15 Essential Sales Strategy for Hotel Teams
Published: July 18, 2023
According to EY , the future of hospitality looks bright. Most people are planning at least one trip in the next six months while businesses are going back to organizing live events, and digital nomads keep traveling the world. This means hotels can generate significant revenue if they have a good strategy in place.
In this post, we’re going to share 15 sales strategies for hotels to help you ensure your property stays fully booked for a big part of the year. But first, let’s look at the sales team's responsibilities.
Table of Contents
What do hotel sales teams do?
15 essential hotel sales strategies.
While securing high hotel occupancy is the daily bread and butter for sales teams, it’s not their only activity. Among others, they also:
Seek ways to boost revenue per room.
Sales reps come up with creative ideas on how to generate more profit from their guests. To reach (and, ideally, exceed) their quota they:
- Upsell (for example, convince guests to upgrade from a standard double to a room with a king-sized bed)
- Cross-sell (i.e., offer complementary products or services)
- Generate commission from partnerships with other local businesses
Build partnerships with businesses.
The types of businesses hotels partner up with depend on a few factors. These include the hotel size, location, and customer profile. Still, they can be roughly divided into two groups:
- Complementary services – think travel agencies, chauffeurs, wedding organizers, etc.
- Large businesses, which might choose the hotel for all of their individual and group bookings
Both of these B2B collaborations require sales team members to run outreach. The goal is to build relationships with decision-makers and turn their businesses into steady streams of income.
Seek feedback from guests.
Looking for feedback and putting it into action is the fastest route to success. The better the client experience, the higher the sales.
And it’s hard to figure out what is and isn’t working without asking customers, employees, vendors, and suppliers for their opinion. The great client experience will translate into returned visits, positive reviews, and word-of-mouth recommendations. All of which will boost revenue.
Cooperate with marketing on promotion strategies.
Marketing is the driving force behind finding new hotel guests and building a positive brand image. However, to reap the full benefits of marketing efforts, it’s vital that sales and marketing work together closely.
After all, no other department apart from the hotel front office staff knows the clients as well as sales. Add marketing’s creativity to it, and you're on your way to increasing your revenue.
To boost your hotel’s profitability, it’s worth following a number of tried-and-tested sales strategies for hotels. These include:
1. Create a hotel virtual tour.
Offering a virtual hotel tour is a great way to attract new visitors. Especially if the hotel acts as a wedding or conference venue. Potential guests can view the amenities, rooms, and banquet facilities and decide whether the hotel is worth paying a visit to. According to a study by Omni Hotels, offering virtual tours increases room bookings by 67% .
Check out this virtual tour of the Budapest Marriott Hotel:
What we like: Virtual hotel tours aid in creating a more authentic experience. Guests can get a real feel for what it would be like to stay in the hotel, which speeds up the decision-making process.
2. Be active on social media.
As of 2023, there are 4.9 billion social media users . And you know what they say — be where your customers are. Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok are great channels to communicate with your prospects. You can use them to advertise last-minute deals, promote new packages, and organize competitions. You can even ask guests to tag your brand in their photos for more visibility.
What we like: Being on social media not only allows you to stay close to your customers but also to appear more human and less business-like. It’s a great channel for building more personal relationships with your guests and prospects.
3. Offer promotions.
One of the most effective sales strategies for hotels is offering special deals. If you’ve ever visited booking.com , then you’ve probably noticed that they often offer promotions. For instance, if you spend at least $200 before June 23, you’ll get a 10% cashback. This creates a sense of urgency among visitors.
You can either offer discounts for early bookings or throw in a complimentary add-on. For example, a breakfast or a room upgrade. Or offer a free flower bouquet to all customers who book a table with you for Valentine’s dinner before January 30.
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How to Create a Hotel Marketing Plan
On television, the advertising industry may look glamorous. Marketing agencies are often viewed as high-status, fast-paced places to work, full of graphic artists, witty copywriters, and endless resources. In the real world, however, building a successful marketing strategy rarely appears as flashy as it does on TV. Good marketing content is built upon a strong foundation of data, research, and planning. Creating a thorough, focused hotel marketing plan begins the same way.
In this comprehensive guide, we’re covering the ins and outs of hotel marketing. We explore what a marketing plan is, what your hotel marketing plan should include, how to create one, and more. From identifying your target audience to measuring the success of your efforts, this guide takes you through the world of hotel marketing and provides actionable tips for improving your property’s strategy.
Create a game-changing hotel marketing plan
A marketing plan is a business’s overall game plan for advertising and marketing its goods or services to consumers. A hotel marketing plan details the strategies and activities that the property will undertake to attract more travelers, sell more rooms, increase profits, and continue to grow.
What should a hotel marketing plan include?
In addition to outlining the activities and campaigns the team will engage in, a hotel marketing plan should detail how its advertising strategies will address potential customers’ interests, needs, and desires. Build a comprehensive hotel marketing plan that includes the following:
- Your target market: Detail which demographics, market segments, traveler habits, or booking channels your advertising campaigns will target. Identify the needs and wants of current guests in addition to potential guests, travel partners, corporate accounts, groups, and meeting clients.
- Hotel value proposition: Your hotel marketing plan should include a clear value proposition statement detailing what your property does best. It should identify the primary concerns of your consumer (i.e., guest pain points ) and specify how booking with your hotel is the best way to solve that problem.
- Campaign characteristics: Within your plan, detail your hotel marketing plan goals, objectives, and a step-by-step guide of how each campaign or activity will function. Include campaign dates, duration, expenses, required materials, and the direct oversight necessary for each.
- Logistical details: Demonstrate which tools, resources, services, and platforms the hotel will use for each campaign.
- Performance analytics: Establish which metrics and hotel performance indicators will be used to measure the effectiveness of various marketing strategies.
From hotel to hotel, marketing plans will vary based on the property type, business model, and specific goals. For example, advertising for a luxury hotel will, and should, look very different from a branded chain hotel’s marketing.
How do hotels benefit from a marketing plan?
A comprehensive hotel marketing plan helps ensure that team efforts and department-specific action items align with the hotel’s overall goals and objectives. An inclusive marketing plan that details each department’s role in hotel promotions keeps everyone on the same page. It outlines how the hotel’s marketing efforts will help achieve a variety of goals and objectives, such as:
- Attracting new customers
- Increasing weekday business
- Capturing more revenue
- Filling need dates
- Growing profitability
- Boosting meeting and events bookings
- Improving guest loyalty
- Driving repeat visits
- Widening audience reach
- Strengthening online reputation
- Raising brand awareness
- Building better relationships
Create a marketing strategy that appeals to everyday travelers, who want similar things from a hotel, as well as members of your audience specifically—their interests, hobbies, and lifestyle.
How do hotels identify their target audience?
For hotel marketing plans to be successful, hotels must know who their current customers are and which customers they want to capture in the future. Identify your top-performing demographics and which segments account for future business on the books by digging into property management and revenue system reports or utilizing Cvent’s Business Intelligence tools. Identify your current and target audiences using valuable resources, such as:
- Historical data. Historical reporting shows the hotel’s performance in the past, outlining occupancy rates, average rates, and other vital data. Review past hotel performance reports to identify demand peaks and valleys, booking patterns, rate fluctuations, booking channel trends, market share shifts, and previously missed opportunities.
- Forecasting reports. Utilize hotel forecasting reports to get an overview of upcoming room nights, meetings, and revenue already on the books. Look for future booking trends. Identify gaps in rate, occupancy, need dates, high-demand dates, and so on, as it will inform your overall marketing strategy moving forward.
- Market segmentation. Segmenting hotel guests into different categories based on their travel and booking habits allows revenue managers and marketing teams to identify where their business is coming from. Utilize market segment performance reports to analyze how much of your business comes from each hotel market segment, such as transient travel, group, social, corporate, military, religious, local businesses, leisure, extended stay business, and so on.
- Booking channel performance. Hotels can utilize various advertising channels to attract customers and increase their audience reach, including the hotel’s website, affiliated brand.com sites, search engines, video advertisements, social media platforms, email, print marketing, and other hotel distribution channels . Monitor booking activity from each channel. Track third-party booking channels and OTA channel performance through the global distribution service (GDS).
As powerful as data can be, the best way a hotel’s marketing team can identify its customer base is to get to know them. Spend time talking with guests, interacting with them, and reviewing their feedback. Identify every place hotel guests can leave feedback, such as your Google listing, brand.com page, or Facebook account.
Monitor and engage with reviews on each platform to form a clearer picture of how guests perceive your property. Additionally, guest comments and reviews often include specific details that the marketing team could find helpful, such as where the traveler booked their reservation, their reason for travel, or details about what they did while they were in town.
Do hotel marketing plans include the competition?
Marketing is about more than attracting people to your brand or product; it’s also about increasing your market share by capturing business that once belonged to your competitors. If you don’t know which hotels are in your competitive set, establish how your property compares to nearby competitors in size, service level, star rating, age, brand, features, amenities, average rates, and reward offerings.
- Which chains or brands are you competing with?
- Which competitors have better amenities?
- Is your hotel older or newer than the competition?
- Have any competitors recently undergone renovations?
- Which hotels are full-service, and which are focused-service?
- What’s missing in the market?
- Is the market oversaturated? How?
Identify how you stack up against each and where your hotel currently ranks in the general market. Research the marketing strategies of property in your hotel’s competitive set . Identify how, when, and where they communicate with their customers and which marketing strategies they focus on most.
- How do your biggest competitors target their customers?
- What does their marketing look like? How does it stand out?
- How do they represent their brand in marketing materials?
- Do any of your competitors have similar branding?
- How many members of the comp set are active on social media?
- Which properties have a Facebook? Which are active on Instagram? TikTok?
- Do your competitors offer virtual hotel tours ?
- Which competing hotels produce the highest quality content? The lowest?
- What do you like about their strategies? What would you change?
Once you have a clear idea of how competitors target their customers, you’ll be better equipped to create compelling marketing campaigns that outshine them. Determine which hotels are your biggest competitors and track their performance in the Competitive Set Dashboard . Analyze how shifting marketing strategies or new marketing activities affect business distribution in the market.
How do you create a hotel marketing plan?
Whether you’re a seasoned hotelier or have just stepped into the wide world of hospitality for the first time, designing a marketing plan doesn’t have to be overwhelming. With so many moving parts and marketing channels to consider, it can be challenging to know where to start. Follow the ten simple steps below to create a thorough hotel marketing plan with a solid foundation.
1. Identify your target audience
Outline which guest demographics and market segments the marketing plan will target. For instance, specify which campaigns will target group travel and which activities will attract transient travelers. Are all the marketing strategies aimed at individual travelers, or are some designed to attract corporate clients and travel planners? In addition to verifying your target audience, identify which campaigns are aimed at specific dates, travel patterns, or booking channels.
2. Confirm your marketing goals
Identify the objectives and goals for each campaign and activity included in your hotel marketing plan. A particular marketing strategy may be designed to achieve a single purpose or a combination of performance goals, such as:
- Increase revenue
- Improve ADR
- Strengthen guest loyalty
- Book more events
- Increase room night production
- Attract wedding business
3. Determine your marketing budget
Determine how much money is in your overall budget so that appropriate amounts can be allocated to different strategies and marketing channels. Take advantage of budget restrictions, and place parameters on social media ad campaigns when available. For example, Facebook and Instagram allow you to determine how much you’ll spend on ad campaigns in advance and set a spending limit, ensuring that you only spend allocated marketing money.
4. Establish a specific point of view
What reputation are you trying to build: luxury, affordable, flexible, business-friendly, tech-savvy, or something else? Establish how your marketing content and strategies promote your distinct point of view. Create a style and voice the hotel will use across all platforms to cultivate a clear, distinguishable viewpoint for your hotel.
5. Optimize online content
Improving the hotel’s online content and listing consistency can substantially impact how easy it is to find your property using search engines. The more optimized a business’s content is, the higher it will appear; the higher your listing result, the more likely a potential customer will see it. As most consumers only scan the first few search results , how high your property ranks can influence whether or not travelers encounter your property or a competitor’s first.
Optimizing hotel SEO can maximize exposure and increase your audience reach, but building quality search engine content takes time. Begin by locating all hotel websites, social media accounts, OTA listings, and other venue profiles. If you haven’t already, find and take ownership of the hotel’s Google Business listing . Ensure that hotel information is accurate and up to date across all listings, and consistently work to optimize online content by:
- Reading and responding to guest reviews
- Answering questions and responding to comments
- Engaging with user-generated content
- Providing consumers with content they find valuable
- Using high-ranking, relative phrases and keywords
Improve your hotel’s ranking further by using Geolocation services like Geo-targeting, Geofencing, and beaconing. Activating your listing location will help the hotel capture customers searching familiar location-based phrases like “hotels nearby,” “Hotels in Jacksonville,” or “Virginia Beach waterfront hotels.”
6. Create exciting packages and enticing offers
Create distinct hotel packages and exclusive offers that set your property apart from others in the area and highlight what you do best. Determine how you will advertise each package (e.g., via email, on your website, and search engine advertisements) and who will receive the promotions.
Think about what incentives your target demographics will find appealing. Are you attempting to capture the business of out-of-town tourists? If so, they may find a marketing campaign highlighting nearby attractions and high-rated restaurants intriguing. A promotional campaign offering a discount on mid-week room blocks could capture the attention of a corporate travel planner sourcing in your area.
7. Organize an email marketing strategy
Email is a powerful marketing tool for hotels, allowing marketing teams to reach a large number of targeted guests quickly. If you don’t already have one, build an email marketing list. Make it easy for guests and interested consumers to join the list by creating a secure opt-in form and featuring it prominently on the hotel’s website. During the sign-up process, request helpful information regarding the individual’s travel preferences, transportation needs, room type preferences, or interests.
Reach out to mailing lists regularly to promote special offers, limited-time offerings, and upcoming events. Send guests a reminder email before arrival and follow up with them afterward regarding their stay. In addition to keeping in touch with guests, email marketing can be used to capture additional business. Set up ad retargeting emails to reconnect with potential guests who’ve interacted with your property online.
8. Set campaign parameters
Determine when each campaign will run, how long it will last, and which marketing channels you will use. Confirm how your team will track the strategy’s success and which metrics they will track to measure it. Outline who is working on the campaign, what everyone’s role is, and who will lead the effort.
