Know Who Your Guest Isn't
By Andrew Freeman President, Andrew Freeman & Company | November 23, 2014
Co-authored by Candace MacDonald, Marketing & Concept Consultant, Andrew Freeman & Co.
Demographics are dead. Well, actually, demographics as most people know them are irrelevant, which in hospitality is really the same thing as dead. Are you asking yourself "How do we reach millenials?" or "How can we appeal to boomers?" If so, you are asking the wrong questions. What year someone is born will not determine if they stay at your hotel or dine at your restaurant. We are in the age of hyper-personalization - you can even get your name on a can of coke! It is more essential than ever that brands are able to deeply connect with guests, to build "personal" relationships and to create loyalty. This is no small task, but the good news is that the information necessary to build this kind of connection is more accessible than ever before.
Bring the Voice of the Guest to the Table
"Big data" is all the rage and more and more research and consumer insights companies are offering their products to operators of all sizes and budgets. There is a wealth of information available about people. All of this information can lead to a much deeper understanding of our guests, their needs, what motivates them and how we can best reach them. We are able to dig beyond superficial demographics and into the psychographics of guests. The emerging field of neuro-marketing is enabling an understanding of the subconscious. (Want to know if your ad makes someone's heart race?) All of these tools allow us to build vibrant and detailed guest profiles. Marketers are now in the position to truly bring the voice of the guest to the discussion. We can tell the most impactful story and can help our operations teams to adjust the concept to better meet the needs of the guests we want.
With all of this information, deciding who our guest is and even more importantly, who our guest isn't, is critically important. Avoiding this decision is actually making the choice to spread valuable resources too widely. There are several missteps that hospitality marketers often unknowingly make in this process.
"Spray and Pray" is so Passe