Today we’re going to be doing something a little different.
We’re going to put ourselves in the shoes of a hotel owner in Paris and create a marketing plan from scratch. This post is packed with tips like:
- How to position your hotel in the competitive mid-range market
- How to use practical marketing strategies to attract and retain guests
- How to choose the best marketing channels for your hotel
So get ready to immerse yourself in the charm and elegance of the City of Lights.
Hotel Marketing For Mid-Range Family Hotels
Welcome to S’amuser à Paris – our imaginary hotel in the center of Paris that we’ll be using as a model for this post. Before we get into the practical marketing tips, we need to introduce everything you need to know about this hotel.
Without further ado:
- Name and Location: As mentioned above, the S’amuser à Paris is located at the center of Paris – a major draw for tourists, with 44 million tourists in 2022 alone.
- Target Guests: The ideal guests of the S’amuser à Paris are families with children who are looking for a cozy and affordable stay while they explore the popular attractions Paris has to offer.
- Unique Selling Points: Our hotel’s unique selling points (USPs) include:
- Friendliness: The S’amuser à Paris is known for providing a warm and welcoming atmosphere. Our staff are always smiling, and eager to assist guests with any questions they might have.
- Cleanliness: Cleanliness is next to Godliness — something the staff at S’amuser à Paris take very seriously indeed. The rooms and common areas are always spotless and well-maintained.
- Convenience: Paris has some of the best tourist attractions in the world — the Louvre, the Arc De Triomphe, the Eiffel Tower. And luckily for our guests, the S’amuser à Paris is perfectly located for families who want to explore them.
- Easy Access: It’s also easy to access by public transport. The hotel is close to metro stops and bus stations, and it offers an airport pickup service for guests.
Now that we’re all on the same page, let’s discuss how we’d go about marketing this hotel, increasing the number of guests, and driving up revenue.
Practical Hotel Marketing Tips For Mid-Range Hotels
Here’s what we would focus on if we were decision-makers at our imaginary Parisian hotel. For ease, we’ve broken this down into four parts.
1. Boost Your Branding
In the words of Jeff Bezos; “A brand for a company is like a reputation for a person.”
Effective hotel branding represents your hotel’s values and how you present them to your guests. What comes to mind when they see your logo or step into your lobby? It’s worth taking some time to seriously consider your values as they relate to branding.
Good branding consists of many things, including:
- Being Exciting. Filling your hotel with the same IKEA furniture and color scheme as your rivals is not the best way to stand out from the crowd. We recommend researching your ideal customer and what they value before you brand your hotel.
- Sweat The Small Stuff. Branding isn’t just your logo. It’s the uniform your staff wear, it’s the emails you send out to customers, it’s the menu design…it’s everything you do.
- Guest Data. Good branding doesn’t come from the ether – it comes from truly understanding and speaking to your guests. Are they budget-conscious travelers or older business executives with higher purchasing power? These factors will heavily affect your branding direction.
Taking it back to S’amuser à Paris — with a focus on family travels, they decided to use bright colors in their rooms and playful design elements to appeal to families. They made sure to implement a diverse menu that would appeal to both children and adults, along with keeping their concierges up to date with the latest family activities in central Paris should anyone come asking for recommendations.
They also adopted the tagline “Your Family’s Home Away from Home”. C’est bonne!
Learn More: 5 Tips For Powerful Hotel Branding
2. Get Online
Online travel agencies (OTAs) like booking.com are popular with guests and bring in a lot of business. But they also come with a sting in their tail — steep commissions of up to 30%.
That’s why we recommend that hotels like S’amuser à Paris encourage customers to book directly with them. There are a few ways to go about this:
- Build a slick, user-friendly website. Make sure that 1) it’s easy to navigate and 2) it shows your hotel’s services and amenities in the best light. It’s worth hiring a professional photographer or videographer to give potential guests a real insight into what their stay would be like.
- Make your website SEO friendly. Between signing up for Google Business and investing in paid ads, it’s possible to get your website to the front of local Google Searches — which is often one of the first places guests go to search for accommodations.
- Get A Great Booking Engine. OTAs invest literally millions of dollars into their apps to create a streamlined experience that customers love. While you don’t need to invest a similar amount, you do need to offer a comparable booking experience — any errors or resistance on the way and guests will go straight back to the OTA.
Learn More: Use these 5 Tips and the Ultimate Checklist to Increase Direct Bookings
Elevate your guest experience now!
