Targeted Lifestyle Marketing Initiatives Can Increase Sales

By Anne Payne CEO, BeDynamic | November 13, 2013

Engaging your guests through highly targeted, relevant destination content is critical to your bottom line. Susan Jones* recently spent a week visiting her favorite city. A theater buff and connoisseur of fine art and wine, Susan was looking forward to a week of taking in plays, visiting the latest gallery exhibits, and sampling the latest syrahs.

After booking her hotel room, she spent several days working to create an itinerary, which meant spending some time doing research to find out what shows were in town and which art exhibits had just opened. Yet, despite visits to numerous Web sites, calls to galleries and theaters, she had found just two new shows, was unable to find any new gallery exhibits, and still had not tracked down a restaurant that served that new syrah she'd been reading about.

"I assumed that by visiting Web sites of galleries and theaters, perusing city guides, or the local convention and visitors bureau, I would have more than enough information to put together my trip," says Susan. "This turned out not to be the case."

In fact, filling her itinerary proved more difficult than Susan could have imagined. Over and over again, she came across static information on events - in one case she found a promotion for a Fourth of July celebration - even though it was well into the Christmas season.

"At the very least, I thought once I arrived in town, I could have the hotel concierge help me develop an itinerary, but he was only able to point me to a few good places," lamented Susan. "I knew there was much more going on in the city, yet accessing the timely, relevant information I was after was nearly impossible."

While she enjoyed her visit, Susan also decided to cut her trip short - meaning hotel room nights Susan had previously booked went back unsold.

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The hotel industry has undertaken a long-term effort to build more responsible and socially conscious businesses. What began with small efforts to reduce waste - such as paperless checkouts and refillable soap dispensers - has evolved into an international movement toward implementing sustainable development practices. In addition to establishing themselves as good corporate citizens, adopting eco-friendly practices is sound business for hotels. According to a recent report from Deloitte, 95% of business travelers believe the hotel industry should be undertaking “green” initiatives, and Millennials are twice as likely to support brands with strong management of environmental and social issues. Given these conclusions, hotels are continuing to innovate in the areas of environmental sustainability. For example, one leading hotel chain has designed special elevators that collect kinetic energy from the moving lift and in the process, they have reduced their energy consumption by 50%  over conventional elevators. Also, they installed an advanced air conditioning system which employs a magnetic mechanical system that makes them more energy efficient. Other hotels are installing Intelligent Building Systems which monitor and control temperatures in rooms, common areas and swimming pools, as well as ventilation and cold water systems. Some hotels are installing Electric Vehicle charging stations, planting rooftop gardens, implementing stringent recycling programs, and insisting on the use of biodegradable materials. Another trend is the creation of Green Teams within a hotel's operation that are tasked to implement earth-friendly practices and manage budgets for green projects. Some hotels have even gone so far as to curtail or eliminate room service, believing that keeping the kitchen open 24/7 isn't terribly sustainable. The May issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to integrate sustainable practices into their operations and how they are benefiting from them.