Many businesses overlook the importance of creating buyer personas because they believe they know who their customers are. While you will certainly be able to pinpoint the types of travellers you typically welcome – business, leisure, families, couples and honeymooners for example – this doesn’t tell you about what makes each tick and what drove them to choose your property for their booking over others.
Building strong and coherent buyer personas can work wonders for your hotel marketing, providing an impressively comprehensive way of targeting your hotel marketing activities and ensuring that your messages really resonate with would-be guests. But what are buyer personas, and why are they so important to modern hoteliers?
The Ideal Hotel Guest
What motivates your customers to book with you? What do they want from a hotel? What might prevent them from making a booking? Carefully consider who your hotel is for, and working out how you can best cater to their needs will become a much simpler proposition. Buyer personas provide a gateway to an enhanced level of customer understanding, creating a fictitious ‘ideal customer’ to help you develop clever marketing campaigns.
Creating Conversion-Catching Buyer Personas
You probably already know the average customer who pays to stay at your hotel, but when seeking to increase your hotels appeal to your chosen audience, it’s vital to have a clear understanding of who these people are, and what makes them tick. After considering the information you have about your customer, now think more about factors such as:
• Gender and age of hotel guest(s)
• Average guest income – and disposable income
• Traveller subset – (business, leisure, group)
• Methods of searching for hotels
Buyer personas might be fictional, but they are derived and developed by real information which you have at your fingertips about what drives your customers – and what drives them to choose you over the competition. The more information you can gather together about the customer you have in your mind, the better. Once you’ve condensed this information down into your perfect customer or customers – many hotels consider 3-4 buyer personas as a good figure to work with – you’re now ready to start applying this newfound knowledge to boosting your hotel bookings and public profile.
Why You Need Buyer Personas
Without a firm grasp of the basic needs and wants of your customers, it’s impossible to create a value proposition which appeals to them enough to make a booking. Whilst creating buyer personas is not a quick fix, the long term dividends can be seen in everything from your marketing materials to the strength and usability of your online hotel reservation system
Sourcing Customer Information
When putting together your buyer personas, don’t be afraid to ask your customers questions which can help to give the personas more veracity! Perhaps you could ask them directly at the point of checkout what it is they look for in their ideal hotel – or how they found your hotel. Any information you can source directly from your hotel guests is worthy of taking account to help you build unbeatable personas.