Marketing HotelsAddressing the unique challenges of marketing hotels

Published April 2009 7 lectures
Ms. Pamela Carvell
Principal Consultant, Pampas and Chairman, Hotel Marketing Association, UK

The marketing of hotels is radically different to marketing many other products. This is for several reasons:
• The ‘product’ comprises a significant service component and it is often the service that presents the greatest opportunity for product differentiation
• The purchaser of the product often never uses... read morethe product, such as in the case of a Travel Manager in a large company and these are typically a hotel’s most important customers.
• The factors that influence product choice often differ from the factors that influence guest satisfaction, presenting marketing with an interesting challenge
• The hotel inventory is perishable i.e. a room that is unsold today represents lost revenue for ever, as it cannot be sold twice tomorrow to make up for the lost revenue
• The ways in which people research, select and book hotels has changed very radically in recent years, and continues to change. Third party intermediaries such as Expedia have become global brands in their own right and have significant impact over the marketing and selling of hotels
• The discipline of Yield Management, a relatively recent concept in the hotel industry, has impacted the ways hotels price their products and make them available to the marketplace

Thus the hotel marketer or student of hotel marketing is presented with an array of unique challenges, in addition to the marketing challenges facing any industry, such as branding, pricing and market segmentation.

The aim of this series of talks is to inform, educate and challenge the viewer/listener on some of the issues facing hotel marketing today. More specifically we aim:
• To explain the basics of great marketing
• To explore ways in which hotel marketing is very industry-specific
• To provide an analysis of the impact and effectiveness of some of the major marketing tools for hotels e.g. branding, customer loyalty programmes
• To evaluate how digital marketing can be more effective than traditional marketing