Millennials are the first generation that grew up with close proximity to internet, mobile phone/smartphones and televisions. Their exposure to technology sets them apart from the previous generations. Talking about millennials in the hospitality industry, their entire experience – right from making the reservation to checkout, they expect something new from the hotel. They use their phones to book hotels, on the go. They look at guest reviews before booking their stay. They are not satisfied with the word ‘average’, they need more. That’s why, hoteliers must find newer ways to market their properties to this young, tech-savvy and demanding generation.
The vast millennial population makes them a major target group for all businesses. As a generation, they are more well-travelled and adventurous than the previous generation. So, to attract millennials to your hotel, you must understand their unique persona. This would help you to cater to their demands, too.
Characteristics that set millennials apart, as the major consumer demographic
1) Millennials prefer self-service
2) They prefer customization over generalization
3) This generation is super connected over different devices and platforms
4) They appreciate and value brand engagement on social media
5) Millennials are known to be less tolerant when it comes to compromises in experience
So, here are 5 tips on how to market your hotel to millennials –
1) Your customer facing technology should be flawless
Be it your hotel booking system or your query management system, it should be simple and flawless. Use your hotel website and social media channels to get increased direct booking from millennials. This might seem like an obvious point, but most hoteliers miss on that. Their immense knowledge on technology makes them expect flawless and organized systems. If you are asking them to fill a form before booking, they most probably won’t and will look for another option. Don’t forget to offer them flexible check-in and checkout facility.
2) The customer experience is a social activity, make sure it is worth it
Millennials are a very outspoken bunch of people, be it on online platforms or offline. They are likely to talk about their experience with others. Their online presence is made visible in social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, Facebook etc. They talk good about your property when they are happy with your services. Similarly, they don’t hesitate to criticize you when they don’t get value for their money. Subsequently, it influences the decisions of their friends and family in the network. They are more likely to appreciate things that are pretty, non-fussy and abstract.
3) You should be open to collaborations
This generation includes a lot of social influencers who can make or breaking your stance. Influencers want to collaborate with properties they are impressed with. Their social presence brings you into the limelight of all their followers. It’s a great way to reach out to a target group in a very small time. Hoteliers who understand the behavior of millennials in the hospitality industry will have an edge over others.
4) Customize your services according to them
Millennials’ exposure to technology has enabled them to have a vast outlook. They are experimental by nature and are curious to know about things. Different likes and preferences leads them to have very selective tastes. Enable them to use their smartphones to control their room HVAC and lighting. You can even go one step further and allow them to customize their rooms as per their needs from your website while making the reservation. Things like these help in creating better relationships between millennials and hotels.
5) Have loyalty programs that make them feel connected to you
Millennials expect loyalty programs to follow a transaction, or after their stay at your hotel. It makes them feel special. Acknowledging their engagement with your hotel and offering them loyalty programs would help you to attract them in future. However, never push them to redeem all their points at your property. They might not like it. Allow them to use some of their points to buy whatever they like – a spa treatment, gym membership, or even some electronic gadgets.
Millennials always keep looking for different types of experiences. Make sure that they get to know about local attractions like – a popular bar, pub, or even a restaurant near your hotel while you try to attract them via your marketing efforts. Offer them the authentic local food of your area. Attracting and serving millennials is quite a task. But, this can be done with a right mix of technology, and personal touch.
We would love to hear about your strategy on this issue in the comments section below.
This article was originally published in Hotel-online.com