Cross-Marketing Multiple Venues Within Your Hotel to Locals

By Marc Portugal Director of Marketing, Bortz Group of Companies | August 03, 2010

I'm writing you at 5:00PM CST on Tuesday December 16, 2008 in Chicago on a very cold and very snowy day. By the time YOU read this, the economy will be even worse (as will the traffic for tonight's commute home...), business and leisure travel will be down even further, and more questions about the future of hotel branding, marketing and sales will need to be answered quickly. Some "Happy" New Year this is turning out to be.

How will you make your hotels money this year? What do you really have to offer locals?

My last contribution essentially suggested an experiential answer to these questions, and an approach and focus on local consumers as a new - or at least circumstantial - model and source for revenue management in the coming months and years. Creating HABITATS and extending LOCAL consumers social, lifestyle, and/or entertainment experiences they are already committing to elsewhere in town will make you money with some sort of increased, consistent, and reliable frequency.

Those questioning the viability of this assertion need only consider one telling example: Las Vegas Casinos. While most hotels don't offer gaming, (aside from the casual, late night poker game among friends - I won't tell...) the basic casino revenue philosophy still holds true for marketing to local guests. In case you've never been to Las Vegas or never gambled, it goes like this: The longer they stay, the more likely they'll lose.

How do you get people to "stay" in your hotel when people are traveling less, AND without slot machines, video poker, dice and a roulette wheel? It's quite literally very simple. Offer them the exact same experiences to partake in and enjoy as casinos do - great restaurants & nightlife, salons & spas, shopping, special events and promotions, fundraisers, product trials (via brand partnerships), and so forth. Offer them great venues.

  • The longer they stay, the more likely they'll lose. Lose is such an ugly word. SPEND sounds better.

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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.