In the hospitality business, it’s sometimes necessary to slash budgets, and unfortunately, sometimes the people who suffer that the most are the people in the marketing department. Hotel and resort managers may be hesitant to invest money in projects unless they can see a clear return on investment, which is sometimes not easy to prove in the world of marketing, and in social media marketing in particular.
However, companies that are struggling with small marketing budgets should look at this as a competitive advantage. At the outset, it seems counterintuitive: with large budgets, shouldn’t the businesses be able to spend more money to get the things they need?
Smaller budgets push hospitality marketers to work more creatively. It allows them to focus more closely on one facet of marketing that is often overlooked by larger corporations: the people.
That’s right. Sometimes, hotel chains or mega resorts become so big that it seems as though they somehow forget about the community that got them there in the first place. By thinking small and using it as an advantage, these smaller businesses are able to facilitate more direct relationships with their customers, something that larger businesses try unsuccessfully to do all the time.
For tourism and resort marketers and others in the hospitality industry, here are a few tips from our Florida ad agency that will help guide your resort marketing efforts, even if you’re working on a shoestring budget.
1. Be Genuine
There’s something humbling about receiving an email from a mom and pop, independently owned businesses that take pride in offering visitors impeccable service. People in these types of businesses are there because they want to be there; unlike at some major chains where people are simply there because they need the job.[quote]By putting the emphasis on the relationship with the customer, the smaller shop has an advantage in that it can tailor its service to the needs of the individual.[/quote]
2. Use Social Media as a Way to Engage the Community
When dealing in social media, the only budgetary restriction is time. But, the platform itself is free, and by investing in a good social media manager, a company can reap the rewards of someone who is skilled at interacting with people, who is also a customer service master and a pro brand advocate.
Since some of the best marketers a brand can have are influencers within an engaged community, allocating some investment in social media can help the company grow its social media presence, thereby helping it stay connected to its audience. For resort marketers, this is especially valid, as your audience may be comprised of people from all over the world.
3. Show That You’re Reliable and Trustworthy
Another advantage that smaller resorts have over big chains is that they have a more intimate connection to their customers. Who hasn’t tried to contact a large hotel chain and ended up feeling like more of a robot than a human being? Resorts that offer a hands-on approach to marketing and customer service can prove they have their customers’ best interests at heart. And, at its core, real resort marketing is about being authentic, and going above and beyond customers’ expectations.
4. Keep It Simple
So, you don’t have it in your budget to run a big TV ad takeover or a massive billboard campaign. That doesn’t matter, because working with a smaller budget allows resort marketers to tailor their marketing efforts to the people who are most likely to offer a return on that investment. Rather than trying to copy the pros, try instead to simplify marketing efforts to see how members of the community react. Chances are, they will appreciate the attention to detail that goes into these types of marketing efforts, and will reward your business by thinking of your resort first when it comes to making travel plans.
In these days of high-tech services and constant distraction, sometimes people just want to make a connection with another human being. People are hungry for this social connection that seems to be lost in the digital age. For large businesses, that connection can seem impossible, but for smaller resorts, it seems like a natural way to allow employees and staff to be truly authentic in their communication and marketing efforts.
The team here at our Florida marketing agency can help your resort marketing team to grow the brand on any budget. For more ideas and suggestions as to how to establish authenticity in your brand, contact us for a consultation.