9. Automate hotel marketing
Automate as much of your hotel marketing as possible to save time, reduce errors, and simplify the advertising process. Write emails, create social media content in bulk, and schedule it to go out later. An entire marketing campaign can be completed in a single sitting and designed to run automatically for a predetermined period or specified date. Automate marketing emails that regularly promote discounts, packages, and limited-time offers to keep them at the forefront of customers’ minds.
10. Track campaign activity
Track rate code usage, shifts in ADR, occupancy rates, market segment performance, changes in booking pace, and other key performance indicators to identify how well your marketing strategies and campaigns are achieving their goals. Use the Hotel Performance Dashboard to gain high-level insight into RFP, venue, and sales activity.
Find out how the top hotels market themselves
Evaluating the success of your hotel marketing plan
Regularly review each of your hotel marketing campaigns to track activity and performance. Identify which strategies have been the most successful, the least successful, and which could benefit from improvement. Determine which channels and strategies your target audience engaged with the most, and reorganize future marketing plans around your top performers.
A hotel marketing plan should be fluid; it should evolve with changes in performance, shifts in the market, and future forecast fluctuations. Spend more time focused on your most successful booking channels and marketing strategies while eliminating services, ads, or booking channel subscriptions that do not benefit the hotel.
Tips for maximizing marketing potential
Follow these tips to streamline advertising efforts and maximize the potential of your hotel marketing plan.
- Make content shareable and mobile-friendly
Consider how different advertising content will appear on phones, via email, laptops, or a desktop. Connect hotel accounts and social media platforms to make it easier for online guests to share and engage with marketing content. Include account handles, campaign hashtags , and direct links in hotel marketing materials so consumers can quickly jump from one channel to the next.
- Test email marketing for engagement first
Create finely segmented email lists based on consumer travel habits, hobbies, lifestyle, and willingness to spend. Split test marketing emails to identify which layouts and content types audience members interact with most.
- Embrace experiential marketing with a virtual hotel tour
With Cvent’s Event Diagramming software , hotels can create photorealistic 3D recreations of their property and invite guests to fully immerse themselves in a virtual hotel tour. Remote visitors can walk through the lobby, explore guestrooms, and experience your property from a photorealistic first-person perspective. Planners can picture their events in your meeting room and see how well your property can accommodate group travel. They can visualize what a stay at your hotel will be like before ever stepping foot on the property.
Embrace social media as a necessary marketing channel, even if you’re not a fan. Encourage guests, potential customers, and online audience members to create and share their own content on hotel social media pages, as user-generated content is typically more potent than business-generated marketing.
- Delegate marketing tasks and channels based on strengths
You may need to become more familiar with Instagram or TikTok, but there could be an employee at the front desk or in housekeeping who already has a passion for it. Do you have a photography fan or cinema buff on staff? Could you work together to create visually compelling and engaging video content?
- Invest in hotel marketing tools and media
Photos and videos tell online viewers a lot about your hotel and can affect their impression of your property. Invest in high-quality tools, professional services, and software solutions to remain competitive in an increasingly digital world.
Consistency is a critical component of successful hotel marketing, so check into all of your accounts frequently. Regularly post content, engage with user content, read guest reviews, and consistently respond to comments from audience members. In addition to having your finger on the pulse of your audience, engaging with and responding to consumers in a timely, consistent manner will help strengthen your online reputation.
Still have questions about your hotel’s marketing plan?
If you’re looking for additional guidance to improve your hotel marketing plan, content, or execution, check out our answers to frequently asked questions below.
1. How should hotels use retargeted ads?
Retargeted email ads are sent to consumers and travel planners who showed interest in your property but didn’t confirm a booking. The ad may highlight an upgraded room type, a promotional discount, or celebrate hotel amenities to recapture their interest and move them closer toward booking.
Serve retargeted ads to individuals who visited your website and engaged in interested consumer activity (e.g., looking at various room types) but left before booking a reservation. Similarly, follow up with planners who looked at meeting room availability but didn’t submit an inquiry. 2. What kind of content should hotels use in marketing campaigns?
Attract potential customers and maintain a strong relationship with guests by providing them with content they find valuable. Keep them up-to-date on exciting area events, hotel renovations, staff recognition, and other exciting hotel happenings. Is there a nearby golf course that drives business to your hotel? If so, golf-loving guests may find updates about club events, tournaments, and course packages valuable.
3. How can hotels connect with their guests through marketing?
Build a stronger connection with current and prospective guests by providing them with insider knowledge, or an “inside scoop,” on hotel happenings. Encourage online and onsite hotel-guest engagement, and use storytelling in your marketing to help audience members make a more personal connection with the property.
Attract your target audience with a hotel marketing plan that works!
When guests and potential customers see your marketing, they should immediately associate the visual with your hotel. A strong brand identity makes your property distinguishable and easier to identify, and it lets potential customers know what they can expect when staying with you. Up next, we explore the power of hotel branding and help you build a brand identity that attracts members of your target audience.
Kim is a full-time copy and content writer with many years of experience in the hospitality industry. She entered the hotel world in 2013 as a housekeeping team member and worked her way through various departments before being appointed to Director of Sales. Kim has championed numerous successful sales efforts, revenue strategies, and marketing campaigns — all of which landed her a spot on Hotel Management Magazine’s “Thirty Under 30” list.
Don’t be fooled though; she’s not all business! An avid forest forager, post-apocalyptic fiction fan, and free-sample-fiend, Kim prides herself on being well-rounded.
12 hotel marketing trends to watch in 2024, the green hotel: the future king of hospitality, the guest survey: the powerful tactic in your tourism toolbox.
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Ready, Set, Leverage Hospitality Market Insights!
The ultimate guide to hotel Marketing
Packed with trends, data points, and insights from industry professionals, this hotel Marketing guide offers a one-stop shop for essential marketing strategies for hotels to drive and capture more demand, reservations, and revenue.
What is hotel marketing?
- Why is hotel marketing important?
Successful hotel marketing strategies
- Marketing for independent hotels
How has Covid reshaped hotel Marketing?
Compressed booking window
Shifting distribution mix.
- Fast-changing demand
- Limited marketing budget
New traveler expectations
Hotel Digital Marketing Strategy
- Direct (Brand.com)
- Hotel paid advertizing strategies
- Hotel social media
- Hotel metasearch
- Online travel agencies (OTAs)
- Travel sellers and Global Distribution Systems (GDS)
Using a data-driven hotel Marketing strategies
- Forward-looking market data
Channel performance data
Destination-based data, guest journey data.
Hotel digital Marketing regulations and framework
- Why digital Marketing regulations matter
A world without third-party cookies
Gdpr for hotels, mobile-friendly hotel websites.
The ultimate guide to elevating guest satisfaction
Elevating guest satisfaction is the ultimate goal for any hotel but in reality, this is much more complex than it sounds.
This comprehensive guide provides an all-encompassing rundown for hotels on how to delight guests, including top strategies you can start implementing today.
Hotel guest satisfaction
- What is hotel guest satisfaction?
- Why is guest satisfaction so important?
- How guest satisfaction impacts hotel reviews
- Top factors influencing guest satisfaction and reviews
Hotel guest satisfaction best practices
- Personalize, personalize, personalize
- Post-booking communication
- Offer freebies and complimentary services
- Implement in-room technology
- Be proactive in your service
- Reward repeat guests
- Offer multiple communication channels
- Create an inclusive experience for all
Addressing heightened hotel cleanliness expectations
- Current trends in housekeeping post-Covid
- Hotel cleaning trends and best practices
- Guest health and safety action plan
Hotel maintenance trends and best practices
- Why is hotel maintenance important?
- Suggested hotel maintenance guidelines
Building a more satisfied, engaged hotel staff
- Hotel labor shortages
- Clustering hotel teams
- Hotel staff safety
Maximizing technology to improve the guest experience
- Hospitality as a human business
- Technology to augment personal interactions
- Digital transformation in hotel operations
- An increasing contactless hotel experience
Changing dynamics of guest satisfaction
- How has the pandemic impacted hotel service?
- New guest behaviors
- New top guest requests
Ready, Set, Increase Guest Satisfaction!
The ultimate guide to generating guest loyalty
Guest loyalty is what all hotels strive for in today’s competitive hospitality marketplace, yet many fail to achieve it to a significant degree.
In this guide we dive into the evolving nature of guest loyalty to position your brand for successful long term guest relationships.
- What is guest loyalty?
- Why is guest loyalty more important than ever?
- How to measure guest loyalty
The changing dynamics of guest loyalty
- How COVID-19 has impacted guest loyalty
- Guest loyalty today
- The challenges with loyalty today
- Looking towards the future of guest loyalty
Hotel loyalty program types and examples
- Surprise and delight
- Cash back & points
- Value-add rewards
- Include a mix for the max
Building an effective guest loyalty strategy
- Re-engaging guests: old and new
- Creating dynamic marketing strategies
- Driving engagement and collecting guest data
- Leveraging your hotel CRM data
A personalized guest experience: the key to guest loyalty
- The new traveler journey
- Pre-stay: A personalized booking experience
- On-stay: Providing a personalized experience
- Post-stay: Keeping your guests engaged
- Connecting the dots across the traveler journey
Guest loyalty in a human-first industry
- Cultural guidelines for better connections
- Loyalty starts with recognition
- Guest loyalty's “new normal”
Ready, Set, Generate Guest Loyalty!
DRIVE PROFITABLE DEMAND
The ultimate guide to hotel marketing
Marketing is critical to a hotel’s success since it serves as the foundation to promote your business, outperform your competitive set, and make a positive impression on customers.
Packed with trends, data points, and insights from industry professionals, this guide offers a one-stop shop for essential marketing strategies to drive and capture more demand, reservations, and revenue.
We’ll provide an all-encompassing rundown of hotel marketing, including an explanation of why it’s important, how to plan flexibly, and the key tactics to incorporate.
Table of content
Hotel digital marketing strategies and distribution channels
- Hotel website marketing
- Hotel SEO Marketing
- Online Travel Agencies (OTAs)
- Hotel email marketing
Using data-driven hotel marketing strategies
Hotel digital marketing news
- Why digital marketing regulations matter
How has Covid reshaped hotel marketing?
Ready, set, drive demand!
Hotel marketing is an overarching term referring to the different marketing strategies, tactics, and techniques that hotels use to drive awareness and revenue.
Hotel marketing strategies can range from visual design elements, to brand positioning, or tailored messaging to help hotels stand out from the competition.
Up-to-date technology and digital media campaigns also contribute towards building awareness and revenue for your hotel.
Online advertising is always evolving, and hotel brands must keep pace with the ever-changing digital landscape.
Across your website, social media, search engines, and other online marketing channels, your presence and messaging should feel seamless and consistent.
Why is hotel marketing important?
According to Amadeus’ Demand360® data, traveler confidence is growing and this trend will continue throughout 2023.
Your property should position and prepare itself to capture rising revenue opportunities. Hotel marketing helps advertisers in hospitality bring awareness and consideration of their accomodation offers and services to prospective guests.
And despite today's fluctuating demand, it’s necessary to build a solid marketing strategy that attracts, converts, and retains guests.
By conveying your unique selling proposition and implementing the right hotel marketing strategies, hotels can reach out to, interact with, and attract more potential customers.
Hotel marketing strategies play a prominent role in helping hotel brands drive customer engagement and stay top-of-mind.
Hotels can reach customers in different ways using a diverse range of activities to maximize its chance of securing bookings and achieving revenue targets.
To emerge stronger from the pandemic, your hotel should develop a multi-channel marketing approach.
You can start by building and optimizing a smart hotel media strategy for attracting leisure travelers as well as business from travel sellers.
Below is also a downloadable guide to help you build the ultimate hotel marketing strategy along with relevant research, actionable insights, and data points so you can make informed decisions and save time planning.
2023 Hotel Marketing Strategies eBook
Download the eBook to learn more about digital advertising, metasearch, SEO, email marketing, blogging, loyalty programs, and much more.
In this eBook, we provide tips and tactics that hotel marketers can leverage when targeting travelers throughout the different stages of their journey:
- The Inspiration Stage
- The Planning Stage
- The Booking Stage
- The On-Site Experience Stage
- The Post-Trip Stage
Independent hotel marketing strategies
For independent hotels, it is critical to not only have an effective marketing strategy that draws guests in, but one that also converts them into loyal customers. This can be challenging in the competitive independent market, but there are ways to conquer this challenge and ultimately increase your return on investment. A successful marketing strategy starts with knowing your travelers on a deeper level, hearing their feedback, and engaging with them throughout the travel lifecycle to create a lasting impression. Here are 4 ways to ignite your independent hotel's marketing strategy .
In addition to competing with existing independent properties, branded hotels and alternative accommodations, each local market exhibits its own set of unique challenges, and it may seem impossible to find solutions for them all. With that in mind, it is advisable to conduct a SWOT analysis. Conducting a SWOT analysis of your competitive set, can inform your overall business strategy, build your brand, and enable you to establish a solid foothold in your local market. Find out more about the benefits of conducting a SWOT analysis for independent hotels .
Finally, independent hotels need to establish the right mix of direct and online booking channels to maximize revenue and take full advantage of any projected market growth. They should explore all their distribution options, including how these channels can benefit their business, to create a multi-faceted mix that meets the unique needs of their market. The best distribution strategy enhances spend, reach, and results. Optimizing your channel mix should be an ongoing process - especially in uncertain times. Our guide to new independent hotel openings covers how to implement independant hotel distribution channels along with launching promotions and loyalty programs.
Let's embark on an engaging journey into the landscape of hotel digital marketing methods, discovering the different channels and strategies that will allow you to broaden your customer reach, maximize profits and increase bookings.
1. Hotel direct / website marketing
The hotel’s website is generally the most profitable for online booking. Direct bookings are essential because as hotels struggle with rising costs, they are redoubling efforts to have customers book direct to cut out not only the fees associated with Online Travel Agencies (OTAs), but also the relationships OTAs are able to form and leverage with the customers who are loyal to them.
