Introductory Recommended Reads

Custom Media and Social Media for Hotels and Hospitality

Internet Marketing Strategies for Hotels and Hospitality


In my previous posts that are linked above, I’ve discussed about the most important factors to influence customers’ minds, you would have read that word of mouth is the most crucial requirement for the successful running of any hotel or hospitality business. In this post, I will be discussing the first major word of mouth marketing strategy with relevance to hotels. I’ll be talking about marketing strategies for hotels with respect to Word of Mouth through friends, co-workers and magazines. By understanding the requirements of word of mouth and using it effectively in email marketing campaigns and in the marketing strategies of hotels, any hotel can see a significant difference in its brand perception, and in turn, in its profit curves.

Part 1 of 4

Word of Mouth a.k.a. Friends and Co-workers

One of the behavioural traits of humans in general is their need to be convinced. We ask friends and other people for suggestions all the time, whether it’s about looking good in a new dress, or whether we’re doing the right thing by jumping into a new relationship. We always want to hear opinions from other people, even if we’re convinced about an idea ourselves. If you’re involved in strategising a marketing campaign for a hotel, this is a good point to take note of. People always ask their friends and co-workers for recommendations while making travel plans. It’s easy and trustworthy. It may not be the biggest priority, but yet, it’s an important one. If you have a new guest that’s come to your hotel, keep them happy. And they’ll spread happy words on your behalf. You know all the rules of hospitality, but do you know what else you could use?

With respect to marketing, you definitely need good brochures and inhouse hotel magazines. Not the low grade ones that are created by local print shops, used mostly by school kids for class projects! You’ve spent millions on your hotel. Seriously, a little more respect and ego for your brand should get you thinking here. If you think guests ought to pay you more because you provide a better service, understand that the same goes for design and content solutions too. Partner with a good media house and sign up on a long term contract that could end up cutting your costs by a large extent. But wait a few months so you can be entirely convinced of any media house’s customer-relations and quality. Sometimes though, with great quality and creativity comes a great big ego. Wait a while and see which media house can balance your requirements without compromising on the best quality you can afford.

What do you need?

What impresses a guest when they check in at your hotel? The plush rooms, the ambience, the food, and everything else that a good hotel provides, of course. It’s time to take it up a notch. Along with the goodies of the hotel line, some of the most important requirements are good hotel brochures, travel tips, restaurant and additional menus, and an awesome inhouse magazine that’s placed neatly on the coffee table (magazines are the best option, which of course, comes at a price). Going back to discussing hotel amenities, a great hotel counts for good memories, but every hotel needs more than that. Hotels need good communication tools to spread the happy word.

Hotel Magazine Tip: Create a good magazine. Period. When it comes to luxury additions like magazines and travel guides, having a bad inhouse magazine is actually worse than not having one at all! So if you are serious about having an inhouse magazine for your hotel, outsource or hire a good team! Or make sure you’ve got a good media house working on your magazine. You could contact me or my media house if you are keen on having an inhouse magazine, after all, I may be an occasional blogger, but I am a full time publisher.

Get your guests to talk happy – Conversation Starters and Builders

So how do you get your guests to talk happy about your hotel or hospitality business? Good service and amenities are good conversation starters. But all hotel bosses know that it takes more than good conversation starters to sell its suites, it needs great conversation builders! And nothing is better to carry on great conversations than stunning brochures and classy magazines. With a hotel magazine, you can do all that and more.

Convert your guests into brand builders

So what do guests do after they get back home after a great trip? They talk about their trip with their friends and co-workers. By giving away a great hotel magazine to every guest that comes to your hotel, not only are you giving away a treasured souvenir to your happy guests, you are also arming them with the perfect ammunition to become your “accidental brand builders”! Your guests loved their vacation, and they will talk. And big chances are, when they talk, they will talk about your magazine, and bigger chances are, they’ll show their friends a copy of your hotel magazine and share stories about your hotel. That’s a good half an hour of a marketing pitch about your hotel. And give this a thought, your marketing team isn’t even in the picture! Friends have the power of convincing better than any super-marketing-man. Can you imagine if you have hundreds of guests every month, and each of these guests spread the word about your hotel to their friends using your magazine? With a magazine alone, you could create thousands of free evangelists for your hotel. Every month.

Do you need a magazine, really?

But you may ask, why does my hotel need a magazine? Your guests may talk about your hotel anyway. So what’s the use of a magazine? We’ll do a simple comparison here. If you need to sell a marketing pitch to a potential client, who would you use, your master chef or your marketing head? Similarly, your happy guests are not marketing agents, they’re just the messengers who have friendly credentials and happy momories. Your guests will definitely speak more about their vacation than your hotel. Your guests may speak about your hotel, but they may not be able to convince their friends, a.k.a. they may not be able to sell your product for you. But a magazine can be used well to talk about the vacation spot with great stories and travel tips, while at the same time, discreetly brag about your hotel and show off its facilities and amenities, without sounding like a marketing pitch at all.

Try it, I know it works. And it’s profitable in more ways than one. If you know how to monetise it by bringing on advertising partners, chances are, you’re going to sell without a marketing team. And at the same time, make more money with advertisement spaces in your magazine!

The great advantage that a hotel magazine can give you is the power to sell, without really creating a marketing pitch or having a marketing team spread across the world!