3. Slide Into Their Inbox
Marketers love email. And with a 44X ROI, it’s not hard to see why.
For the S’amuser à Paris, we’d recommend that they implement an email marketing campaign that targets families who have previously stayed with them.
We understand that nurturing these relationships doesn’t stop once the guest checks out. Our latest advances in email marketing capabilities are designed to help hoteliers foster guest loyalty and enhance their brand reputation post-stay.
CEO at Duve
A well-crafted email can tempt guests with promotions, updates, and offers. But it’s important to use your customer data to craft personalized emails for your guests. If you’re shooting the same generic email to every guest who has ever stayed at your hotel, you’re not going to get a great conversion rate — and you might even damage your hotel’s reputation and come across as spammy.
Email Marketing: Build and Maintain Strong Guest Relationships by Using the Most Advanced Email Marketing Capabilities
4. Success Through Loyalty
Loyal customers spend more.
67% more, to be specific. But how’s a hotel like S’amuser à Paris supposed to capture that loyalty through programs and offers?
Great question. We recommend implementing personalized loyalty programs. Generic loyalty programs are a lot less effective than ones that rely on personalization. You’ll want to make sure you’re offering rewards, discounts, and offers that speak to your ideal target demographic.
In the case of S’amuser à Paris, their guests are more likely to respond to thoughtful discounts to the local waterpark rather than a discount at the golf course. The key takeaway? Know thy demographics.
Bonus Tip: Loyalty programs also allow you to gather valuable guest information as they sign up. So don’t forget to encourage their sign-ups (perhaps offering early check-in or late check-out) to sweeten the deal. This guest information is worth its weight in gold to your marketing team, so don’t neglect this.
Deliver an amazing Guest Experience with Duve
Low Budget Marketing Channels For Mid-Range Hotels
We get it – times are tough. Between inflation, staff shortages and the lingering effects of COVID, your hotel might not have enough money in the coffers for a full-fledged marketing effort. But you can get a lot done with very little.
Assuming our Parisian Hotel was tightening the purse strings, here’s what we’d focus on:
1. Build Local Partnerships
Do you want to market your hotel in a smart way? Do you want to reach more potential guests who are eager to explore your destination and its attractions? Do you want to offer your guests a memorable and convenient travel experience?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you need to develop partnerships with local attractions and tour operators.
For S’amuser à Paris, located in the city of love and lights, you can partner with a company that offers packages from your hotel lobby to some of the most iconic places in the world. Imagine your guests being able to visit the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre Museum, or the Notre Dame Cathedral with ease and comfort. These packages should include tickets, transportation, and maybe a guide, depending on what your guests prefer and can afford.
By offering these packages you can make your guests’ trips more enjoyable and hassle-free. You can also attract more families who are looking for a budget-friendly and fun way to see the sights. Your partner company will also benefit from getting more customers and exposure.
Partnerships like this are a win-win situation for both parties. They can help you increase your bookings, revenue, and guest satisfaction. They can also help you stand out from the competition and create a loyal customer base.
Learn More: The Ultimate Hotel Sales Guide
2. Get Social
Another marketing channel that requires little to no spend?
Create profiles for your hotel on the social media sites that your target demographic most visits. Think Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter — though if you have a lot of business guests, you might want to consider Linkedin.
It’s not a silver bullet, but by posting regularly and consistently you can stay on top of your guests’ minds, use hashtags to reach a wider audience, and generate buzz around your USPs.
Bonus Tip: Social media content is easily recycled. That Instagram short? Turn it into a TikTok. Or, go long-form and make it a Linkedin post. The only limit here is your imagination.
3. Collect Reviews
One of the best ways to boost your hotel’s reputation and attract new guests is to showcase the positive feedback from your previous customers. Reviews and testimonials can influence travelers’ decisions and help them trust your brand. That’s why you should always encourage your guests to share their experiences on platforms like TripAdvisor or Booking.com.
Hotel reviews are the lifeblood of our business. They help us understand what our guests love and what we can improve. They also help us attract new guests who trust the opinions of other travelers. That’s why we always encourage our guests to leave reviews and testimonials on popular travel websites and social media platforms and make sure to respond in a timely and professional manner.
Simply send them a follow-up email after their stay, offering incentives such as discounts or loyalty points, or ask them politely at check-out. By responding to all reviews in a timely and professional manner, you can also show potential guests that you value their feedback and are committed to providing an exceptional guest experience.
