Three experts on international brand growth and sales generation for independent hotels

Ensuring a strong presence in key markets is a priority in any modern hotel marketing strategy. Depending on the experiences and preferences of the hotel management team, the approach to developing brand awareness and sales differs for each hotel or resort.

Hoteliers often ask me why brand awareness matters, if a hotel can hire travel agents and local salespeople to drive sales?

The answer is simple. Having a sought-after brand allows hotels to set themselves apart from the price and location competition, property will benefit from increased demand, and business will flow mostly organically.

Three different experts share their opinions and experiences

For this article, I contacted three international experts from my network.

Jim sullivan, Managing Director of Balcony Media. Balcony Media is a leading public relations company for luxury hotels and travel companies. They publish articles in the most searched media, like Forbes.

Taeho Noh, CEO of Neo Marketing Plus in South Korea, representative of Danang Tourism in Vietnam and several luxury resorts in South East Asia.

Beth searls, Director of Canfield Lane Hospitality (USA) will share innovative ways to generate direct business in the United States.

Balcony Media Managing Director Jim Sullivan shares Balcony’s approach in delivering compelling stories in top media for their hotel guests

At Balcony, we understand that when it comes to getting media attention, it is more important to be sensitive to what the media wants than to deliver what the customer wants to say.

Press releases that sound like marketing pieces are doomed to failure. If you only want to give the media what you want to say, the most suitable place for this communication is an advertisement. PR is trying to do something else. We try to give the media facts and access and, where possible, an honest appreciation of the spirit of a place. Ideally, a public relations agent is an honest broker of information about a property.

We approach clients as we did when we were travel writers. When we do a first visit, we look for several different angles of approach to a property – angles that are sharp and that will penetrate the indifference of a publisher. We don’t say that a place is beautiful. We try to communicate what it is about the place – the design, the heritage, the differences – that would make someone decide for themselves that a place is beautiful.

Our due diligence on property is a journalist’s due diligence. What type of wood framed the hall? Where does this stone come from? What is the name of these offshore islands? In the same way that storytellers are more effective when they give you something to see and don’t tell you how you feel, a PR agent is more effective when he or she gives something to an editor. .

We are not saying that a hotel is spectacular. We are trying to give you enough to see so that you can achieve this realization on your own.

It’s our job to put all of this information together, as convincingly as possible, and start sharing as much of it with the media.

Taeho Noh from Neo Marketing Plus explains how to grow sales and brand awareness in South Korea

Like other Asian markets, the Korean tourism market does not use English as a base language, so it is not easy for foreign independent hotels to enter Korea and develop brand awareness and the sales.

First, I’ll walk you through setting up and selling brand awareness online and offline. Building and selling brand awareness online is essentially a way to enter through global OTA.

Of course, it is difficult to say that entering the Korean tourism market through the online accommodation reservation system has entered the Korean tourism market.

The reason is that it is almost impossible for Korean tourists to directly select a hotel, collect detailed information and make reservations. In addition, online hotel marketing companies for specific purposes are currently emerging a lot in the Korean market and are an opportunity to intensively increase sales and brand awareness, but they have the downside of a continued lack of marketing. ‘events and find it difficult to hope for cooperation with local travel agencies in Korea.

The way to go offline is for hotel employees to come directly to Korea and engage in marketing and sales activities. This is a traditional method, but it is still the most used method in many independent hotels. We can’t help but be skeptical about whether we can overcome time and financial constraints and increase brand awareness and sales through offline meetings and events.

However, offline mode is also the most direct way to achieve the effect. First of all, it’s about connecting new channels that can build and manage sales networks in Korea. Through this channel, new information, events and products are provided in the direction desired by Korean tourists, and the method is changed according to the results. At the same time, continued promotion through travel magazines or travel journals published in Korea and communication with customers through online accounts will be the most effective way to revisit in the future as well as the notoriety of the Mark.

Beth Searls of ITM, Director of Canfield Lane Hospitality (US), will share innovative ways to drive direct business in the US

Independent hotels and resorts, like the rest of the industry, intend to expand international / US travel and secure the right customers who will pay optimal rates. However, unaffiliated properties are under more pressure to generate brand awareness, especially with lighter budgets and increased sensitivity to cash flow than their chain-affiliated counterparts. The answer is not how to prudently spend a limited marketing budget; instead, the brilliant solution is to implement income-generating programs and campaigns for a fraction of the cost. Think about how you can empower and increase your funds.

Unless you sell every night, you have empty coins of perishable value waiting to be monetized. Take the opportunity to leverage your unsold room inventory as a marketing currency, trading it in for targeted and highly desirable media / channels that may be unrealistic to secure within your current budget. Bartering your unsold rooms translates into purchasing power to strengthen brand exposure, advertising, promotions and public relations. This clever strategy is a fiscally responsible marketing and financial tool.

For over 25 years, Innovative Travel Marketing has helped hotels increase their marketing budgets to deliver targeted advertising and promotions. It’s been the secret sauce for savvy luxury and lifestyle hoteliers to help earn richer, more direct deals that stay longer at higher rates.

Few would say that, cautiously, well-placed ad programs increase brand awareness, drive website traffic, and generate leads. When you subsidize these marketing opportunities with commerce, you elevate them to their greatest potential and truly maximize your return on investment.

This is the optimal time to trade in your unsold rooms, especially as property requires hotels to increase their income, while continuing to cut expenses, save money and minimize lost profits.

How to measure brand awareness in foreign markets? Why is this important?

A growing number of smart independent hoteliers are subscribing to continuous brand analytics tools. This makes perfect sense, as they are interested in how their marketing and brand building efforts contribute to their brand awareness and popularity in key markets.

Don’t go wrong with pseudo-solutions

During the 2010s, companies began to use the data recorded from various online activities and events. Today, a whole range of information based on the web and social media is trying to solve the age-old question of measuring brand awareness.

The problem is that most of this information is unnecessary. These statistics were made to measure actions and interactions performed within a social network or on a website – not to make assumptions about brand awareness or perceptions.

The industry standard method for measuring brand awareness

The only accurate way to measure brand awareness in any segment is to take a sufficient sample of target customers and see what percentage of them are aware of the brand. The problem with brand measurement is that traditional solutions are not affordable for independent hotels and resorts.

Brand Auditor offers a perfect solution for this, with a streamlined market research solution where clients are in total control of their market research. The continuous brand auditing feature allows users to manage campaigns starting at just $ 10 per day.

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