Sound and Vision: How Audio is Becoming the New Visual for Hoteliers
By Daniel Lafferty Director of Music & Voice, PHMG | January 20, 2019
Hotel owners are usually experts in the importance of marketing, recognizing how much their business image can impact on their bottom line. If website photography isn't suitably aspirational, it can put customers off before they have even booked a room and poor social media branding, non-mobile optimized websites or negative reviews on TripAdvisor can be equally damaging.
As a result, owners will invest heavily in visual marketing to ensure their hotel looks as good as it possibly can. But while visual imagery is clearly a core element of a hotel's brand, audio – in our multimedia world – is rapidly becoming another powerful influencer.
The Science of Sound
Our hearing is one of our most emotive senses, as sound elicits intense emotion in humans. A song can instantly transport a listener back to a certain moment, triggering a vivid recollection of smells, visuals and emotions.
Research into the science of sound has unearthed some interesting truths. We have been found to trust our sense of hearing more than our sight. The Hearing Body project at University College London discovered people can have perceptions of their own body image distorted by changes in sound, with one test altering the pitch of a person's footsteps to trick them into believing they were lighter or heavier than they actually were.
Another study found that playing chilled out, slow-tempo, stress-busting music (for example in a hotel spa) increases retail sales by 10% in a low crowd density, but had the opposite effect in busy environments (such as a hotel bar) where loud, lively music got people drinking more beer, faster.