While the channel mix continues to evolve globally, hotels now have the opportunity to optimize the number of direct bookings and potentially grow its percentage of the overall channel mix equity through direct hotel bookings . To bring greater balance back to the online booking equation and improve the performance of direct channels, there are several ways you can guide shoppers to your direct channel. Combating issues with rate parity, employing a robust metasearch strategy, developing sophisticated keyword search and other SEO strategies, and launching omnichannel campaigns are all great ways to shift more potential guests to Brand.com.
Once you have a greater volume of guests in your direct ecosystem, it’s key to deliver a more seamless user experience, engage them with special offers, use remarketing to capture guests who have abandoned the booking process, and send personalized follow-up messages and offers.
Mastering the Art of Direct Booking
Download this eBook to ensure:
- Your website stands out against the competition.
- To leverage practical direct booking strategies.
- Your guest´s first reservation channel is Direct.
- To personalize the whole booking experience.
2. Hotel SEO marketing
The first step in increasing direct bookings for your hotel is to drive more search traffic to the hotel’s website (Brand.com) through hotel SEO marketing, or Hotel search engine optimization. This refers to the process of optimizing and improving a hotel’s website so that it ranks higher in search engines (such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing) and consequently, gains more online exposure.
An effective digital presence strategy should begin with positioning your hotel’s website on online search engines to win more visibility and maximize direct booking revenue, while beat the competition to the top spot in search results. To attract more guests to your hotel, you need to make sure your website appears at the top of search engine results when people search for hotels in your area. This requires optimizing your website for search engines through techniques such as keyword research, meta tags, and content optimization. Make sure your website is also mobile-friendly and easy to navigate.
Check out our S EO Best Practices for Hotels infographic for key steps we recommend in order to enhance your property’s presence in organic searches. The checklist can be used to identify areas of improvement for your property or chain’s SEO strategy. Although SEO works with organic search and is a free traffic source, there is a certain cost associated with the work, effort, budget, and time put into SEO itself.
To learn more about hotel SEO marketing, visit our dedcated page: A Hotelier’s Quick Guide to Hotel SEO Marketing: What Is It and How Does It Work?
3. Hotel paid advertising strategies
Maintaining paid digital advertising isn’t just important now. Absent any investment, you’ll concede market share to competitors and OTAs.
A highly-targeted pay-per-click ads strategy enables your hotel to pick up any demand through search engines and cement your position in your market, before competitors and OTAs begin aggressively threatening your share. Find out more about how to increase hotel bookings with pay-per-click advertising .
Working on essential hotel search engine marketing tactics and building out automation can help you capitalize on rising demand, get your hotel ready to capture it, and continuously optimize to respond to the market.
A shift to automated ads and other dynamic formats that deliver relevant creative ads will also help you scale your advertising efforts where they are most successful and rapidly adjust to changes in your market demand to get the most out of your dollar.
Automating your hotel ads is the best way to ensure they show against relevant queries as people are searching for hotels.
- Dynamic Search Ads (DSA) quickly generate a clear, attractive headline that links to a relevant landing page on your site when potential guests search for terms closely related to titles and frequently used phrases on your website.
- Responsive Search Ads (RSA) adapt your ad’s content to match potential customers’ search terms more closely.
4. Hotel social media
Hotel social media is a powerful tool as it plays a key part of the purchasing process, with the research stage influencing decisions more than ever before. For hotels, it refers to the actvity of creating social media profiles for your hotel on popular platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and regularly post engaging content that showcases your hotel's unique features and amenities.
Following the right social media marketing strategies is important, because most travelers today turn to that channel when choosing the hotel for their next stay. It can encourage guests to share their experiences using hashtags and geotags to increase visibility. As much as 42% of consumers say social media influences what and where they’re buying .
Take Instagram for example - with millions of potential bookers, it’s clear that it needs to form a clear part of any hotelier’s marketing strategy. Here's our article on how to increase your hotel visibility through Instagram .
Leveraging social media influencers can effectively market your hotel, offering potential guests a captivating narrative from a trusted source. These influencers, with their extensive reach and engagement, can provide an intimate perspective of your establishment, stirring enthusiasm for a potential stay. Partnering with such influencers can generate buzz and drive business growth.
Brand advocates , passionate customers familiar with your brand, can significantly enhance your social strategy. Their authentic recommendations and social media presence can amplify your hotel's visibility. Empowering these advocates to share your hotel brand story is crucial.
Online reviews are a key marketing tool, providing feedback and influencing your hotel's reputation. Managing responses on platforms like TripAdvisor, Yelp, and Facebook directly affects sales. These reviews also help identify operational improvements and refine marketing strategies. Resources like our ' Hotelier's Guide to managing online reviews ' can assist in monitoring your online presence.
The Hotelier’s Guide to Managing Online Reviews
Download your free copy to receive:
- 10 best practices for responding to online reviews
- 3 response templates for email or online reviews
- 2 response templates for social media reviews
5. Metasearch for hotels
Metasearch engines for hotels are search engines where third-party suppliers such as OTAs, brands, and independents are aggregated and compared. These channels have gained popularity in recent years due to their ability to simplify the online shopping process and list competitive hotel prices. Google, TripAdvisor, Kayak, Trivago and Skyscanner all offer metasearch.
Metasearch engines allow hotels to:
- target the right guests with Google audiences for search (in the case of Google)
- retrieve data from multiple OTAs and other sales channels (including hotel websites)
- present booking options to potential guests simultaneously for easy comparisons
- ensure their website (Brand.com) appears as an attractive option through rate parity
The world of metasearch is more dynamic than ever and by building a digital media plan that leverages it as a key strategy, hotels have an opportunity to capture a greater share of the market. Here are some of the 3 recent Google Metasearch features to support a hotel’s potential to drive bookings and maximize revenue in an evolving online ecosystem and how your hotel can incorporate them into your digital marketing strategy.
By building a digital media plan that leverages metasearch, hoteliers have an opportunity to capture a greater share of the market as demand grows.
6. OTAs for hotels
Online travel agencies (OTAs) such as Expedia and Booking.com can help you reach a wider audience and increase bookings. Travelers gravitate towards OTAs for the ease of comparison shopping as well as a relatively smooth booking experience. OTAs connect them to a full breadth of travel providers and hotel inventory to consider for their next trip. Visit our complete guide to online travel agencies in 2023 .
Sites such as Booking.com, Expedia, and Priceline typically spend millions of dollars on marketing annually, providing your hotel with advertising coverage that would be difficult to gain otherwise. OTAs are often conversion-oriented and user-friendly, allowing travelers to compare multiple options on the same screen. There are many OTAs available, so choose the one that best speaks to your target audience.
Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) dominate the online booking landscape due to their technological prowess, understanding of online shopping strategies, and loyalty programs, enabling travelers to self-serve from research to booking with a great user experience. However, while OTAs are vital business partners for hotels, they can be less profitable, hence a balance between OTA and direct bookings is necessary for hotels to maximize revenue and capitalize on projected market growth.
Some hotel companies tout the strength of their brands and see OTAs as just another distribution channel, while others see them as a threat to their businesses, this is why hotels must ensure they maintain rate parity , to drive revenue in a competitive market. While OTAs have been and will continue to be crucial business partners for properties of all shapes and sizes, they are often a less profitable booking channel for the hotel.
7. Travel sellers and Global Distribution Systems (GDS)
Travel seller or GDS bookings remain an overlooked yet lucrative source of revenue for hoteliers since they are frequently shopping and booking on behalf of clients. Hotels should capture travel seller GDS bookings and try to establish themselves as a known entity within the GDS marketplace so that agents are willing to recommend and sell your hotel to their customers.
Pre-pandemic, the total number of hotel bookings on global distribution systems was increasing year-over-year with no signs of slowing down. Now it’s time to think about how you can boost your performance on this channel.
Today more than ever, the partnership between hoteliers and travel sellers and improving relationships with travel sellers are key to increase bookings. For instance you can share relevant information about your property in the GDS to catch the eye of travel sellers or make your property more attractive with features like flexible cancellations, room service, and contactless check-in.
Travel sellers play a key role in connecting hotels and travelers, especially given the increasing flexibility and changes that travelers require. This positions them as a valuable resource as they are experts in handling issues like sudden changes to their bookings. rebooking, while helping businesses more effectively manage and update corporate travel bookings and policies for safety and compliance.
8. Hotel GDS media
Hotel GDS advertizing allows hoteliers to optimize their presence and drive revenue through targeted advertising served directly to travel sellers during the shopping and booking process by displaying priority placement, text, and display campaigns.
Hotel GDS advertising is a valuable channel to help build visibility and show travel agents why they should book your property over the competition.
Actively target travel sellers while they search for a property in your market and offer a bonus commission when possible. Here are 5 ways to improve your relationships with travel agents .
With more emphasis and importance placed on support from travel agents, now is a good time to restart your GDS media campaigns to drive and capture increasing demand.
Hoteliers can significantly grow GDS hotel bookings for their properties that are preferentially placed by providing them with increased visibility in comparison to those properties that are not featured.
There are different formats for each placement:
- Graphical Banners: The help visualize promotions, product and/or services, highlighting the main features of the offering.
- Text: Text messages are cohesive with the page content, assimilated into the design, and consistent with the platform behavior. Promoted text messages appear upon log in and search results.
- Featured / Preferred Content: Preferencing gives your hotel preferred placement over non-subscribers.
- Video: Use videos, virtual tours, and other interactive materials to show value to travel sellers.
How to Reach and Target Travel Agents on GDSs
Download this eBook to learn more about how to:
- best navigate 2023: Trust travel agents for seamless trip planning.
- leverage the skyrocketing post-COVID GDS usage.
- optimize your brand on GDSs to reach agents effectively.
- stay ahead with our latest travel agency trends report.
Master GDS marketing with our actionable guide & checklist.
9. Hotel Email Marketing
Hotel email marketing is also an essential strategy for hotels to promote their services and increase bookings through targeted and personalized email campaigns. By using email marketing, hotels can connect with potential guests, build customer relationships, and drive revenue growth. Choose from our carefully crafted hotel email templates for a consistent and polished guest communication strategy.
For instance, are you looking to increase your hotel's occupancy rates during low season? Hotel email marketing can be an effective channel to adress that.
In our dedicated article on Hotel email marketing , we explore the power of targeted and personalized email campaigns in connecting with potential guests, building customer relationships, and driving revenue growth for your hotel. Get ready to take your marketing strategy to the next level and boost your bookings like never before!
Data-driven hotel marketing strategies
As hotel occupancy rates are increasing and global demand is growing, hoteliers are presented with the challenges of repositioning, retargeting, and reviving their respective brands to meet the needs of emerging demand in 2022. In this section, we uncover how hotels can undertake more data-driven strategies to face these new challenges.
Forward-looking market insights
An important lesson that has emerged from the pandemic is the need for forward-looking business intelligence data.
Predictable travel trends and booking behaviors were entirely disrupted in early 2020 and 2021, invalidating the use of historical data to base hotel strategies such as pricing.
Although old data can still provide useful context, real-time and forward-looking hotel occupancy data should now take center stage in your pricing strategy.
It is important to rethink the way you do business now and, in the future, because you’re facing a travel environment that requires you to continuously evaluate evolving market data while assessing which channels perform best.
How to Fuel Your Media Strategy with 360° Data
In this guide, we uncover how to:
- leverage data from different platforms
- take stock of your position in the market
- compare yourself against your competition
- build a robust data-based media strategy
Another important lesson that has emerged from the pandemic is that the creation of a cross-channel approach must be part of your recovery plan. For instance, you may notice that in some markets, bookings through travel agencies are increasing as travelers are looking for experts to navigate the uncertainty around ever-changing travel regulations.
As you monitor the performance of channels shown to influence demand to your property, it becomes clear that the need to establish a successful multi-channel distribution strategy will be essential.
By having clear visibility on shifting traveler booking patterns and behaviors on each channel, you can ensure relevant content is available and easily found across different booking channels and confidently establish pricing strategies accordingly.
Once you understand all areas that impact expected demand, you should be targeting your audience across an effective mix of channels. Hoteliers must thus plan for recovery through a data and omnichannel based approach .
Understanding where business is coming from allows you to better allocate resources accordingly and shift marketing efforts to the most profitable channels. Here are 4 tips to help you improve your marketing mix with hospitality business intelligence .
Hoteliers now also have the chance to better identify and engage consumers who are actively looking for a room in their area by leveraging data such as Google Search information for their destination, including in-market audiences and detailed demographics.
Through these insights, you can identify travelers who are likely to book based on hard data and craft more relevant messaging and incentives that make a larger impact on your target audiences. Hoteliers can achieve this by targeting the right guests for their hotel with Google’s audiences for search.
Finally, analyzing the digital experience along the traveler journey remains critical to acquiring the next generation of digital-savvy customers.
A hotel guest journey allows you to map all the steps or touchpoints your guests go through during their booking process or website navigation. These online interactions leave a trace of data behind, that hotel brands can in turn use to understand their guests' needs and desires, and anticipate their expectations and personlize their web experience.
In the below Hospitality Marketing Masterclass episode of our Unpacking Travel podcast, we discuss with Rand Fishkin, founder and CEO of SparkToro, how the guest journey has been evolving from search to post-stay, and how hoteliers can maximize both their marketing efforts and their budgets accordingly.
Unpacking Travel Podcast: A Hospitality Marketing Masterclass with Rand Fishkin
In this podcast we discuss:
- the guest journey from search to post-stay
- how to maximize hotel marketing efforts
- how hoteliers can optimize their budgets
- where to focus your marketing efforts
Hotel marketing news
Online advertising activity is always evolving, and hotel brands must keep pace with the ever-changing digital landscape, such as new technologies and regulations.
Advertisers in particular are seeing an increased number of compliance obligations, regulations, and also the emergence of new technologies that are changing market dynamics.
What is the digital marketing regulatory framework and why does it matter?
Over the last two decades, we have witnessed a true explosion of marketing on the internet and it has become the fastest means of advertising of this decade.
The rise of online marketing grew from an era of little consumer tracking capabilities to almost unlimited access to tracking user data across the internet.
This evolution in tracking capabilities based on data such as user behavior or user attributes increasingly raised data privacy concerns and started raising the need for the government to step in to protect citizens from how their data was tracked, used and sold across the web.
