One Night Stands Hurt the Hospitality Industry
October 8, 2013
By now the hospitality industry is well acquainted with one night stands. What’s interesting is that Hoteliers have adopted the same one and done mentality with their customers. In both cases, the risk/reward of the one night stand isn’t promising (to put it nicely)—where as a relationship brings fulfillment to both parties and also breeds loyalty.
Is a One Night Stand With Hospitality Customers Really That Bad?
YES. Think about what kind of customer would be interested in a one night stand. They avoid commitment and are surely price sensitive; worst of all they’ll use you once and move on. They prefer short term, impersonal and anonymous, which is a total dead end from an ROI standpoint that leaves you chasing the same kind of customer night after night.
Eventually these one night standers can turn from their promiscuous behavior and settle in as a loyal customer, but the Hotelier has to initiate moving past the one night stand phase and work toward starting a relationship. Like all relationships this takes time, and hotels must learn to stand out because there are plenty of suitors out there looking for these committed relationships.
The Guy/Girl Next Door
The prime opportunity for long-term relationships are right next door. From business meetings to local charity and community events, to corporate dinners, weddings and spa treatments; the companies and residents near your locations are the best targets to become loyal customers. The question is, are you encouraging your General Managers and Directors of Sales to court them?
Most hospitality brands excel at creating awareness but fail when it comes to personal conversations and localized marketing. A one size fits all sales brochure can certainly stir interest, but doesn’t really provide the customer with the information they need to properly evaluate and choose a specific property. It’s the same disappointment you might feel after going to a small concert where the singer wowed you onstage, but when you saw them afterward at the bar they used a generic pick up line to get your attention.
The fact is, today’s consumers have access to more information than ever; meaning they have the ability to research, evaluate and choose on their own. If you don’t provide them with the information they need (e.g. you’ve only given them a generic sales brochure), they are going to find a suitor that they deem more compatible who meet their specific needs.
The Cornerstone of Long-Lasting Relationships
So you’ve moved past the pick up lines and are over the one night stands; you’ve seen the light and you’re on a quest for a real relationship. Now all you need to do is give each one of your hotels targeted, charming, and personalized messaging to send to the right customers, through the right channel, right NOW! Easy right? Okay…one thing at a time.
Start with charming and personalized. Just as you would “court a crush”, you want to woo local prospects by being genuine, creative, relevant, and interesting. You must learn about who they are and what needs they have if you want to be truly personal. This level of personalized marketing puts the customer in the lens and allows each hotel to present relevant offers and messages that develop a relationship throughout the customer life cycle.
That shouldn’t be too hard if you only have one hotel, but what if you have several locations spread across the country or the world? There’s simply not enough time for corporate marketers to create all these localized and personalized messages for each property in their hotel brand. However, there is a hospitality software that allows each property to do it themselves if they are given pre-approved marketing content.
Check back soon to read Part 2, which will show how you can empower each hotel to send a personalized message to local consumers.