Friday, September 6, 2019

The red-headed stepchild of the hotel business.

The red-headed stepchild* of the hotel business.

When it comes to marketing communications and advertising in the hotel business, transient is usually the Glory Road and groups, well, aren't.

Typically, groups get a very small dedicated chunk of the marketing communications budget. Which is kind of odd, because hotels will sometimes shoot for more than 60% of their business from groups. Even though meetings and social affairs are usually lower-rated business, they can still help your bottom line. And your sales team can only do so much.

So what are you planning to do for groups? Besides just pushing the sales force to get out there and work harder. Marketing communications has a longer and wider reach than a sales team and can multiply the effect of whatever they can do. 

Why not spend a little money to beef up the groups section of your website so it’s something besides floor plans and “click here for an RFP?" Sell the place. Create some desire.

Or run an actual ad campaign. Tell the world what you have to offer. Use traditional and digital media and LinkedIn to talk to a larger group of prospects than a sales group could reach in a year.

Do some cross-selling on-site. Many of your guests have some sort of a connection to groups or events. Even just something as basic as a rack card (remember them?) in every room or a message that pops up on the in-room television or when they log on to your wi-fi can make an impression. One that doesn't cost you much. It's almost like an instant fam trip. 

And finally, recognize that, in a very real sense, you have two different businesses operating under one roof. So brand the groups experience at your property. And by brand, we mean a supportable distinction around which you deliver a unique value. Not just “luxury in the city” or something. 

Your transient brand – if you have one – doesn’t automatically translate to groups and meetings. See more about Brand and its value here.
The point of all this is that marketing communications can do a lot for the bottom line. More than just sending the sales force out with a new e-brochure.

*This is where we are in America today. Is "red-headed stepchild" offensive? Jeeze, we don't know. Maybe? But what's done is done.