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Why do you market?

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JBloggs

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What are the primary reasons you market your inn? For added business or for things for guests to see and do in the area? How much is enough? What else is there? Have we maxed out? (Not advertising, marketing what we have to the outside world)?
 

EmptyNest

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I say marketing is to add more business. I don't care what the guests do when they get here. It really isn't my concern. Sure we can make suggestions and be as helpful as we possibly can, but I am not the chamber of commerce. They can get the information anywhere and they usually do before they come for a stay. Marketing I think should be for your inn to increase your occupancy and revenue.
 

Pollyanna

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In our small town B&B Association we had one inn that did no marketing. It is now out of business. We have another that markets minimally as the owners don't need high occupancy and the income is just a plus for them, helps them go on vacations. They have very little business. Among the other 5 B&Bs, occupancy is directly related to two factors: level of marketing, and proximity to the charming courthouse square, in that order. We even have one single guy whose guests have some pretty bad experiences and whose level of cleanliness at the place is alarming. But he markets the life out of it, and is fairly full. No repeat customers, but many first and last timers. (I know because I get them the next time they're in town.)
During normal business hours, when I am not directly caring for guests or the property, I am marketing. I learned in a former career in the non-profit sector that the more someone sees your name, the more confidence they have in you. I would not still be in business if I did not make a huge effort at marketing our B&B. I guess if you've found an outstanding location and you do an outstanding job at maintaining an excellent reputation, marketing might not be a concern. But in this economy, I think most businesses better be about the business of excellent service and marketing, just to stay solvent.
 

Morticia

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I say marketing is to add more business. I don't care what the guests do when they get here. It really isn't my concern. Sure we can make suggestions and be as helpful as we possibly can, but I am not the chamber of commerce. They can get the information anywhere and they usually do before they come for a stay. Marketing I think should be for your inn to increase your occupancy and revenue..
catlady said:
I say marketing is to add more business. I don't care what the guests do when they get here. It really isn't my concern. Sure we can make suggestions and be as helpful as we possibly can, but I am not the chamber of commerce. They can get the information anywhere and they usually do before they come for a stay. Marketing I think should be for your inn to increase your occupancy and revenue.
I agree with this to a point...we all have to TELL the guest why HERE is better than THERE. (And I mean my town vs the other tourist destinations in this state.) And it's still not getting thru given how many show up here and marvel at the downtown. 'Wow! I didn't know all of that was here!'
Seriously, I think people put a lot of faith in the places they stay because they just show up hoping we can tell them what to do!
 

Innkeeper To Go

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Market it all. The inn, the breakfasts, the rooms, the innkeeper, and what's special about the area.
Of course, the whole idea is to get guests to book. But when you're marketing your area, you're giving them reasons. You're also letting guests know in advance that, once they arrive, you'll be able to help them plan their activities. As you like to say, JB, reel them in.
To me, helping guests plan activities is not really like being the chamber of commerce so much as being a concierge, which I think guests expect at a certain payment level. That personal touch and the way that innkeepers can really help guests get the most out of their visit is what sets us apart.
So I think it should be out there front and center - on the blog, integrated into interesting specials and add-ons, and discussed with the guest as soon as they arrive.
 

gillumhouse

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I market because I have to give people a reason to come here. I can have the best of everything and if I do not tell people (market) it is here, they will not know. I market everything and anything I possibly have. I tell about covered bridges, winery, rail-trail, I even have a trail-tease on at least one of my Specials - ask us about the camel....
The priest here thinks I am wonderful (and I am not about to disabuse him of that thought) because I tout his Chapel of Perpetual Adoration on my web site and tell my guests about it. Many of them have sent him letters about how wonderful it is.
Once I tell them what is in the area I have a chance to put that head in one of my beds.
I wear my apron most of the time - even when shopping because it makes me a walking billboard (I even have the size for that comparison!) and I almost always have business cards that I hand out reverse side first because that lists what we offer. I tell them that is the important side (the what is in it for THEM) and the contact info is on the other side.
I am ALWAYS ready to give my commercial......
 

statestreetinn

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We must toot our own horns. There are hundreds of B&B's out there (thousands, actually) and we have to market ourselves. We've tried different methods such as newspaper advertising which was not very effective, but we definitely find that 95% of our business comes from internet marketing programs.
 

wendydk

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I say marketing is to add more business. I don't care what the guests do when they get here. It really isn't my concern. Sure we can make suggestions and be as helpful as we possibly can, but I am not the chamber of commerce. They can get the information anywhere and they usually do before they come for a stay. Marketing I think should be for your inn to increase your occupancy and revenue..
catlady said:
I say marketing is to add more business. I don't care what the guests do when they get here. It really isn't my concern.
I care what my guests do when they get here...I give them information overload for two reasons...first, I don't want them hanging around here all day because they didn't know what to do in the area. Secondly, I want lots of other businesses in our area to benefit financially (and by word of mouth) from our guests. What's good for us should be good for the entire area.
 

