As a hotel owner or manager, you know that marketing is essential to driving business. But with so many options and moving parts, it can be difficult to know where to start. That’s why we’ve put together this comprehensive guide on hotel marketing strategies and how to create a hotel marketing plan.
Key Components of a Hotel Marketing Plan
A great marketing plan has eleven sections as follows:
- Executive Summary
- Target Market Segments
- Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
- Pricing and Positioning Strategy
- Distribution Strategy
- Marketing Materials
- Promotions Strategy
- Digital Marketing Plan
- Conversion, Referral, and Retention Strategy
- Financial Projections
We provide more detail for each of these key components below.
The executive summary is a brief overview of your entire marketing plan. It should include your overview information from each of the other sections, such as your target market, unique selling proposition, key promotions strategies, and financial projections.
Target Market Segments
When it comes to marketing a hotel, it is important to identify your target market segments. Who are your most likely customers? Consider factors such as age, gender, income, location, and lifestyle when determining your target market segments.
For example, a hotel business’ customers may include business travelers, leisure travelers, families, groups, or weddings.
Break down each of these segments even further by considering their needs, wants, and pain points. For example, the needs of a hotel business’ customers may include convenient location, comfortable accommodations, and affordable rates.
Your unique selling proposition is what makes your hotel business stand out from the competition. What do you offer that no one else does?
By understanding your target market segments, you will be better equipped to create marketing messages that resonate with them.
Unique Selling Proposition
Your unique selling proposition (USP) is what sets your hotel apart from other hotel businesses. What do you offer that nobody else does?
For example, your USP could be that you offer the most convenient location, the best customer service, or the most comfortable accommodations.
No matter what your USP is, make sure it is clear in your marketing materials. Your clients/customers should be able to see immediately what makes you different from the other business in their area.
Pricing and Positioning Strategy
Your pricing and positioning strategy will be determined by your target market segments and your unique selling proposition.
For example, if you are targeting business travelers, you will want to offer rates that are competitive with other hotels in your area. If you are targeting leisure travelers, you may want to offer discounts or package deals.
No matter what your positioning strategy is, make sure your pricing strategy is competitive. Consider conducting a market analysis to see what other hotel businesses with which you compete are charging for similar offerings.
Your distribution strategy is how you will get your hotel rooms in front of your target market. There are many ways to do this, such as listing your rooms on online travel websites, using a booking engine on your own website, or working with a travel agent.
Providing offers through your business is a great way to entice customers to make a purchase. Consider offering discounts for first-time guests or loyalty rewards for frequent guests. You could also offer promotional items such as coupons.
Your marketing materials should be based on your unique selling proposition and target market segments. They should be designed to grab attention and generate interest in your business.
Some of the marketing materials you might want to create include product brochures, flyers, and website banners. You will also want to make sure your branding is strong and consistent across all of your marketing materials.
Your promotions strategy includes the methods you will use to attract new customers. It should be designed to generate excitement and encourage customers to try your business.
Hotel businesses should consider the following promotional strategies:
- Sponsoring local events
- Offering discounts or package deals
- Creating a loyalty program
- Working with travel agents
- Listing rooms on online travel websites
Digital Marketing Plan
In today’s digital age, it’s important to have a solid digital marketing plan. This will help you reach a wider audience and drive more traffic to your business.
Some of the digital marketing tactics you might want to use include search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click advertising, social media marketing, and email marketing. You will also want to make sure your website is mobile-friendly and easy to navigate.
Hotel businesses should consider the following digital marketing strategies:
- Creating a responsive website
- Optimizing website content for SEO
- Engaging in social media marketing
- Launching email marketing campaigns
- Using pay-per-click advertising
Conversion, Referral, and Retention Strategy
Your conversion, referral, and retention strategy should be designed to keep customers coming back. Consider offering loyalty rewards, discounts for referrals, and other incentives to encourage customers to continue using your business.
You will also want to make sure your customer service is top-notch. Respond quickly to any complaints or concerns, and always go above and beyond to exceed customer expectations.
Hotel businesses should consider the following conversion, referral and retention strategies:
- Create a loyalty program
- Offer discounts for referrals
- Make it easy to book online or over the phone
- Provide excellent customer service
- Respond quickly to customer concerns
Last but not least, you will need to create financial projections for your business. This will help you track your progress and ensure you are on track to meet your goals.
The key information to include in these financial projections are your monthly marketing expenditures and expected sales. Be sure to update your projections on a regular basis to reflect any changes in your business.
Financial projections for a startup hotel business may include:
- Startup costs
- Monthly marketing budget
- Sales goals
- Revenue projections
- Expense projections
- Profit and loss statements
Developing a strong marketing plan is essential for any hotel business. By taking the time to understand your target market, create powerful marketing materials, and track your progress, you can ensure your business is successful.