You must give your customers what they want on a physical or tangible level in order to engage to them. For example, customers expect a well-appointed guest room; they want to know the hotel has availability on select dates; and is in a desirable location.
However, it’s also beneficial to employ sensory marketing tactics to appeal to your target audience in a more sensual way. In fact, by focusing on all the senses, you may be able to capture your guests on a more profound and memorable level.
Obviously, your hotel should be impressively clean and well-maintained, but effective hospitality marketing does far more than just show your hotel as being sanitary. Your hotel’s marketing efforts should use sight or visuals to tell a story to the target audience.
This may include information about a type of memory or experience guests can enjoy if they stay. Some visuals are integrated with social media for expansive marketing results, but most will trigger feelings or emotions in a carefully orchestrated way. Your images should give your target audience a warm, comforting feeling that conveys the experience you will create for them.
Your visuals will show physical features of the space, such as amenities and a stylish décor. Therefore, you should focus your attention on capturing the top features in images used for your website and brochures. More than that, you need to ensure that the images you select convey the exceptional care you devote to housekeeping, compliance with local hospitality laws, security, and more.
Remember that the visual experience that you market should coincide with the actual experience your guests enjoy while on-site. The décor, cleanliness and other elements should not let your guests down, so ensure that your marketing material is in line with the actual experience they will have during their stay.
When your guests arrive, they quickly notice the scent in your hotel. A scent is not visible, but it can make or break a visitor’s experience. For example, an unpleasant scent may give the impression that your hotel is not clean or sanitary.
On the other hand, floral scents can have a positive impact on mood and create a home-like feel to your space. Air fresheners and scent diffusers can be used in your ventilation system to spread scents throughout the space, but you also need to carry the experience into the guest rooms. The linens and bath products that are available in the guest rooms should also have an appealing fragrance. Avoid using overbearing or bothersome scents in these spaces.
Remember that a pleasant scent may be something that your guests remember, and it could even lead to your ability to sell your own products. For example, you can market and sell your own brand of bath products, perfumes and candles to guests.
Guests may not be allowed to light candles in your hotel, but these small affordable luxuries can be a part of any home decor and serve as a reminder of the hotel experience. Finally, it could potentially lead to referral business or a future booking.
All aspects of your hotel should convey comfort to your guests. The seating in the lobby should be comfortable, and bedding should be superior in quality and inspire relaxation. Remember that touch transcends these features, and it also includes lighting and air temperature in the space.
Each room should be an ideal temperature that is suitable for the season and climate, but ideally, guests will be able to adjust the temperature in their room on their own. Lighting can also affect the overall feel of a space, so focus on using different lighting elements to create a warm, relaxing atmosphere.
Inside their rooms, guests should be surrounded by peaceful quiet and should hear very little or nothing from the public areas of the hotel or from other guest rooms. You may be able to encourage a positive ambiance by providing a radio or CD player as well as a TV in each room.
In public areas of the hotel, select the sounds that are played through the sound system carefully. Some music may inspire serenity, but other music may be upbeat and motivate activity. You want to play different types of music in different areas. For example, the music in the bar at happy hour should be different than the music in your elevators or lobby in the morning.
Many hospitality establishments serve food in a restaurant or bar area as well as in a lobby, breakfast dining room, and more. The tastes in your restaurant will be remembered by your guests, so focus on creating delicious experiences that are somewhat unique and memorable.
For example, you may use vegetables grown in an on-site garden to customize the dining experience. Another idea is to offer wine tasting or cooking classes to make the experience enjoyable and unique.
The service that your guests receive while dining may not affect the taste sense directly, but it can play a role in how enjoyable the dining experience. Ensure that all guests receive fast, friendly, and personalized service while they are dining in your hotel.
5, 4, 3, 2, 1 – GO!
The best hospitality experience is one that takes into account a guest’s full sensory experience. It begins with exceptional marketing with visual elements that tell a story, and it continues through experiences in the dining room, fitness room, lobby, guest room and more.
When you can effectively target each of these senses in an appealing and memorable way, you may be able to improve the overall success and profitability of your hotel and even encourage repeat visits from satisfied guests in the future.
Author Bio: Jasmine Williams covers the good and the bad of today’s business and marketing. She was rummaging through her grandma’s clothes before it was cool and she’s usually hunched over a book or dancing in the kitchen, trying hard to maintain rhythm, but delivering some fine cooking (her family says so). Tweet her @JazzyWilliams88.