Who would have guessed that the first quarter of 2020 would have us all in quarantine, avoiding social contact to help slow down the spread of a pandemic? At the start of the year, we were all oblivious to the arrival of a crisis that would result in a massive economic and financial decline, worldwide. One of the most affected industries is the hospitality industry, as international and local travel bans, quarantines, and social distancing, have severely restricted their entire business. But will your hospitality business ever recover from such a crisis? You bet it will.
After you have embraced the fact that your businesses will have to make huge adjustments in order to survive, it is then time to plan and prepare how you can keep it afloat.
As you delve into forming your plans, a part of it should involve the transition into when everything settles into normalcy once again.
As we all concern ourselves on how our local economies will get up from this worldwide emergency, the first trickles of positive news have come from mother nature herself. With human industry and traffic being momentarily disrupted, the earth has been given a short respite. Around the globe, headlines abound with how much mother nature has recovered from lowered levels of air and water pollution. Jellyfish have been seen swimming in Venice’s canals, with waters so clear that the sandy bottom can now be seen. The Himalayan mountain range is now plainly visible from Punjab, in India, for the first time in almost 30 years. In Istanbul, Turkey, pods of dolphins swim freely along the iconic Bosphorus Strait.
These seemingly miraculous sights will certainly prove to be a big draw for tourists when lockdowns and travel bans are lifted. And there is more news about these recoveries, some of which may be happening in your country or locality. Each of these events is a possible opportunity for your hospitality business.
When the world bounces back from this, expect hospitality businesses to make a strong comeback, as well.
As a business owner, do you just sit back and wait for everything to blow over? Certainly not. What you can do, aside from making sure that your business continues to operate, is to focus on marketing.
Here are 3 ways to ensure that your hospitality business is ready for its big comeback after this massive economic downturn:
1. Keep Marketing.
In the event of a crisis, the most predictable reaction of a business would be to minimize costs and losses, and marketing is one of the easiest choices to pull the plug on. If you are still financially and operationally capable of running your hospitality business, you should not cease your marketing efforts.
In fact, you need to maintain marketing initiatives up to the to be able to do the following:
- Update your patrons and other possible customers on the state of your business. Posting on social media is the quickest option but be sure to have all information available on your website, as well.
- Post your contact information, available hours, etc.
- Announce that you are open: advertise your available services, such as food orders, essential goods delivery, or direct room bookings.
- If you have any cancellations on orders, bookings, or deliveries, be sure to pick up on these and remind them that they can avail of your services during better circumstances.
- Let people know of your crisis preparations, any advance purchase offerings, as well as policies regarding cancellations.
You can read more about how to prepare your disaster management, marketing, and communications during a crisis, here.
2. Enhance Digital Marketing Channels.
Currently, the most accessible channel, especially for most people who are at home, is digital marketing. While your business is not in “peak season”, now would be the best time to fix, upgrade, or even learn more about your digital marketing platforms.
- Make sure your website is functioning properly. Is your online ordering system running as intended? Is all your website content updated?
- You want people to be able to search for you easily online. Update or enhance your SEO strategy so that your business is not only visible but easily searchable and accessible. Review your page titles, confirm they have complete meta-descriptions, and make sure they optimized for both search engines and your visitors.
- You may now have enough time to choose and test new technology for your business. Have you been eyeing a new payment platform or marketing analytics software?
If you want to get a free trial for Maralytics, you can sign-up here.
3. Focus on Local and Domestic Markets.
Post-crisis, people will simply have the strong urge to travel again, perhaps even with a deeper appreciation of their freedom and capability to do so, after being subjected to weeks of isolation. However, travel may be limited to local destinations for the foreseeable future. It may take a while before international travel will return to its previously clamorous state, with each country having different travel restrictions.
It is only logical that you focus your marketing efforts on an eager domestic market. Those who have canceled their international trips may now be more interested or even be limited by circumstances, into traveling locally.
For non-travel services, you need only be visible and be easily searchable by location-based means.
We’ve previously written about how to create an effective location-based marketing strategy, which you can read here.
Getting ready for a big comeback means that you should already be marketing whatever services that your hospitality business can offer, right now. You must be ready to handle a re-emerging market, and it starts with planning and maintaining your presence through all your available marketing channels.