Marketo (2015) states that companies should focus more on their customers, rather than their product, branding, or their team. It is most important to get to know the customer as an individual and create meaningful interactions with people. Therefore an engagement marketing strategy was developed which has five principles:
- connecting with people as individuals
- connecting to people based on what they do
- connecting with people continuously over time
- connecting with people directed towards an outcome
- connecting with people everywhere they are
In this blog we will focus on how hotels should connect with people continuously over time. Hotels want to maintain a relationship with their customers and create customer loyalty, but how should they do this? Marketo (2015) gives three steps to recognize loyal customers, find more of them, and to get more out of them
Step 1: Identify and segment your most loyal customers
Firstly, you need to find out which customers are loyal and which are not, because they should be treated differently in marketing campaigns. This can be done through a customer engagement platform, which manages and reports interactions. Out of these interactions with your brand customer profiles can be build, focused on the customers’ interests, preferences, and habits. This information can be used to create unique and personalized customer experiences.
To find your loyal and non-loyal customers, each customer in your engagement platform can be measured against metrics that define early-stage loyalty and later-stage loyalty. Examples of early-stage loyalty are; email subscriptions, social engagement in means of followings, likes, and shares, Click-Through rates, and surveys and feedback. Some examples of later-stage loyalty measurements are customer spend, customer satisfaction, customer lifetime value. After segmenting your customers you will be able to create campaigns with the right tone and benefits for each segment.
Step 2: Build more loyal customers through insights gained
By connecting with your customers frequently, long lasting customer loyalty can be build, which comes in more bookings from returning guests or an increasing number of loyal customers. By using the information from your customer engagement platform you can found out more about hobbies, interests, or reasons of choosing your hotel and in this way deepen your relationship with guests. Loyalty programs are a great tool to build and maintain these relationships.
Step 3: Communicate based on who they are and what they do
As Step 1 explained it is important to find out more about individual customers to engage and keep them loyal. However, non-loyal customers should not be forgotten, since you need a different type of engagement. After defining your loyal and non-loyal customers in Step 1, you should look for differences and similarities in habits and activities. This way you can communicate with non-loyal customers in a more personal way and guide them toward habits and activities from already loyal customers. Also customers that have pulled away from your brand can be won back by using relevant communications based on paying attention on social media and to bad reviews or complaints. According to an SDL study 30% of the guests a hotel had will go back after they see the hotel has improved.
Lastly, when developing attractive offers and campaigns for new loyal guests, it is important to consider the impact these offers and campaigns may have on guests that are already-loyal to the hotel. Acknowledgement of the customers’ loyalty and including already-loyal customers in these new offers and campaigns is vital.
Marketo (2015). The 5 Principles of Engagement Marketing. Retrieved from Marketo: file:///C:/Users/F.%20van%20den%20Eijnden/Downloads/The-5-Principles-of-Engagement-Marketing-Marketo.pdf
Marketo (2015). Three Steps to a Winning Consumer Loyalty Strategy. Retrieved from Marketo: file:///C:/Users/F.%20van%20den%20Eijnden/Downloads/Three-Steps-To-Winning-Consumer-Loyalty-Marketo.pdf