The Paradox of Hotel Marketing
Do You Seriously Think Your Hotel Website Stands out?
For decades now, hotel marketing online and off follows the same pattern and approach: To attract prospective hotel guests, it presents glamorous images of accommodations and locations, supported by more or less creative content, clever pricing and occasionally a really unique service offer. "A picture is worth a thousand words" is indeed a strategy that works but, does one uniform concept significantly make you stand out from your competition, and…
Should Interior Design Really Be the Main Selling Point of Your Hotel?
Much research has gone into the role of emotions in the decision making process. While we all like to believe that our decisions are purely based on rational analysis, psychology teaches us otherwise. Neuroscience research has shown that emotions are indeed an intrinsic part of the decision making process. Marketing uses the influential role of emotions in consumer behavior and has long established the "golden rule" of "stress benefits, not features."
People purchase a product or a service firstly because of its benefits. Features only play a secondary role. Your housekeeper doesn't choose the new turbo vacuum cleaner because of its impressive new technology, but because it will help to keep the rooms cleaner, do the work better and faster, and ultimately keep his or her guests happier.
Hotels have mastered the art of advertising features, but what about the benefits? A few superlatives below a grand image might make for a great first impression. But do they also create an emotional connection?
The essence of "the product hotel" is hospitality and service.
personable, a relaxing enjoyable ambience, generosity and easiness, and the knowledge that you'll be very well looked after - in a nutshell, you'll feel a thrill of anticipation just thinking about going there. How do you trigger this feeling that tells prospective guests your hotel could indeed be a great place to go to?
When you think of a great host, certain characteristics come to mind. Caring, warm,
Furthermore, recent market research suggests that hotel guests are not satisfied anymore with simply a nice ambience and good food, but that they are looking for an experience. How does your marketing address these expectations? How do you truly convey the unique ambience and atmosphere of your hotel, the warm hospitality and the promise of a great experience?
Everybody loves to read a good story
We are now living in an information-rich world, where everyone knows everything about your brand, your hotel, and the company behind it. With information flooding us every minute of the day, the stimulus level necessary to get things noticed and to create a lasting impression has to be set higher and higher.
There is one thing though that holds us back from just skimming and moving on to the next topic, that makes us stop in our tracks and pay attention: A good story. Why? Because stories are a fundamental part of how we successfully connect as human beings. With the right story, you are able to capture attention, to engage and entertain, to raise curiosity and to persuade. Even better, if it's a good story, it's memorable and we want to share it with others. That's why for example Trip Advisor is that successful. Yes, people visit the site to determine whether a particular hotel is for them, but they also search for interesting stories and comments about the hotel. Trip Advisor would probably be much less popular if it was just publishing guest ratings without the "stories"…
A good story about people and services is also what brings a hotel to life.
What's a good story?
This is where your creativity comes into play. Weave a story around the creation of your signature dish, and the person who came up with it; talk about your busboy who is training for the Olympics, or simply let the huge old tree outside the entrance tell tales about the people it has seen coming and going. Maybe your hotel is the place where a great business deal was once made, or where a star was "born". You could share anecdotes or humorous experiences - there are literally no limits as to what you can talk about, as long as it is engaging and compelling. These "stories" have another invaluable effect - a good story will trigger the reader's imagination. Just as happens with a good book, it will inspire readers to add their personal and unique thoughts and ideas, and take on a life of its own. The story then becomes more powerful. This presents you with a terrific opportunity. Storytelling not only helps raise curiosity and anticipation in prospective guests, but it helps build a connection with your hotel long before your guest has set foot in it.
And it will make you stand out from your competition.
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