Marketing Tactics on a Global Scale: Attracting more guests

By Angel Zimmerman Co-Founder & Chief Operating Officer, Sajan | January 20, 2013

Global marketing for the hospitality business is more complex than ever. Travelers are on the go, using their mobile devices to access content, connect with your brand on social media and even reserve rooms. But are you catering your content to each of your target audiences worldwide? To help you localize your brand to strategic foreign markets, a language service provider can guide you through the process of boosting customer engagement and online exposure, resulting in increased bookings. Get started by following three best practices for global hotel marketing: multilingual search engine optimization, content localization and international social media.

When it comes to hotels, resorts and the hospitality industry in general, the path to global marketing is a particularly charmed one. Few industries lend themselves so well to growing an international base of guests, visitors and clientele. At the same time, our world is becoming increasingly interconnected; globalization permeates nearly every aspect of customer engagement and marketing strategy-all of which adds both excitement and complexity to your business development planning.

Indeed, there are some real challenges to devising and executing a strategic, multi-pronged marketing plan that will tap into all potential markets. It starts with doing upfront analysis and planning, which will inform and guide your entire strategy. From multilingual search engine optimization to social media to global content marketing, a translation and localization service provider with the right kind of technology can help drive your globalized marketing efforts in a targeted fashion that will help you reach more customers around the world and ultimately increase your bookings.

First, analyze your business model and create a roadmap to success

Ironically, the most important step toward increasing your property's visibility on a global scale is one that few actually take. It is crucial to first conduct an analysis of your existing business model, identify the strategies that would best serve it to increase your return on investment-and setting goals to get there. Without having a plan in place to follow, you risk spending your budget on initiatives that don't pan out. A key part of the planning process is also realizing your constraints. Too often businesses in the hotel industry skip this stage and end up realizing that the marketing tactics they have chosen do not align well to their existing workflow process or capabilities. Seek advice and tactical insight from a language service provider that has had proven success with similar initiatives.

Planning is absolutely critical to your success. After analyzing your existing workflows and processes, you and perhaps your provider should define a roadmap to get there within your program constraints and establish expectations for how you will measure results. A sensible practice is to pilot a strategy in a single country to see how it progresses; if you begin to see more visits to your website and higher bookings in general, you can begin to deploy your strategy in additional countries.

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Eco-Friendly Practices: Corporate Social Responsibility

The hotel industry has undertaken a long-term effort to build more responsible and socially conscious businesses. What began with small efforts to reduce waste - such as paperless checkouts and refillable soap dispensers - has evolved into an international movement toward implementing sustainable development practices. In addition to establishing themselves as good corporate citizens, adopting eco-friendly practices is sound business for hotels. According to a recent report from Deloitte, 95% of business travelers believe the hotel industry should be undertaking “green” initiatives, and Millennials are twice as likely to support brands with strong management of environmental and social issues. Given these conclusions, hotels are continuing to innovate in the areas of environmental sustainability. For example, one leading hotel chain has designed special elevators that collect kinetic energy from the moving lift and in the process, they have reduced their energy consumption by 50%  over conventional elevators. Also, they installed an advanced air conditioning system which employs a magnetic mechanical system that makes them more energy efficient. Other hotels are installing Intelligent Building Systems which monitor and control temperatures in rooms, common areas and swimming pools, as well as ventilation and cold water systems. Some hotels are installing Electric Vehicle charging stations, planting rooftop gardens, implementing stringent recycling programs, and insisting on the use of biodegradable materials. Another trend is the creation of Green Teams within a hotel's operation that are tasked to implement earth-friendly practices and manage budgets for green projects. Some hotels have even gone so far as to curtail or eliminate room service, believing that keeping the kitchen open 24/7 isn't terribly sustainable. The May issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to integrate sustainable practices into their operations and how they are benefiting from them.