Why Visualization Strategy is your Hotels new Digital Marketing Strategy
Drawing a Digital Marketing Strategy is not easy, and Social Media has added new complex elements to this challenge.
Most Digital Marketing Strategies is crafted from an end goal perspective. This process has worked well for almost a decade now. It worked because customers did not have any control over the components that defined their customer experience. Often the Travel Journey was built around a given package or a bundle of various packages.
From a Hotel marketing perspective often the customer behavior has been fairly predictable. The end goal perspectives appeared to be aligned with customer behaviors. Owners, decision makers and managers had strong impressions of where their competitors was standing.
Social Media has brought on a new shift for the Hotel Industry. The processes is no longer static, it has become a dynamic process where customers require a personalized experience for all reference points of their Travel Journey.
Hotels today will have to shift from an end goal perspective to before the beginning. The big question then is how Hotels gets to know customer behavior before the beginning.
The part of a new shift that is most challenging is the Visual Awakening process. Obviously this shift will require some changes.
The two most common mistakes here is;
- Focus on change before you have resolved current state of your play book
- Reluctant to accept the need for change
Hotel Owners and decision makers understandably is more reluctant to change when primary focus is on how Social Media will change the Hotel. Often change is applied through extremely determined leaders or a serious crisis.
Many Hotels today can have a stunning and beautiful looking Facebook Page. They also have a large amount of Likes. But the Hotels occupancy and revenue still don’t benefit from this.
The key today is to draw up the current Value Curve for your Hotels Digital Marketing Strategy. If you take an in-depth look at the end goal perspective curve you will find the customer values at the end.
With the Social Media eco-system there are several processes that need to work hand in hand to achieve the wanted outcomes.
Having a stunning and beautiful Facebook Page is awesome. A numbers also play an important role in the Social Media eco-system either we like it or not. So the amount of Likes should also be part of your Hotels Facebook Strategy.
Where is the missing Link here?
Customers is the missing Link. With Social Media customers has not only moved to the beginning of the goal perspective, but they moved before the beginning.
The first process will help your Hotel get a better picture of where you are today. And draw up a value curve for the current state of your Hotel. This will help create new awareness that brings up to the next process.
Realizing this major shift is only the first step. The next step is to show Hotel Owners and decision makers how customer use their products and services in the Social Media eco-system.
Previously the Digital Marketing Strategy has been a linear static process based on known data. Many Hotels has utilized data from benchmark data related to Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI). A lot of this data is collected through surveys, forums and interviews. CSI measures guest satisfaction with the entire hotel experience, from reservation to check-out, based on a recent guest stay.
Social Media has created a new shift where the customer has bigger impact on the processes that today will make up for the complete customer experience. Today the Digital Marketing Strategy has become a dynamic circular process. Technology and Smart devices has totally changed customer behaviors.
Introduce your Hotel team into Social Media Communities where your Hotels Customers hang out. Customers today want to be a part of your Hotel success if you let them.
Today there is an abundance of quality tools available that provide you with data from various important customer and non-customer reference points. Within customer centric communities Hotels today has the opportunity to observe products and services that are consumed. And this again provides the Hotel with opportunities to add new values to the customer experience. Hotels might discover things like customer would enjoy child care, dog care, Uber service (some Hotels has tested this), or collaborate with Airbnb services.
Ritz-Carlton has provided this type of service before Social Media was available. With creativity and innovation all Hotels today should be able to adapt some of these principles.
Visual Strategy Fair
After you gained new awareness, and explored options the next step is to tie this together.
Your Hotel will create where customers no longer is defined as customers, but your Hotels fans.
Pulling this off will require a little gutsy move for many. You have to put all your cards on the table in the community, and then invite employees, customers, non-customers, customers of competition and some of your most demanding customer to provide feedback on your strategies.
And from here you will draw new value curves. Remember that today this is dynamic circular process. After you have implemented new values, then you will invite your community to your Hotel to experience these new values.
This will reveal hidden wants and needs from your Hotels customers.
I hope you still are sitting, and have not jumped out of your chair yet. Many might think this will take a lot of resources to pull off.
It is all about communication. A lot of these principles is already part of the Hospitality Trade. The key here is to focus in on the customer and their reference points that build up to a complete customer experience.
Plus it is all about how your Hotel structure your Social Media budget. Like said earlier having a fancy Facebook Page with a lot of Likes don’t do much good if there is little or no conversion. And once your Hotel understand that conversion is customer driven then it will all come together.
If you followed all the steps so far your Hotel will have a draft for a laser targeted Digital Marketing Strategy.
In the last step you have to communicate it so it is easily understood by everyone in your community; employees, customers, non-customers, customers of competition and some of your most demanding customers.
You’re Hotels new Digital Marketing Strategy will become a reference point for new investment decisions.
The key to success is that your Hotel has made the community part of the Value Innovation Program. You now treat all in your community as VIP’s.
The Visualizing Strategy will greatly improve the dialog among your Hotel and community. Your Hotels community will have better understanding of the products and services you are capable of deliver.
Social Media is evolving with the speed of lightning, and new tools is making it easier to take part of this process.
Once you understand the ripple effects of involving a community in the process that is when Social Media really starts adding value to your Hotel.
Social Media rewards innovations and creativity. But more than anything it rewards that you care listening. Your job will be to listen, respond and reward the community. The community will then share your Hotels info with their networks. And they will also will also assist you when concerns is shared about your Hotel within their networks.
If your Hotel need help with your Digital Marketing Strategy then Let a Social Media Coach help you… Learn More
About the author