With competitors all around, hundreds of different cultures to target, technology and social media constantly changing the game rules, the hospitality industry can be a jungle. But why go into the battlefield alone?
Read this article to find strategic partners in your area to come up with creative plans, get more people talking and see your direct bookings increase in no time!
3 Reasons Why to Consider a Local Partnership
As mentioned on hotelier.com, strategic partnerships are professional relationships established between brands. However, creating partnerships for the first time can be a little bit intimidating. Calling businesses or walking door to door and asking for the marketing manager can even be time consuming, but there are many reasons to get motivated and start reaching out.
1. By going the extra mile, you will be supporting local businesses, helping the community to grow, empowering small companies, making a positive impact on local economy and adding value to your guests by being a better host.
2. Cross promotion (also referred as co-marketing) saves time and money and goes a long way. In addition to introducing new customers to the other business, all their customers will also be introduced to your hotel.
3. Boost your hotel’s direct bookings by expanding your online presence. Collaborating or even being mentioned on a blog will raise your chances of being discovered during a Google search or while browsing the web. Same goes for shout outs on social media profiles, or being mentioned as local partners on both parties’ websites.
How to Get Started
Congratulations, you’ve decided to reach new audiences through cross marketing or a strategic alliance. But now what? By following these simple steps, you’ll be well on your way to forming local partnerships.
A. Take your time and evaluate your vision as a hotel: who are your guests, what do they like to do, what are they looking for and how can they receive a meaningful experience from your neighborhood, town or city?
B. Focus on finding partners in your hotel’s vicinity while discovering their strengths and other threats within their industry. Brainstorm as much as you can.
C. Plan costs and benefits while establishing goals that are attainable and will benefit both partners. Think about how will you measure success and if the partnership will be permanent or temporary. For instance, how can it be changed and offer new benefits next year or next season?
Partner Up: 4 Local Partnership Ideas
1. Local businesses including:
- Transportation providers (anything from small bike rental businesses to limo drivers).
- Food vendors. Does your hotel have a restaurant? Feature a chef designed menu for a month and find media to cover the gastronomic collaboration. Alternatively, promote local farmers, bakers or food chains and have their products delivered to guests. Inquire for your hotel to be mentioned on their website, social media accounts, etc.
- Shopping boutiques. Vendors can offer discounts to guests and the store can promote your hotel’s postcards, brand or mention you on their social media accounts (consider offering shops and designers your facilities for a future photoshoot).
2. Artists whose art you can showcase at the hotel, either with permanent or temporary exhibitions. Just imagine what an inauguration party with dozens of guests could do for your hotel.
3. Entertainment companies. Get exclusive deals, behind the scenes tours or invite their stars to stay at the hotel when they are touring in town. You may receive a brand image on their social media profiles. By the way, influencers (both big and small), love spending the night in a hotel.
4. Hotel, tourism or hospitality associations. Conduct research and find out if any of them could benefit with a local partnership (discounts for your guests taking part in their activities or tours). Consider that other hotels in nearby cities can offer your guests one-night-getaways and viceversa.
Keep in mind that when contacting small businesses, the person responsible of these decisions is usually easier to get in touch with than those at larger corporations. Look for partners that compliment you (and don’t compete with you), as well as keep an open mind. Hear them out and find common ground of how you can both work together.
Things to consider in a possible local partner before reaching out to potential partners:
- Branding and image (reputation, image and marketing style)
- Do they have a promotional plan and/or budget?
- Who are their customers and who are yours? Is there a correlation between the two?
3 Inspirational Situations for Local Partners in the Hospitality Industry
Make it easy for visitors to find you and make it easy for guests to fall in love with the hotel. The following are some ideas of activities and campaigns to include in your future local partnership strategy.
1. Entrepreneur.com offers several examples of how local partnerships can thrive. From hosting a contest and offering a prize package that features your services/products to sponsoring an event with another company will get you lots of attention from potential guests. All are activities that will promote the hotel and make you the center of attention. With both alternatives, people will get a glimpse of your amenities and who would say no to a free night stay in a hotel? Most of us might book an extra night to make the weekend trip worthwhile.
2. Broaden your email marketing strategy. Double your mailing list by sharing it with one of your new partners. Two mailing pools that will receive joint newsletters, email postcards, coupons, content highlighting the changes in the neighborhood, etc. Maximize your resources with half of the budget and effort to reach twice the amount of people.
3. Use technology to help you. Yes, we have talked about cross promotion in each other’s websites and social media channels, but why stop there? Create a team hashtag for Instagram: #ParisHighlightsbyHotelDom, #BestBagelsinNY, #MyKimptonRouteinSF, etc.
Hotels can also share their local recommendations with guests in an Arrivedo Neighborhood Guide, which features tours, restaurants and more from local partners. In addition, let guests know you can help them by booking a table, a tour, or get an exclusive deal they shouldn’t miss out on.
We live in a time when people crave experiences, so go ahead and add value to your guest experience by making theirs the best one available and getting them talking about you, your neighborhood and what a great time they had.
Cover Image: https://www.pexels.com/photo/close-up-photo-of-man-wearing-black-suit-jacket-doing-thumbs-up-gesture-684385/
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