For more than a decade, advertisers have been relying on cookies and other web tracking solutions for targeting, retargeting, and display advertising. But recent privacy-related announcements by Google and Apple to control the collection of data collected by websites and applications, have challenged some of the fundamentals of online advertising.
Recent advancements from Google are also changing how we analyze the consumer’s purchasing path and observe whether a booking has taken place. New privacy controls are changing the digital advertising landscape , such as on browser privacy navigation settings, data collection and user tracking, have changed the way advertisers can run personalized ads based on user interests.
But Google has announced the extension of its self-imposed deadline to block third-party cookies as a default in its Chrome web browser until late 2023, allowing advertisers to better strategize on moving to new user identifying technologies and to take more time to turn these strategies into practice. So as we transition into a world without third-party cookies, hotel advertisers should define new approaches for targeted advertising and rethink hotel marketing strategies with first-party data in mind .
In order to accurately attribute and assess the effectiveness of marketing campaigns amidst changing privacy regulations, Google has introduced conversion modeling in a world without cookies . It estimates the number of conversions by using a predictive algorithm after looking at historical campaign data that is part of its media platform.
General Data Protection Regulation, better known as GDPR , has also impacted hotel industry practices worldwide. The law revolutionized data privacy across Europe, expanding rights for consumers while mapping out strict new guidelines for businesses and building the foundations of the digital marketing regulatory framework.
GDPR applies not only to European companies but to all companies processing European consumer data, making it the most far-reaching legislation of its kind in 20 years. Here are 3 considerations to make while aligning your hotel for GDPR .
In the age of personalization, data protection laws such as GDPR are a juggling act for the hospitality industry. The collection of consumer data is critical for organizations to build loyalty among guests and understand their behavior and preference in order to craft their marketing strategies, so it is important to ensure you are choosing adequate hospitality technology in a Post-GDPR World .
Here are the 4 questions to ask to determine where you can entrust your data and hence decide if you have clear policies about how personal data is processed. These include policies about data management, staff training, restricting system access to employees and more.
Google has also made a major update to its mobile search algorithm that will change the way hotels promote their properties online.
This algorithm helps users find mobile-friendly hotel pages and changes the order in which websites are ranked in the Google search engine when users search for something from their phone.
Ensure your hotel website is mobile-friendly to avoid being penalized and denoted in search rankings.
The pandemic has raised a lot of questions across the industry, including how to adapt hotel marketing strategies to continue to attract and convert guests in an uncertain environment with shifting government regulations.
What can hoteliers do to inspire travelers in these conditions and how will Covid continue to evolve guest purchasing behaviors?
The compression of the reservation booking window during the pandemic was unprecedented. At the height of the outbreak in 2020, the average lead time for hotel bookings shrank to just 0-7 days, according to Amadeus Demand360 data.
This behavior has persisted throughout Covid, as most guests are booking last-minute and engaging more with last-minute offers.
Now as we shift to pre-pandemic norms, it will require hoteliers to closely monitor their local market conditions and have a wide range of strategies ready to deploy. This includes digital media and advertising, which ranked as the most helpful technology during the pandemic in a global hoteliers survey carried out by Amandeus Hospitality: Rebuilding Hospitality: Trends in Demand, Data and Technology That are Driving Recovery .
Covid has changed the way people are shopping for hotels, and comparing trends against historical data makes it nearly impossible to recognize success in today’s market. This means that what may have constituted as a “high performance” channel for your hotel may have changed. It’s important to ensure your distribution strategy is still producing results – and that you are maximizing your visibility on today's high-performing channels.
To capture the most opportunity moving forward, hoteliers will have to look to multi-channel marketing strategies to test new channels that may work better for them today. This allows opportunities to drive more bookings and optimize your property’s ability to capture recovering demand. Here are 5 key steps to consider when building a successful hotel marketing plan .
Pairing proactive email marketing campaigns with tailored advertising and promotions on paid search, display, social, SEO, metasearch, and GDS will keep your hotel highly visible on the channels where travelers and travel sellers are looking and booking.
Fast changing demand
It may have been a normal process to map out business strategies on an annual basis, but the pandemic is changing the dynamic of travel too quickly for any decision to stay relevant long-term. Today, hotels must regularly evaluate demand indicators to understand when and how to communicate to guests.
You should be prepared to pivot your plan based on what your data is telling you. Start by having a look into recovery trends in your region and analyze how to capture rising revenue opportunity in your hotel market . You can then discover how to translate this information into a successful marketing campaign that produces higher revenue-generating bookings.
Because your audience has likely shifted since 2019, it is recommended to analyze all available data to understand new booking behaviors and guest personas. To find out more on what’s top of mind of some of the biggest travel brands, hospitality experts and tourism agencies in 2022, read the following article: 5 actionable hotel marketing tips from the experts who’ve used them.
Reduced marketing budget
As hotels recover from the pandemic, decision-makers may be tempted to reduce budget and resources allocated to marketing. But cutting the marketing budget may have a negative reaction on your hotel, since it would also strip your property’s access to potential guests looking for accommodations.
Your marketing efforts might not have the same ROI as they did pre-pandemic, but they will ensure that you’re able to tap into any available demand and give your property a head start as markets continue to recover.
It’s key to remember that hotel marketing can mitigate the impact of a downturn because you are not cutting away your property’s access to the flow (or trickle) of existing and future demand in your market.
With their heightened expectations for cleanliness, service, and a good deal in an uncertain economy, today's travelers are more discerning when it comes to selecting accommodations.
As the world adapts to life with and after Covid, it’s important to take time to reflect on what’s working in your marketing plan, what can be improved, and how travelers perceive your messages.
It is recommended to use empathetic language whenever possible in your communications because how you interact with consumers during these stressful situations can make or break your brand reputation. Here are 5 steps to follow for a succesful hotel marketing strategy during pandemic or downturn times.
By regularly evaluating key market indicators (like booking data, lead time, and preferred channels), you will better understand when and how to communicate to guests in a way that drives long-term loyalty.
Rebuilding Hospitality: Trends in Demand, Data and Technology That are Driving Recovery
In this comprehensive report, we share:
- trends that have defined hospitality
- recovery best practices for hoteliers
- insights from our exclusive global hotelier survey
We hope that this hotel marketing guide was useful for you
Hotel marketing can be a overwhelming at first, but with a little practice and experience, you can quickly produce high-quality hotel marketing campaigns that generate results from day one.
Marketing plays a foundational role in helping hotels maximize bookings and revenue. Adapting to changing market behaviors, leveraging the right channels, and basing your strategies on the right data are all necessary ingredients to attract more travelers to your hotel.
For further reading, check out our recently published rebuilding hospitality marketing eBook .
You can also access our other comprehensive guides for hoteliers:
- The hospitality market insights hub
- The ultimate guide to elevate guest satisfaction
- The ultimate guide to increase guest loyalty
- The ultimate guide to grow hotel groups and events business
We wish you a lot of success in your hotel marketing strategies and do not hesitate to contact us if you would like to discuss how to kick-start or optimize your hotel marketing strategies.
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1. An effective marketing website
View your website as an extension of your hotel’s hospitality. Your hotel website should be welcoming, informative, helpful, and above all, user-friendly. A few more essentials:
- With 65% same-day reservations made on smartphones, mobile optimization is a must
- Guests need to be able to picture their stay, so add as many photos as possible. Virtual tours are even better!
- Make amenities and room information easy to find and ensure it is up-to-date and detailed.
The goal of your website is to mirror the experience guests will have at your hotel, make sure the visit is a pleasant one. Learn more about the design elements of the best hotel websites .
Improve hotel marketing with interactive content
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2. An engaging hotel social media presence
First, find ways to engage your guests and encourage them to share the positive experiences they have during their stay.
Then, on your end, highlight your amenities, location, and staff. However, don’t constantly toot your own horn ” that’s not what people want in their feed. Make visitors feel like a local by sharing local points of interest, showcasing great restaurants, and promoting events and nightlife.
Let your hotel’s social media presence be a resource for guests and locals. From there, increase engagement and build your following by catering to the content people want to see.
That’s just the start ” we’ve got more social media tips for hotels here .
3. Spot-on & proactive hotel reputation management
Even the best hotels have upset guests from time-to-time. Today, people vent on online review sites and social platforms ” which means you’re bound to get a negative review or two.
It can be harmful to leave negative reviews or comments unanswers ” especially in hospitality. Make room in your hotel marketing plan (and budget if you need it) for reputation management. Here’s what to do:
- Claim your hotel on all major booking and review sites to track comments.
- For other sites and platforms, social listening tools can help keep tabs what is being said good and bad about the hotel.
- Develop a thorough understanding of appropriate responses: when to defend, when to provide service recovery, and when to say nothing at all.
4. Smart hotel customer relationship management
Hotel marketing plans should always include customer relationship management (CRM) software . These systems are especially important for hotels that have a robust event strategy.
Keeping past customers informed and engaged is absolutely essential to building a strong returning client base. CRMs log past customer details and allow for relevant, timely promotions based on previous choices. It also houses the data you need to set goals and grow in future years.
CRMs are especially important for maintaining connections and information through turnover, helping keep returning customers happy and alleviating some of the learning curve for new employees. CRMs are only as good as the information stored, so train for success and keep detailed, relevant information that will help in the future. Learn everything you need to know about evaluating CRM software for hotels here .
5. Strategic hotel PPC and display ads
The best way to drive traffic to your hotel website ” and your booking portal ” is by using search and display ads.
Every hotel in your city or region will be competing for similar search terms, so try to target keywords that will help you stand out from the competition. Here are some quick tips:
- Use history or interest-based display ads to engage vacationers or event planners who haven’t made up their mind on a venue.
- Test different demographics, ad platforms, ad copy, and creative to see what works.
- Remember that even though digital advertising can be more cost effective than traditional media, it isn’t free. Set realistic ad budgets, tweak when need be, and see the direct bookings roll in.
In the competitive hotel industry, finding the perfect hotel marketing balance can be difficult. Use the above elements in your hotel marketing plan to drive direct bookings, defend your reputation, and improve the overall guest experience.
Get the CRM to fuel your hotel marketing plan
What do you include in your hotel marketing plan? Let us know on LinkedIn .
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By Lana Cook
Do you love connecting with people from all over the world who share your passion for travel? Don’t want to work a typical 9-5 job and instead want to build a business where every day is different, and you own your schedule?
Opening a hotel business is a dream many entrepreneurs have, but it can be a daunting venture to start. A hotel business plan is a critical first step for business owners to turn their dreams into reality. A strategic plan allows one to study the hotel industry, identify their hotel’s unique point of view, and outline how exactly they will reach their goals.
Read on to learn more about the 10 sections to include in your hotel business plan, tips for creating an effective plan, and key things you need to start your new hotel business.
What is a hotel business plan?
A hotel business plan is a detailed document that identifies your business’s goals, objectives, and strategies for success. It includes market research and a roadmap for building and operating your business.
Why do you need a hotel business plan?
Studies show that entrepreneurs who finished their business plan were twice as likely to succeed in growing their business than those with no plan. A hotel business plan:
- Helps you identify whether you have a viable business idea
- Provides a detailed roadmap on what you need to accomplish and why
- Gives potential investors insight into your business idea and confidence that you can be successful
- Keeps you on track as you start to execute the different tactics outlined in your plan
- Identifies critical milestones for you and your team to reach
Your plan does not have to be static and should change over time as your business grows and evolves. Your first draft is a starting point to help guide your strategy and instill confidence in potential investors.
10 sections to include in your hotel business plan
Whether you’re starting a small boutique hotel, a cozy B&B, or a 5-star resort, you will need to address the following sections in your hotel business plan.
1. Executive summary
An executive summary is the most essential part of your business plan. It should concisely explain the purpose of your business and why it will be a success.
Include your mission statement explaining why your hotel exists and its overall goal. For example, Capella Hotels & Resorts ’ mission is to combine tradition, discovery, individuality, and twist of the unexpected to create the perfect stay for each guest.
You should also include your vision statement that clearly describes your hotel’s purpose for being in a single sentence. For Capella Hotels, its vision is to embody excellence in the craft of hospitality.
We recommend writing your executive summary as the final stage, as it should summarize the goals and objectives laid out in your plan.
2. Company analysis
Your company analysis is where you can dive into your hotel’s competitive advantage. Ask yourself what makes your hotel unique. Why would guests want to stay with you instead of your competitors?
In this section, identify your brand’s identity and the goals and objectives you want to accomplish. Outline how many rooms and room categories your property will have. For example, will you offer a hybrid hospitality model with dorms, single rooms, and suites? Explain what ancillary revenue sources you’ll offer, like in-room food and beverage options, welcome drinks, or airport shuttles.
Use storytelling to communicate your excitement and passion and make it clear what your hotel will bring to the hospitality industry that hasn’t been done before.
3. Industry analysis
As a business owner, you must be prepared for forces outside your control. You will need to conduct a market analysis that looks at the hospitality industry to identify micro and macro trends that may impact your business. Look at:
- Economic trends
- Environmental trends
- Political trends
- Global health trend
- Technology trends
For each trend, identify how it will impact your business and ways to mitigate risk or take advantage of opportunities.
For example, digital check-in technology has increased across the hotel industry with the rise of tech-savvy guests, new innovative software providers in the market, and labor challenges. Therefore, you should consider what guest engagement solutions you’ll include at your hotel.
In addition to trends, look at the history of the hospitality industry, its current size, and how it’s expected to grow in the short and long term. This research will impact the rest of your plan, especially your marketing and finances.
4. Customer analysis
What type of hotel guests do you want to attract? It’s impossible to please every kind of guest, which is why it’s important to identify your target market . Once you know who you want to stay at your property, you can develop amenities, services, and marketing materials to attract these guests and deliver exceptional experiences.
- What type of guests do I want? Business or leisure travelers?
- What demographics? Age, gender, marital status, etc.
- What are my target market’s interests? Water sports, hiking, relaxation, museums, animals, etc.
- What does my target market value? Sustainability, contactless technology, personalized service, localized experiences, etc.
This section will help you formulate the guest experience to ensure that expectations meet reality .
5. Competitive analysis
The competition you face will vary depending on where your hotel is located. This section is where you should conduct in-depth competitor research to understand how your hotel will compare. Identify who your five major competitors are — ideally, three direct competitors who you will be competing with upon opening and two aspirational competitors that you can emulate as you grow your business.