Learn More: How To Address The Most Common Guest Complaints In The Hospitality Industry
4. The Secret To A More Profitable Hotel? Guest Data
Guest data is a goldmine for marketers looking to boost sales and improve the overall guest experience.
And it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg to get.
Guest data is the information you collect about your customers, such as their names, contact details, preferences, feedback, and spending habits. Guest data can help you make smarter business decisions based on facts and insights, rather than assumptions and guesses.
One of the best ways guest data can help you grow your hotel business is by enabling targeted upsells and cross-sells. Upselling is when you persuade your guests to upgrade their booking or purchase additional services or products — like an upgraded room. Cross-selling is when you sell them complementary services or products from your partners or affiliates. Both upselling and cross-selling can increase your revenue per guest and enhance your guest satisfaction.
But not all upsells and cross-sells are equally effective.
- If you try to sell something that your guest doesn’t need or want, you might annoy them or lose their trust. That’s why you need to use guest data to tailor your offers to their specific needs and wants. For a hotel like S’amuser à Paris, you’d want to offer them a family package that includes breakfast, tickets to a nearby attraction, and a late check-out. But if you know that your guest is a business traveler, you might offer them a premium Wi-Fi package, access to a meeting room, and a complimentary drink at the bar.
- Guest data can also help you understand your most profitable demographics and target them accordingly. For example, if you know that most of your guests are millennials who book through online travel agencies (OTAs), you might want to optimize your website and social media presence for mobile devices and offer incentives for direct bookings. If you know that most of your guests are seniors who book through referrals or word-of-mouth, you might want to create a loyalty program and encourage them to leave reviews or testimonials.
- But how do you collect guest data? There are many ways to do that, depending on the stage of the guest journey. You can gather data upon check-in, during their stay, or at check-out. You can also use tools such as pre-arrival emails, post-stay follow-ups, or surveys. Don’t forget to ask for permission and respect your guests’ privacy and preferences.
By collecting and analyzing guest data, you can gain valuable insights into your customers’ behavior and expectations. You can also use this information to segment your guests and target them with marketing and offers that will appeal to them and increase your conversions.
Getting to know your guests is a crucial part of the hospitality experience. If you don’t know who is standing in front of you—how can you give them good service?
Duve’s co-founder and Chief Business Development Officer
If you want to grow your hotel business and attract more guests, you need to invest in effective marketing activities. But you don’t have to spend a fortune to do that. The marketing channels mentioned above can help you generate buzz and increase bookings quickly without breaking the bank.
And when you start seeing returns from these channels, you can re-invest money into your marketing efforts and see even higher returns.
Learn More: Advanced Guest Segmentation: The Secret To A More Profitable Hotel
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1) What Is A Mid-Range Hotel?
Mid-range or market hotels are ideal for travelers who want a comfortable stay without paying for luxury amenities and personalized service. These hotels may have features such as room service, a 24-hour coffee shop, and airport or railway station transfers.
Q2) What’s A Typical Hotel Marketing Budget?
To keep up with the changing needs and preferences of consumers, the marketing director needs to have a flexible hotel marketing budget. This budget is usually around 4-5% of the total revenue of the property and allows the marketing director to use different marketing tools to communicate effectively with consumers.
Q3) What Is A Marketing Strategy In The Hospitality Industry?
If you want to make your customers happy and give them the best experience possible, you need to master hospitality marketing. If you want to attract more travelers to your destination and show them the amazing activities they can do there, you need to master tourism marketing. But if you want to stand out from the competition and offer your customers a complete travel experience that they will never forget, you need to combine both types of marketing.
Your First Step To Better Hotel Marketing Starts Here
There you have it — a full-example marketing plan for a mid-range hotel — the S’amuser à Paris, in downtown Paris.
When it comes to marketing your mid-range hotel, guest data is one of the strongest tools in your arsenal. Without it, effectively reaching guests is very difficult.
Not sure where to start? We’ve got your back. Hotels that partner with Duve experience:
- A 73% online check-in ratio
- $180 uplift in spend per room
- 18 minutes saved per room
We’ve been helping hotels of all sizes harness the power of hotel technology and stand out from the competition for over seven years. And we’re here to help you.
Book A Duve Demo Today.
Before Duve, a lot of my time was spent on dealing with technological emergencies across different hotels and check-in processes. Now, with Duve – everything just works. I can focus on training, expansion, and deepening our integration with Duve.