Navigating Your Marketing Through COVID-19
COVID-19 has probably been the biggest disruptor of the hospitality industry in our generation. How to adjust your marketing strategy has been the most talked about subject during this time. What do you do? Do you stop everything? Do you continue on with certain marketing channels and strategies? I suppose it varies depending on your customer’s geography, and the type of business you attract. If it’s a mostly leisure market, then it’s one strategy. Business, meetings, and group, a whole different challenge, and the fly or drive market requires a much different approach.
But the main question is what do you do with your marketing? Each hotel group and market is different. One hotel group in particular we know decided to cut way back on new customer acquisitions and solely focus on their loyal and repeat customers. They produced online sales and announced new COVID-19 cleanliness policies on their websites, and drove the sales to all their past customers through highly targeted marketing channels – including email marketing, social media, direct marketing, and online banners. They knew being a popular drive market destination and beach market, that a percentage of customers would come no matter what. And it worked! They beat their competitors and kept their hotels open and bookings climbed above anyone else in their market.
Knowing what to do and not to do during COVID-19 is tricky but it does make total sense to take your tight marketing dollars and target your previous guests and target the ones who live closest to you. Your customers are familiar with your product and can get to you fast and relatively easy. One hospitality group got laser focused on their marketing initiatives and are now flourishing and prospering for its consistent, targeted, and non-stop approach to its customers during the peak COVID-19 period. What’s the point? In the best and worst of times, you can normally count on your customers to come back.