Exclusive: 10 marketing tips for hospitality businesses during the COVID-19 crisis

Exclusive: 10 marketing tips for hospitality businesses during the COVID-19 crisis

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During these difficult times the hospitality industry is going through, it is quite essential to maintain a consistent and a straightforward marketing strategy to survive. HN spoke to Shamira Mitha, founder and managing director of Verve, a Dubai-based firm, that specializes in providing personalized consultancy services to the hospitality, wellness and travel industry, to share with you a few marketing tips.

Keep the ball bouncing

A dated theory, stands true even today. During any crisis, most companies, to reduce costs, look at areas they believe will not be useful and PR & Marketing is always the first to get the blow. This is because the companies believe they do not now need to spend on promoting their brand or product/service. Actually this is a very big mistake. Out of sight is out of mind. When the economy bounces back, the brand that has not been front of mind will be long forgotten. My recommendation is continue the spend, specially in these times with the curfew and lockdown, people have all the time to read, browse and view. Grab the customer’s attention. So keep the ball bouncin

Influencer engagement

Many companies are discontinuing or freezing contracts with influencers. There is no better time than now for influencers to be promoting your products/services and brand. They are engaging their followers even more than before as they have an attentive audience. 

Let your customers know you are a caring company

Use the digital platform to talk about how you are looking after your internal customers. There are some properties who are investing into their associates with training and upgrading their skills. These are the smart companies who know when the business is back they can boast a highly skilled team of professionals. Talk about these internal initiatives on your social media. Your customer wants to know more about you.

Go to your customer, since they can’t come to you

During the lockdown, chefs of popular restaurants can do live demos or post their demos on IGTV. Consider the popular dishes. Talk to the audience about where the ingredients can be found. Tips on how best to use, clean and store certain products. Every other personal IG account today is posting about their cooking skills (this includes me). We have all become great chefs overnight. We have been so spoiled by all the amazing restaurants at our doorstep that our cravings have driven us to the kitchen and made us self proclaimed master chefs. How about the real master chefs and celebrity chefs reach their audience and teach them the right skills and keep their flag flying? Similarly, spa directors can give advice on how to look after one’s face and body, fitness managers and trainers can offer live classes. Also housekeeping and other departments can give suggestions and tips about house work. Some hotels and standalone restaurants have started home delivery in really creative packaging. 

Revamp and revise digital platforms

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This is a good time to take a look at what serves and what does not: Take a look at key search words to analyze weak spots and rectify these. 

Post COVID-19 phase 

Let us prepare for the post phase. Do a team brainstorming on customer character analysis – What will be our customers wants? How can we serve them better? It is obvious that the world is not going to go back to being exactly the way it was before the COVID-19 attack. It is also a good idea to get customers engaged and get their thoughts on their expectations and lifestyle changes.

CSR

Companies have been publicizing  their CSR initiatives. There is no better time than now to really walk that talk and help closer to home.

Less is more

Practice empathy and only promote information which is relative to the audience/ positive communication and human interest stories. 

Support other businesses to the best of one’s ability

Food aggregators decrease the commission for restaurants.

Create/edit your logo to show solidarity

For instance, the ones adopted by McDonald’s, Audi, Coca Cola…People remember such initiatives and this keeps the brand top of mind.

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