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HiRUM Software Solutions

Accommodation Marketing: Tips For Increasing Your Bottom Line

Posted by HiRUM Software Solutions - 30/04/2014

An understanding of Behavioural Economics in accommodation marketing can help you to market your property more effectively

Tnooz has recently published a very interesting article which highlights some of the Behavioural Economics that lies behind our purchase decisions.  This article is aimed at helping you to convert more of your existing audience when accommodation marketing, rather than undergoing costly campaigns to reach new customers.

Behavioural economics is the “study of the effects of social, cognitive and emotional factors in our economic decision making”.  Whilst some people make a career out of this stuff, even a basic understanding allows you to reap some of the additional conversion that you can achieve if you know how to structure offers to have the maximum effect. From an accommodation marketing perspective, an understanding of these behaviours can give some great insight into the most effective strategies to use when marketing special deals to your existing database. Regardless of whether you are looking at online marketing, email offers, letters or social media, you can use an understanding of these behavioural concepts to help you to maximise purchase conversion of your existing marketing audience.

The Tnooz article, based on a view point by Sam Weston, editor of hotel marketing blog Hotel Speak, covers four basic paradigms of behavioural economics which can work in your favour.  I will provide a quick run down of what each is all about.

  1. Relativity

People like to make comparisons.  Making the comparison process easy can help you with conversions, and also assist with up-selling a guest.

For example;

OFFER 1 $300 for 2 nights, room only

OFFER 2 $400 for 3 nights, room only

OFFER 3 $410 for 3 nights, including breakfast

In this example, the perceived value of OFFER 3 is so much better either OFFER 1 or OFFER 2OFFER 2 is a “decoy” offer, to make OFFER 3 appear much more attractive by comparison.  It aids in getting people to choose OFFER 3 over either OFFER 1.

Certainly this technique can be utilised in your accommodation marketing campaigns to drive people away from the lower priced offer, and up to the higher value offer.

  1. Arbitrary Coherance

Sounds impressive, but what does it mean?  Dan Ariely, Professor of Behavioural Economics and Author of Predictably Irrational explains, initially we may not know the value of something, and the first price we pay can be somewhat arbitrary.  However, once we’ve established this initial price in our minds, this becomes our “anchor point” and the concept of “coherency” comes into play – “once we’ve established an {anchor point}, we shape our present and ongoing expectations of price {based on this}” (Prof Ariely) You can help prospective guests find an anchor point that will compare favorably with your offer.  Consider showing an “average rate for the area” price in your marketing material, if your property stacks up well against this.  Or show a rack rate with a strike through it, compared with current pricing if booked today at the special rate.  Our HiSITE booking form has an option to allow you to use this technique to help secure your online bookings (see example below).  Or establish your own anchor points using inclusions to increase the perceived value of the offer. hisite booking form showing rack rate comparison | accommodation marketing tips

  1.  The Magic Word Is FREE

Consumers love “Freebies” and the perceived value of an offer can be greatly enhanced by offering something as “free” or “complimentary”.  Test this for yourself!

  1.  Restrict Offers

Try to eliminate indecisiveness, by restricting time frames for offers, so there is a fear of “missing out” if you don’t act.  Cut down on confusion by making sure you don’t provide too many choices (this can just exacerbate indecisiveness.) Trial some of these techniques in your accommodation marketing and see what works best for your resort.  A better bottom line is not always just about gaining a bigger reach to  NEW customers, but certainly is also about converting a greater proportion of your existing marketing database to more sales, or higher value sales.

 

HiRUM offers a range of hotel marketing services to support the effective promotion of your accommodation throughout Australia and New Zealand. This includes Google Hotel Ads, Hotel Website Design and our marketing reach program to manage your Google My Business and social media channels.

Good luck!

by Sally Baumber


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