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The Secret to Consistent Marketing Results

You don't need an MBA to be a marketing master. Here is how you can boost your business with an easy to follow plan.

Friday, April 20, 2012
Joy Gendusa
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If you have invested in marketing in the past, you probably had the experience many other business owners have had: inconsistency. Maybe one month your marketing is blowing the doors off your hotel, but the next month it’s nothing more than a waste of budget.

You are certainly not alone. As I said, many business owners have experienced the exact same situation and it leaves them wondering whether marketing is really a good investment.

But what if I told you there is a way to get consistent results from your marketing? If you could be sure that your marketing was going to produce profitable sales, would that make it easier to pull the trigger on a larger marketing budget?

I have a simple, 3-step process that can help you see consistent, profitable results from your marketing. It’s no gimmick. It’s just solid marketing theory that works.

Here are the 3 steps to getting consistent marketing results for your hotel…

1. Identify Your Target Market
I said that this is going to be solid marketing theory, and the best way to illustrate this point is by painting a picture. Imagine that you have the top minds in advertising copywriting and design working for you. They come up with the perfect advertisement that hits all the right buttons and drives the prospect to book a room.

Now, imagine that your perfect ad runs in Seventeen magazine. At this point, does it matter how well the ad was written and designed? No, because a seventeen-year-old girl won’t respond to your ads no matter what they say. Seventeen-year-old girls are not your target market.

Your target market is a group of people with similar characteristics who are most likely to respond to your advertising. Once you have identified this group, even a mediocre ad will be effective, because they already have an inherent need or desire from your product.

To identify your target market, go back through your customer list. There are software programs that can help you with this, too. Look for what your customers have in common. Are they mostly businesspeople? Honeymooners? Vacationing families? What are their ages? Estimated income level? The more specific you can get with your target market, the better the response to your advertising will be.

One market you could reach easily is your previous guests. Recently, my husband and I went back to a lovely bed and breakfast that we remembered from five years ago! We always meant to go back, but never seemed to have time. However, if they had contacted us with their marketing, it would have reminded me to book the vacation and we probably would have gone there many more times over the past five years.

2. Promote to Your Target Market
Now that you know who your target market is, you need to find a way to get your ad in front of their eyes. Most marketing mediums have a way to target, though some are more effective than others.

Using pay per click, you can target online searchers. Television lets you target by program and time. Direct mail lets you target by age, income level, number of kids, geographical location, etc. The key is to find the medium that best penetrates your target market.

Then, once you have that. Pump your ads into that target market — consistently. Having the right target market will produce results, but consistent outflow of your marketing is what produces the consistency. If you are not consistent, do not expect your results to be consistent. People respond to what they keep seeing, not what they see. The more you send marketing out, the more reservations you will get in.

3. Follow Up with New Leads
When your marketing goes out (assuming you have targeted the right market, and are promoting consistently), you will get leads in. That’s how it works. The trick is that you’re not done yet. A lead isn’t a sale or reservation — it is a lead. That lead needs to be converted into a paying customer, and you do that with follow-up.

The easiest and cheapest way to follow up is with email. When a lead gets to your website or calls in to your hotel, make sure you have a way to get their contact information, specifically, their email address. There are email marketing programs out there that can help you set up an automatic follow-up system with email “autoresponders”. These are emails that get sent to prospects automatically when they are entered into your email database. You should also send out a monthly email newsletter. This helps you stay in front of prospects and warms them up into a sale.

It is truly a simple process: target, promote, follow-up. The key is perseverance. Don’t give up if there are slight fluctuations in your results, this is normal. Over time, you will see that the results are actually very consistent and profitable. And if you keep tweaking your target market and optimizing your ad designs, your response will only get better and better.

About Joy Gendusa:
Joy Gendusa is the owner and CEO of direct mail marketing firm, PostcardMania. Joy began PostcardMania in 1998, with nothing but a phone and a computer, never taking a dime of investment capital. Joy originally started PostcardMania as a full-service postcard marketing company helping clients create turn-key marketing campaigns with graphic design, printing, mailing list acquisition and mailing services. Since then, PostcardMania has expanded to offer its clients more services including website and landing page design and development, email marketing and full marketing evaluations — all while continuing to educate clients with free marketing advice.
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Joy Gendusa    Joy Gendusa
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Hotel Interactive® Editorial Division

Bio: Joy Gendusa is the owner and CEO of direct mail marketing firm, PostcardMania. Joy began PostcardMania in 1998, with nothing but a phone and a computer, never taking a dime of investment capital. Joy originally started PostcardMania as a full-service postcard marketing company helping clients create turn-key marketing campaigns with graphic design, printing, mailing list acquisition and mailing services. Since then, PostcardMania has expanded to offer its clients more services including ...
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