Creating Guest Personas for Hotels

In Hotel Marketing by HMG Hospitality Team

Essentially hotels offer a place to stay in a given location, and everyone needs that right? Which means a hotel’s target audience is almost everyone right? Wrong and wrong. Ok, so maybe you already know that your target audience isn’t everyone per se, but truly how specific is the audience you’re targeting? How detailed is your guest profile? Do you even know what your guest personas are?

Let us help raise your awareness of why your marketing and sales tactics might not be working, or working as well as desired.

One of the biggest reasons is typically a lack of a defined guest persona. So let’s get into the details of the what, where, when, why, and how’s of creating and utilizing a guest persona for hotels.

Defined Guest Personas Give Direction to Your Marketing and Sales Efforts

Most likely your hotel is already engaging in some amount of marketing, or targeted sales strategy. That’s great! Unfortunately, though, many strategies aren’t developed around a thoroughly thought-out guest persona, which will render many of said marketing and sales efforts wasted.

What: Guest Persona

Simply put, a guest persona is a theoretical outline of the actual people who utilize, or might utilize, the services and/or products you sell (or ones similar to yours). For example, hotels typically cater to a variety of groups such as independent business travelers, a corporate travel managers, event planners, vacationing families, and couples planning their wedding reception. When you gather commonalities for each group, you can then craft your marketing messages to appeal to them. 

How to Create One

This is your chance to truly discover exactly who is going to stay in your hotel, eat at your restaurants, utilize all the hotels outlets, and experience all the wonderful amenities your hotel has to offer. This part is fairly simple – gather data. Demographics, behavioral data, preferences for finding content, where they consume content (i.e. social media channels), how they engage with said content. You need to live, eat, and breathe this persona in order to understand them, and what it will take to close the deal with them, when the time comes.

You may also enjoy: 2016 Could Be Your Hotel’s Most Profitable Year Yet … and Here is Why

When to Create One

Immediately. Right away. At the onset of your next marketing strategy or sales event. Today, tonight, or tomorrow. Creating this guest persona and developing an inbound marketing and inbound sales strategy around the persona, is what will bring you the revenue and results you so desire!  Get started with this worksheet, then build out your guest personas as you continually gather information about your guests. You can gather that information through social media, polls, and purchase history. 

Where to Use Guest Personas

Everywhere you plan to implement marketing. Meaning, any content you create should be created with the personas in mind (by this point you’ll know what their interests are, and how to reach them), and promoted in the channels they’re known to hang out in.  Special offers, packages and promotions are all created around solving the problems and creating solutions for each of your guest personas. 

To summarize, the more aligned your marketing efforts, i.e. content and the like, are to your customers demographics, the more effective your inbound marketing and inbound sales efforts will be. Customer satisfaction will rise, positive reviews will rise, and your bottom line will be alive and well.

Related: The Is Your Year To Rake In The Revenue From Ancillary Event And Meeting Items

Guest personas are essential to your business. Let the competition waste their marketing and sales efforts on groups and individuals not the least bit interested in their services. Be the example it takes other properties years to fashion themselves after. Make 2016 a decisively efficient and prosperous year.

If help and a little more guidance is all that’s in your hotel’s’ way of plunging into marketing and sales success, then contact us today. HMG Hospitality has been advising and working with hotels for decades to ensure they’re operating at maximum efficiency. 

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