Conduct a SWOT analysis based on your competitors to look at:
- Strengths – where does your property excel in comparison to competitors? Why would travelers pick you? Price, amenities, location, technology, etc.
- Weaknesses – where does your property fall short in comparison to competitors? Price, amenities, location, technology, etc.
- Opportunities – what industry trends can you take advantage of? What local events or partnerships can you capitalize on?
- Threats – what are the biggest threats facing your property? War, travel restrictions, recession, etc.
A thorough analysis can help solidify your competitive advantage and develop a contingency plan for how you will deal with your weaknesses and threats.
6. Marketing plan
Without demand, there is no business. A hotel marketing plan outlines the channels you’ll use to reach your target audience to drive bookings. Your marketing strategy should include 3 key channels:
1) Paid media — paid advertising to promote your property and drive bookings. This includes online travel agencies (OTAs) , search engine marketing (SEM) , retargeting, and metasearch advertising .
2) Owned media — content you create, like your hotel website , social media channels , blog posts, and SEO .
3) Earned media — user-generated content created by third parties like media coverage or online reviews.
7. Operations plan
How do you plan to run your day-to-day operations? This section of your plan will outline all of the key tasks and responsibilities of your team and what exactly your hotel will offer. Consider:
- The number of staff and supervisors required
- Job descriptions and responsibilities
- Your service standards (check out our downloadable SOPs for some inspiration)
- How you’ll manage your inventory
- What hotel technology solution(s) will you need? PMS, channel manager, booking engine, payment terminal, revenue management tools, guest engagement software, etc.
- What services and amenities do you want to offer?
Detail your short and long-term operational plans and the stakeholders involved for each area.
8. Management team
Whether or not you’ve hired your team yet, this section is one of the most important sections that potential investors will look at. Make sure to outline the key personnel you will require and their roles.
In general, these are the following roles you’ll want to outline:
- Hotel management (general manager, front office manager, housekeeping manager, maintenance manager, revenue manager)
- Hotel sales team
- Housekeeping staff
- Front office staff
Depending on the size of your hotel, your team will vary. Identify what team members you will need to open and your hiring plans over the next five years.
9. Strategic plan
Hoteliers must be strategic in optimizing occupancy rates across seasons to maintain revenue. As part of your strategic plan, identify how you will manage:
- Pricing – what room types will you offer, and how will the pricing vary?
- How will you maintain consistent occupancy throughout the high and low seasons? Will you adapt your pricing and marketing strategies?
- How will you conduct revenue management ? What type of rules/alerts will you use to adjust rates? Will you use technology to help with revenue management ?
- What will your online reputation management strategy be? How will you collect and respond to online reviews?
- What will your distribution mix look like? How will you drive reservations across a variety of channels?
10. Financial plan
Your financial projections are the most challenging but arguably the most important part of your hotel business plan. In this section, you should include the following:
- Start-up costs – how much money will you need from lenders to operate your hotel? Consider business licenses, furniture, down payments, etc.
- Operating costs – how much money will you need to keep your business running? Consider staffing costs, guest acquisition costs , mortgage payments, utilities, SaaS payments, etc.
- Income statement – what will your revenue, expenses, and profit be over the first 3-5 years of business?
- Cash flow projections – how will cash flow in and out of your business? Show what capital investment you’ll need to start.
- Balance sheet – identify your assets, liabilities, and equity.
If you’re looking for a potential investor, your financial plan will be the section they care about most. Here you must prove how your business will provide a return on investment. Don’t forget to include an Appendix that shows more detailed reporting and financial figures.
8 tips for creating an effective plan
1. Start with the section that excites you the most! Covering all the topics outlined above can feel overwhelming, so don’t feel pressured to go in order.
2. Reach out to a business owner you admire. No matter what type of business you’re starting, it’s always helpful to get advice from another business owner. Reach out to a successful local business owner to see if they’d be willing to share some insights they learned along the way.
3. Be concise. While there’s a lot to cover, you must be concise in each section of your plan. Include any additional research or documentation in the appendix to keep your business plan clean.
4. Try to avoid industry jargon. Depending on what type of investor is reading your plan, they may find jargon irrelevant and distracting.
5. Ensure you have a clear competitive advantage. You should be able to state in one sentence what makes your property unique. This selling point will be prominent in all of your marketing materials.
6. Set SMART goals. Setting specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound goals is important to stay organized and on track to reach milestones.
7. Don’t forget about your plan. You will have spent hours developing your plan, so make sure you use it! Reference your plan as you build and grow your business , and remember that it’s ok if things change.
8. Illustrate your passion. Communicate why you want to be a part of the hospitality industry. Passion is contagious and gives investors more confidence that you will work hard to achieve your dreams.
What do you need to start a hotel business?
Ok, so you’ve read through this article and are now wondering — what’s next? Ensure you have the following items on your radar to start your business.
- A vision. Know exactly what kind of business you want to build.
- A business plan. Stay on track with a well-developed business plan.
- A location. Decide if you want to build a new property or renovate an existing hotel.
- Capital. Do you need to raise an upfront capital investment? Remember that new businesses usually aren’t profitable for the first few years and will need cash flow to pay for expenses.
- Business licenses & permits. Depending on the type of property and its services, you’ll need an occupancy permit, alcohol license, food service license, sales tax license, etc.
- Technology. Choose a hospitality management platform that can help you scale your business.
- Furniture & equipment. You must furnish your property with the proper furniture, electronics, appliance, etc.
- Staff. Take time hiring staff you can trust and who understand your hotel’s brand and vision.
Your business plan provides the foundation for your new business and outlines the next steps in the journey. Ensure you fully understand the market and competitive landscape to enter the industry prepared for whatever is to come. Start slow and invest in the right people and technology to support the growth of your business.
About Lana Cook
Lana Cook is a Content Writer at Cloudbeds where she is able to combine her love of writing and passion for travel. She has spent the last few years writing about all things technology and the ways in which it can be used to help businesses thrive. When she’s not busy writing, you can find her checking out the latest movie or searching for a new TV show to binge.
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Top 7 Hotel Marketing Plan Templates with Examples and Samples
There are over 187,000 hotels worldwide, ranging from cozy roadside inns to massive all-inclusive vacation resorts in the world's most scenic regions. The Taj Mahal Palace in India, the 117-year-old Hotel Ritz in Paris, the Sacher in Vienna, the Ritz in Paris, and the Raffles in Singapore are some of the world's most recognized hotels for a memorable stay. These hotels have set global benchmarks for luxury and hospitality with learnings over years of operation service delivery. These properties deliver an exceptional guest experience.
Download our exclusive Hotel Investment Pitch Deck PPT Templates to pitch your company ideas to investors. It covers everything you’d need to convince your investors to fund you, from the cover slide through the problem statement and solution presentation.
The definition of a hotel is no longer restricted to a warm fire, a hot meal, and a roof over one’s head. Travelers increasingly seek high-tech, green facilities, alternative lodging options, and hotel experiences. As a result, a hotel marketing plan has become an essential tool for running an effective business. Marketing strategies, such as digital advertising, social media, PR, and partnerships, are planned to reach and engage potential guests.
Hotel Marketing Plan: The strategic blueprint to amplify a hotel’s brand presence.
This holistic approach, created to attract potential clients to choose your company over competitors, necessitates a strong presence across many channels and a fantastic guest experience. This will help ensure that your property's demand remains stable and your direct booking rate rises.
Take your catering company to new heights of success. Click here to access our well-crafted Catering Marketing Plan that will improve your company's growth, reputation, and overall success.
This blog is a complete guide to creating a successful hotel marketing plan. This will boost the hotel’s brand presence, entice new customers, and enhance reservations. Use these ‘ Top 7 Hotel Marketing Plan Templates ' from SlideTeam to describe precise marketing objectives, target audiences, positioning, and techniques to improve the hotel's overall visibility. These templates help you comprehend your market position, competitive advantage, and development opportunities. The 100% customizable nature of the templates allows you to edit your presentations. The content-ready slides give you the much-needed structure.
Use SlideTeam’s PowerPoint Templates to highlight your unique value proposition and attract customers with appealing offers and experiences.
Explore the possibilities of hotel marketing as we walk you through the crucial components that will distinguish your property and drive bookings like never before.
Have fun reading!
Template 1: Steps to Create Hotel Marketing Plan PPT
A well-planned hotel marketing strategy draws visitors, sells rooms, and boosts profitability. Use this PPT Template to streamline your hotel services and promotional activities to maximize your company potential. This slide describes creating a marketing plan for a hotel business to attract a target market. It includes five critical steps: assess the present situation, identify objectives, select a strategy, plan implementation, and evaluate the impact. Use this presentation template to create a strong brand identity and enlighten potential customers on what they can expect when staying with you. Get it now!
Download this template
Template 2: COVID Recovery Plan for Hotel Marketing
The COVID-19 epidemic has thrown hotel services into disarray. Use this PPT Template to rework your hotel's marketing strategy to make your guests' post-lockdown travel better and safer. This slide discusses several critical COVID recovery techniques, such as housekeeping activities, safety and cleanliness requirements, property alteration, physical touch minimization, and consumer communication, to help you get the most out of your property during the rebound period. Use this presentation template to place new SOPs (standard operating procedures) and keep your employees and visitors safe. Get it now!
Template 3: Marketing Strategies for Hotel Business Plan
Use this PPT Template to create a strong hotel marketing strategy and improve brand visibility. This slide outlines successful marketing tactics for increasing hotel bookings by the business plan. It covers the following strategies: remarketing, audience tracking, location marketing, incentives, and simple web search. By focusing their advertisements on the right audience and using the correct methods, hotels can improve performance. This download will attract new customers, strengthen brand loyalty, and boost hotel income. Get it now!
Template 4: Strategic Hotel Marketing Plan Checklist
Hotel marketing strategy checklists are essential for breaking down advertising efforts into small portions to stay ahead of the competition. Use this PPT Template to fine-tune your hotel budget and services to bring your hotel in front of your target clients. This slide is a hotel marketing plan checklist with all conceivable tempting offers and actions to lessen competition from exclusive and premium hotels. It covers tasks and tracking systems that are in process, being tested, or have been finished. Use this download to nail your marketing efforts, reach out to prospective visitors, and convert your present guests into devoted customers. Get it now!
Template 5: Hotel Sales and Marketing Plan Cycle
Do you want to take charge of your sales pipeline and book new business faster than ever? Use this PowerPoint Template to fine-tune your hotel services, from the initial point of contact to creating solid relationships with your visitors. This slide displays a hotel's sales and marketing plan cycle to connect potential clients with services offered. It considers the following aspects: conducting a market audit, selecting market segments, creating goals and plans, and analyzing and assessing them. Employ this presentation template to develop a personalized hotel sales strategy to maximize your property's room sales. Get it now!
Template 6: Marketing Budget Plan for Hotel Business
Budgeting is essential for the hotel's financial stability and growth. Use this PowerPoint Template to establish the hotel marketing strategy budget for the coming year to meet the goals and objectives. This critical financial plan supplements the hotel event plan in determining the hotel's expenses and income. It depicts the distribution of marketing expenses by quarter, including marketing training, website redesign, email marketing, billboards, paid social media adverts, and collaborations. Use this download to evaluate and amend the budget during the fiscal year to ensure it remains accurate and up to date. Get it now!
Template 7: Hotel Marketing Action Plan with Goals
Create a complete, cross-channel hotel marketing approach with this PPT Template to expand your property's reach and visibility. This slide shows a hotel marketing action plan for giving a structure and efficiently fulfilling defined goals. This includes plans and actions to achieve the following objectives: boost website traffic, income, business travelers, and customer loyalty. This will assist your overall game plan to attract guests, sell rooms, and achieve profitable development. Employ this PowerPoint presentation template to align with specific corporate goals, identify high-value visitors, and prioritize the best ways to contact them. Grab it now!
Template 8: Five- Months Marketing Budget Plan Summary of Hotel Services
Use this PPT Template to summarize the hotel's five-month marketing budget strategy. It comprises information about the hospitality company's revenue, expenses, and gross profit to build a financial plan that outlines all of the hotel's expenses and revenues. This will allow hotel management to make more informed decisions about distributing resources and better controlling expenditures. Use this presentation to identify the hotel's expenses and anticipate revenue depending on occupancy rates and other variables. Grab it now!
Capture the hearts and bookings of travelers memorably.
A well-crafted hotel marketing plan includes a variety of methods targeted to fulfil your hotel's specific needs and encourage potential customers to pick your property over others. Use SlideTeam's PPT Templates to discover the secrets of a profitable hotel business and astound your opponents.
PS Ever wanted to run your hotel, or are you just curious about what it takes to offer outstanding service? Click here to learn more about founding and managing a hotel business to make your hotel's dream a reality!
FAQs ON HOTEL MARKETING PLAN
What is a hotel marketing plan .
A hotel marketing plan outlines hotels' strategies and tactics to attract more guests, sell more rooms, increase profitability, and expand. It helps to ensure that team activities and department-specific action items align with the hotel's overall goals and objectives. This strategy plan assists in aligning with specific company goals, identifying high-value customers, and prioritizing the best channels to contact them.
How do you write a hotel marketing plan?
- Conduct a situational analysis to assess your existing condition to understand your market position, competitive advantage, and growth potential.
- Define your marketing targets, such as website traffic, conversion rate, etc., to help you track your progress and evaluate your outcomes.
- Determine your target market and divide it into groups based on their qualities, preferences, and behaviors. This will help to personalize your marketing messages and channels to each group and boost your relevance and attractiveness.
- Develop a marketing strategy that includes the four Ps: product, pricing, place, and promotion.
- Create your marketing budget, allot your resources to your marketing efforts, prioritize the strategies that will bring in the most money and profit for your hotel, and consider your return on investment (ROI).
- Periodically assess your marketing plan and make changes based on your results and market conditions.
What are the 7Ps of marketing in hotels?
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6 Hotel sales strategies to increase occupancy and revenue
A hotel sales strategy is a plan of action designed to increase hotel revenue and bookings. It involves identifying target markets, setting sales goals, and creating a plan to achieve those goals.
