COVID-19 has impacted businesses across the world, and marketing as we know it will never be the same. Some industries have hurt more than others. The hotel industry is a prime example, with many of the industry leaders closing doors indefinitely. Although this post pertains to hotels, other industries can benefit from being active during a time of zero customers.
Historical data and research show that companies who remain active during a crisis experience higher sales and net income than those that shut down. What does active mean exactly? An active company is one that “actively prepares” for life after COVID-19. For hotels, this could mean a handful of things. For example, many industry experts believe “staycations” will become increasingly popular. Instead of flying on a plane to a vacation destination, people will prefer to drive to a closer spot. Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority president Carol Chaplin has already altered the organizations marketing efforts to target Californians, and bordering states like Nevada and Arizona. Others are using COVID-19 to promote how clean and safe their hotels will be. Hilton recently partnered with Lysol. An anonymous source that works in the industry said, “…instead of keeping sanitization and cleaning on the back end, these tasks will be performed in a more visible way to the clients.” An example of this is sanitization throughout hotels and even the comeback of elevator operators. Additionally, hotelmanagement.net identifies 11 ways that hotel marketers can prepare during the downtime. One again, this can apply to other service-based industries as well. I’ll highlight some of the important steps.
Audit Your Marketing Assets
How can you prepare for tomorrow when you do not know what you have today? What auditing your marketing assets does is help keep an inventory or log of all of your current marketing efforts. Doing so can help identify the most effective channels to market through.
Record Videos Today for Social Media Use in the Future | Brand Photoshoot and Video
This is a no brainer. Whether your hotel is large or small, you rarely have an empty hotel at your disposal. Take advantage of the space and bring a photographer in to capture content that normally wouldn’t be available.
Prepare for after the pandemic by creating content promoting your company’s brand. The sense of community is at an all-time low, help connect others by creating a community of your own.
Interview Customers and Employees
Being stuck at home, customers and employees alike have more time on their hands than ever before. What better time to ask for feedback on areas that the company can improve on. Record feedback today to better equip decision-makers post-pandemic.
Plan Webinars or Make a “Frequently Asked Questions” Video
If customer service receives the same questions, it might be time to make a FAQ page or video. Additionally, many companies have a separate COVID-19 FAQ page explaining the impacts and responses of the pandemic.
Improve Your Online Reviews Strategy
If you are not utilizing online reviews then now might be a good time to start. Many companies display reviews on the front of their websites in to create a word-of-mouth affect. Instead of being defensive to reviews, now is a good time to use them in your favor.
Evaluate and Enhance Your Digital Marketing | Do a Deep Dive into Your First-Party Data
The pandemic has shown the importance of digital marketing. If your company is behind on the new trend, now is a good time to automate and test it. Digital marketing is cheaper and faster and can target a specific group of interest.
Update Your Hotel’s “Google My Business” for Customers | Update Your Website
Similar to the COVID-19 FAQs update, this point just makes sure all your information is up to date and responsive to COVID. Some companies are losing customers as they are confused about operations. Be proactive and transparent to ensure your consumers and suppliers know what is going on.
Has your company done any preparations for marketing after COVID-19? What aspects of your industry are bound to change? Let me know in the comments below!