The hospitality industry is an incredibly competitive space.
Often times resembling the ancient Roman coliseums, the hospitality industry is a place rife with treachery, double dealing, lies, and innuendo… and that’s just on the consumer marketing side; never mind the lengths that competitors will go to in order to sabotage one another.
[LISTEN: Restaurants prosper using mobile coupons, loyalty, rewards – PODCAST EPISODE]
Bottom line is that there are only so many hospitality industry dollars to be had from consumers. Some business groups in the industry prefer to focus on corporate travel, events and bookings; this is a more high volume, high ticket item way to go, but the level of competition for available corporate dollars is even more cutthroat than vying for direct to consumer dollars.
How does anyone ever make it in the hospitality industry?
The fact is that most don’t make it. The odds are probably equally as good as getting on a Greyhound bus in Ohio and making it as a movie star in Hollywood. There are a few folks who manage to get enough investment money to create luxurious enclaves in high rent districts and glamorous destinations, sure – but not everyone was smart enough to realize that Tulum was the next Ibiza and plan accordingly.
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The hospitality industry encompasses hotels, restaurants, spas, events venues, and even locations such as campgrounds – basically anyone competing for the disposable income of the individual or family, or the corporate budget allocation for the business travelers.
Rewards, loyalty programs and other incentives are key to increasing engagement with prospects.
Hospitality industry businesses were among the first to come to the realization that bribing people was a great way to do a couple of things:
- increase prospective interest
- expand foot traffic
- collect data about consumer spending patterns
These three things are equally important when it comes to massaging the bottom line as far as hotels, restaurants, bars, lounges, etc are concerned. Having a way to track customer preferences in a non-annoying, seemingly innocuous, and unobtrusive way is key to actually drilling down and figuring out what sort of services customers are interested in enough to either pay for outright or redeem as ‘prizes’ as part of a loyalty or rewards program.
Not sure how to implement a program?
There are literally thousands of different combinations of earning and redemption policies that you could implement – each business will have a slightly different angle of attack based on things like location, type of customers, average ticket volume, and so on. This means that every program should be customized to meet the needs of the business owner and the clientele.
[READ: Ways Pop Up Restaurants Pop Onto Mobile – BLOG ARTICLE]
There’s no such thing as one size fits all – while your next door neighbor may see great results with offering BOGO (buy one, get one) promotions, your customer base might not be motivated enough to even look closely at your offer if that’s what you are sending them. The variations in price, product, and service can be wide ranging and be more than a minor factor in the program.
How do I tell my customers about my programs?
If there is one thing that applies to the hospitality industry as a whole, we can say that it’s the willingness to try new promotions and ideas – be it delivery mechanisms like mobile (YASS!) or new types of promotions (punch card rewards, for instance), the successful business owners and managers in the restaurant, bar, lounge, and hotel industry are well aware that following the rest of their competition around the race course is not the way to win the hearts, minds or dollars of potential customers.
Creating a customized program for your business is something we specialize in doing – we are happy to sit down and listen to your needs and concerns, then take a close look at not only your current marketing and ads plans, but your bottom line figures that often hold clues to ways that you may not have thought about in leveraging your assets more successfully.
Give us a call and we’re happy to schedule an appointment to speak to you about your particulars!