Leisure Marketing — the value of the journey beyond the destination

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We’re recently back from a fantastic 8-day trip to Amsterdam. If you haven’t been, put this city on your list.

Our hotel was equally fantastic. But it was our journey to selecting the hotel that weighed into this and helped cement the deal. To paraphrase Ralph Waldo Emerson (though no one is sure if he was the originator) — it’s the journey, not the destination.

Our journey was an example of leisure marketing at it’s best. A brand team recognizing that the trip begins as soon as the initial decision is made to get away. This particular hotel, above all others we researched, provided exactly what we needed and wanted. Leading with our interests, as if we had already talked to them about what mattered most to us as visitors to their city (which, as you’ll read below, they’ve been doing for years).

Here are five guest-focused benefits that distinguished this hotel from others:

Combination Of Owned and Earned Media

We saw their advertising. It was beautiful, aspirational, and really did capture the specialness of the hotel (but we only knew this after the fact). What made the difference was the strength of their owned and earned media presence. Their website in particular was exceptional in terms of its value-add experience. And their earned media (particularly the conversation via Trip Advisor and Yelp), provided an important third-party, believable source point for decision-making.

Mobile Responsive Design

Wherever I was, I was able to do my research, as the hotel’s mobile responsive website automatically changed to fit the device I was viewing it on (in my case, on my iPad and iPhone, and periodically at Starbuck’s drinking my Mocha Light [satisfying but low fat] Frappuccino).

Ongoing Prospective & Current Guest Conversations

This hotel is in constant dialogue with its prospective and current guests. Through the website, at the hotel, through formal surveys, its concierges and staff. They are dedicated to delivering the best possible experience, which only comes about through deep understanding of what audiences need and want.

Promises Made, Promises Kept

The website advises that if you want to have a conversation beyond the online chat, a concierge will gladly get back to you within 24 hours. Which he did. Good thing, since there’s this prominent quote on the website from the General Manager – “Being successful means staying on top of things.”

Let The Trip Begin

Once we booked with the hotel, we received regular updates about what was going on in and around the city. Nice way to keep us engaged, surprised and delighted – before even beginning our (physical) trip. Which actually began, however, as soon as we made the decision to get away.

Eric Brody

Eric Brody is President of Trajectory, a brand consulting and marketing agency specializing in creating momentum for customers, brands and businesses across the related categories of health, wellness and beauty.

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