Accolade Marketing has been promoting Special Offer Holiday Breaks, in Ireland and Internationally, for over 20 years. We’ve learned lots along the way by observing responses and taking feedback. Here are 10 tips you should know.
- The more simple your holiday offer is, the easier it is for the consumer to understand it and to make a value judgement as to whether they want to book your break or not. The opposite is also true. Our advice is to always keep your offer very simple.
- Consumers are smart. After all…. they are you and I!. They seek out value and they compare. Value to the consumer is NOT just the price ... it’s about the price they pay in return for what they get. Consumers therefore take it all in – the package... from your location and the perceived quality of your accommodation and services, to your price and inclusions.
- The more complex or restrictive your offer, the less the uptake. A break that bundles and prices in too much won’t book as well as breaks that price a more simple core offer.... and then offers the possibilities of the add-ons. Also, short stays generally book better than longer stays. So, promote the shorter breaks!
- Niche offers, of their very nature, attract far less business than more mainstream offers.... but they can sustain some businesses that target niches.
- Midweeks for leisure breaks generally won’t sell as well as weekends. However, while you will want to sell your midweeks, you should strongly consider pricing and promoting both in your offers. In this way the consumer can see very clearly the value of the midweek break relative to the weekend break, which emphasises its value but still enables the consumer to book your weekends at a higher price if they wish to.
- Free is a magic word, provided it is not a gimic. 'Kids Stay Free'; 'Free €50 Spa Voucher' etc. can all help to draw in business and lead to an increased spend while at your accommodation.
- The best form of advertising is word of mouth and, more than ever, "word of mouse". The best way to ensure consumers “speak” well of you is to deliver good value (not the same as cheap prices), excellent service and a brilliant experience.
- When promoting your special offers, make sure the photographs you use are of a very high quality. Good photos are an investment. Bad photo’s actually “unsell" you. Now, why would you spend money on advertising… to lose business?
- Have a look around and check what your competitors are doing, never to mimic, but in order to help ensure that you promote your product and offer, with an emphasis on your competitive advantages (location, value, service, quality, amenities, extras, thoughtful touches, innovations, the overall experience).
- Most marketing advice encourages you to focus on attracting new customers rather than on retaining existing ones. However, it’s estimated that acquiring new customers can cost you five times as much as the costs involved in satisfying and retaining current customers. So, while you should set out to win new business, you should also invest in providing a brilliant overall experience that retains your customers. In this way they will:
- Stay loyal longer, returning for further breaks.
- Be ambassadors, recommending your accommodation/activity to friends and family.
- Be less sensitive to price alone (they will know the difference between price and value).
- Pay less attention to offers from competing accommodations/activities.
- Cost you far less to communicate new offers to.
- Be more forthcoming in providing feedback and suggestions.
Know This: Accolades Marketing are specialists on special offer holidays (concepts, innovating, positioning, creating, packaging and promoting).