Design Your Dream Luxury Hotel Marketing Strategy: 5 Tips for Booking Your Ideal Clients in a Digital World
By Maria Harrison, President at Bullseye Strategy
Optimizing your Hotel Internet Marketing to Land Your Ideal Customers
As you pursue your optimal hotel internet marketing strategy for your luxury hotel, you want to make sure you're attracting the savvy business mogul or free-spending socialite rather than, say, a spring-breaking "bro" with a bad fake tan and cheap tequila pouring out of his ears.
Get to Know Your Customer Through and Through
Google Analytics is your friend: it will help you discover the profile of your ideal potential clients by looking at your actual customers. A strong luxury hotel marketing strategy will include a customer profile that incorporates as much of your data as possible: what kind of job do they have? What types of cars do they drive? Do they eat eggs and bacon or drink kale shakes before starting their day – even if kale shakes can taste slightly gross.
You can even utilize a data append to get more information on your guests. You should create everything from a lookalike model to a complete characterization of the theoretical customer: the way Marlon Brando created a character like Stanley Kowalski in his head, you need to create your "character" too. But, put yours to paper. Developing a demographic profile and a persona for your ideal luxury customer will help you find them and speak to them with the right message.
Who Is this Mysterious Luxury Travel Consumer?
So now that you thoroughly know who your current customers are, your luxury brand marketing strategy needs to identify who the luxury travel consumer is independently of that. The type of information you want to compile will help tell you everything about the current ideal customer:
Do they spend their disposable income on a summer beach home or on prized works of modern art that look like my 6-year old could have painted them? Are they searching for travel ideas through Kayak and TripAdvisor or leaning on their social network for vacation pointers? The theme here is that with your hospitality marketing strategy you need to draw a roadmap between your actual customer and the ideal luxury brand consumer you are trying to attract in order to grow.
In-House versus Agency Luxury Hotel Marketing
There are reasons to use an in-house marketing team to reach your ideal customers. But even the best in-house team can greatly benefit from partnering with an external hotel internet marketing agency. While an in-house team may take a limited view that focuses on its specific product and business, it is the responsibility of the external agency to stay on the cutting edge of marketing across your industry as well as others.
As Forbes Magazine explains, "Digital marketing agencies must follow the latest developments across digital marketing trends… While your eye is understandably on your company and the product, digital marketing agencies are committed to keeping you abreast of all the latest developments in marketing."
Using the Right Tactics to Target the Luxury Consumer
Hotel marketing is extremely price-sensitive. As the price tag climbs, you need to realign your luxury hotel marketing strategy so that you attract potential customers that want what you've got – and can afford to pay for it! Nobody in your business needs the "wishful thinking" consumer with a 3-star motel budget.
Further, it's one thing to deploy tactics like paid search, retargeting, and utilizing Online Travel Agencies to capture demand, but part of your goal is to generate demand. Zeroing-in on that elusive consumer who doesn't yet know about your incredible luxury experience – and who can afford it – is a major part of the challenge that requires further specialized tactics like audience targeting through programmatic media. Whether it's reaching the C-level exec by layering in Dun & Bradstreet data or reaching the woman who travels on private jets by selecting it from Acxiom, layering data on media will lead to greater efficiency.
The Big Picture: Align Your Marketing Agenda Across the Board
You've mastered the art of creating the glorious luxury vacation experience. Now it's time to align your offline marketing strategies with digital strategies like paid search, social media and display advertising to take your luxury vacation brand to the next level. Traditional and digital marketing go hand-in-hand and should mutually complement one another. So, stay focused on the big picture to achieve your goals.
Hotel internet marketing is rapidly changing and therefore complicated. It is crucial to stay on top of the most important trends to market luxury services online so that you can attract the customers who will maximize your earnings.
Maria could have Sheryl Sandberg's job if she wanted it. She's a single Mom crushing a 60 hour work week and not missing a single basketball, little league or Cub Scout event. In fact, she volunteers whenever and wherever she's needed as a basketball coach, Cub Scout Pack Chairperson, Orange Bowl Committee and more.More from Maria Harrison