Boutique Hotel Trends 2011

By Didi Lutz President, Didi Lutz PR | February 06, 2011

Another year for hotels has passed where little has happened in terms of the economy, but a lot has evolved in the spheres of marketing, communication, and the world of social media. Much has been learned during this time, and 2010 marked the year of digital media in hospitality. While the industry was fairly late in adopting social media, hotels thankfully realized its potential and caught up relatively quickly. While I am unsure of specific numbers and statistics, hotels keep joining Facebook and Twitter everyday. And as they learn how to feed these monsters the right information that can make a difference in the guest experience, it's important to keep in mind what trends are forming as the economy picks up, albeit at a slow pace.

Rethink marketing completely

With the economy as it has been the past two years, hotels will need to not only prioritize in terms of marketing strategy, but also implement creative tactics. Guests are inundated with promotions and information everywhere these days – from Sunday paper to last minute specials via text - and rethinking your marketing approach will be key. Hotel marketing is currently shifting dramatically; many components affect this change and its important to hire professionals to get your property's brand ahead.

Digital crowd-sourcing may not work for you

We've all seen the hype about Foursquare and Gowalla, currently the two giants in the geosocial market. There are hotels who are embracing digital crowd sourcing via promotions (i.e., check in via Foursquare and get a free spa treatment, etc.) Large hotel chains have started some promotions, but we're not sure where this is going. While digital crowd sourcing has excellent marketing potential, such as competing for mayorship at a property, it has some serious drawbacks like privacy and security that keep the lines a bit blurred right now. It makes more sense to study your existing digital media channels and how well those are working for you before leaping into something completely new.

Embrace hyperlocal on a global scale

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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.