The hospitality industry is recovering faster than ever. This is especially true as COVID-19 cases continue to drop, spurring many individuals to venture more frequently out of their homes and even embark on long-delayed travel plans. As a result, market analysts say that the global hospitality market will increase in worth from $3,952.87 billion to $4,548.42 billion between 2021 and 2022.
This slow and steady growth is a perfect time for businesses in the industry to lay the foundation for post-COVID operations. Marketing will be the heart of a business’ success in this endeavor. It will help hospitality companies share their stories, spark conversations, and boost attention to their brands, creating momentum for business growth moving forward.
Yet a brand’s messaging will also have to change if businesses want to meet new customer expectations that have been similarly transformed by the pandemic. Here are a few differences hotels and other hospitality businesses can expect and should make to this end.
An emphasis on cleanliness
Most customers are hyper-aware of the fact that COVID-19 is still around. To increase their confidence in your business, consider sticking to the same cleanliness protocols required during the height of the pandemic and emphasize to your guests that you do so — not just in your marketing content, but also in your business’ direct interactions with potential and existing customers. You can even go a step further by disclosing the exact cleaning products that you use: 70% of travelers and 1 out of every 3 diners will be more likely to book a room or eat a meal at hotels and restaurants that do so, especially if the cleaning product used is a recognizable brand.
Integrated tech for safety
This same customer drive for cleanliness is also fueling their demand for contactless travel. That being said, implementing and broadcasting a contactless experience will go a long way today, when building customer loyalty is paramount. This can begin with omnichannel booking services and digitalized room key distribution during the check-in process. Curating a dedicated app or opening your social media channels to answer guest concerns before, during, and after their stay can further add to the contactless experience. Aside from enforcing social distancing protocols at your restaurant, you can even avoid overcrowding at the bar by sending drinks straight to hotel rooms with video instructions on how to mix them. These innovative services can enhance the customer experience and make your advertising strategies more compelling.
Featured local experiences
As people resume traveling, they’re more likely to first dip their toes in the water. That being said, you may want to tap into local audiences before expanding your reach outward. At the same time, your business may begin seeing guests that have passed this phase. In this case, you may want to highlight the local tourist experiences available in your area. For example, gym personnel can host running tours of your area, and your chefs can offer workshops exploring the local cuisine. Businesses can alert or notify their customers of special events or promos to keep them updated with the local scene. Such activities can make your business more unique and better able to compete with larger, more uniform hotel chains.
An enhanced online presence
With more people online as a result of the pandemic, companies are constantly bombarding them with advertisements. Consequently, it’s not enough to simply post regular promotions of your services online. Successful online marketing strategies work by making customers trust your brand. Build this trust through relevance and authenticity. Directly engage with customers by opening conversations with them on social media and hosting online contests to boost engagement. We’ve also emphasized that using effective messaging platforms to gather feedback can further help improve your services while making customers feel that you’re a caring brand that’s open to their suggestions.
Today’s customers highly value brands that are transparent and go the extra mile to meet their needs. By adopting the above changes to your messaging in your marketing strategies, you can reach their standards easily.
Specially written for glowing.io
Authored by Ruth Janice
Glowing, Inc. is a leading US-based software company that specializes in AI-enhanced omni-channel guest engagement solutions. We provide some of the world’s leading brands in hospitality and other verticals an intelligent and unified platform to overcome the complexity of in-the-moment messaging and enhance guest experience–helping them win guest satisfaction and loyalty.