The Marketing Battle Between Luxury Accommodations
Just a few years ago, the few luxury hotels in the world had the market for posh accommodations to themselves. Famous people and their favorite hotels such as the Oriental and Somerset Maugham, the Algonquin and Dorothy Parker, Charles and the Ritz, Michael Moser and the Imperial Imperial, The Savoy with Peter, and Martin Luther King and the Willard all are a historic testimony of brand recognition at its best. But, the times are changing, and now, hotels not formerly patronized by famous people are claiming their share of the luxury accommodation market. This is in large part due to the “great equalizer” of all things commercial: the internet. With the internet and mastery of social media, luxury hotels, beds and breakfasts, and inns are on a more level playing field.
One of the most powerful tools in the arsenal of these luxury accommodations is the lowly SEO. Search engine optimization, or SEO, is what makes the search engines of internet fame notice a particular posting. This is done partly through the inclusion of certain key phrases or keywords, and partly through the coding of information in the posting as it is uploaded to the internet. With educated SEO skills propelling the news about their business, luxury hotels and other accommodations have a chance when tossed into the mix-master of the world-wide-web.
Clever marketing strategy these days also includes social media. Even the United States government has started a Twitter offensive when trying to sell its unpopular policies. Most public figures these days have a Facebook page, and businesses not only need a well-planned website, they need social media presence to stay in constant contact with the “instant gratification” generation. Many of the most successful, high-profile hotels today actually have staff members whose job is to tweet about the famous people who are dining in the hotel restaurant, or staying in the Presidential suite.
The viral video is one of the newest forms of public relations. The ironic feature of this phenomenon is that the truly viral videos are accidental. Viral videos are usually, by definition, done by amateurs who video something, and it gains totally unexpected popularity. The “Numa-Numa” guy was perhaps the first viral video. Anything that is specifically written, produced, performed, filmed, and distributed by a commercial entity, and then sees great success, is just a successful marketing campaign. However, this does not stop businesses from striving to produce video “with a twist” that will catch the viewer’s interest and cause the advertisement to be shared and re-tweeted endlessly. There have been completely successful marketing campaigns, standard television adverts have gone viral due to how strange they are. For instance THREE mobile’s moonwalking pony ended up being all over the place.
Another result of the competition between luxury accommodations providers is the contest, and this is where consumers can really win. Hotels that can offer stiff competition to the “big names” are offering discount packages and free nights to the first X number of people who re-tweet a post for the company. Who wouldn’t like to enjoy the Ritz at Holiday Inn prices? This equalizer spreads the word for thousands of businesses.