This is Marketing by Seth Godin is a must-read for anyone in business. Though this resource is useful for professionals from a variety of industries, this book is especially helpful for those who own and operate hospitality businesses. Seth Godin is a bestselling author many times over, the founder of many successful businesses, a former VP at Yahoo, and a member of the Marketing Hall of Fame. Thus, he has proven his expertise.
Godin advises that we must focus our work on the dreams and desires of those we serve. Obviously, innkeepers serve their guests. Effective marketing comes from understanding our target audience’s desires and connecting with them.
Godin recommends that we begin with an audience worth serving. Start with the needs, wants, and dreams of your ideal guests. Build your hospitality around what that audience desires. Tell a story that matches their hopes and greatest expectations.
- What is the true story they want to hear?
- Does your story match their worldview?
- Is your story worded in a way that your audience will understand?
- Does your story resonate with your audience?
- Is your story memorable?
- Is this a story your audience will want to share with others?
- Have you positioned yourself to be the clear and obvious choice for accommodations in your local area?
Godin goes on to explain that what YOU (innkeepers) say about you is not nearly as important as what OTHERS (guests) say about you. This explains why quoting positive guest reviews on your website, in blog posts, and sharing on social media is so effective. Potential guests look at the words of your previous guests to let them know what they can expect. Your best guests become your new sales people when the words from their reviews and word-of-mouth recommendations spread.
How do we determine your audience (your ideal guests)? This means you decide who you can best serve. This is based upon the factors such as:
- Your accommodations
- Your amenities
- Your events
- Your food
- Your guests
- Your interests
- Your local area
- Your packages
- Your weather
Examples of ideal hospitality guests (this varies depending on your inn):
- Adventure seekers
- Business travelers
- Couples (romantic)
- Culinary interests (“Foodies”)
- Entertainment lovers
- Friends (Girls Getaway or Mancation)
- History buffs
- Pet owners
- Sports fans
Based on Seth Godin’s advice to craft compelling true stories to attract your ideal customers, if you do not currently have it in writing, document the ideal guests you want to attract and write specifically to them. The more specific and personalized you make your content (including your blog, social media, and website), the more focused your content becomes on bringing in your ideal audience. Thus, you can make your hospitality (within your own specific niche) better.