Trying to identify what today’s travelers want as a whole misses the point. You will lose market share if you are not connecting with guests by implementing an individual approach. Filling your hotel requires one word: individualization. This represents the most important marketing change in the past 50 years.
Previously, the modern brand movement was focused around a different word: consistency. Travelers looked for consistency and predictability across a hotel chain. However, uniform and unwavering consistency is a disadvantage now. Consistency and predictability are considered boring and outdated. Implementing an individualized approach is the best way to market hotels to guests.
Today’s Internet-savvy consumer blurs generational and economic lines. This is the era of customization and personalization. Today’s hotel guests are picky. The customize-to-my-liking guest is driving major hotel brands to branch out, with new boutique properties better able to cater to guests’ whims. For example, the Hard Rock Hotel brand asks guest about their favorite type of music and can have it playing on the TV in their room when they walk in. Hilton and Wyndham properties offer similar customization, such as having a guest’s favorite drink on ice when they arrive.
The hotel and chain that will win the heart and the wallet of this generation will be one that establishes a system for recognizing and embracing the preferences and needs of the individual traveler, instead of relying on consistency.
Guests are flocking to new concept and property ideas. Hotels must create an enticing and effective method of showcasing their unique offerings and communicating with prospective customers through places and forums they frequent. Marketing needs to highlight the experience the guest will receive — the “What’s in it for me?” factor. Popular travel websites can show details of a hotel’s features at a click.
In addition to marketing, successful hotels excel in guest interaction. Staff members must be empowered to make decisions on meeting the needs of their guests. It is also important to tap into the critical resource of front-line employees who may have the best insight into guest needs and desires.
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