Adapt Or Die: Your Hotel Needs A Smart Strategy For Marketing Luxury
Marketing has gone digital at an alarming pace. Nowadays, a luxury brand’s customers are as likely to get there via a digital platform like Facebook as from a TV or print commercial.
In other words, adapt or die.
You customers are spending inordinate amounts of time inside Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, Pinterest, VK, WeChat, Whatsapp and platforms like that.
Your brand needs to adapt quickly to this new state of affairs.
Old media is not dead. Not by a long stretch.
Customers for your hotel are still going to watch a show on TV, okay? They are still going to listen to their favorite radio shows. So you can reach them there.
But a good part of the game is flowing now in channels that did not exist 15 years ago.
Take a second to let that sink in. It’s truly phenomenal.
A whole lot of the new value in marketing luxury for hundreds, thousands of hotel brands is now going to occur in all-new platforms that have rolled out only very recently.
In fact, if you jump on some of the latest digital platforms early as they come out, you can see a big boost in brand growth. And that’s what matters after all, no?
And be prepared to watch your competitors who refuse to adjust become roadkill.
Now that you let that sink in, you may be asking, “All good by me, rockstar, but how do I reach customers effectively through these channels and sell my luxury hotel brand. How do I get bookings?”
You can play the smart game or the dumb game.
The smart game is hard, the dumb game is easy.
Look at me here.
I’m writing this blog post. I could be writing copy for a hotel or spa instead.
But, besides the fact that I get a kick out of effective marketing and copywriting and want others to do it right, this is one very effective way of putting my brand above everyone else. When I show you real marketing that works for your brand, I become the leading brand in what I do.
So, writing copy is all well and good, and I’m even good at it. But writing a blog post like this scales so much better. I help, and can reach, potentially a lot more people.
When it comes to taking advantage of digital platforms, the low-effort way is what you will find most of your competitors doing.
Spamming Facebook groups to get “likes” and page views.
Reaching out to influencers without prior relationships to link to their brand, and getting very little ROI for the effort.
Throwing up the most hastily put-together landing page with second-rate copy and design to interest prospects in a discount.
Low efforts strategies work some of the time.
But not when your competition is doing the exact same thing. The more competition you have, and now there’s plenty, the more these low-level techniques lose their effectiveness. This happens because customers stop paying attention. If everyone is spamming a group with landing pages, for instance, legit customers, after a while, learn to stop paying attention. And out goes that strategy. At that point, everyone trying that same old strategy is, in a way, taking a gamble and potentially wasting time and money.
What your hotel brand needs instead, is to create COMPELLING FUNNELS, and compelling is the operative word here. Create compelling funnels that signal to customers that you have something of value at your hotel business, an offer that they can’t come across anywhere else. Something unique.
Maybe your hotel is in a unique location.
Maybe you host a special country music act.
Maybe your hotel has just been around for 120 years?
If so, you can play up these attributes in creating a compelling funnel.
It takes a bit of deep thinking and analysis of your brand to find compelling attributes that would interest a certain persona or individual.
Then you open up the floodgates of targeted traffic. Think Facebook or Google AdWords.
And you present them that compelling set of attributes that you know are just the fit for this group of targeted individuals.
And if your copy is right, and you don’t do something stupid at the last minute, like say, “Oops, I was just joking”, or something silly like that, you can convert a good percentage of these visitors into customers or fans of your brand.
Those who want it right now will book, and buy themselves a piece of what you have to offer.
But if you are targeting buyers only, you are doing it wrong and will have a much steeper hill to climb.
Everyone who is not a buyer, should at least become a fan of your brand.
Think about another luxury offer, a Ferrari dealership.
If the proprietor has done his job right, even the visitors who haven’t got the money to buy, should walk out of the room thinking,
“What cool cars. What an incredible dealer. When I get the money, this is the place I’m going to come to!”
These fans of your brand become buyers later on, when the offer is right, or when they have a more urgent need to buy.
It’s hard to turn random visitors into fans. So what can you do?
Well, there’s a whole art to turning random people into fans.
Why are you a fan of your hometown football team?
Because you live there! Good.
What about your high school. Why are you a fan of them? When random adults around the country couldn’t care less about XYZ School?
Because you have a history with them, simple. You’ve done “business” together, you’ve exchanged value, you’ve shared experiences there, the people there have helped you, most likely in a major way, in the past.
If I saved your life when you were stranded with no supplies or rope on top of Mount Everest, would you forget me? Ever? As long as you lived?
The reason all those web site bounce rate visitors don’t care, are not fans of your brand yet, is exactly that. You just haven’t begun to matter to them yet.
Oprah has given away cars to viewers of her show.
Those fans will likely bring Oprah so much more value in the support they lend her brand everywhere they go than the money it cost to get them those cars.
But cars cost money, right?
Well, do you want to be Oprah or just some random showbiz hotel no-one has ever heard of?