Here are 6 hotel sales strategies to increase your revenue.
1) Understand your target audience:
It is important to understand who your guests are in order to provide relevant offers and guest experiences and find the right channels to reach them. Once you know who your target audience are, it will be easy to plan your sales strategy and offer deals to attract them to your hotel.
2) Use Social media marketing:
Social media is a powerful tool to increase hotel sales. Use platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to promote your hotel, showcase its amenities, and offer special promotions.
Here are some ways to use social media marketing for hotels:
- Choose the right platforms : Not all social media platforms are created equal. Identify which platforms your target audience uses and focus your efforts on those platforms. For example, Facebook and Instagram are popular platforms for travel-related content.
- Create engaging content : Use high-quality photos and videos to showcase your hotel’s amenities and unique features. Share interesting and relevant content such as travel tips, local events, and food recommendations.
- Utilize user-generated conten t: Encourage guests to share their experiences at your hotel by using hashtags or tagging your hotel in their posts. Share user-generated content on your hotel’s social media channels to showcase positive guest experiences and promote your hotel.
- Offer promotions and deals : Use social media to offer exclusive promotions or deals to your followers. This can encourage them to book directly with your hotel instead of through third-party booking sites.
- Engage with your audience : Respond to comments and messages promptly and in a friendly manner. Use social media as a way to build relationships with potential guests and provide excellent customer service.
- Collaborate with influencers : Partnering with influencers can be a powerful way to promote your hotel to their followers. Identify influencers who align with your hotel’s brand and values, and work with them to create sponsored content.
- Monitor analytics : Monitor your social media analytics to track the success of your social media efforts. Use this data to refine your strategy and improve your social media presence over time.
Read an in-depth blog on Social Media Marketing
3) Partner with local businesses:
Partnering with local businesses such as tourist attractions , restaurants, and shopping centres can help attract more guests to your hotel. Offer discounts or special packages to guests who visit these businesses.
Here are some steps to follow when partnering with local businesses:
- Identify relevant businesses : Identify local businesses that are likely to attract potential hotel guests. This might include tourist attractions, restaurants, shopping centers, and transportation providers.
- Reach out to potential partners : Contact potential partners and introduce yourself and your hotel. Explain the benefits of a partnership and how it can be mutually beneficial. For example, you might offer to promote the partner’s business to your guests in exchange for them promoting your hotel to their customers.
- Offer exclusive deals or packages : Work with your partners to create exclusive deals or packages that are only available to guests who visit both your hotel and the partner’s business. This can encourage guests to stay at your hotel and visit the partner’s business, and vice versa.
4) Offering promotions and deals:
Hotel sales strategies often involve offering promotions and special deals to attract guests. This might include discounts for extended stays, free breakfast or other amenities, or loyalty programs that reward repeat guests.
Here are some examples of promotions and deals that hotels can offer:
- Discounted rates : Offer special rates for specific times of the year or days of the week. For example, hotels might offer lower rates for weekday stays or during the off-season.
- Package deals : Create package deals that include extras such as free breakfast, spa services, or tickets to local attractions. This can add value for guests and encourage them to book directly with the hotel.
- Last-minute deals : Offer last-minute deals for guests who book within a certain timeframe. This can help fill rooms that might otherwise go unoccupied and increase revenue.
- Group discounts : Offer discounts for group bookings, such as weddings, conferences, or other events. This can attract large groups of guests and increase revenue.
- Gift cards or vouchers : Offer gift cards or vouchers that can be used for future stays or amenities such as restaurant or spa services. This can encourage guests to return to the hotel and increase revenue.
Is your Hotel Chanel Manager working hard as it could? Find out more
5) provide exceptional customer service: .
Exceptional customer service is critical to the success of any hotel. Train your staff to provide personalized, attentive service to guests, and respond quickly and efficiently to any issues or concerns they may have.
Here are some tips for providing exceptional customer service :
- Greet guests warmly : Greet guests with a smile and a warm welcome. Use their name if possible and offer assistance with their luggage.
- Be attentive to guest needs : Anticipate guest needs and offer assistance whenever possible. This might include providing extra towels or pillows, offering recommendations for local attractions, or arranging transportation.
- Respond promptly to guest inquiries : Respond quickly and professionally to guest inquiries and concerns. This might include answering questions about hotel amenities, resolving complaints, or addressing maintenance issues.
- Provide personalized service : Treat each guest as an individual and provide personalized service based on their needs and preferences. This might include offering a specific room type, providing a welcome amenity, or catering to dietary restrictions.
- Follow up with guests : Follow up with guests after their stay to ensure they had a positive experience and address any concerns they may have had. This can help build guest loyalty and encourage repeat business.
- Empower staff to provide excellent service : Train hotel staff to provide excellent service and empower them to make decisions that benefit the guest. This can help create a culture of exceptional service throughout the hotel.
6) Monitor online reviews:
Online reviews can greatly influence a guest’s decision to book a hotel. Monitor and respond to online reviews promptly, and use feedback to make improvements to your hotel’s amenities and services.
Here are some tips for monitoring online reviews effectively:
- Claim your listings : Claim your hotel’s listings on popular review sites such as TripAdvisor, Yelp, and Google My Business. This will allow you to respond to reviews and update your listing with accurate information.
- Set up alerts : Set up alerts for new reviews so that you can respond in a timely manner. This might include email notifications or using a reputation management tool that aggregates reviews from multiple sites.
- Respond to reviews : Respond to reviews , both positive and negative, in a professional and courteous manner. Thank guests for their positive feedback and address any concerns or complaints they may have had. This can help show that you value guest feedback and are committed to improving the guest experience.
- Address issues raised in reviews : Use feedback from online reviews to identify areas where the hotel can improve. This might include addressing issues such as cleanliness, maintenance, or service.
- Encourage guests to leave reviews : Encourage guests to leave reviews by including links to review sites in post-stay emails, on your website, or in promotional materials. This can help increase the number of reviews and provide a more representative picture of the guest experience .
Hotel sales strategies should be monitored regularly to ensure they are achieving the desired results. This might involve tracking metrics such as occupancy rates, revenue per available room, and guest satisfaction scores, and making adjustments to the sales strategy as needed.
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Hotel Marketing in 2023: The Complete Guide
Whether you are a seasoned hotelier or brand new in the hospitality industry, you know marketing plays an essential role in attracting as many travellers as possible and optimising the success of your hotel. You need a marketing plan that brings together many strategies to increase revenue for the hotel by accessing and managing multiple channels to reach the customers best suited for your business. The right hotel marketing will help you promote your business, attract travellers and sell your services. This guide outlines various marketing strategies in the hospitality industry to help you decide on your priorities and create the best marketing plan for your hotel.
1. Hotel Marketing Channels Overview
2. Hotel Marketing Strategies Overview
3. The Importance of Digital Hotel Marketing
4. Mobile Hotel Marketing
5. Email Hotel Marketing
6. Social Media Marketing for Hotels
7. SMS Marketing for Hotels
8. Hotel SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)
9. Hotel Video Marketing
10. Hotel Marketing Trends
11. The Role of Chatbots and AI in Hotel Marketing
12. Hotel Marketing Ideas for Different Types of Hotels
13. Hotel Marketing and Sales
14. Summary: The Right Hotel Marketing Strategy – Where to Start?
Hotel marketing channels overview
Let’s start by listing online and offline hotel marketing channels that can bring guests to the hotel. Developing each channel takes time, but the more of them you have, the wider is your access to potential customers.
Many hotels consider the hotel website the number one marketing distribution channel as it can be a primary source of bookings. You have complete control over the content, and you can curate the guest journey. Include high-quality photos and interactive content through videos, testimonials, and virtual tours of hotel facilities. Make the most of this channel to communicate your brand and show guests what makes your hotel unique on the market. You should consider a live chat for the hotel website to connect with more customers.
Online travel agencies (OTAs)
OTAs are an integral part of the hotel booking process as they are popular platforms like Airbnb, Booking.com, or Expedia. While you might not have direct control of your hotel on an OTA platform, you can work on optimising the listing by highlighting exclusive amenities, attractive offers, competitive prices, and high-quality photos. Make sure to provide as much information and rich content as an OTA allows to make the most of the potential of this channel.
Global Distribution System (GDS)
GDS is a channel to connect with travel agents. They use this system to see the availability of rooms and view rates. Some of the best-known GDSs are Worldspan, Sabre, and Travelport. This distribution channel ensures you keep your hotel’s information up-to-date with various travel agents and update real-time pricing and room availability.
Direct phone bookings
Target audiences like event planners, travel agents, and older generations of customers find booking through phones the preferred way to get in touch with the hotel. Phone bookings are also a good option for customers with specific requirements and queries. The call center, front desk, and reservation line are all channels for direct phone booking establishing a human connection. However, they require a lot of resources and have limits on the volume of bookings they can process over time.
Sites like Tripadvisor, Google Hotels, or Trivago charge hotels and OTAs on a pay-per-click or commission basis for bookings. The user experience is smooth on metasearch sites and has a simple booking process with easy-to-search information about the hotel.
Hotel marketing strategies overview
There are various hotel marketing strategies to drive growth in the number of bookings and increase revenue. It is dominated by digital marketing as it is the easiest and most cost-effective way to reach large volumes of potential customers. However, offline advertisements on television, radio, in newspapers, magazines, or on posters in a city can bring fantastic results too. Choosing the right marketing strategy for your hotel needs to consider several aspects, such as available resources, staff, target audience, location, seasonality, and more. Most likely, you will decide on using a combination of several strategies to penetrate the market and reach all segments of your target audience.
The importance of hotel digital marketing
With the prominence of digital media consumption these days, hotel marketing is mostly done online . Any difficulties with finding your hotel online will have a negative effect on the number of bookings. You should establish your hotel’s presence on the key relevant online platforms so that people can find you in seconds from the comfort of their sofa and make bookings. Over 75% of travellers use search engines to find places to stay , so you need to be on top of your SEO game. Use trending hotel keywords in the website content and set aside a budget for paid ads since the search engine results page is dominated by ads concerning hotel-related queries.
Dive into the website analytics, research where people are booking from, and then target those platforms by engaging and creating a competitive presence. Investing efforts in particular platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, and travel websites is a proven strategy to increase your website traffic and conversion rate. You might not excel on every platform, but your presence will ensure that people using different digital media forms can find you.
Hotel mobile marketing
The dominance of mobile bookings has been a trend for a few years now, in line with Google’s announcement that user queries on their search engines are higher on mobiles than on desktops. Hoteliers need to adopt strategies to make their websites mobile-friendly to attract global travellers. How the website responds to smartphones is essential for hotel mobile marketing. To improve the mobile performance, appeal, and user experience on your website, you should consider the following:
- Content should be precise, and the font should be mobile-friendly.
- Limit the use of pop-ups and Adobe Flash.
- Make click-to-call functionality available.
- Enable Google maps so people can find a route to and from the hotel.
- Link the logo of your hotel to the homepage.
- Enable auto-fill for forms of returning visitors.
- Make the site attractive by creating a contrast between photos and colours.
- Ensure your search bar is easy to find and navigate.
These steps are essential as they add to a great user experience and quick loading speed of the website, which Google values. As 85% of people say that the information they find on their smartphones helps them in making decisions, be proactive in showing the information to mobile users. People first search for prices, photos, nearby activities, and read reviews on their mobiles, so make sure to display all the relevant information in simple terms to stay ahead of your competitors. Implement a mobile-friendly booking engine directly to the mobile-first website.
Hotel email marketing
Email marketing is one of the cost-effective and viable ways to reach your guests and boost direct bookings. First and foremost, you need to optimize our mailing list, which should have many prospects. They should be quality leads that can be determined by analysing past results. This process can be helped through easy-to-fill forms on the website and asking your customers in person during the stay. After having a sizeable pool of target audience, you can implement the following advice:
- Targeting repeat guests is more cost-effective than forming new leads. Statistics show that attracting new guests can cost 5 to 8 times more than retaining old clients. Offer special deals and packages to old guests to increase the revenue and build better customer relations.
- Peak seasons have higher booking rates, so take advantage of holiday-themed emails to attract potential guests. Offer discounts and personalised incentives to send targeted emails during peak periods. Send theme-based emails to your previous clients, especially those who spent money on upgrades and upsells. Streamline your list with the help of identifying the niche and customer base to have an effective plan.
- People remember 80% of what they see, so attract them through visuals in the mail. Bring the focus of your guests through stunning photos of your hotel and increase engagement. Combine it with short and direct subject lines to entice the customers to open the mail and see what’s inside.
Social media marketing for hotels
Social media is the biggest channel for attracting potential customers and creating hype for your hotel through customer engagement. Statistically , 52% of people say the travel pictures of their friends and family inspired them to travel. 40% of consumers under the age of 30 prefer a place that is Instagram-able. About 97% of millennials share photos on social media during travels. Posts that tag locations have 79% more engagement. 71% of travel agencies report better interactions with customers after committing to social media strategy.
Facebook marketing strategies for hotels
Research suggested that 55% of Facebook users like the pages related to the type of trip they are planning. Facebook ads bring in $55 billion yearly revenue, so you can estimate the kind of influence marketing on Facebook has. Before you start influencing potential customers on Facebook, you need to have a substantial number of followers that can be gained organically and through paid advertising.
You can start building an audience for your hotel organically by inviting friends and contacts in your professional networks. You can link your Facebook page to the website and emails. Offer regular incentives and encourage engagement through contests. Go with the 80-20 rule: talk about the local area in 80% of your posts, and dedicate the remaining 20% to your hotel. Do cross-promotion between different social media platforms like Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram. Leave positive comments and thank you notes on posts that mention your page.
After establishing a Facebook page with a good number of followers, you can use advertising tactics to grow bookings. You can succeed at developing the Facebook conversion funnel through the various tools provided by Facebook to advertise your business.
- Dynamic Ads for Travels (DAT) lets you advertise for users who visited the site but did not book. In this, travellers are tracked through the browser, and offers associated with your hotel are shown when they browse other sites.
- Dynamic Ads for Travel for broad audiences is one step ahead in the game. This feature is mainly for hotel advertisers and allows them to reach potential guests intending to travel.
- Trip consideration is another feature that sends content to people planning a trip with no particular place in mind.
