Reprinted from www.ehotelier.com
By Jennifer Rodrigues
Q: I’m looking to do some marketing and advertising for my property but I’m unsure of what my target audience would be. My property is a three-star hotel and I know the types of people that normally stay at my hotel, but my question is this: do I only market to this segment of people or should I branch out and try to bring in other clientele?
A: Choosing a target audience is a very important first step for any marketing or advertising campaign. Without one, you decrease your overall results because your messages aren’t being received by those who are most likely to buy your product – the room. So in response to your question, my recommendation would be to do the following:
Your target audience is indeed the type(s) of people who stay at your hotel. By targeting these particular segments, you will get the best ROI for your marketing dollar as delivery of targeted and relevant messages will consistently lead to the best possibility of a sale.
But that doesn’t mean that you should forget about everyone else. A small percentage of your marketing or advertising budget can go toward marketing to a new segment of consumers. So in your case, as a three-star property, you should go after those people who typically frequent one and two-star hotels as a secondary target market.
Why did I choose the one and two-star market, rather than the four or five-star market?
The amenities and service that is provided at a three-star versus a five-star property are much different and so too are the expectations of a guest who chooses to stay at these properties. Most likely, a guest who chooses a four or five-star property would not be interested in staying at your property (because it may not offer the luxury/amenities to which they are accustomed). On the other hand, if you incentivize one and two-star customers properly and communicate the right messages, they will definitely be interested in staying at your property.
The one and two-star market is all about value. If your marketing messaging is communicating value, low price as well as the improved experience/amenities, then your property will become much more attractive to that new market segment and the chance of them choosing your property over a one or two-star property increases. Just keep in mind that to close the sale, you may need to offer this market segment a deal or a discount, as cost-savings really are the driving force behind this market’s purchasing decision.
Q: I’m looking to hire an agency to help me out with my PR. Any advice on how to pick the right company, how much I should be looking to spend, etc.?
A: I liken finding the right PR agency to finding the right husband (or wife). It can take a lot of searching through the duds until you find the right one, but when you do, you’ll know it.
First some selection guidelines to make your search easier…
Depending on the type of agency that you are looking to work with – small, boutique agency or mammoth, corporate agency – you will find that the prices for services can be at both ends of the spectrum. Here are a few key points to remember when it comes to pricing:
Did this information help you? If you have other questions, I’d love to hear from you – please don’t be shy! Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
And don’t forget to check back twice a month for more PR and Marketing Q&As.
About Jennifer Rodrigues
Jennifer Rodrigues, Visibility Specialist with ThinkInk and TravelInk’d, is a seasoned public relations professional with a passion for the hospitality industry, which is expressed in her role at ThinkInk’s travel division, TravelInk’d. At TravelInk’d, she is responsible for developing cost-effective and creative public relations and marketing strategies for clients in the travel and tourism, airline, lodging, cruise and meeting/event sectors. For more information on TravelInk’d, please visitwww.travelinkd.com or contact Jennifer at email@example.com.