Working in the travel industry, we hear the term ‘marketing’ being thrown around every day. But when you really want to succeed in something, BnB Edition believes that it’s best to get set with the basics first! The old adage comes to mind; walk before you can fly… So we’ve put together a guide to B&B and hospitality marketing for beginners. Hopefully it will help you understand the principles behind and the reasons for marketing your business. After all, no-one is born understanding this stuff!
Marketing is meeting the needs and wants of your customers.
It might seem a little obvious, but when you work with customers, their service is your number one priority. The difficulty with this kind of marketing (in contrast to, say, selling a property) is that there is no real ‘product’ to market! It is not one thing you can touch or see. You must sell and market your service instead…
In this way, successful marketing can be about understanding your weaknesses as much as your strengths. When you can see the gap between your customers’ wants and the service you are offering, you can begin to understand how to improve your business.
Why Is Marketing Your B&B So Important?
Well for a start, there is plenty of healthy competition in the travel industry nowadays! You can’t expect to sit back and wait for customers to start arriving – you need to be proactive and spread the word to make your B&B a success from the start.
Modern customers will also expect a lot more than a bed – marketing allows you to show exactly what your B&B offers and highlight the services and experience you offer.
How To Get Started
Making a marketing plan will help ground your business. When you start thinking about target markets and age groups and who will stay at your B&B, it will remind yourself of your core business values and aims. Ask yourself these questions:
- who are the people we want to reach?
- what do they buy?
- where do they live?
- where do they travel?
- when do they travel?
- how can we attract them?
Researching your competitors is another great way to start. Think about what you can offer in comparison to them and put this at the top of your plan. For example, your B&B might not have a plasma TV in every room, but think about the intimate and fun family experiences you can offer compared to that big anonymous hotel next door…
And remember, marketing might be about satisfying customer needs but you can’t satisfy everyone at once! It’s better to focus on a smaller group that you can target directly than spreading yourself around with no clear aims.
We hope we have inspired you to get started on your B&B marketing! Subscribe to our updates for more advice… we’ll show you the next steps very soon.
Images: Thanks to Nanagyei on Flickr.com
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