12 days of Christmas marketing

christmas-12-steps

Half of Brits would rather spend the Christmas period staying in a hotel than with their relatives, as many struggle to squeeze into spare rooms, let alone fit around the dining room table.

So, with that in mind, are you doing enough to attract more business this coming December, or are you missing out on a golden opportunity that could see you through to the new year?

 

On the first day of Christmas, BriefYourMarket.com gave to me a 12-step marketing strategy…

With years of experience working in the hospitality sector – and certainly with a thorough understanding of the evolving whims and expectations of today’s consumers – we have some suggestions that will be sure to give you a helping hand this winter.

 

1. First thing’s first, start planning

If you haven’t already started planning your Christmas strategy, then chances are you may already be behind compared to your local competitors, as well as industry newcomers like sharing economy platform, Airbnb.

A significant proportion of group (50%) and corporate (59%) bookings are made up to three months in advance. However, it’s never too late to get started, as you’ll always find last-minute bookers – regardless of the season.

Despite good intentions, 54% of those who planned to start their shopping in advance found themselves buying presents well into December whilst a quarter see themselves as “spontaneous shoppers”. So, there’s ample time to successfully market your business for the remainder of 2018.

Start by setting your goals and organising your line up of festive treats, events and fine dining specialities. Once you have a clear idea of what is happening and when, you’ll be in a much better position to deliver the right message at the right time.

 

2. Update your information

There’s nothing more aggravating to today’s consumer than not being able to easily find the information that they’re looking for.

The most common problem that your customers encounter with brands online is a lack of product information (40%), followed by issues with the website (28%) and difficult navigation functionality (18%).

With ‘near me’ searches peaking in December, and 50% likely to leave your website if they fail to find a Christmas menu, it’s important that you make your offers as accessible and easy to view as possible.

We suggest you start by updating your website and social media accounts with the latest opening hours, contact information, booking directions and menus.

 

3. Create Christmas content to entice more guests

Consumer sentiment is at an all time high at this time of the year, with the smallest amount of content going a long way to increasing your brand likeability by positive association.

Another key benefit to publishing content right now is that you’ll build anticipation, so if you’re trialling new December dishes, take a few pictures to post and share online to give your audience a taste of what’s to come.

Just under half of the population (49%) will look at your menu online before making a reservation, giving you an opening to winning their current business, as well as their future custom.

 

4. Time to roll out your seasonal emails

If you plan to offer seasonal promotions in your marketing campaigns, you need to provide clear call-to-actions that are framed with an expiry date.

This will create a rush for your customers, as the fear of missing out on a good deal kicks in.

As well as sending emails to your guests, you could create a canvassing card campaign addressed to homeowners in your local area, or – if you have consent to do so – target guests who have stayed with you in the past.

Nine out of ten adults believe that receiving a posted Christmas card is the “most festive greeting of all”, whilst two thirds are warmed by the thought and effort taken, and 37% look forward to reading the message.

Brand loyalty is built on emotional connections amongst B2C consumers, with logical reasoning taking a back seat, demonstrated by the fact that 90% of adults have revisited a UK destination that they went to as a child.

 

5. Get merry on social media

Social media plays a huge role in the hospitality industry, as 41% are inspired to book by holiday posts they’ve seen online.

As these platforms have been adopted by consumers of every generation, they provide you with the chance to show off your brand’s personality and vibe without coming across as too salesy.

Where you’ll find the most opportunity is in brand engagement. To maximise on this, you should encourage interactions with your guests and employees, rewarding those who share their experiences with exclusive incentives.

 

6. Have you thought about video marketing?

Whilst you might not have the budget or the resources to compete with the big brands as they start rolling out their TV adverts, that certainly doesn’t mean you have to miss out on all the advantages that video marketing stands to offer.

Just take Iceland’s ‘no palm oil’ Christmas ad. Although it was banned from being aired on TV and confined to the realms of social media, within a matter of hours, it had become viral, with consumers and the media alike talking about Iceland’s political message and brand.

Video marketing offers you the opportunity to stand out in your customers’ minds in a visually-engaging, easily-digestible format.

For more information on this medium, and how BriefYourMarket.com can help bring your video concepts to life, read our blog.

 

7. Host a holiday event or two

Growing more and more popular with every passing year, Christmas markets have now become a staple part of the festive period for Brits, with an estimated boost to visitor spend from £250 million to over £500 million in just two years.

In one case, visitor numbers were seen to increase by 90%, which shows the importance of Christmas markets as “generators of footfall and retail turnover” to towns during a time that sees a “natural downturn in trade to out-of-town shopping facilities”.

If able, you should maximise your business’ exposure to coincide with any local events that are taking place, and should that fail, there’s no reason why you can’t organise your own mini Christmas market or Santa’s grotto.

These will go down well with young families, and will likely resonate with a much wider target market too who are looking for any reason to feel festive, as will full-blown Christmas parties or balls.

 

8. The gift of giving

Now is the time to develop and reward customer loyalty. Whilst you should focus on prospecting for new business, showing your repeat customers just how valued they are could generate far greater results in the long term.

