People travel for many reasons, but normally travelers can be separated into two main segments- business and leisure. Identifying the motives behind these two demographics gives marketers valuable insight into how to better engage and give the best experience to each visitor looking to book. We researched some of the top trends by type of customer to evaluate the best ways for hotels to market to each.
Business Travelers: What’s most important?
The preferences of business travelers all revolve around the idea of convenience. It begins with the ability to book their travel plans on the go or last minute, making mobile booking an attractive feature for a hotel. Guests traveling for work are most concerned with how quickly they can reach their destination and how efficiently they can get their work done. This means being in close proximity to a convention center and of course reliable internet access. With little down time, business travelers expect to have everything they could need within the comfort of the hotel, such as continental breakfast, on-site restaurants and coffee shops. A hotel offering all of these things on-site can expect to see more loyal business travelers.
How to Market?
With higher frequency travel and more hotel stays, Business travelers in particular are known for their brand loyalty. In fact, 65% of business travelers belong to a hotel loyalty program (e-marketing). From a marketing standpoint, highlighting loyalty rewards and encouraging loyalty signups is a great way to connect with current guests and excite potential customers. Attracting business travelers with site content can be as easy as promoting free wifi or offering free continental breakfast with their stay.
Leisure Travelers: What’s Most Important?
Reviews & Recommendations
Comfort & Amenities
Nearby Attractions & Food
Packages & Specials
Leisure travelers have a whole different approach to hotel shopping, focused mainly around comfort and relaxation. Price is another big factor for a leisure traveler considering they are planning a longer stay than a business traveler. In contrast, leisure travelers are on the search for the best deals and packages, paying special attention to customer reviews. A poor guest review can make a big impact on booking, as 82% of leisure travelers consider reviews to be very to somewhat important, compared to 77% of business travelers. For a traveler with vacation in mind, the comfort and added amenities offered by a hotel are the icing on the cake.
How to market?
Marketing to the leisure traveler is based around the experience. With this audience, it’s important that marketers allow potential guests to visualize their whole vacation when they are researching. By providing nearby attractions and trip recommendations next to the hotel amenities and hotel accommodations will give travelers a full picture of what they can look forward to. With this market, it’s also important that hotel’s pull out all the stops when it comes to packages and pricing. Encouraging these guests to sign up for an email list that will provide them with new and upcoming packages or promotions can be especially valuable as many spend multiple days to weeks in the planning process.
Great, So Now What?
It’s important to know how to market to each of these travelers, but when they’re searching the site, how do you tell which is which? A lot of information can be obtained from where sites visitors are coming from and which pages they’re landing on. For example, by targeting visitors from review sites like TripAdvisor, who are researching multiple properties and reviews, sites can customize messaging to appeal to leisure travelers.
Marketers should take a look at their top landing pages and referring sources and determine which would be primary route for each type of customer. This not only increases the chances that each visitor receives the most relevant information, it also creates a better and more meaningful experience for each.