It came as no surprise that when I researched what people were searching for in regard to marketing, hospitality and tourism was right up there. The importance of marketing in the tourism and hospitality industry cannot be taken lightly as it is a major source of economic revenue for Kenya and several countries. And as such, going out of business is really not an option.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused the largest recession in global history. More than a third of the world's population are in lockdown or went into lockdown at some point. In a bid to reduce the spread of the virus, travel bans and gathering restrictions were instituted by authorities in different countries. The effects of these directives have hit the tourism and hospitality industries particularly hard. That is why, it is necessary to figure out how to market businesses in this sector differently, so that the workers can continue to earn a livelihood.
Best practices of marketing for the hospitality and tourism industry
The hospitality and tourism comprises mainly of:
Accommodation and Lodging
Food and Beverage Services (F & B)
Recreation and Entertainment
Convention & Event Management
When marketing in this sector, it is important to consider three main things:
1. The consumers' journey
This refers to the steps that your consumers take before a conversion activity. For example, before taking a vacation, a consumer will first think about the trip. After that, they will plan it, figuring out how all the pieces will come together before making a booking. After booking the trip, they go on the actual trip and experience it, following which they share their experiences.
2. Your marketing goals
You need to know what you want to achieve from your marketing campaigns. For example, under the current COVID-19 border closure measures, purchasing air tickets or may not be an ideal goal, or action that you want your consumers to take. You can still however market with the other steps of the customer journey in mind.
3. Your consumers' perceived value
Knowing what your consumers value is extremely important when it comes to marketing. This is gotten by researching and understanding your consumers.
For example, if you are a restaurant owner, you may want to dig deeper to find out what your consumers deeply value and care about when it comes to your eatery. Food can be bought and eaten anywhere, but what sets yours apart and has them coming back? The drivers can vary, and may not always be for the food. It may be for the prestige associated with being at your location. They also may be driven to your location just for the foodgram (an good photo of the food presentation). Knowing the underlying drivers for your consumers choosing you will enable you to create a strong marketing campaign that isn't necessarily centred around visiting your restaurant, but other perceived value.
Remember, marketing is a continuous and sequential process. Sales is not the only goal of marketing. If you drop the ball just because people can no longer gather or travel, rebuilding your brand will cost even more.