Hospitality marketing is focused on bringing guests through the doors of hospitality businesses.
NB: This is an article from SiteMinder
A variety of traditional marketing strategy models exist which are applicable to the hospitality industry, from the 4 Ps (Product, Price, Place or in the hotel world channel, Promotion) to the 7 Ps (add People, Process, Physical evidence). Marketing strategies in hospitality and tourism share a common thread in that they both seek to inspire to take a trip and guide to specific locations.
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Perhaps hospitality marketing is easiest explained by applying a traditional marketing model to hotels. Jerome McCarthy co-created the 4 Ps of the marketing mix and later the 7 Ps, adding an additional three focused on services.
- Product: The hotel brand, facilities and services as perceived by the customer, including reviews.
- Price: Rate by day of week, market segment, seasonality, room types and perceived relative to the competition. This includes rate strategy and discounts.
- Place: Often misinterpreted as the physical location of a hotel, but more adequately described as a place to buy. It is the relative convenience for guests to make a reservation or decide to stay. Today this primarily means availability across booking channels. For example, a hotel with a strong domestic source market may want to explore gaining additional business at higher spend or longer stays through targeted promotions for specific international markets.
- Promotion: The conscious mix of activities and chosen frequency of marketing communications.
- People: The embodiment of the brand, evident in recruitment and staff training.
- Process: The conscious design of hotel processes to support its brand, for example using hotel SOPs.
- Physical evidence: The space where guests and staff interact and service experience takes place, including hotel room layout.
Why is hospitality marketing important for hotels?
Building your brand and generating reservations presents a unique mission in the world of hospitality where the product is perishable: time cannot be turned back on a table that went empty for an hour or a hotel room that was not occupied for the night. Working with this distinctive type of supply and varying degrees of demand through seasonality is where marketing comes in.
In order to fill those rooms at the right time and at the right price, it is also necessary to have clear targeting. This begins by knowing both the ideal customer for your hotel and the general audience in your market. By understanding your target audience you lay the foundation for powerful marketing communications; bonus points for differentiating between your existing guests and the ones you want to attract going forward, if there is a difference. For example, a hotel getting a lot of business travel but wanting to attract more weekend leisure business may want to dive into where those customers research, on social media. While hotels looking to attract more corporate business, or specific companies, may dive into offering GDS promotions or increasing awareness with corporate travel intermediaries.