While you will be able to get generic marketing plan templates online, having the sales team on board will help you to ensure the marketing plan is tailored to the hotel.
During the hotel preopening the marketing plan is at best a guess, but not having one at all is like heading out to uncharted seas blindfolded.
Key steps in making the marketing plan for a hotel opening:
1. Survey the market:
This section needs to have the present market conditions at a macro level. The economic condition of the city and the demand and supply analysis in terms of room availability, and business needs to be understood. While doing this exercise also look at future business coming into the city like conferences and exhibitions which can potentially fill up your hotel during the year.
2. Segment the business:
Once the demand is understood, it is time to dive a little deeper and understand the segments of the market. What MICE business exists, what contract businesses are there and who can you sign up for special corporate accounts. This data might be difficult to get but usually I have found it helpful to chat up with other hoteliers in the city.
3. Set you Benchmark rate and the discount structure:
This is an exercise which will determine your hotel’s success or failure. If there is any section of the hotel marketing plan you should spend quality time, this would be it. This section warrants the question: How should I determine the benchmark rate? While there are many factors involved, the easiest at this point would be to look at your competitors, see what they are charging, compare your offering and charge a premium or discount to their pricing.
The discount structure is just a grid to determine which accounts gets volume discounts and how much. Companies typically will let you know as to how much requirement would have and you can easily offer them the rate structure.
4. Plan for the packages and opening offer:
During the hotel opening, as you will be spending on making a PR buzz about your property a good opening offer also acts as a hook for people to try out your property. Plan at least 4-5 packages. Some attractive packages are breakfast inclusive rates, internet plans, long stay plan etc.
5. Plan the Communication and PR strategy:
This is a key component of the hotel marketing plan. As any good plan needs to be communicated, determine the modes of communication of the same. Purchase of advertisement, roadshows and trade fairs need to be determined and the same needs to be evaluated at a later stage for effectiveness.
6. Plan for the future:
A good plan should also be forward looking so make sure you put the roadmap for the next 5 years outlook. This will help you to make sure that the property is open and running well in the future also.