The Hotel Marketing Mix
The hotel marketing mix is a set of strategies used by hotels to promote their products and services to potential customers. It includes the four Ps of marketing: product, price, place, and promotion.
Product refers to the hotel’s physical offering, such as rooms, amenities, and services. Hotels often differentiate themselves based on the quality and uniqueness of their products. For example, some hotels offer luxury suites with personalized butler service, while others provide budget-friendly rooms with basic amenities.
Price is the amount that customers pay for the hotel’s products and services. It is important for hotels to set prices that are competitive within the market, while also considering their own costs and profit margins. Dynamic pricing strategies are commonly used in the hotel industry, where prices may fluctuate based on demand and seasonality.
Place refers to the distribution of the hotel’s products and services. This includes the location of the hotel, as well as the channels through which customers can book their stay. Hotels may sell rooms through their own website, online travel agencies, or through travel agents.
Promotion involves the marketing and advertising efforts that hotels use to reach potential customers. This includes tactics such as social media marketing, email marketing, and search engine optimization. Hotels may also offer special promotions or discounts to attract customers.
The marketing mix is normally prepared by the Director of sales and marketing / Sales managers. The hotel should have the right facilities/services, define good promotional strategies (both online and offline), and finally the right pricing.
The Key Marketing Mix For Hotels
1) Service / Facilities:
This is considered the first because without this hotel marketing team will have nothing to deliver to the potential guests/ customers.
The hotel industry Offers products like:
- Guest rooms
- Food and beverage
- Banqueting rooms
- Conference facilities
- Recreational facilities
- Health and wellness facilities
- Executive Lounge
- Express check-in checkout services
- Travel desk
- Business centre
- Parking facilities etc.
Hotels generally cater to different market segments and each of these market segments has different requirements. E.g.: A leisure guest on a family trip looks for recreational and wellness facilities of the hotel whereas a business traveler gives importance to the hotel’s business facilities like a business center, video conferencing, good in-room internet connectivity, etc.
This analysis done by the sales and marketing department can help the top management to identify these specific requirements and work along with the management to either develop such facilities or make the required improvements.
2) Place and Distribution:
This refers to the accessibility of the products to consumers. When compared to other products normally hotel products don’t travel to customers but the customers come to the product.
Place or Location of the hotel e.g.; choices like in the city, outskirts of the city, resort area, hill station. Or a chain of hotels with a presence in multiple locations.
Hotel uses either direct or indirect distribution methods to reach out its potential customers, below are a few methods or channels used by hotels.
- Sales through the hotel sales team
- Personal telephone calls
- Online pay-per-click or Banner Advertisements (Google ads, Facebook ads, etc.)
- Printed media Advertisements
- Other Media Advertisements
- Hotel Website Booking System (WBS)
- Global distribution system (GDS)
- Travel Agents
- Independent Travel agents
- Event Planners
- Online Travel Agents (Expedia, booking.com, Agoda, etc.)
- Online Travel portals ( Trip Advisor, HotelIQ, etc.)
- Independent hotel representative.
3) Promotions and communications:
The director of Sales & Marketing should work out the most effective promotion and communication mix for the hotel. Promotion is the way hotels communicate to target customers.
Below are a few promotions and communication channels used by hotels:
- Television commercials
- Hotel Websites
- Twitter Channel
- Facebook Page
- Google + Page
- Hotel pens & pencils
- Scratchpads with hotel logo
- T V Commercials
4) Room Rate or Pricing:
Defining the correct pricing strategy is one of the most important aspects of the marketing mix. If the hotel products like Guest rooms, Food and beverage menu, etc. are not priced competitively then the potential guest may reject the use of hotel services.
In this very competitive market guests are strongly influenced by the pricing and packages. The hotel rate codes and packages are defined keeping in mind to attract or impress guests.
Generally, the hotel room rates are defined as per the below season:
This is the period when demand for a hotel and its services is highest and the hotel can charge the highest prices to the guest. There is no defined peak period for all hotels it varies from hotel to hotel.
Valley Season / Off Season
This is the time of the year with the lowest demand for rooms. Hotels generally offer reduced rates and packages eg: Stay for 3 and pay for 2 nights, Discounted Package rates, etc.
This period falls between peak season and off-season, And this time is considered as the best time to attract new business as the rooms are available and medium or highest rates can be charged. Also, the sales and marketing activities should be the highest during this period.
By effectively utilizing the hotel marketing mix, hotels can increase their visibility, attract more customers, and ultimately improve their bottom line. A proper marketing mix for the hotel industry is crucial for the success of hotel marketing efforts. A marketing mix is used to indicate the several marketing variables used by the sales team to target specific guests or target market segments (E.g.: Corporate, Transient, Groups, Conference, Leisure, etc.).