Last year, 43% of travellers who were enrolled in a membership program booked with them directly, whereas only 20% of non-enrolled consumers did the same.

 

9. Have you set the scene?

Although decorating at Christmas time is a given, you need to take especial care this year, given how much importance your customers – and especially millennials – place on finding the perfect setting for the perfect photo opportunity.

As a recent survey discovered, 40% of those aged under 35 prioritise holiday destinations based on ‘Instagrammability’.

Tempting as it is to roll your eyes at this news, it should in fact be taken as an advantage to savvy business owners, with claims that one New Zealand town managed to increase tourism by 14% – solely from Instagram and their pursuit of social media influencers.

Authenticity is said to be key with this, so aim to create a toasty atmosphere that looks – and feels – genuine.

 

10. There’s still room at the inn

When faced with empty rooms or last-minute cancellations, you have a very small window to fill them, and the marketing tool that lends itself well to such time restrictions would be SMS.

Consumers are never too far from their phones, which goes to explain how 95% of all promotional messages distributed this way are read within the first three minutes.

Send a simple message with a reference code and offer, and take a proactive approach to stemming your cancellation rates.

 

11. Cross-sell to your heart’s content

From your spa packages to your restaurant and gym, there’s a wide range of additional amenities and features that will add value to your customers’ stay this Christmas, but in order to maximise on cross-selling opportunities, you need to make your prospective guests aware of what’s available to them.

Afternoon tea bookings were found to be the “most sought-after gift” for women, with four in ten admitting that they would rather receive an experience-led gift than a physical present this year.

For inspiration on ways to capitalise on cross-selling, contact our Marketing team on 0344 800 84 24.

 

12. Finally, provide an experience that your guests can’t wait to do again

In 2015, Brits made 165 million trips to bars, pubs and clubs during December, which meant a 142% sales increase of alcohol.

Each year, the festive period turns the hospitality industry on its head, with the same result that by January, we’re so worn out and low on funds that the streets are left deserted.

So, the question is: how can you turn your festive guests into lifelong customers?

In answer to that, we would recommend reviewing what communications you have in place at each stage of the consumer journey. Keeping your guests engaged to your brand is no easy feat, but when you have those processes in place, you’ll continue to generate repeat business without the extra legwork or the commission fees charged by OTAs.

You could start by thanking your customers for staying with you over the Christmas period, with an offer attached to get them back through the door during the start of 2019.

 

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Thursday, 13 December 2018

12 days of Christmas marketing

christmas-12-steps

Half of Brits would rather spend the Christmas period staying in a hotel than with their relatives, as many struggle to squeeze into spare rooms, let alone fit around the dining room table.

So, with that in mind, are you doing enough to attract more business this coming December, or are you missing out on a golden opportunity that could see you through to the new year?

 

On the first day of Christmas, BriefYourMarket.com gave to me a 12-step marketing strategy…

With years of experience working in the hospitality sector – and certainly with a thorough understanding of the evolving whims and expectations of today’s consumers – we have some suggestions that will be sure to give you a helping hand this winter.

 

1. First thing’s first, start planning

If you haven’t already started planning your Christmas strategy, then chances are you may already be behind compared to your local competitors, as well as industry newcomers like sharing economy platform, Airbnb.

A significant proportion of group (50%) and corporate (59%) bookings are made up to three months in advance. However, it’s never too late to get started, as you’ll always find last-minute bookers – regardless of the season.

Despite good intentions, 54% of those who planned to start their shopping in advance found themselves buying presents well into December whilst a quarter see themselves as “spontaneous shoppers”. So, there’s ample time to successfully market your business for the remainder of 2018.

Start by setting your goals and organising your line up of festive treats, events and fine dining specialities. Once you have a clear idea of what is happening and when, you’ll be in a much better position to deliver the right message at the right time.

 

2. Update your information

There’s nothing more aggravating to today’s consumer than not being able to easily find the information that they’re looking for.

The most common problem that your customers encounter with brands online is a lack of product information (40%), followed by issues with the website (28%) and difficult navigation functionality (18%).

With ‘near me’ searches peaking in December, and 50% likely to leave your website if they fail to find a Christmas menu, it’s important that you make your offers as accessible and easy to view as possible.

We suggest you start by updating your website and social media accounts with the latest opening hours, contact information, booking directions and menus.

 

3. Create Christmas content to entice more guests

Consumer sentiment is at an all time high at this time of the year, with the smallest amount of content going a long way to increasing your brand likeability by positive association.

Another key benefit to publishing content right now is that you’ll build anticipation, so if you’re trialling new December dishes, take a few pictures to post and share online to give your audience a taste of what’s to come.

Just under half of the population (49%) will look at your menu online before making a reservation, giving you an opening to winning their current business, as well as their future custom.

 

4. Time to roll out your seasonal emails

If you plan to offer seasonal promotions in your marketing campaigns, you need to provide clear call-to-actions that are framed with an expiry date.

This will create a rush for your customers, as the fear of missing out on a good deal kicks in.