You can increase direct hotel booking through Facebook by offering top-notch service to even one traveler, and their word of mouth can bring significant revenue. If the traveler is impressed and shares photos, and good reviews with their Facebook followers, it is much more powerful and less expensive than ads.
You can also encourage direct booking by giving a sense of exclusivity to your followers. Offering deals and reduced prices to only those who have liked your page is also a great way to ensure direct bookings. You can even connect the booking engine to the Facebook page, so the guests do not even have to go to the website to book a room. You can have a ‘book now’ tab in your Facebook ads that directly link with your online booking engine. Such call-to-action posts can drive bookings on Facebook. You can optimize this marketing channel further by integrating AI-powered chatbots with your social media accounts.
Instagram marketing strategies for hotels
Instagram is a great marketing tool since it has a clean, simple feed that is completely mobile-friendly. It is particularly one of the favourites among travellers. Instagram upgraded advertising for businesses with features like ‘call,’ ‘get directions,’ and ‘email.’ Many companies will be able to have ‘book,’ ‘reserve,’ or ‘get tickets’ call-to-action buttons too. Businesses can now see important customer messages in the main inbox for direct messaging. Implementing conversational AI on your Instagram can help process the volume of messages and boost direct bookings.
The highly complex algorithm of Instagram is now based on a Facebook-style news feed algorithm. As a hotel marketing strategy, strive to provide high-quality content that Instagram users seek to reap benefits.
Follow these guidelines to make the most of your hotel’s presence on Instagram :
- Create a brand story through your posts that should compliment each other. Post images that reflect the lifestyle of your target customer base.
- Connect to the human element by introducing the followers to the hard-working staff. Share photos of food, interactions between staff and guests, and guests having fun to show the dynamic atmosphere at the hotel.
- Share content about the nearby attractions and local areas to provide a sense of the environment of the place. Go beyond the hotel and share images of scenic views and surroundings. When you upload an image, use the ‘photo map feature’ and specify the location to make the images searchable.
- Don’t forget to use hashtags. Since you cannot add links to the post, hashtags become necessary for searching for content. Start and engage in conversations by liking and commenting on users that use your brand’s hashtags. Create personalised hashtags for your hotel and use them in your posts.
- Since beautiful pictures of travel are one of the highlights on Instagram, experiment with various filters and layouts to enhance the beauty of your hotel photos.
SMS marketing for hotels
Using instant messaging services for marketing is a great way to build guest engagement and provide seamless customer service. Since we spend so much time on our mobile phones, opting for SMS marketing effectively gets potential guests and reaches existing clients. Over 98% of SMS are opened within the first 90 seconds , making it a fantastic channel to communicate with your target customer base.
Consider the following for SMS marketing campaigns for hotels :
- Earn customer permission for sending marketing SMS through Opt-in text messages. Follow the guidelines given by Opt-in to protect the business from legal fees and costly fines. This also ensures that you send SMS to only a genuinely interested customer base. You are likely to see results in higher engagement rates.
- Set an automated message for welcoming new guests . To strengthen your relationship, you can remind them about their reservations, available services and upgrades, and local attractions.
- You can use the SMS platform for confirming reservations, which are particularly useful if your hotel is going through a busy season. You can send automated texts to the guests so the staff can focus on other things.
- You can use SMS marketing to answer your guests’ questions and queries. You can save frequently asked questions as templates to enable automated answers for specific keywords.
Hotel SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)
You need to prioritise the key features of Search Engine Optimisation to make your hotel visible on Google and other search engines. 90% of all traffic is received on the first page of Google, so the importance of good SEO to appear there should not be underestimated. Here are a few pointers to bring your A-game for optimisation:
- Research keywords
Use the guest’s perspective and think about what they might be searching on Google when looking for hotels. Develop a list of keywords accordingly and use them in your website content. Keep track of how much traffic they bring before implementing them. Start with a list of 10 keywords and track their performance to see any growth.
- Set up your Google My Business account
This free listing lets your hotel information into the right areas and makes it easy to find. Provide correct and detailed information about your hotel, such as an address, phone number, photos, reviews, the list of relevant amenities available, and any other content that the platform allows.
- Use Google Ads for hotel marketing
This is a paid service, but you only pay once the ad generates a booking or a click. It isis an effective way to make your presence known on Google maps and Google search engines. The booking rates are higher with this as it streamlines the requirements of travellers and shows results specific to their needs.
Keeping track of the SEO performance is essential for maintaining the rankings. This strategy requires monitoring and tweaking accordingly. You need to track the search and demand trends of your area and then build a strategy for content on the website. Since seasons significantly impact bookings, you need to change keywords that reflect on the blogs, promotions, and packages.
- Create quality content
Google loves high-quality content so ensure you use fresh content and keep updating it to increase the chance of a conversion. Content also includes visuals, so use high-quality images to attract attention to your hotel website. You can attach keywords to images for SEO optimisation. The better the content quality, the more it appeals to the Google algorithm, which increases the traffic flow to your website.
You can use Google Analytics to track data and learn from it. You can identify the aspects of your website that need work and develop a website optimisation strategy accordingly. Get started with finding and monitoring the following information :
- Which keywords bring the most traffic?
- See the page views of your content
- Check where the traffic is coming from
- What devices are bringing the most traffic?
- Which traffic source is responsible for the highest conversion rates?
Hotel video marketing
Video marketing is a particularly effective strategy in the hotel industry. Let’s look at some statistics. Over one billion people watch more than six billion hours of video content monthly on YouTube, and people share video content ten times more than other forms of content. 80% of people will watch a video with content more than simply reading the same content. Travellers take inspiration for their travel plans through videos, as suggested by 54% of people using videos when deciding on hotels. Your website has a 53% higher chance of appearing in Google search results if you include videos. If a video tour of the hotel is included, then booking chances increase by 67%.
While focusing on appealing visuals is crucial, you should not miss out on an opportunity to connect with potential guests emotionally. Share the hotel story and include beautiful images to drive traffic and attract potential clients. Videos are a fantastic storytelling tool with enormous potential, so be sure to allocate appropriate resources to this strategy to create high-quality content.
Hotel marketing trends
Throughout the pandemic, we could observe a shift in hotel marketing strategies. We saw considerable growth in digital marketing, contactless services, and reduced interactions between guests and staff to ensure utmost safety. Some of these changes are here to stay, and new trends are rising.
Customer experience marketing
This marketing strategy depends on focusing on experiences rather than products or services. It involves techniques implemented by hotels that enhance the guest experience while they stay in the hotel. Hotels can improve customer experience marketing by offering an upgrade in room selection or leaving a care package for the guests to make them feel special and create a memory of a positive experience during their stay. It’s all about providing superior quality services and upgrades while the guests are on the property or interacting with the business. By tapping into the experience aspect, hotels build a strong relationship with their clientele and ensure a long-term relationship.
Technological advancement has seen rapid growth in voice search as a marketing trend. Customers now can book a hotel simply through voice commands on their smart home devices. Hotels should now start monetising this technological aspect. Voice prompt commands can also be installed in the hotel rooms enhancing the user experience and attracting clients. Installation of smart speakers and smart hubs in hotel rooms can let the guests know about nearby attractions and book hotel services without picking up the phone or pressing buttons. Voice search also shortens response time, and all the information will be up to date so that it will be more accurate than human interaction. A hotel will appear like an advanced, technology-literate brand making it seem above the competitors.
This strategy refers to reaching out to people who have a significant social media presence. Their online presence will get the hotel’s marketing messages to the audience that you want to target. Influencers have established fan following, which mainly consists of specific demographics so that they can influence the decisions of their audiences. Hotels can collaborate with influencers from travel niches and others to make social media posts, videos, and written content to promote their property.
This marketing idea is based on the content created and shared by customers of the hotel. User-generated content includes videos, photos, and reviews shared on social media and personal blogs. This ensures a solid user base since the positive feedback comes from real everyday customers and not some big-time celebrity or brand. This increases audience trust in the business, and they are more likely to convert into customers. Hotels can take advantage of this by creating hashtags for their hotel and promoting them on Instagram. Hotels can install visually appealing photo booths around the property, encouraging the customers to take pictures and videos.
It involves delivering promotional content to a specific targeted individual or audience. This is mainly done through data collection, digital automation, and data analysis, where the end goal is to show content relevant to each individual. The data collected for personalisation marketing is through records, browsing history, or internal databases. The conversion rate in such marketing is higher since it resonates with individuals looking for specific needs, services, and interests. There is more consistency throughout different marketing channels, whether it is emails, social media, or recommendations while browsing other sites.
It works by altering the reality around the user by using computer technology. It can be compared to Virtual Reality (VR), although it differs as VR replaces the physical surroundings completely. Augmented reality enhances the real-world surroundings in real-time. It can be experienced through smartphones, headsets, or tablet devices. Hotel owners are implementing this strategy since it enhances the hotel and hotel room environment they are selling. It also amplifies the exploration experience of the surroundings. Many hotels are implementing AR technology to attract customers to have an elevated experience.
As many as 81% of website visitors abandon the site before booking a hotel, so retargeting becomes essential to increase the conversion rate. Retargeting is an excellent way to connect with users who interacted with the business and visited the site. You can target those users with specific marketing messages, like showing them the images of the room they were looking at. Retargeting strategy works since the hotel knows the user showed some interest and then got distracted and abandoned. You can remind them with enticing offers and display ads while they browse through other sites and bring their focus back to the booking. Retargeting strategy can reduce the abandonment rate and help in closing more direct bookings.
The Role of Chatbots and AI in Hotel Marketing
Chatbots and Artificial Intelligence in hotel marketing can boost direct bookings and improve customer experience as they provide a more personalised experience even before the booking process starts. They make intelligent recommendations based on guest preferences which are beneficial for both customers and the hotel.
Improve guest experience through chatbots
Using chatbots as a form of customer service can help a hotel provide high-quality service. It is a technologically advanced way of setting up automated answers for common questions relating to bookings, room service, available facilities, and local attractions. This feature helps in interaction with clients even if the staff is unavailable. Customers have high expectations for hospitality service, so a chatbot is a great way to provide 24/7 customer service with instant responses. The chatbot feature also supports detecting multiple languages and automating translation to remove language barriers.
Elevate the guest journey with AI-powered solutions
The modern hotel industry is employing Artificial Intelligence (AI) as one of its key components in marketing. AI chatbot provides instant responses to customer queries at any time of the day. These are more sophisticated as they respond to customer questions according to their language and communication style. AI also helps hotels send personalised marketing messages to a curated list of customers. Even AI-driven robots can be employed in the hotel to provide a futuristic experience to the customers. AI can also be used in data analytics and speed up the process for more personalised customer service.
Hotel marketing ideas for different types of hotels
It is essential to know the target audience and speak their language as a form of marketing strategy. You need to create a brand and appeal to a niche of travellers for your business to boom. Here are some ideas that focus on marketing based on categories of travellers.
Luxury hotel marketing
Luxury hotels focus on people who spend more money to enhance their experience. These mainly consist of the age group 25-49 and travel as a couple. They want top-notch luxury rooms and customer experience to relax and enjoy. They mostly depend on online reviews and testimonials for making the selection. People expect luxury amenities like valet service, spa, concierge, salon, and fine dining within the hotel. Luxury hotel rooms are generally between 430-4,000 square feet with high-quality linens, branded products, and jetted tubs, so the guests feel indulgent. Luxury hotel marketing should be more personalised, focusing on what the guest wants and targeting them with marketing messages tailored to individual interests and levels of disposable income.
Boutique hotel marketing
Boutique hotels are also luxurious hotels, but with less expensive rates. They are also generally smaller, with less than 100 rooms than the big chains. They offer a more personal experience and have a unique style. For marketing a boutique hotel, you should focus on giving the customers an authentic local experience by including local art and locally sourced food, writing about hidden gems in the area, and highlighting your hotel’s connection with its surroundings.
It is all about creating an experience that the customers will take home and remember. Engage local artists and musicians for shows, talk about ongoing nearby activities, and promote healthy living by creating personalised wellness packages. Run highly tailored marketing campaigns targeting particular interests like spa enthusiasts or foodies.
Global hotel marketing
Since international travellers have different necessities and preferences, the marketing strategy also requires a different approach. The first thing to attract international tourists is to make your website multilingual. The content of your website should be written in a more straightforward language so it can be more accurately auto-translated to different languages accommodating travellers from other countries. Draw attention to local attractions to appeal to global tourists. Add blogs about the events and activities in the hotel’s surrounding areas to appeal to international travellers looking for an immersive local experience when visiting a new country.
Independent hotel marketing
Independent travellers love to go on trips solo and prefer to control their schedule over participating in group activities. They are primarily young individuals with different levels of income. They travel to get cultural experience and look for adventures. To market to such targeted individuals, you need to keep up with the latest trends since individual travellers lean to social media for reviews and research.
Building a strong digital presence is highly important to attract this customer base. Share attractive photos and videos of hotel surroundings and guests lounging in the hotel on your social media platforms and digital channels. Engage with potential customers by offering them holiday packages and discounted prices. Always acknowledge reviews left by customers, whether they are good or bad. Create a loyal guest base by curating services tailored to individual tastes and preferences.
Hotel Marketing and Sales
The sales team cannot work alone to generate revenue, and the marketing team cannot create the right marketing strategy without the customer data (provided by the sales team). The sales and marketing team needs to work collaboratively on managing guest data efficiently and have regular discussions about building business plans that will generate high revenue and contribute to the growth of the hotel.
Importance of a unified approach to boost revenue
Various components need to work together to generate revenue daily. It is about selling the right room to the right client through the right distribution channel at the right price to generate optimal revenue. Different components like demand forecasting, customer segmentation, inventory management, and pricing plans work together to impact the financial growth of the hotel:
- Segment the customer base according to demographic factors, the reason for traveling, stay duration, and booking channel.
- Demand forecasting can be done by studying previous demand and seasonal occupancy, setting the packages on the right distribution channel, and creating promotions accordingly.
- In hotel industry terms, the inventory refers to the room, so sell it through various channels like emails, social media, travel agencies, and direct bookings depending on the customer segmentation. Demand forecasting can help in balancing the inventory with revenue maximisation.
