Target Market

Target Market

Target Market

If a motels average occupancy rate is sitting at 50% there is clearly upside opportunity available.  Half the rooms are not being filled over the course of a year.  How do we find potential guests to fill these unoccupied units?  By throwing unlimited funds into advertising? Absolutely NOT!

Marketing in a cost effective and direct manner without blowing the budget has to be the goal.  To achieve this consider the following:-

1. Which type of potential guest/customer should we be aiming to attract?
2. Where is the motel positioned in the market?
3. Are we targeting the right market for the business?
4. Is the motel more suited to the high tariff traveller, the middle of the road traveller or the budget conscience, cheapest room available guest?

These are questions that need answers if a business owner does not have a bottomless pit of marketing funds available.  Due to the never ending offers of marketing opportunities available, incorporation of a clear strategy can help ensure that a motel business gets the best value for money from its marketing budget.  The business owner or operator is the best person to determine which market the property is suited to and how it is going to get to that market.  Also, they are best to know where potential opportunities exist to attract new customers, on the basis of the local area, local industries, the business itself or new developments occurring.


Target Marketing for the Individual Motel

What services does the business and property offer?  If the motel room has a separate desk with executive chair, free Wi-Fi internet access, and the property includes a licenced restaurant and meeting/conference facilities, it is more than likely suited to the business or corporate market.  A large pool with playground facilities, larger or separate bedroom units with numerous beds and some form of cooking facilities or even additional sink with bench space will be most suited to the family, sporting group or tourist traveller.  Don’t forget the free Wi-Fi internet access for this market as well and the large smart television which appeals to all markets.  A corporate traveller is more than likely not interested in the size of the pool, but more so the ability to put a laptop/iPad on a separate desk with a comfortable chair.  In many cases a motel will offer various room types and be able to attract different market segments for the different facilities available.

What standard is the property?  If the property is a high standard with a quality fit out, the higher end and corporate traveller is the more likely target market.  The budget conscience traveller will be dictated by the room rate as to where they stay, rather than the facilities available being their buying motive.  In saying this guest expectations for their dollar (no matter what the level) are getting higher and higher.

What are the room rates being charged?  Higher room rates will attract the higher end market with the expectation of a higher standard of presentation and high level of ancillary services available that suit that traveller and satisfy their individual requirements.

Answering these questions can assist in determining the target market and therefore a direct marketing strategy can be focused on getting to those most likely guests, and thereby state a case for why a potential guest will be satisfied staying at that motel.  In other words, offering the products and services that will satisfy that guest’s need.


Accessing the Target Market

What are the best mediums available?  A few options depending on the particular target market are: -

Internet/Web – A motel’s own website offers the opportunity to sell the property’s assets, services and benefits directly to the market with extensive information on what the motel offers to the prospective guest.  This is also the opportunity to get the guest to book directly.  Alternatively, online room inventory and rate management are terms that are often heard in regard to booking sites/programmes.  Channel managers provide access/a conduit to numerous booking sites in order to maximise a motel’s online exposure.

Social Media – Directly accessing the target market via social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and others is a cost-effective method of directly communicating with the target market.  Many may already be familiar with the property’s products and services however it offers good opportunity to promote the features and benefits and any new services or specials available to attract future stays.  It helps keep the motel in the front of mind of future guests.

Print (Hard Copy) Publications – There are various options available as far as print media goes.  Publications to the industry offer direct access to those potential guests within the industry (who can help to sell your product to travellers via a mutually beneficial referral basis) and to potential guests who access the publication from other accommodation properties during a stay, or from other sources.

Street/Highway and Airport Signage – The use of highway and street signage has been around for a very long time and is still a popular medium for accommodation providers to access the travelling market.  If the target market is the drive market, it does go direct to the drive market yet to book accommodation, or that require it in the future.  If targeting air travellers, then the airport billboard and many different types of static and interactive signage options are available.

Chain Affiliation – The assistance provided by chain affiliation in regard to marketing is often out of the individual operator’s control apart from being a member.  Brand awareness is important, and this is an area where chain affiliation can be effective.  Brand awareness can provide immediate acceptance by a target market of a certain level of accommodation and services without it needing to be further sold to a potential guest.

Local Tourism Bodies/Industry Memberships/Referrers – Accommodation industry memberships can be very effective from a customer referral point of view and provides a cost-effective method of marketing directly to the traveller.  Membership to these groups will suit some motels better than others, so again choosing the ones that will be of most benefit is important.

Local Business/Industries – Local rotary organisations and other community groups who may attend meetings or conferences at the property and who will recommend the complex to family, friends and business associates for accommodation and a night out for dinner perhaps.  The income derived directly from these meetings may not be the most profitable, but their constant referrals can result in a very profitable long-term outcome.  Sponsorship is another method to gain direct access to a target market.  If sporting groups are the target, then teams or events are an option.  Again, awareness is key here.

It is very easy to spend a fortune on marketing for little result.  Hence why target marketing is so important, especially from a small/medium business point of view.  Many motels are still family owned businesses and throwing money at every marketing opportunity presented (rather than the most effective) can end up a very bad investment.

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