This article was written for a double page spread in AMG NZ. Have a read below and check it out in the latest issue of AMG.
Recently I was talking with one of our clients, yes we do that, about bringing guests to their website to book and bringing them back the next time as well. The discussion was around the cost of OTA bookings, but he made a statement that really got my attention.
He said “It’s not so much the cost of the OTA’s as the fact that we don’t hold the Guest relationship, they do.”
This is a hotel that carefully plans their marketing and services to Guests to best retain their loyalty. One of our product features that helps them do this is Clarity Hotel Manager’s pre and post arrival auto emails. Using this ensures the Guest has recurring contact from the Hotel without a huge overhead for the staff. The Hotel also uses other helpful features in Clarity Hotel Manager such as VIP gradings and the CRM interface to use the data captured to build on those Guest relationships.
Both Clarity and said client have a common mission to value their Guest/Client relationship. Their online path to attracting new guests closely resembles our own over the last two years, as we have also adopted tailored email marketing as a customer contact tool, albeit using a contracted resource rather than our hotel- specific software. In our case it has resulted in a huge increase in enquiries and ergo, sales. How did we do it?
Two years ago we selected and engaged a marketing consultancy - Mason Creative, to advise us and manage the program. This was the one ‘big tick’ item that was fundamental to our growth strategy. We started with a refreshed identity and a new mobile-friendly website. We then began a managed adwords and remarketing campaign – a relatively inexpensive way of getting our website on the first page of Google search. Instant results! But it’s what we did with the new prospects and clients we gained that has really fuelled our growth - we talked to them, constantly. We talk about the industry, talk about cool things and events and people, and talk about our products.
We do the talking through our website’s blog page, and feature our posts in a monthly email newsletter. Sounds time consuming, especially if you aren’t necessarily a good writer of blogs – but it’s not at all! The material for the blogs is sourced from all over, anything and anyone in the industry that we think is newsworthy gets posted. Who actions all of this activity? Mason Creative does. All on a monthly contract basis and within our marketing budget.
The result was our clients and prospects talking back, and a massive increase in enquiry and sales – and what business doesn’t want that?
For me personally, the most surprising thing is how little of my time this increase has taken. Two years ago this all seemed time consuming and too hard, but it’s
mostly done by someone else. It has proven to us that talking to your clients regularly really does fuel growth, and we highly recommend taking advantage of Clarity Hotel Manager and it’s auto-email feature to do this for your business.
We also highly recommend having a look at our consultant’s services at www.masoncreative.co.nz, for they will surely have a few ideas about your business, your brand, and what to talk about in your emails!