As well as sending emails to your guests, you could create a canvassing card campaign addressed to homeowners in your local area, or – if you have consent to do so – target guests who have stayed with you in the past.

Nine out of ten adults believe that receiving a posted Christmas card is the “most festive greeting of all”, whilst two thirds are warmed by the thought and effort taken, and 37% look forward to reading the message.

Brand loyalty is built on emotional connections amongst B2C consumers, with logical reasoning taking a back seat, demonstrated by the fact that 90% of adults have revisited a UK destination that they went to as a child.

 

5. Get merry on social media

Social media plays a huge role in the hospitality industry, as 41% are inspired to book by holiday posts they’ve seen online.

As these platforms have been adopted by consumers of every generation, they provide you with the chance to show off your brand’s personality and vibe without coming across as too salesy.

Where you’ll find the most opportunity is in brand engagement. To maximise on this, you should encourage interactions with your guests and employees, rewarding those who share their experiences with exclusive incentives.

 

6. Have you thought about video marketing?

Whilst you might not have the budget or the resources to compete with the big brands as they start rolling out their TV adverts, that certainly doesn’t mean you have to miss out on all the advantages that video marketing stands to offer.

Just take Iceland’s ‘no palm oil’ Christmas ad. Although it was banned from being aired on TV and confined to the realms of social media, within a matter of hours, it had become viral, with consumers and the media alike talking about Iceland’s political message and brand.

Video marketing offers you the opportunity to stand out in your customers’ minds in a visually-engaging, easily-digestible format.

For more information on this medium, and how BriefYourMarket.com can help bring your video concepts to life, read our blog.

 

7. Host a holiday event or two

Growing more and more popular with every passing year, Christmas markets have now become a staple part of the festive period for Brits, with an estimated boost to visitor spend from £250 million to over £500 million in just two years.

In one case, visitor numbers were seen to increase by 90%, which shows the importance of Christmas markets as “generators of footfall and retail turnover” to towns during a time that sees a “natural downturn in trade to out-of-town shopping facilities”.

If able, you should maximise your business’ exposure to coincide with any local events that are taking place, and should that fail, there’s no reason why you can’t organise your own mini Christmas market or Santa’s grotto.

These will go down well with young families, and will likely resonate with a much wider target market too who are looking for any reason to feel festive, as will full-blown Christmas parties or balls.

 

8. The gift of giving

Now is the time to develop and reward customer loyalty. Whilst you should focus on prospecting for new business, showing your repeat customers just how valued they are could generate far greater results in the long term.

Last year, 43% of travellers who were enrolled in a membership program booked with them directly, whereas only 20% of non-enrolled consumers did the same.

 

9. Have you set the scene?

Although decorating at Christmas time is a given, you need to take especial care this year, given how much importance your customers – and especially millennials – place on finding the perfect setting for the perfect photo opportunity.

As a recent survey discovered, 40% of those aged under 35 prioritise holiday destinations based on ‘Instagrammability’.

Tempting as it is to roll your eyes at this news, it should in fact be taken as an advantage to savvy business owners, with claims that one New Zealand town managed to increase tourism by 14% – solely from Instagram and their pursuit of social media influencers.

Authenticity is said to be key with this, so aim to create a toasty atmosphere that looks – and feels – genuine.

 

10. There’s still room at the inn

When faced with empty rooms or last-minute cancellations, you have a very small window to fill them, and the marketing tool that lends itself well to such time restrictions would be SMS.

Consumers are never too far from their phones, which goes to explain how 95% of all promotional messages distributed this way are read within the first three minutes.

Send a simple message with a reference code and offer, and take a proactive approach to stemming your cancellation rates.

 

11. Cross-sell to your heart’s content

From your spa packages to your restaurant and gym, there’s a wide range of additional amenities and features that will add value to your customers’ stay this Christmas, but in order to maximise on cross-selling opportunities, you need to make your prospective guests aware of what’s available to them.

Afternoon tea bookings were found to be the “most sought-after gift” for women, with four in ten admitting that they would rather receive an experience-led gift than a physical present this year.

For inspiration on ways to capitalise on cross-selling, contact our Marketing team on 0344 800 84 24.

 

12. Finally, provide an experience that your guests can’t wait to do again

In 2015, Brits made 165 million trips to bars, pubs and clubs during December, which meant a 142% sales increase of alcohol.

Each year, the festive period turns the hospitality industry on its head, with the same result that by January, we’re so worn out and low on funds that the streets are left deserted.

So, the question is: how can you turn your festive guests into lifelong customers?

In answer to that, we would recommend reviewing what communications you have in place at each stage of the consumer journey. Keeping your guests engaged to your brand is no easy feat, but when you have those processes in place, you’ll continue to generate repeat business without the extra legwork or the commission fees charged by OTAs.

You could start by thanking your customers for staying with you over the Christmas period, with an offer attached to get them back through the door during the start of 2019.

 

"Without a doubt, Digi-Val is one of the best retu...
Our Professional Video Production Service...
 

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Thursday, 13 December 2018
 
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