- Check booking trends and analyse the market to set optimal room prices to boost revenue. Analysing demand and setting the rate early is also important since many customers prefer to book early.
How to improve the collaboration and communication between the sales and marketing teams of hotels
The marketing and sales team of the hotel is directly responsible for generating revenue and making the business profitable. They both need to work together to develop a business plan and develop strategies to increase revenue. Improving collaboration and communication in various areas is vital for making profits in different business areas like room occupancy, leisure facilities bookings, event attendance, or restaurant reservations.
Get the sales and marketing team talking to achieve cooperation and synergy. The sales team can provide insight into customer requirements and help the marketing team develop digital and social media campaigns to attract the target audience to notice the property. Use customer relationship management software (CRM) to improve the interaction between different teams in the hotel, analyse data, and streamline the process to increase profits. The teams need to track processes and have regular reviews to check the progress in revenue and make changes if required.
Summary: The right hotel marketing strategy – where to start?
This article explored a range of hotel marketing strategies, digital marketing channels, industry trends, and other aspects of marketing that you need to consider when developing the right marketing strategy for your hotel. Reviewing and researching the best marketing ideas takes time, but there are a few fundamentals that you should get started with as soon as possible, and then you can consider more advanced strategies.
An attractive website
Your hotel’s first impression is reflected through the website, so it should be welcoming, helpful, informative, and user-friendly. Statistically, 65% of same-day bookings are done through smartphones, so optimisation is crucial. Add pictures of rooms, bathrooms, and lounge areas so the guests can visualize their stay. The list of amenities should be easy to find and up-to-date. Implementing an AI-powered chatbot is a great idea to engage with website visitors and help them navigate through the website.
Social media presence
Make your social media the resource for guests and locals. Implement different ways to engage your guests on various social media platforms. Ensure you highlight the location, amenities, and staff on your social media platforms. As each social media profile is a new communication channel, you may consider a solution streamlining all messages into a single guest communications hub .
Hotel Customer Relationship Management
Your effective hotel marketing strategy should include Customer Relationship Management software. Build a strong relationship with your past clients by engaging them and keeping them informed. CRM software can also generate valuable insights into your customers that help shape your strategy.
Hotel reputation management
Once in a while, there will be an upset customer who will leave a negative review online. It can be harmful to the business to let the negative comment unanswered. Build a strategy for reputation management that addresses all feedback constructively.
How to use check-out to improve your hotel's reputation
5 tips for reducing waiting times at hotel reception
What are the most common (and weird) questions from hotel guests?
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12+ Hotel Sales Plan Templates – PDF, Google Docs, MS Word, Apple Pages
Sales is very important to the operations of hotels and other establishments. A hotel needs to set specific sales goals in a period of time and assure that the sales team hit their sales targets as it will signify whether the hotel plan is still doing well in terms of its financial condition.
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The Relation of Hotel Sales to Hotel Marketing
- Marketing is used to help the sales of the hotel increase. Hence, the activities and programs of the marketing department can affect the overall sales standing of the company. If the sales of the hotel goes down for a period of time, marketing can actually help the hotel get more sales by providing activities, promotions, and other deals to prospective clients.
- The sales plan should also include the marketing plans in the creation of their sales targets for specific events and functions. The marketing events done by the company should have achievable sales targets for the sales team to deliver well. Also, the marketing plan allows the clients to have more awareness with the brand and what the company offers, which will result to more people patronizing the hotel products and services.
- A cohesive sales and marketing plan can truly create advantages to the sales of the hotel and it can identify the purchasing movement of their market and the items that affect these movements
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Inclusions of a Hotel Sales Plan
- The sales and financial goals of the hotel for a specific period of time.
- The business direction that the hotel wants to go to including the sales target that it wants to achieve.
- The action steps that are needed to be done to increase the sales of the hotel and assure that the income of the hotel will not fluctuate, especially in the products and services which the hotel is mostly known for.
- The people involved in the sales processes of the hotel and the activities that they are expected to handle.
- The timeline that is needed to be followed for the implementation of different hotel sales activities.
- The available resources that can be maximized by the hotel to achieve its sales goals and other resources that are needed to improve the quality of the business which may attract new clients and customers.
- The items to consider to assure that the target market is maintained and that client loyalty is retained.
- The barriers, threats, and weaknesses in relation to the sales operations of the hotel.
- The methods involved in the sales planning and how these methods can positively affect the sales functions of the sales department.
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Launching a new product? Or looking to enter a new market with an existing product? Then you’ll need a thorough go-to-market plan to help you succeed. It encompasses your business’s strategy to identify and attract target customers; which sales channels you’ll leverage; and how you’ll accelerate customer adoption of your product.
For businesses wanting to expand internationally, a go-to-market plan will help them identify countries where there is the greatest demand for their products, and create marketing campaigns tailored to local customers.
In this article we will explore the main components of a go-to-market strategy, with guidance on creating one.
When do you need a Go-To-Market (GTM) Strategy?
There are three main scenarios when a business may need a go-to-market strategy:
Launching a new product in an existing market – for example, an established wellness brand adding a candle range to its product portfolio.
Launching an existing product in a new market – for example, a furniture business looking to sell to China for the first time.
Testing a new product’s market for growth – for example, a tech startup soft launching an app to limited users to measure demand and response.
In such instances, a go-to-market strategy will minimize their risks via in-depth planning and research into the market they’re entering.
Go-To-Market Strategy vs Marketing Strategy
A go-to-market strategy focuses on how a business will introduce a specific product to the market and reach its target customers. It’s focused on immediate revenue and customer success.
A marketing strategy is a longer-term, ongoing plan for the wider business and covers messaging, content creation and campaigns – essentially the touchpoints that makes the brand memorable in a competitive market. It should be flexible to help the business adapt to demand and find the optimal market-product fit.
Go-To-Market Strategy Benefits
Establish potential problems.
A go-to-market strategy ensures due diligence is paid to all the components of a product launch. You’ll be able to identify potential problems early on – such as a target market without enough demand to deliver a profit – and then adjust your strategy before any more resources are wasted.
Know how to position your product in the existing market
Thoroughly researching who and where your target customers are will help you create powerful, effective and tailored marketing messaging that really resonates with customers’ pain points. Furthermore, it will allow you to define your product’s value proposition to differentiate it in a crowded and competitive market.
A go-to-market strategy emphasizes extensive research and planning before you launch a product. This mitigates risks and ensures the product is put in front of the most relevant audience for maximum sales. As your understanding of the target customer deepens, you can adjust the product to enhance its chances of success.
Components of a Go-To-Market (GTM) Plan
Each business’s go-to-market plan will vary depending on different factors – for example, an established business launching a new product will be able to leverage some of its existing customer data to build target customer profiles in a way that a brand-new business can’t. That said, there are some general components of a go-to-market strategy that all businesses should look to tick off: market research and analysis; product promotion; sales and distribution; and logistics and supply chain management.
How to Create a Go-To-Marketing Strategy
Step 1: market research and analysis .
The first step is to look at the existing market you hope to enter and establish if and where your product will fit. A thorough competitor analysis will help you understand:
- What problems does your product solve?
- Is there a gap in the market you can adapt your product to meet?
- What is your product’s Unique Selling Point?
- How are your competitors’ products priced?
If you’re looking to expand into international markets, it’s especially important to thoroughly research the target country. Consumers’ preferences and habits can vary vastly between markets, so understanding these nuances will help you localize your marketing content accordingly. Our dedicated shipping guides are a good place to start.
Next, you should define your buyer persona – i.e., your target customer. Beyond demographics such as age, location and income bracket, you need to establish:
- Which consumers are experiencing the problem(s) your product solves?
- Where and how do they like to shop online?
- What does their buying journey look like, i.e., how can you take them from awareness to consideration to conversion?
Combined, the above information (competitor and customer profiles) will help you define your marketing messaging so that you can communicate the value of your product in a way that engages and entices consumers to buy. It should also inform your pricing strategy.
Step 2: Craft your Promotion Strategy
Construct a value matrix
This maps out your different buyer personas’ pain points and then which of your product’s values provides a solution. It means each persona can be targeted with relevant, personalized marketing messaging that is more likely to convert them into a buyer. There are lots of value matrix templates online that can help you with this.
Identify where your target audience spend most of their time
What marketing channels penetrate that space? Social media, SEO, emails? Which ones will deliver the highest return on investment? This should inform where you allocate the most of your marketing budget and resources.
Track your marketing content’s performance
Once your campaigns have been rolled out, they should be continually tested and optimized depending on key engagement metrics like click-through-rate and conversion rate.
Step 3: Establish your sales and distribution channels
This refers to where consumers can buy your product and how it will get there. Ultimately, the goal is to make the buyer’s journey as easy as possible to increase sales.
Many small e-commerce businesses begin selling via their own website. However, things can get trickier if you want to ship your new product cross-border so you should explore different distribution models depending on the region you’re trying to reach. Let’s say, for example, you want to sell to China. The country’s leading online marketplaces are Alibaba, Taobao, Tmall and JD.com , but selling on these platforms is challenging for foreign brands, as sellers have to be registered in mainland China to qualify. But there is a way in – Tmall has a dedicated sister site, Tmall Global, specifically set up for international brands; you don’t need a physical entity in China or a Chinese business license to sell on the platform, and you can accept payment in your local currency.
This is just one example. You’ll have to do your research into the country you’re planning to launch your product in, and then change your sales channel strategy accordingly.
Step 4: Logistics and Supply Chain Management
Bringing new products to market is a key way to keep your business competitive – if you can get there before your competitors. Early supplier involvement will foster the ideal environment for innovation, whilst reducing product development time. A close relationship with your suppliers, where you talk them through your new product vision, will yield ideas that you may not have considered before.
Ensuring your products get to customers on time should be a priority of your logistics strategy. Late deliveries will impact negatively on your brand and undo all the time you have invested into the product launch. By partnering with DHL, you can guarantee your customers fast and reliable delivery. And, as international experts, DHL can help you establish a global network with customers in over 220 countries and territories across the world.
Of course, delivery is just one part of your logistics. There are other factors to consider including inventory management (ensuring your new product is always in stock to meet demand), warehousing (how will you store your products in the most efficient way?), and packaging (will it sufficiently protect the product during transportation?) This dedicated logistics guide will help you run an efficient operation.
Types of Go-To-Market Strategies
There are two main types of go-to-market strategies:
Here, salespeople using persuasive positioning are at the heart of the GTM strategy. It’s most suited for businesses looking to establish a one-to-one relationship with a specific account, or when a business has created a complex product that needs skilful salespeople to guide the buyer through the customer pipeline.
Here, the product itself is the salesperson, empowered with all the information a buyer may need. A product-led GTM strategy involves analyzing customers’ behavior and interaction with the product to ultimately drive customer acquisition, retention and growth. For this reason, it’s well suited to businesses that want to scale fast at a low customer acquisition cost.
If your business is launching a new product or entering a new market, you’ll need support from the experts. With a DHL Express Business Account, you’ll join thousands of other businesses which benefit from the logistics leader’s international and e-commerce expertise.
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FRANK CORZO JOINS PREMIER WORLDWIDE MARKETING AS VICE PRESIDENT OF SALES NORTH AMERICA
In the news release, FRANK CORZO JOINS PREMIER WORLDWIDE MARKETING AS VICE PRESIDENT OF SALES NORTH AMERICA , issued 07-Nov-2023 by Karisma Hotels & Resorts over PR Newswire, we are advised by the company that the last sentence of the 4th paragraph should now read, "Marilyn will work alongside Frank for a seamless transition until November 30th , when she will embark on her future endeavors." The complete, corrected release follows:
MIAMI , Nov. 7, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Premier Worldwide Marketing, the global sales and marketing representative for Karisma Hotels & Resorts , is excited to announce the appointment of Frank Corzo as the Vice President of Sales North America. With his deep understanding of the travel trade and extensive 25-year experience in the industry, Frank Corzo is perfectly poised to lead the continued evolution of the Gourmet Inclusive ® Vacation Consultant (GIVC) program and deliver cutting-edge sales plans to support Karisma Hotels & Resorts' valued travel industry partners.
"I am thrilled to join the Premier Worldwide Marketing team and embark on this exciting journey. I look forward to spearheading our team and collaborating with our travel trade partners to propel our programs to new horizons," said Frank Corzo , Vice President of Sales North America.
Frank Corzo's background as an industry veteran has equipped him with the tools and insight needed to excel in this new role and ensure a seamless transition for industry partners and travel professionals. His primary focus at Karisma will be to strengthen partnerships throughout the marketplace and craft a loyalty and recognition program aimed at bringing more financial wealth to the travel community. Corzo's track record of piloting successful initiatives, events, and platforms that have yielded positive outcomes for industry partners makes him a valuable asset in ensuring the GIVC program's continued success and further solidifying Karisma Hotels & Resorts as the top choice for travel consultants.
Frank will be succeeding Marilyn Cairo , who, for the past six years, has led global sales, groups, and weddings at Premier Worldwide Marketing. Marilyn has been instrumental in Karisma Hotels & Resorts' success while developing revolutionary seasonal programming and delivering commercial brand renown for both the Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts and Margaritaville Island Reserve® all-inclusive collection. Marilyn will work alongside Frank for a seamless transition until November 30th , when she will embark on her future endeavors.
Assuming his new role on Nov. 6 , Frank Corzo will undoubtedly make a significant impact on the organization's growth and development.
About Karisma Hotels & Resorts Karisma Hotels & Resorts is an award-winning luxury hotel collection that owns and manages an impressive portfolio of properties in Latin America , the Caribbean , and Europe . Property brands include Margaritaville Island Reserve ® by Karisma; Azul Beach Resorts by Karisma; and Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts. Properties have been honored with the industry's top accolades, including Conde Nast Traveler's "Top 30 Hotels in Cancun ," World Waterpark Association "Leading Edge Award," Travel Weekly "Magellan Awards," and AAA's "Five Diamond Award" and "Four Diamond Award." Karisma Hotels & Resorts is committed to employee and community support while delivering authentic experiences to guests, receiving worldwide recognition for its compassionate and creative approach to hospitality management and product innovations.
Media Contact: Malaika Hollis , Alliance Connection [email protected]
SOURCE Karisma Hotels & Resorts