Hotel Advertising: How to Create Award Winning Ads (Yes, Even on a Budget)

By Brenda Fields Founder, Fields & Company | May 19, 2010

We know the challenge for independent hotels is to evaluate the best use of its marketing budget, ensuring the greatest return on the investment. Therefore, for owners and operators to ensure that money is spent wisely and that any advertising ensures the greatest ROI, a few basic pointers are in order.

Define your position in the marketplace:

The very first step, whether a new build or a repositioning, is to decide what you want to be. Are you a modern, boutique hotel; a traditional or historic hotel; a convention hotel; or a small, budget hotel? Once you've decided what you want to be, look in the market place to determine what the standard service, amenities, and overall product are in your category. Then, decide where you want to be relative to your competition. In the budget category, do you want to offer the greatest value, such as offering complimentary breakfast, when your competitors do not? Do you want to be the rate leader in the market place or the best price? Try to come up with something that sets you apart from the pack.

And be true to your position. How many times do we see ads for budget hotels with limousines sitting outside or a couple in formal wear sipping champagne? That image was selected to create an upscale image. Buy why? A guest who wants a luxury experience is not going to stay in a budget hotel. So decide who you are, determine your market differentiation, and communicate that.

Defining your position and understating all the elements important to communicate will lead you to designing effective ads and determining the best placements.

Establish your target market(s):

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Coming up in June 2019...

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.