COVID-19 has changed the world as we know it, and it has affected everything and everyone in one way or another. The good news is that a vaccine to protect against the disease has been released in record time, unprecedented in human history.
No matter when the pandemic is eliminated, it has brought about paradigm shifts in the way the world works. In the foreground is the hospitality industry. After the initial shock of lockdowns, restrictions and losses in early 2020, the industry was able to see the silver lining.
However, it has now been hit by a much stronger second wave of covid, which began in March 2021 in India. The situation has never been so dynamic and so brutal. But the hospitality industry is one of the oldest industries in the world, and it’s no stranger to tough times. Dark clouds must pass, say speakers.
Here are some of the important trends and models seen and implemented in hotel marketing during the ‘new normal’.
Change in consumer behavior towards hygiene
Marketing begins with the consumer, and in the hospitality industry, consumers are called “guests”. There has been an increased behavior change towards safety and hygiene after the pandemic. Customers now want to see real and credible efforts by establishments towards safe and hygienic practices.
Organizations must be transparent and accountable to adopt safe practices, implement standard operating procedures, employ and train the workforce to keep safety at the top of the agenda at every point of contact, and must communicate these efforts to the target group to gain their trust.
Digitization to minimize human contact
The hospitality industry has been primarily a high contact industry. But after the pandemic, organizations are adapting technology to minimize human contact to the lowest possible levels.
Online check-in and check-out, online ordering, digital menus, contactless payments, augmented and virtual reality systems are just a few of the things hotels have started to include in their offerings to keep things going. human contact at the lowest possible levels.
Listening is important
Word of mouth is the most important form of promotion in the hospitality industry and word of mouth is no longer just word of mouth; it now extends to social media, blogs, forums, online reviews and so on.
Social listening and online reputation management have become extremely important in the industry. This not only helps to quickly uncover problems or a crisis, but also keeps the brand on top of valuable market information to continuously track patterns, trends, changes, needs, etc. With all the uncertainty around, always listening to your customers is extremely important.
There is a huge demand for personalized and safe bubbles after the pandemic, especially in the high end segment. People now prefer a more intimate, personalized and secure place. L
Many hotel brands are diversifying into villa / apartment rentals with hotel services, coworking spaces, as well as food delivery, laundry and housekeeping services, etc. As a result, the marketers’ to-do list is now more versatile and dynamic.
Focus on the internal market
With the outbreak of the pandemic and the resulting travel restrictions, people are preferring domestic destinations over planning vacations abroad.
Organizations and merchants have started rolling out the red carpet for domestic customers with attractive offers, no cancellation fees, and “stay” packages that help increase occupancy rates at domestic destinations.
Content is the most important fuel to run the engines of marketing today. Unlike paid advertising, the content is non-intrusive and helps build trust and connection with the brand.
Content can take various forms like videos, images, infographics, testimonials, newsletters, blogs / vlogs, etc., and can be created by the brand or by users (guests), influencers or creators professional content.
In the digital age, with everyone consuming content 24/7, brands need to think outside the box and create messy, responsible, trustworthy content that not only adds value to the brand. life of the consumer but also connects to his emotions. The job of content is not to sell but to make “selling” the obvious result.
Charles Darwin once said: “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent. It is the one that best adapts to change. Hospitality marketers need to closely monitor changes in consumer behavior, which will also help them understand how, why, when and where to use the strained marketing budget.
Even after vaccinations are over and restrictions lifted, hotel brands should focus on the points discussed above for some time in the future to create a sense of trust, security, confidence and comfort around their customers. brands.
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)