Reimagining Your Ideal Hotel Guest
𒁃“Business” and “travel” – two words that go together like “tea” and “honey.” But “business” and “travel” have since parted ways, to a large extent, as a side effect of the global pandemic. And for an industry like hospitality, this has had a devastating impact, particularly for hotels that have relied heavily on a steady supply of business travelers.
𝄹Today, even as travel has picked up, the million-miler business road warriors have not reestablished their pre-pandemic travel routines. Even they have recognized the efficiencies gained with reduced travel. And the hotels that were once home to these business travelers for weeks throughout the year are feeling the pain.
꧒Many of these hotels, especially those in urban settings, have had to make urgent adjustments in their strategies to shore up their profits. But it’s hard to know where to make changes without jeopardizing their revenue post-crisis. Most are still operating with a skeleton staff, hesitant to rehire as they’re frantically trying to recoup lost revenue. And even if they wanted to hire, labor shortages continue to strain the hospitality industry.
🦂Meanwhile, destination hotels catering primarily to leisure travel have thrived since pandemic travel bans were lifted. Their spacious, outdoor accommodations afford ample social distancing to those itching to travel after being locked down for so long. With airline miles burning holes in their pockets, even business travelers are finally taking those vacations they’ve put off for so long. Leisure travel hotel rates have skyrocketed, and vacationers are willing to foot the bill for fresh air and luxury amenities.
ꦫBut what do all hotels—those catering to business travelers and those serving vacationers—have in common? Both are still trying to make up for lost revenue while also navigating significant changes in travel behaviors. So how do hotels manage both in this new normal?
Rebrand or reposition?
💛When forced to rethink business strategies, a rebrand typically comes to mind. But all hotels are in the same boat—consumer travel behaviors have changed for every hotel, so it wouldn’t make sense for every hotel to rebrand itself.
𒅌Instead, hotels are finding the need to reimagine their ideal guest. If you’re not going to have a steady flow of business travelers, who will replace them? If you’re no longer going to host large conferences or group events, what can supplement that large portion of revenue for your hotel? Even destination hotels catering to leisure travel must fill the void of large group events and get creative in replacing that revenue. Whether your hotel is thriving or trying to make up for losses, you are still looking to optimize expenditures as you recover in this post-crisis world.
That’s where a strategic digital marketing partner comes in.
💃As digital consumer trends in travel vary, one thing remains consistent—most people opt to book their travel online. According to travel experts, over will do their research online, and 80% will make their booking online. And while sites like Booking.com and TripAdvisor get millions of visits per month, two-thirds of online travel booking sales are made directly from the hotel’s own website, indicating that hotels looking to optimize their marketing strategy better start with their digital footprint first.
❀A strategic digital marketing partner provides hotels with a fresh, non-biased approach to help discover optimal solutions to drive new business. Instead of hiring an in-house, full-time marketing talent, a strategic digital partner provides you with a team of subject matter experts and the feel of an in-house department, and at 10 - 25% of the cost of hiring a full-time staff to perform similar services.
🐲And the process is not nearly as overwhelming as it would be to take this on in-house. It all starts with an initial assessment – a thorough review of a hotel’s website, marketing strategies, and historical KPIs are performed to establish a baseline. Then, leveraging hospitality-specific subject matter experts, the digital partner helps discover new marketing opportunities and works with a hotel to develop strategies that cater to these new audiences.
🌳Shift Digital provides the hospitality industry with all of this—and more. The opportunities to reimagine your hotel’s future, discover new audiences, and rethink your hotel’s strategies are endless. And by partnering with a strategic digital team like Shift Digital, you’ll get results, efficiently and cost-effectively.
💛While this post-pandemic world of new travel behaviors has undoubtedly created challenges for the hospitality industry, with the right digital partner, you’ll gain accurate, proven insights into how best to shift your digital strategies. Reimagining your new ideal hotel guest to reclaim control of your hotel’s sales and revenue has never been easier than working with a partner like Shift Digital. Contact us today to learn more about Shift Digital’s hospitality services and how your hotel can make a full, quick recovery.
To learn more about how Shift Digital can help your hotel maximize your digital marketing efforts with reduced in-house staff, contact us today.
ᩚᩚᩚᩚᩚᩚᩚᩚᩚ𒀱ᩚᩚᩚIf you are tasked with rethinking your hotel’s marketing strategy, digital marketing is likely top of your list. But with so many variables – and questions – that go into comprehensive and effective digital hotel marketing strategies, the process may become overwhelming. And especially now, more than ever, effective marketing strategies are critical for the success of your hotel’s business.
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