Creative marketing programs help improve occupancy

12 Aug, 2010 By: Mort Aronson Hotel and Motel Management


"Hotel chains and independents are rolling out innovative programs and ideas."

Hotel chains and independents are rolling out innovative programs to increase occupancies. Some creative marketing ideas include the following:
InterContinental Hotels Group will begin testing new technology at two Holiday Inn hotels that permits guests to use their smartphones to unlock their hotel room doors.

Feedback is pivotal in IHG’s determination whether it will expand its program to its overall hotel chain. Two primary issues (at least) will be evaluated.

1 Does it alienate customers by eliminating the front desk from the check-in?

2 Does the technology actually work? Does the app load cleanly on the phones so it works 100 percent of the time?

IHG also has launched a new marketing campaign across its brands using Gowalla, a location-based social network that lets people tell others where they are with their GPS-enabled smartphone.

IHG hotel guests who check in with Gowalla are offered special promotions including free nights at the hotel.

Marriott International plans to encourage families to stay at its hotels with help from Nickelodeon this summer. At the present time, Marriott’s relationship is limited to hosting “Nickelodeon Getaway” weekend programs that offer Nick-themed activities and character photo opportunities at seven Marriott Resorts.

Hilton Worldwide this fall will kick off an unusual web-based campaign called “The Luxury Manifesto.”

Hilton plans the campaign around a series of taped three- to four-minute conversations between John Vanderslice, global head of luxury and lifestyle at Hilton and “luxury leaders” such as New Yorker Magazine publisher Lisa Hughes, designer Tommy Hilfiger and Steve Sadove of Saks Fifth Avenue.
Hilton plans to post the chats online to get consumers and luxury insiders talking about the new luxury concepts.

All such programs need to be carefully arranged and planned to ensure appropriate legal and business considerations are properly provided for, including trademark protections. The net result is increased occupancy with imaginative planning.

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