Rethinking & Realigning Your Hospitality Marketing
They’re all changing at once, faster than ever before – and the need for that change is accelerating
The question is – how do you get ahead of it? From strategic to tactical, the challenges and opportunities listed below describe specific tools that hotels, restaurants and other hospitality firms will be leveraging through their recovery and re-opening.
At a high level, the overall Marketing environment has changed. Priorities have changed as revenues have dropped. Messages, tools and channels have changed in adapting to our new reality. Investment has changed with them. The move to authentic, empathetic digital marketing was already in process before the current pandemic - but it’s no longer optional and it’s needed now. Developing solid connections to customers is vital, and requires unique creative abilities.
Developing those connections requires Marketing professionals who can deal with significant changes in company and consumer behaviour. A recent NewsCred study showed that 78% of companies were expecting to increase virtual events with 72% increasing web content. Other studies have shown consumer social media use and engagement has increased as much as 61%, while Nielsen data showed TV consumption is up 60% over pre-pandemic volumes. Superheroes no longer wear capes – they’re nurses, doctors, first responders, grocery store clerks and sometimes our neighbors. People recognize that while we truly are all in this together, we’re all being affected differently. And the absolute key to success is reassuring your team and your customers that their safety is the most important thing to you.
Specific marketing initiatives designed to deal with those changes include :
Leveraging connections to customers ...
- Leveraging the personal data captured in POS and reservations system to target promotions and personalize guest experiences (remembering their names, mentioning past visits, etc.)
- Implementing advanced techniques like revenue management (adjusting marketing spend and product/service pricing based on demand) and loyalty programs
Expanding communication channels ...
- Moving into new social media channels like TikTok, while remaining active in standard channels like Instagram
- Using paid ads to promote specials or take-out/delivery options
Enhancing offerings ...
- Adding product or other offerings that are available on-line or via delivery or take-out (gift cards, grocery items, meal kits or beverages, etc.)
- Sponsoring social media challenges or contests promoting offerings and benefiting local causes
Improving your messages ...
- Ensuring messages focus on immediate revenue opportunities (changes in availability, encouraging on-line orders with photos of popular entrees with links to to-go menus) while still addressing popular concerns like sustainability and decreased food waste – and of course, safety
- Hosting live videos that allow for direct social interaction team members as they would in the restaurant, perhaps including contact with bartenders or chefs or even guests taking people behind the scenes, telling personal stories, the history of the operation or the journey to re-opening
Understanding the interaction of all of these factors, and connecting them with underlying business objectives requires the extensive use of advanced analytics. Managing all of these shifts requires proven marketing operational skills. Building on everything to deliver the right message to the right person the right way requires top tier Marketing talent.
Recognizing that urgent and critical need, the JRoss team has proactively connected with hundreds of highly experienced Marketing professionals from Canada’s largest service sectors – Hospitality and Retail - to gain a sense of the talent profile available.
The candidate profiles below will give you an idea of the types of Marketing skills and experience that hospitality firms will be looking for.
Brand Engagement/Digital Specialist - Toronto
With all their working years spent in the service and hospitality sector and a passion for marketing, choosing to pursue a career in digital marketing in the restaurant industry was a natural fit for this dynamic candidate. After completing a comprehensive two-year Marketing Management diploma program, they were hired for a leading edge restaurant brand with a focus on guest outreach. They’ve progressed from a Customer Experience Coordinator, assisting in the development of rollout guidelines for individual locations to execute national promotions, to their current role as a social media specialist. They’re currently focusing on digital engagement, improving and enhancing social media mentorship with restaurant locations, and creating compelling and engaging social media content across all channels.
Chief Marketing Officer - Vancouver
This candidate personifies the definition of a “modern CMO”. Their work in vendor, agency and in-store roles gives them a unique perspective in acting as an enterprise-wide revenue driver who can tap into the hearts and minds of customers across all channels. Currently self-employed, they provide Customer Experience (CX) consulting, helping retailers build and connect digital and physical consumer touchpoints. Their clients include Canadian and US-based retailers seeking a scientific and empathetic approach toward Customer Experience. Their key value stems from their rich 20+ years in digital, retail, and retail technology, working for innovative retail, grocery and food service startups along with established, national big-box retailers. Their entrepreneurial spirit and courage to push boundaries, innovate, take calculated risks and recalibrate is enabled by both a data driven mindset and a creative spark.
Director of Marketing – Toronto
This passionate marketer loves all things retail! They bring their enthusiastic, creative and collaborative style to the table every time. They design strategic and innovative marketing campaigns across traditional and digital formats to enhance customer experience and engagement, and to grow market share. They foster lasting partnerships with vendors, agencies and internal teams. Their combined experience in fashion, cannabis and retail marketing, sales, CRM, branding, ISM, loyalty, planning and analytics makes them able to design an immersive retail brand experience. In their last role, they built a retail marketing team from the ground up in a start-up environment. As part of that project they built processes and applied best in class practices and tools to bring this retail brand to life. Working in a highly regulated environments, they have found creative marketing solutions to drive traffic and increase conversion for both bricks & mortar and ecommerce channels.
Ecommerce Marketing & Digital Strategist - Toronto
This leading edge candidate is part of that innovative generation of digital commerce experts with an unmatched background and education in supply chain, marketing and now the digital commerce space. That makes them one of the most flexible and knowledgeable leaders we know when it comes to bridging the gap between online and in-store marketing. Today they’re one of the bright Toronto-based digital commerce and startup experts who consult with retailers and other companies to develop their ecommerce platforms, using tools such as 3-D optimization to maximize visuals and allow for a fully customized client experience. They have sourced and led large teams of freelance developers and designers, built ecommerce platforms from the ground up, and created and executed successful social media strategies. Adept at crowdsourcing and online events, they know how to connect the brand to the community and their work has been featured in numerous publications. They combine expertise honed in business incubators together with proven methodologies for background research, idea creation, creative design and concept development to develop meaningful stories that create an emotional connection to a brand.