveness.
7. Create Compelling Content
Creating compelling content is an essential component of your marketing mix, and it can help differentiate your hotel or resort from your competition while engaging and inspiring your target audience. When designing engaging content, consider these factors:
- Know Your Target Audience: Consider your target customers’ demographics, travel preferences, and interests when developing content ideas.
- Tell a Story: People connect with stories, and your hotel or resort has unique stories to share. Consider highlighting the history of your property, showcasing guest experiences, or highlighting local attractions and experiences.
- Leverage Visuals: High-quality visuals such as photographs, videos, and virtual tours can help bring your hotel or resort to life and showcase your offerings to potential guests. Consider investing in professional photography and videography to capture the unique features and benefits of your property.
- Optimize for Search Engines: Use relevant keywords in headlines, descriptions, and content to optimize for search engines. This can boost your content’s SEO and guest visibility.
- Promote Your Content: Once you’ve created compelling content, promote it across all relevant channels such as social media, email marketing, and online travel agencies. This can help increase visibility, engagement, and bookings.
By creating compelling content that resonates with your target audience, you can differentiate your hotel or resort from your competition and drive bookings. Continuously evaluate and refine your content strategy based on guest feedback, industry trends, and performance metrics to ensure ongoing success.
8. Leverage Loyalty Programs
Leveraging loyalty programs is another important component of your marketing mix, and it can help drive repeat business and foster customer loyalty. Here are some key considerations when developing a loyalty program:
- Define Your Program: Define the benefits and rewards you will offer members, such as discounts, free nights, and exclusive experiences. Consider what will be most compelling to your target audience and align with your brand identity.
- Make it Easy to Join: Ensure the enrollment process is simple and accessible to potential members. Consider offering incentives for signing up, such as a discount on their first stay.
- Promote Your Program: Promote your loyalty program on all marketing channels. Consider partnering with travel influencers and brand ambassadors to help spread the word.
- Collect Data: Collect data on member preferences and behavior to better understand their needs and preferences. Use this data to personalize their experiences and tailor your marketing strategies.
- Continuously Evaluate and Refine: Continuously evaluate and refine your loyalty program based on member feedback, industry trends, and performance metrics. This can help ensure ongoing relevance and effectiveness.
By leveraging loyalty programs, you can foster customer loyalty, drive repeat business, and increase overall revenue. Continuously evaluate and refine your loyalty program to ensure it aligns with your brand identity and provides compelling benefits and rewards to your members.
9. Monitor and Evaluate Your Results
Any successful marketing plan requires monitoring and reviewing results to assess strategy efficacy and make data-driven decisions to improve performance. Here are some key considerations when monitoring and evaluating your results:
- Set Measurable Goals: Define specific, measurable goals for your marketing plan, such as increasing bookings, driving website traffic, or improving guest satisfaction.
- Establish Performance Metrics: Choose KPIs like conversion rates, click-through rates, and customer happiness to track progress toward your targets.
- Monitor Performance: Continuously monitor your performance against your goals and KPIs using analytics tools such as Google Analytics or social media monitoring platforms. Regularly review your data and identify areas where you can improve your performance.
- Evaluate Results: Evaluate the results of your marketing strategies and tactics on a regular basis. Analyze data to find patterns, opportunities, and improvement areas.
- Refine Your Strategy: Based on your evaluation, refine your marketing strategies and tactics to improve performance. This may involve adjusting your messaging, targeting, or tactics to better align with your target audience’s needs and preferences.
You can increase marketing performance and meet corporate goals by monitoring and reviewing results. Continuously evaluate and refine your strategies based on performance data and industry trends to stay ahead of the competition and ensure ongoing success.
10. Continuously Innovate and Evolve
Continuously innovating and evolving your marketing plan is essential in the highly competitive hospitality industry, where trends and customer preferences are constantly changing. When consistently inventing and evolving your marketing plan, consider these:
- Stay Up to Date on Industry Trends: Stay abreast of new technology and customer preferences. Attend industry events, read industry publications, and network with other hospitality professionals to stay informed.
- Listen to Your Customers: Use customer input to shape your marketing strategy. Regularly survey your guests and use their feedback to improve your offerings and marketing messaging.
- Experiment with New Strategies and Tactics: Experiment with new marketing strategies and tactics to identify what works best for your hotel or resort. Test different messaging, channels, and tactics to determine what resonates with your target audience.
- Embrace New Technologies: Use artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and chatbots to improve visitor experiences and set your hotel or resort apart.
- Foster a Culture of Innovation: Foster a culture of innovation within your organization by encouraging creativity and experimentation. Empower your employees to propose and test new ideas and reward those who generate successful results.
You can keep ahead of the competition and give a better guest experience by constantly developing your marketing campaign. Monitor industry trends, listen to your customers, experiment with new strategies and tactics, embrace new technologies, and foster a culture of innovation to continuously improve and grow your business.
Creating a 360 marketing plan for your hotel or resort is an ongoing process that requires careful planning and execution. Follow these steps to reach your target audience and increase revenue.
Summary Checklist of Action Plans on Developing a Hotel/Resort 360 Marketing Plan and Strategy
- Segment your target audience by demographics, psychographics, and habits.
- Develop a multi-channel digital marketing plan.
- Use data and analytics to customize visitor marketing messages and offers.
- Tell stories that resonate with your target audience and highlight your USP.
- Develop brand loyalty and repeat business via loyalty programs.
- Sponsor companies and organizations to advertise your properties and improve guest experiences.
Hotels and resorts need a 360-degree marketing approach to stay competitive and grow income. By defining your target audience, developing a comprehensive digital marketing strategy, personalizing your marketing messages, creating compelling storytelling, leveraging loyalty programs, and building partnerships and sponsorships, you can reach and engage with them throughout the customer journey and build a strong and memorable brand identity.
Marketing is crucial to meeting guest expectations and market trends as the hotel business evolves. This article’s action plans can help hotel and resort owners, managers, and marketing experts create a 360-degree marketing strategy that boosts income, brand loyalty, and guest satisfaction.
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