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 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.