How Hotels Can Improve Guest Loyalty Through SoLoMo Marketing and a Locals First Focus

By Bram Hechtkopf Vice President of Business Development & Marketing, Kobie Marketing | July 14, 2013

To loyalty marketers who thought they knew what SoLoMo stands for: think again. Spelled out as Social, Local, Mobile, too often the 'Lo' in SoLoMo is thought of as a strictly location-based initiative. But thinking in those narrow terms fails to consider a vital and valuable subset of hotel guests: locals.

Think about it. How often do locals say, "Oh, I wish I could be a tourist in my own city?" Instead of being incentivized to walk through hotel doors via an engaging experience or rich loyalty program, locals fail to consider options that are nearby or right in front of them. Only on special occasions like birthdays, anniversaries or nights out at the theater do some locals buck this trend. Otherwise, a largely untapped market is being unfairly ignored.

A recent info-graphic released by The Location Based Marketing Association and Venuelabs speaks to this point. In a review of 265 cities, it was found that hotel brands are missing as much as 85% of local customer feedback. It also found that locals are 12 times more likely to give a brand positive feedback compared to non-locals. Meanwhile, another study by hotel software company Monscierge found that 73% of hotel guests want local recommendations.

So "local" and location-based marketing isn't simply about performing a search for "hotels in Nashville" or researching "Vietnamese restaurants near New York's Plaza Hotel."

It's also about people living in proximity to a hotel. And, for hotel loyalty marketers, tapping that lucrative 'Lo' segment.

But as hotels are working harder to engage guests and create new experiences (which include 4-star onsite dining, book readings, poetry nights, free in-lobby Wi-Fi, wine tastings and the "Starbuckification" of the lobby itself) they should also consider the truly local aspects of the marketing term SoLoMo. Perhaps we should also be asking how can hotels more effectively wed that local engagement to social and mobile marketing.

Choose a Social Network!

The social network you are looking for is not available.

Close

Hotel Newswire Headlines Feed  

Sanjay Nijhawan
Robert King
Casey Olsen
Joshua Miller
David Tossell
Roberta Nedry
Paul R. Kremp
Paul van Meerendonk
Fred B. Roedel, III
Beth Vendice
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.