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COVID-19 marketing trends for ‘the new normal’ in the Hotel Industry

It is now more important than ever to make the guests’ journey as satisfying, enjoyable and safe as possible, including to rank the competitors while having more success within the market. So, hoteliers need to reassure people during the pre and booking process, starting with an effective hotel marketing approach.

Hotel marketing is an umbrella term that encompasses a range of strategies to promote the business and attract potential guests and customers alike who will be driven to research, plan and book their trip. Accordingly to a study released in 2020 on consumer behaviour, 25% of consumers would be more loyal to a travel provider (as Online Travel Agent) if it meets their needs and has tailored options more relevant – especially for Generation Z shoppers, those born after 1997.

To respond to the digital age, hotels should have a broad range of channels to maximise their presence, below shows examples of the latest trends.

1. Lets communicate new safety measures to guests

Safety, Guest and Communication are the most significant trends in hotel marketing. These trends combine the need to share safety and hygiene measures within the marketing content and effectively communicate with customers. Thus new protocols can tip the balance on guests’ decision-making, where the potential of losing sales is around the corner if failing to do so.

Accordingly, Radisson Hotel strategically communicates its “developed protocol” through videos. Indeed, it highlights the new measure using keywords that make feel safe and secure.

2. Focus on local vs international travellers

As the pandemic has brought travel restrictions, many hotels have responded to shift their attention to Local travellers than international ones. According to SiteMinder, domestic tourism will play an important role in economies. Attracting domestic travellers hoteliers may benefit from recovering the losses felt in the past year, for instance. From a marketing point of view, if the hotel highlights its facilities such as gyms, smart rooms with personalised services, it may meet or exceed guests’ expectations.

3. Step up with innovative guest experiences

Although bringing innovation to the guest experience is a perennial fight in the hotel industry, Covid-19 has created a high degree of uncertainty between travellers and visitors. Therefore, as highlighted in a previous article, VR technology or Gamification within the hotel can bring potential guests or B2B to benefit from services and products offered, leveraging their experience and loyalty.

Hence VR or Gamification can be useful marketing tools during the booking process and stay, especially if VR is being integrated into the booking engine, social media and hotel channels.

4. Drive the strategy towards loyalty and fidelisation

Personalisation marketing – referred to as one-to-one marketing – is a strategy that generally is given through a compound of data collected and analysed. Therefore, within the hospitality sector, many marketing strategies may be available for different scopes. Through personalised email, the hotelier can reach the customer with tailored services to enhance the customer experience by combining interactive images, for instance.

Hotels can also recommend intelligent products via chatbot, which may interact with the hotel and arrange additional services, such as SMS messages and retargeting. As a result, these tools can be a fundamental part of a hotel strategy as they can increase the chances of highlighting promotional contents and improve the overall guest experience.

To sum up, the hotel industry is a competitive environment where marketing can shape business performance. Nonetheless, the few trends listed in this article could benefit the hotels’ marketing strategy to reach potential guests in different ways. Secure bookings and maximise revenue targets are some, but the possibilities are innumerable.