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 January 2019...

Mobile Technology: The Future is Now

Mobile Technology continues to advance at a relentless pace and the hotel industry continues to adapt. Hotel guests have shown a strong preference for mobile self-service - from checking-in/out at a hotel kiosk, to ordering room service, making dinner reservations, booking spa treatments, and managing laundry/dry cleaning services. And they also enjoy the convenience of paying for these services with smart phone mobile payments. In addition, some hotels have adopted a “concierge in your pocket” concept. Through a proprietary hotel app, guests can access useful information such as local entertainment venues, tourist attractions, event calendars, and medical facilities and services. In-room entertainment continues to be a key factor, as guests insist on the capacity to plug in their own mobile devices to customize their entertainment choices. Mobile technology also allows for greater marketing opportunities. For example, many hotels have adopted the use of “push notifications” - sending promotions, discounts and special event messages to guests based on their property location, purchase history, profiles, etc. Near field communication (NFC) technology is also being utilized to support applications such as opening room doors, earning loyalty points, renting a bike, accessing a rental car, and more. Finally, some hotels have adopted more futuristic technology. Robots are in use that have the ability to move between floors to deliver room service requests for all kinds of items - food, beverages, towels, toothbrushes, chargers and snacks. And infrared scanners are being used by housekeeping staff that can detect body heat within a room, alerting staff that the room is occupied and they should come back at a later time. The January Hotel Business Review will report on what some hotels are doing to maximize their opportunities in this exciting mobile technology space.