A zero-cost marketing weapon for any hotel.

Have you ever heard someone returning from a holiday and, while still riding the vibe, telling you how beautiful the hotel they had stayed at was?

How fabulous the breakfast, or how stunning their room view was? Or the great check-in they experienced?

Best case scenario, you get some sweet words as a reaction to your asking, but how many times does that happen, proactively, meaning without you having to ask?

Point is, hotel is never THE reason why people travel. Destination is.

Thus, you might heard people talking about their vacation in Spain, Italy, Thailand, wherever.

Places, points of interests, things they had visited, or experiences they… experienced.

No matter how good a hotel can be, hotels, by default, fall into the commodity pool.

A terrible place to be in, isn’t it?

 

Unless…

I just mentioned above and I repeat:

Places, points of interests, things they had visited, or experiences they… experienced.

Now, hotels are barely places worth remembering, nor points of interest that make people move their butts from home.

Instead, hotels can definitely contribute to the experience customers collect.

So, what is that generates an experience?

 

“Meet Customers’ expectations” is boring!

If you expect something before you get it, and when you get it, that something is exactly like you had expected it to be, you will likely be satisfied, but will you ever gather your friends and family talking about how much that something met your initial expectations?

In contrast, if expectations are not met, you will certainly bombard the web with bad reviews.

A desperate tentative to make your voice heard.

That’s what meeting customers’ expectations is for: to avoid bad reviews.

Differently put: meeting needs or expectations doesn’t serve your marketing strategy.

As I often times say, “Numbers don’t lie, but they are so easy to misrepresent”, so here’s my equation that tries to convert the above statement and belief into numbers:

Marketing = Getting people's Attention and Curiosity.
Getting people's Attention and Curiosity = Something that is worth remembering and/or something that gets sticky into people's minds.
Something that is worth remembering and/or something that gets sticky into people's minds = Memorable experiences.

 

✅ Me drinking my espresso in this very moment in a nice café in Koh Phangan, is an experience.

✅ My beautiful partner working with and in front of me, is an experience.

✅ You doing whatever you are doing, experience.

✅ Your Guests getting what they had expected to receive from you and your hotel, experience.

 

What is though the one adjective that all 4 points above share with each other?

Exactly: common, standard, regular, average… BORING!

The magic here happens over and around the memorable part.

And here, in my opinion, is where often times we get lost.

Think about it: creating something memorable sounds quite committing, or difficult, doesn’t it?

What if we, instead, use another word, that sounds less challenging and eventually more fun?

Yes, fun. What about humor?

Again, with rare exceptions and no matter how beautiful one is, there is little special about hotels. The product, aka hotel rooms, is unimportant.

People remember what gets their attention and curiosity.

In an digital and social-media oriented era like ours, people (proactively) share what makes them laugh and draws a smile upon their faces.

Speaking of marketing, Howard Gossage once said, “Nobody watches ads. People watch what entertains them. Sometimes it’s an ad”.

 

Yes, it’s all about making them (your prospects) laugh.

Every morning I spend 10 up to 20 minutes reading my favourite blogs and authors, to see what happens in the industry and stay up to date with the most recent news.

No matter how long this process takes, the last 5 minutes are for my favourite site listed in my newsfeed: BoredPanda.

Everything I just said until now, it’s simply because of an article on BoredPanda, that made me smile.

And you might want to smile about it, too, because I really think it is of great inspiration for all hoteliers.

The article titles: “30 Times People Had The Best Towel-Folding Experiences In Hotels“.

BoredPanda: funny folded towel art in hotels

BoredPanda: funny folded towel art in hotels

Now, you tell me, after reading this post and, more importantly, the marketing effects and virality such funny, hilarious and terrific initiatives have had on those hotels, wouldn’t you want to do the same?

Do you think you need to invest any sort of budget to get this done?

Do you think this is just a stupid thing not-too-serious hoteliers adopted because they think they are playing a game rather than working a serious job?

If so, then yes, being memorable is going to be extremely difficult.

Personally and by nature, I tend not to take things too seriously, neither when they are.

So I beg your pardon, I if just can’t help but having a big smile on my face reading stories like these, thinking that, ultimately, boosting hotels’ marketing and direct-booking strategies may not necessarily be difficult at times.

I hope you are smiling too, right here, right now.

Big hug.

Ale