On this edition of Just Checking In, industry expert Alan Ayers discusses how you can boost profits by marketing to hotels.
From trying new activities, to eating new food, to interacting with people from new and different places, fact of the matter is… travelers get sick… find out how to reach these travelers staying in their hotels… next on Just Checking In.
Good afternoon this is Alan Ayers, I’m just checking in here in Chicago. I want to talk to you today briefly about marketing to hotels. So the first question we get asked is about those literature books found in hotel lobbies. Should the urgent care put literature in that rack? And the answer is easy… NO! When people go to those racks they are perusing activities things that they might want to do in their destination. You know so the ski resort, the outlet mall, the casino… urgent care… I don’t really think people look at the brochure and say wow I really want to do this! The way people search for urgent care or when people go looking for urgent care is because they have an urgent medical need. So if you want to reach people staying in hotels… you need to reach the individuals that those guests might ask. So there are a couple of ways of doing this. Why don’t we start with segmenting the hotel types.
So a larger convention hotel is very departmentalized. Typically the starting point is the concierge. The concierge in the lobby has a book and anytime a guest walks up looking for restaurants or whatever they are looking for including urgent care… the concierge will look into this book. So the key is to get into the concierge book. So the first step is if you are in a large city that has these larger convention type hotels or upscale hotels or resorts you want to make contact with the concierge. Now if you are in a large city like Chicago or New York or San Francisco there are associations of concierges and it would be worth your while to identify a potential lead in one of those organizations to be able to speak to a large group of concierges in mass.
The next place a guest might go would be the front office. In a large hotel you will typically have a front office manager. The front desk potentially could keep literature for you behind the front desk because that’s the logical place after the concierge where patients might ask. And then beyond that think of every other guest touch point. So the bell stand, the door man, the bus or limo driver… these are all individuals that if a patient is not feeling well the hotel staff member might be able to recommend such and such urgent care. Here’s a brochure here’s a map or I can take you there. So developing the relationships with multiple guest touch points of the larger hotels is really key. It’s not putting literature in the brochure rack and another question we get is should we put literature in every room. And of course that would be an extraordinarily expensive endeavor when you consider that some of these hotels range from several hundred to several thousand rooms. Again that is typically not how patients look for urgent care. The odds that a patient will be in their room and see the brochure and say, “oh I need this” is probably pretty thin relative to the total number of guests that a hotel serves on any given night.
Now when you are dealing with a smaller hotel it is a little bit easier because typically there is a singular touch-point who would be the general manager. So very much like you would with a large hotel when you are speaking with the concierge, the front desk manager or the bell manager. For a smaller hotel you would typically look for the general manager, set up a brief meeting, introduce your services, your hours and then leave some literature it can be at the front desk should a guest have an urgent care need. SO relationships like anything flourish over time as they are cultivated. So once you develop these relationships initially it is important to get back out to these hotels and replenish literature and reintroduce yourself because hotels like every other business do have fairly frequent turnover. But the result can be a steady flow of guests coming to your urgent care. Clearly when people are traveling their time is very important to them. They are either on an expense account for business or they are on their own time for vacation. So, any unexpected illness they are going to want to resolve right away. I hope this was certainly helpful as far as any ideas on how to market to tourists staying in hotels.
If you have any additional questions please don’t hesitate to contact us at www.practicevelocity.com or www.urgentcareconsultants.com. Thanks again this is Alan Ayers, Just Checking In from Chicago.