Ten Sure-fire Ways to Turn Customers into Brand Enthusiasts

By Richard D. Hanks Chairman and President, Mindshare Technologies | May 19, 2010

  1. Know my dog's name.

    Loyalty is all about the emotional connection. I
    want to know that you care about me and my business. If all I am is another
    greenback, then I'll take my greenbacks elsewhere. So, get to know me. For
    example, how many times do I have to deal with you, before you figure out
    that I am a "regular" in your store? Why, when I call my bank do I have to
    give my address over and over - don't they have caller ID? Why "know my
    dog's name?" Because, if you care enough to know about my dog, then you'll
    surely have learned about the rest of my needs.

  2. Make sure that your steak matches your sizzle.

    When you advertise,
    you are making promises to customers. Make sure you are prepared to keep
    those promises. If you can't walk the walk, don't talk the talk.
    Best-in-class companies don't succumb to the temptation to stretch the truth
    in their sales or marketing. Rather than promising the moon, just be
    prepared to deliver the telescope.

  3. Make it easy to do business with you: sell the way I want to buy.

    When was the last time you had a service experience and you walked away
    saying to yourself, "Now, that was easier than I thought it was going to
    be!" When I was at Marriott, I made it our number one marketing rule to sell
    the way that customers want to buy. For example, customers began asking to
    buy hotel rooms online. At that time, the internet was fledgling. Travel
    agents and toll-free phone calls were the primary methods for reserving a
    hotel room. Back then, no one could understand why anyone would ever want to
    buy something as personal as a hotel room electronically. Now, the bulk of
    hotel reservations are made online. The best way I know to evaluate yourself
    in this area is to question if you are following the platinum rule of
    service, "Do unto others as they would have done unto them."

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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.