Personalization & Relationship Building is Business-Critical for Hotels

By Mia Schipani Principal & Chief Communicator, Schipani PR | February 17, 2019

Due to the rapidly moving Digital Revolution, people today are overloaded with data, information, emails, text messages, email blasts and social media therefore ongoing "educational, experiential and personalized" marketing tactics that engage "people" are the most effective strategies to reinforce brand loyalty and generate new business today.

In addition to the surplus of information shared, the travel and tourism industry has experienced a tremendous growth over the last several years generating a widespread increase in competition. In the past, boutique hotels have competed with other boutique properties and larger chain hotels with one another however today, all are vying for the same audiences who all demand "personalization."

According to Deloitte, the global travel industry gross bookings reached $1.6 trillion in 2017, making it one of the largest and fastest growing sectors in the world.

As result, now is the time for hotels to innovate, stand out from the rest and change the status quo. Boutique hotels may be more agile and able to execute quicker than larger chains when it comes to personalization and people relations however, all hotels large or small should consider taking a fresh look at their approach to PR, sales, marketing and social media.

The guests' demand for personalization relates not only to how we communicate with them digitally, via marketing and PR efforts, but internally too – upon making reservations over the phone, upon arrival, check-in and check-out. Personalizing the guest experience today may encompass a comprehensive look at your hotel's communication strategy which will probably include a new brand voice, brand guideline and therefore, online and offline strategies.

Millennials are the focus today and, as we know, authenticity matters to this target market and audience. They do not want to be sold, look for brands that provide a unique experience and align themselves with noteworthy social causes. People Relations, personalization, engagement and establishing a relationship with your customers are now business imperatives.

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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.