Leveraging the Customer Lifecycle for On-site and Post-departure Marketing (Part 2)

By Robert King General Manager, Travel & Hospitality, ClickSquared | May 15, 2011

As a follow-up to my last article, “The Lifecycle of Guest Relationships” this is the promised sequel. Part one of the article focused on the key stages of the customer lifecycle that occur before your customer arrives on your property and the communications opportunities that they present. (If you missed it, Click Here). Today, I’ll focus on the communication opportunities that exist once a guest has arrived at your property and even after they’ve gone home. Developing a marketing program that addresses guest needs while on-site as well as post-departure enables you to engender deeper engagement, and ultimately, increase return visits.

In part one of this series, I discussed the fact that relevance begins with a keen understanding of the travel and hospitality guest lifecycle. To refresh your memory, a basic model is presented below in Figure A.

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Figure A

Handle Your Guests with Care

Hope you’re enjoying your stay. While marketers routinely focus on pre-arrival and post-departure communications, there is a huge opportunity to capture guests’ attention on-site, while they’re starting to decompress and shift their focus to their vacation (or work) plans.

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Coming up in February 2018...

Social Media: Engagement is Key

There are currently 2.3 billion active users of social media networks and savvy hotel operators have incorporated social media into their marketing mix. There are a few Goliath channels on which one must have a presence (Facebook & Twitter) but there are also several newer upstart channels (Instagram, Snapchat &WeChat, for example) that merit consideration. With its 1.86 billion users, Facebook is a dominant platform where operators can drive brand awareness, facilitate bookings, offer incentives and collect sought-after reviews. Twitter's 284 million users generate 500 million tweets per day, and operators can use its platform for lead generation, building loyalty, and guest interaction. Instagram was originally a small photo-sharing site but it has blown up into a massive photo and video channel. The site can be used to post photos of the hotel property, as well as creating Instagram Stories - personal videos that disappear from the channel after 24 hours. In this regard, Instagram and Snapchat are now in direct competition. WeChat is a Chinese company whose aim is to be the App for Everything - instant messaging, social media, shopping and payment services - all in a single platform. In addition to these channels, blogging continues to be a popular method to establish leadership, enhance reputations, and engage with customers in a direct and personal way. The key to effective use of all social media is to find out where your customers are and then, to the fullest extent possible, engage with them on a personal level. This engagement is what creates a personal connection and sustains brand loyalty. The February Hotel Business Review will explore these issues and examine how some hotels are successfully integrating social media into their operations.