Definition of hospitality marketing
Before we talk about what hospitality marketing is, let’s focus on what marketing as a concept means in general. According to the American Marketing Association (2013) marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large. The main theme emerges from this definition is that marketing is about understanding and addressing customers’ needs and desires which not only benefits customers but also the society at large.
Hospitality industry refers to the businesses such as hotels, bars, and restaurants that offer people food, drink, or a place to sleep (Cambridge Dictionary, 2020). Having looked at the definitions of marketing and hospitality industry, it can be said that hospitality marketing is about applying marketing strategies and techniques in the hospitality industry. It takes a look at how organisations in the hospitality industry e.g. restaurants, hotels, and food service providers make use of marketing strategies and techniques to promote their products and services to customers.
Importance of hospitality marketing
In any business, an effective marketing strategy is absolutely critical to building a brand, attracting new customers, and retaining existing ones. The hospitality industry is not exceptional from this perspective. Hospitality marketers need to ensure that potential customers are aware of their existence and offers and existing customers are satisfied with the products and services to a reasonable extent (at least). Satisfied customers are highly like to come back and may spread around positive word of mouth.
Competition is fierce in hospitality industry; therefore, organisations need to apply effective marketing techniques to fend off competitors. For instance, marketers can offer reduction in price, two nights stay for the price of one, and others to allure customers. Likewise, offering customers loyalty cards may become very useful as well.
Hospitality marketers need to ensure that customers are aware of their services. They can achieve this by using a variety of advertising media. For example, advertisements on TV channels, newspapers, magazines, and the Internet can be very useful to create customer awareness. However, marketers must not stop in creating awareness only. They need to ensure that the awareness turns into a purchase.
It is important to note that advertising campaigns may not work on their own, unless the products and services on offer are of good quality. A good product may often create enough buzz resulting in good business for organisations. So, developing right and quality products is absolutely important. This is where marketing can play a big role. In fact, new product development is an important aspect of marketing.
To conclude, competition is fierce in the hospitality industry which is a multi-billion pound industry. Marketing plays an important role in helping organisations succeed in such an industry. Hospitality marketers devote a lot of time and resources to devise an effective marketing plan and utilise a variety of media to take their services to customers.
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Last update: 06 December 2020
Cambridge Dictionary (2020) Hospitality industry, available at: https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/hospitality-industry (accessed 05 December 2020)
Lancaster, G. & Reynolds, P. (2004) Marketing, 1st Edition, Palgrave Macmillan
Author: Joe David
Joe David has years of teaching experience both in the UK and abroad. He writes regularly online on a variety of topics. He has a keen interest in business, hospitality, and tourism management. He holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Management Studies and a Post Graduate Diploma in Marketing Management.