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MARKETING IN HOSPITALITY

Hospitality management is a highly competitive industry, which means marketing strategies are
extremely important for building a brand, attracting new customers and maintaining loyalty.
Marketers are emphasising on service rather than on goods as hospitality sales are different from
consumer goods sales because companies are selling not only tangible but also intangible
products, such as the relaxing, luxurious and welcoming atmosphere.
Here are some strategies that will increase awareness of the brand and build long-lasting
relationships with customers.

Special events: This could include hosting your own on-site special events, such as conferences,
fundraising events, concerts or sponsoring events that might boost your brand recognition.
Every year Marriott International hosts many fundraising events. One of them is Run to Give Hotel
Charity Runs that took place in 115 different locations on 24th of September. This event has raised a record $421’000 for charity in 2017. ( Marriott International, October 19, 2017 ) Moreover, many countries are holding a travel and tourism expos, where many hotel chains, as well as start up brands are participation to promote firstly their destination, as well as their hotel or hospitality establishments. London, between June 6-8, 2018, will host the inaugural “Proud Experiences LGBTQ+ Travel Expo”, an international event dedicated to the gay community. (GTP editing team, November 17, 2017)

Promotion: This could be special offers for off-season guests such as reduced rates for hotel
rooms or special hotel services. Also, many hotels are running special promotions or packages
through out the year, in order to get more sales.
Marriott hotels offer a discount of 10-30% during the winter months.( Marriott International, Inc.  2017 ) Hilton hotels offer 50$ on-property credit for dining, relaxing, shopping and so on. (Hilton,2017 ) Another example, Four Seasons hotel offers a honeymoon package which include: daily breakfast, daily three-course dinner, free 90 mins spa service, 1 bottle of sparkling wine and complimentary daily golf. ( Four Seasons Resort Mauritius at Anahita, 2018)

Loyalty program: Loyalty programs are the key to building life-long relationships with customers,
typically through offering them some type of reward for sustained loyalty to your brand. This could
be loyalty cards that offer discounts, the coupon for a free meal or spa service, a free night lodging after a certain amount of nights staying in your hotel. For example, Intercontinental hotels & resorts loyalty program offers complimentary weekend night, guaranteed upgrade and exclusive arrivals and departures. (Get some examples and provide some benefits which goes with the loyalty
program)

Community partnerships: These type of marketing opportunities can be beneficial for not only you
but for your partner as well. It might mean a food and lodging combination offer or a discount for
airline tickets after staying in your hotel. In this case, both venues benefit from the brand
awareness and revenue generated. For example, Marriott rewards program has the partnership
with 39 airlines, which provide 2 airline miles per USD spent on staying in Marriott hotels.

Online opportunities: In the technology age of the 21st century, it is simply unheard of for a
hospitality industry venue to not be fully engaged in multiple online promotional channels. There
are 5 profitable internet marketing strategies for hotels :

1) Optimising your website for search engines. This can be done through a process called search
engine optimisation, or SEO, which will help to ensure the visibility of your hotel's website on
search engines in the moment of making reservations or purchases.
2) Improve your SEO by providing relevant and precise information on your websites. This could
be a brief description, photos, cost and availability of your hotel, location, contact information,
opening hours, amenities and links to other booking websites where they can book your hotel.
3) Strengthen your mobile booking capabilities. Google research shows that
• 94% of leisure travellers switch between smart devices as they plan or book a trip.
• 46% of travellers with smartphones say they make their decision on mobile but then book on
another device.
So what is the reason of those switching back and forth? There are 2 reasons behind it. First one
is anxiety factor, when travellers do not believe that they are getting the best deals, so they prefer to double check it on other devices. The second one is mobile booking limitation, some booking apps do not provide full information about your hotel and require more unnecessary steps while
purchasing.
Here are some tips for improving your mobile booking capabilities:
• Offer assurances on mobile booking
• Eliminate unnecessary steps on mobile (45% would switch if it takes too many steps to book)
• Ensure your mobile site loads fast
4) Promote your hotel’s social media accounts. Nowadays, social media websites are able to help
businesses to reach their potential customers easily. Unlike search engines like Google, social
networks allow businesses to easily target the specific audience based on their personal
information on their profile. For example, a Facebook user can see your paid ads, if his search is
highly relevant to your topic.
Almost every hotel in the world have created Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts and are
creating lots of content to gain more fans and followers. On those channels, consumers can find
many useful pieces of information, such as videos, photos, work opportunities, special promotions, news about hotel’s activities, blog posts, guides or articles that might increase a visitor’s interest in your brand and make them more likely to become your guest.
Another way to promote their social media channels is to cooperate with Instagram bloggers and
celebrities. It can be a barter collaboration when a hotel offers few nights lodging with special
services for an advertising post on their account. It also can be a paid partnership, usually depends on the popularity of a blogger. According to the Sprout Social Q2 2017 Index, 51% of millennials enjoy brand personality on Instagram. This platform continues to be a popular environment of sharing, liking, tagging and commenting and millennials can be inspired to make purchases on Instagram, despite its limited “link in bio.”
5) Hotel Marketing in a top visited countries might be very challenging, so the last strategy requires more investments and time. Pay-per- click advertising is a very effective way that you can gain attention by increasing your hotel’s visibility in search results. Searches on Google do not deliver just natural results, they also show sponsored ads that have been placed there by companies or businesses.
PPC advertising works like this: when a potential guest is searching something relevant to your
business, your ad is going to appear on the first line. You do not pay anything for your ads unless they clicked. A PPC ad can gain a high number of clicks and can help your website earn much-needed attention and interest from guests. In 2016, average cost per cost was $2.14 ( Jonathan Hochman February 22, 2017 )

Traditional Marketing : Traditional marketing has been defined by the 4P’s – Product, Promotion, Price and Place. Its techniques typically focus on identifying the right audience segment, understanding their behaviour, and providing the proper incentive to get them to buy a product or service, and in addition, there is the location or channel consideration. Most marketing strategies fall under one of four categories: print, broadcast, direct mail, and telephone. 

To sum up, marketing is playing a crucial role in hospitality industry nowadays. As it was
mentioned earlier, in the technology era, social media marketing became easier to use for
companies. However, the right strategies and techniques must be used by the companies in order
to get the return on marketing investments, for instance higher sales figures for hotels or higher
number of guests in the restaurants. Nevertheless, traditional marketing still plays an important
role. The communication, sales people have with their clients becomes even more important. Mass communications in the digital age can be seen to be quite impersonal but little things like a hand-written card or phone call can go a long way to assuring your clients they are important to you and to keeping your hotel front-of-mind. ( Graham Wilson Senior Vice President Sales & Marketing, Accor Asia Pacific. November 10, 2013) Apart of sales figures, marketing has a huge impact not only to attract, but also maintain companies customer data bases.