gillumhouse

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I say marketing is to add more business. I don't care what the guests do when they get here. It really isn't my concern. Sure we can make suggestions and be as helpful as we possibly can, but I am not the chamber of commerce. They can get the information anywhere and they usually do before they come for a stay. Marketing I think should be for your inn to increase your occupancy and revenue..
catlady said:
I say marketing is to add more business. I don't care what the guests do when they get here. It really isn't my concern.
I care what my guests do when they get here...I give them information overload for two reasons...first, I don't want them hanging around here all day because they didn't know what to do in the area. Secondly, I want lots of other businesses in our area to benefit financially (and by word of mouth) from our guests. What's good for us should be good for the entire area.
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Exactly! I want everyone to get a "piece of the pie" so they stay in business to be a draw for my guests. The more places I can send my guests to see things that are free so they have money to spend on other things here and generate lovely sales tax to keep my State as financially sound and stable as it is (so far) the better. And I want them to see that there is soooooo much to see and do here that they will have to come back! As my threepeat guest from last weekend said to me, "Where are you sending us this time?" - and they are from my State!
I can send my guests to the penitentiary, the insane assylum, covered bridges, on the rocks...... and then to the winery!
 

gillumhouse

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We must toot our own horns. There are hundreds of B&B's out there (thousands, actually) and we have to market ourselves. We've tried different methods such as newspaper advertising which was not very effective, but we definitely find that 95% of our business comes from internet marketing programs..
When newspapers call I tell them an ad in their newspaper is BIRDCAGE MATERIAL - period.
 

Joey Camb

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I market everything as say a person (usualy a lady) comes for a trade show you might tempt her back with a spa weekend etc or chaps may come and bring their wives and it is all business and brings money to our town. Where I am we are basically a conference town there is no other trade you eithe work in a hotel, work in a B&B or guest house, own a B&B or guest house or restaurant (work or own) or work for the conference centre. There are some other little bits of business but that's about it. Therefore we all work as a team to bring business to the town. I call it Harrogate hospitality.
 

Samster

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We must toot our own horns. There are hundreds of B&B's out there (thousands, actually) and we have to market ourselves. We've tried different methods such as newspaper advertising which was not very effective, but we definitely find that 95% of our business comes from internet marketing programs..
Welcome, State Street!
Jump right in!
 

wendydk

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We must toot our own horns. There are hundreds of B&B's out there (thousands, actually) and we have to market ourselves. We've tried different methods such as newspaper advertising which was not very effective, but we definitely find that 95% of our business comes from internet marketing programs..
Welcome, State Street!
Jump right in!
.
Samster said:
Welcome, State Street!
Jump right in!
A fellow Michigander! Welcome State Street Inn.
 

gillumhouse

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We went to town today - veggie store and DH needed mats for his paintings for Mo unt ainF est. As I put th e mats in the car, I noticed the lady from the next car looking at my car. She looked up and said she was reading what was on the sign. Poor thing then got the commercial and biz cards. They are locals but as I pointed out, if time is short it does not waste time in travel and if the phone rings it is is not for you. She and her friend liiked that.
 

statestreetinn

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Thank you all for the welcome. I have to agree with Gillumhouse on the bird cage lining, but with the economy the way it was last year, we were willing to try other marketing avenues. Live and learn.
 

Morticia

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Thank you all for the welcome. I have to agree with Gillumhouse on the bird cage lining, but with the economy the way it was last year, we were willing to try other marketing avenues. Live and learn..
statestreetinn said:
Thank you all for the welcome. I have to agree with Gillumhouse on the bird cage lining, but with the economy the way it was last year, we were willing to try other marketing avenues. Live and learn.
I think we all tried new stuff last year. Some of it was worth the effort, some not so much.
 

Emily Spiers

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We must toot our own horns. There are hundreds of B&B's out there (thousands, actually) and we have to market ourselves. We've tried different methods such as newspaper advertising which was not very effective, but we definitely find that 95% of our business comes from internet marketing programs..
Welcome!!!

P.S. You are in the neck of the woods where I grew up! I'm a fellow Thumb-er.
 

gillumhouse

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Thank you all for the welcome. I have to agree with Gillumhouse on the bird cage lining, but with the economy the way it was last year, we were willing to try other marketing avenues. Live and learn..
Welcome. I also tried a new web site. Found out to my chagrin that a PAID listing just meant more crap to read and more photos - NOT better placement. So since my City starts with S all the UNPAID listings higher up in the alphabet were losted BEFORE my paid listing. And it was not a cheap listing. Lesson learned - look at how listings are done....
Re newspapers - don't kick yourself too hard. I avtually tried on the second time when they threw in TV listing during Subady afternoon movies. It was only after I bit that it dawned on me - you idiot! That is bathroom break time! The flush I heard was my money going down the pipe.
 
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