How to Hit a Bull's Eye With the Right Target Market

By Debbie Bermont President, Source Communications | January 14, 2010

If you were to throw a dart at a dartboard, the demographic and psychographics of your target market would represent the outermost ring of the board. This means that if you are targeting all of your marketing and sales efforts using only demographic and psychographic information as your ideal market criteria, you will have a tough time hitting a bulls eye with any consistency. This translates into wasted time, money and resources marketing to the wrong people - a sure sign your property is out of alignment and you haven't correctly profiled your ideal customer.

Here are telltale signs that your property is out of alignment:

The alignment process is relatively easy to understand and apply but so often overlooked by many businesses. If requires four simple steps. Step one is determining your mission. Step two is determining your business values. Step three is determining your business philosophy and step four is profiling the demographics and psychographics of your ideal market.

Most businesses want to skip straight to step four without adding on steps one, two and three which is why a whole lot of money is spent going after the wrong folks. Your hotel property has a specific mission, values and style and philosophy. Those people who appreciate your style and personality and align with your values, your mission and your business philosophy ...and who fit your demographic and psychographic profile are your ideal customer.

The most important thing you can do to ensure that all of sales and marketing efforts are focused solely on attracting only your ideal customer is to put your business into alignment. Let's break the alignment process down step by step.

Step One: Define your mission

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Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.