Increasing marketing effectiveness
Increasing Marketing Effectiveness of Short Stay Accommodation – Summary
Research undertaken by Melbourne Business School in March 2007 for TakeABreak.com.au
3 key target segments:
No nesters – under 50 years old, travelling without children
Full nesters –travelling with children
Empty nesters – Over 50, travelling without children
The majority of users of were females, usually researching and booking on behalf of a group, such as for a couple, group of friends or a family. Effectively they are held responsible for ensuring the whole party has an enjoyable stay, which means they have a lot of pressure on them. This highlights the importance of information which makes users comfortable about the quality of property offerings – images, star ratings, tourism accreditation, detailed descriptions, sleeping configurations etc
The majority of users are looking for a ‘unique personal experience’
Consumers are looking for clear and concise property descriptions, backed by photographs that support textural descriptions.
“Through the research we noted how important photographs were in the selection process. We also found that different segments were looking at the photographs in different ways. For example the full nesters were typically looking at photographs to reassure themselves that the property would meet the needs of their children, whether it was that the property was child friendly or that activities were nearby, or that the pool was of a suitable size. On the other hand, no nesters were looking at the photographs for signs that their stay would be relaxing, or that the furniture was of a style that matched their own taste, or at least me their aspirations”
“the empty nesters were typically looking for a social experience, and valued meeting with other guests or talking with the hosts. They would even look at the photographs for signs that this would happen. Conversley the full nesters and no nesters were looking for privacy during their stay”
Closing the sale
“We also noted that the empty nester segment especially appreciated being offered a small incentive or discount. This could often secure the booking: ”Just for you I’ll do a cooked breakfast, but don’t tell anyone else”
Small touches resonated with most users – flowers in the room, fresh fruit to eat, a selection of teas to drink. Property profiles that showed pictures of these small touches definitely caught attention.
Consumers noted the frustration of either being unsure of the likely price they would pay, or having enquiries coming back with a price at the upper end of the price range that had been displayed. Some properties has very clear price tables for different rooms and different dates, which was preferred by users.
Most consumers assume that the online calendar showing room availability must be up-to-date in real-time “because it is on the internet”. When it is not, consumers have a negative impression of the property and feel that it is not accurate or professional.
Speed of response
It is important for property owners to understand what potential guests read into the speed with which they receive a response to their enquiry. A slow response is often perceived as an indication of poor service, unless it is explained in advance. No nesters and empty nesters who book spontaneously expect a rapid response to enquiries.
Customising your listing for your target market
Photographs are one of the most effective ways for consumers to judge whether a particular property will meet their needs and requirements. It is therefore important for property owners to know who their target segments are, which consumer needs are segment-specific and which are shared by all consumers, and what different segments read into photographs.
Remember that full nesters are looking for photographs that demonstrate the functional attributes of the property and the activities that can be enjoyed. No nesters and empty nesters are looking more for photos that convey the atmosphere they will enjoy, be that peace and tranquillity, privacy or social drinks with other guests.
When consumers were asked what photos they wanted to see, the overwhelming response was bedrooms and bathrooms.