A marketing strategy is necessary for your hospitality properties success. In this session, we will look at developing your Marketing Strategy.

Welcome to another edition of hospitality property school.

I’m your host Gerry MacPherson and today we are going to talk about Developing Your Marketing Strategy.



If you have been listening to the Hospitality Property Podcasts since the beginning and have been following some of the steps and recommendations, I know you have been seeing improvements in your properties operation.  Maybe you have not implemented all the changes yet and that is all right, many of these changes might feel dramatic so one step is fine. But it is important to stay the course and look at these suggestions and your property as a work in progress.


As I had mentioned, today we are going to be talking about developing your marketing strategy. When it comes to most businesses, this topic is huge.


I just don’t mean all the information available, but the importance of marketing your property properly.


If you are not getting heads in your beds consistently, then your marketing battle is going to be consistently uphill.


So, let’s look at developing your Marketing Strategy.


What is the point of a Marketing Strategy?

The point of marketing strategy is to generate business, and without one there is a good chance your business will wander aimlessly.


Think of it this way.


You’re in a new city and you have to find a specific address.  You do not have GPS or even a map.  Yes, you might eventually find your address but will probably waste a lot of time and effort on the way.


Another way to look at it is to think of the last time you bought a bookshelf from Ikea or the updated financial program for your computer.


Did they come with step-by-step instructions?


Think of your marketing strategy as step-by-step instructions for your company’s success.


You have to have a written document laying out your game plan easy enough for most to follow.


Imagine the mess if you or someone else was responsible for your marketing and for some reason had to give up that responsibility.  If a new person took over and did not have the plan, your plan, they would have to start from scratch.


A huge waste of time and money.


Your marketing strategy should be designed yearly, but that could be difficult if you’re in the middle of a day-to-day hospitality property operation. I recommend you make the time to step away from your business to work on it.


After a few years, designing your marketing strategy actually becomes reviewing your marketing strategy; enhancing the platforms that are working, deleting the ones that are not, and researching the new exciting trends coming down the road.



What are the benefits of having a marketing strategy?

A good marketing strategy gets you noticed and should help you stand out from your competitors.


A marketing strategy gives your employees something to be united behind. Companies sometimes underestimate the impact a “marketing strategy” has on their own people.


I have mentioned before it is important to make your employees part of the team, feel like owners, so you want them to engage and be excited about your marketing strategy.  Employees don’t have to understand the financial projections but can get excited about a well-written and well-thought-out marketing strategy.


Once developed, it is a good idea to release an abridged version of your marketing strategy to all your employees. If this is done with excitement, your employees will appreciate being involved and work to making your marketing strategy a success.


I’ve heard some owners say that it is very difficult to plan a marketing strategy because things are consistently changing, it’s a waste of time.  I’m here to tell you that if you don’t plan, you’re doomed; an imprecise marketing strategy is far better than no strategy at all.


Alright, where to start?

  • Determine your main goals, both personally and for your business?
  • Find out what your demographic is
  • Who is your customer?
  • What do they want?


How do you find out who your demographic is?



  • Ask your current guests why they are staying with you.
  • Study your competition and see who they are attracting.
  • Have your guests fill out a survey


Why would you want to take the time to do this?


Happy guests mean repeat business, which means a better bottom line.


We go over this in more detail in the marketing section of our “Guide to Operating an Independent Hotel or Bed & Breakfast”.


  • Know your competition
    • Who is and why do potential guests spend their money with them?
    • What is their competitive advantage
  • Is there a specific niche you can market?
  • You have to let potential guests know who you are

It is difficult for potential guests to stay with you if they don’t know you or remember you exist.  Ongoing exposure is important if you want guests to think of you when the need arises.


Your marketing strategy has to be a well-written description- should:

  • Detail specific activities you intend to undertake
  • Identify the audience each activity is targeted to
  • Specify how you’re going to measure success
  • Be flexible enough to allow adjustments as necessary
  • Stipulate who on your team is responsible for each activity


All right that’s it for today.


Take the time to let all this sink in. In your next few sessions, we will be looking closer at some marketing techniques.

If you have any interesting stories about your marketing strategy and would like to share or have any questions or feedback you can leave them in the comments section of the show notes at.




That’s it for this session of hospitality property school.


We appreciate your comments and if you have topic ideas, feel free to reach out to use on

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So, as always, let’s work together to put heads in your beds.

Until next time, have a fun day.


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Music Credit:

Sun Spark


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