A Post-Crisis Top-3 Digital Marketing Action Plan
— 11 experts shared their view
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The global hospitality industry has been through every perceivable calamity over the past decades: earthquakes, tsunamis, tornados, major floods, terrorist attracts like 9/11, SARS, global recessions, epidemics and pandemics like SARS, MERSA, ZIKA, swine flu and now COVID-19. After each crisis, the industry came roaring back and I believe it will recover very quickly after the current COVID-19 crisis and will prosper like never before.
Naturally, each region and destination has had and will have its own decline and rebound curves as far as hotel occupancy, ADRs and RevPARs are concerned. Recovery post-COVID-19 will also be unique to each region, destination and property and will greatly depend on a) the underlying economic conditions in each region and destination, and b) the preparedness of each property for the post-crisis period.
This downtime of low hotel occupancies or property closures is the perfect time for post-crisis planning, digital marketing action plan development, product and marketing campaign ideations. The question to the digital marketing community is, which specific action-items SHOULD be included in a hotelier's Post-Crisis Top Three Digital Marketing Action Plan? In addition, please suggest one creative, OUTSIDE-THE BOX idea... something we have not seen yet in hotel digital marketing. Just an idea... big or small.
Travel & Hospitality expert. Digital Marketing & Strategy Speaker and Consultant
In Quebec, Canada, we are still in the early stages of this crisis, expected to peak at some point in mid-April. So the very first step to take is to acknowledge this fact and plan for post-crisis action plan set to begin somewhere in June. Here are the three action items I would prioritize until then:
- New images: No matter when your last photoshoot was done for your property or travel brands, consumer behaviors will have shifted during this crisis. You will want to avoid pictures of a crowded restaurant or buffet services, for example. Groups of friends having a blast by the pool? Maybe better to hold off these pics for later, when the virus threat has vanished.
- Update your website: Images are a part of this effort but you will also want to reassess text and user experience on your website. It's safe to assume travelers will have higher concerns for hygiene and cleanliness, so this will need to be stressed clearly on various sections of your website and digital platforms alike (social media, newsletters, brochures, etc.).
- Target market: Don't assume your target audience coming out of this crisis will be the same as the audiences you previously had in mind. Out-of-town business meetings may take a while to come back, especially as many people discover the virtues of remote working and zoom conferences. Focus on rubber tire markets and local efforts to get the wheels spinning in the early stages of recovery.
An outside-the-box idea? How about a "locals-only" promotion or deal, targeting folks from the city you work and live in. Make sure to package it in a way that includes outdoor activities, shows and any entertainment that was forbidden during confinement!