Walking in Your Shoes: Value of Online Marketing
During April we kicked off our ‘Walking in Your Shoes’ initiative, with the aim to get our support and technical personnel to experience the industry firsthand at some of our valued client establishments. In this second installment of the series (read about Feroza’s day), we will find out what Tanya Normandeau discovered during her day at the The One 8 Hotel.
“My first impressions of the hotel were very positive. The feel is modern and the rooms simply gorgeous. All of the personnel on duty were competent and friendly and walked the extra mile to help their customers. I sat down with the owner to discuss his vision and focus.”
After its opening in late 2008 the hotel started off with a focus on print media advertising but Paul now feels that he gains much more from online marketing to which he dedicates a large part of his day. He checks the rates of the competition in the area on a daily basis and adjusts the hotel’s rates to stay competitive. His other focus area is on customer satisfaction. He would rather under promise and over deliver to ensure a happy client that will most likely return again.
Around 50% of their bookings are from online sources, many of those from Booking.com. Their own website also drives sales. They have a Facebook page, Twitter account and blog but Paul has so far struggled to extract value from those channels. Tanya explained how social media can be used to not only encourage repeat business, but also attract friends and family of their guests.
Tripadvisor awarded the hotel with a Certificate of Excellence during 2011. Paul usually responds to any bad reviews posted on the site as soon as possible, but reports that most reviews are very positive.
Paul feels that you need to discover your unique selling point and make that as attractive as possible to the guest or you’re not going to be successful in today’s competitive market. Offer more than your competitors at a competitive rate.
“Everything is done on a computer these days, therefore <strong>online visibility</strong> is of extreme importance. If people like what they see (photographs) and like what they read about you (reviews & social media) online, they will choose to stay with you.”
Tanya reports that she enjoyed seeing NightsBridge used on a very practical level to manage bookings and payments, and also to pull up reports. The personnel find it easy to use, and Paul is able to quickly update the hotel’s rates through the setup and synchronise it with all the marketing channels with just one click.
It is great to learn from Tanya’s experience that our clients realise the value of online marketing, and use NightsBridge in an effective way to stay competitive in terms of rates.
We hope this also makes you think of what sets your establishment apart from the one down the street!