Does Creativity Even Matter in B2B Hospitality Marketing?
Creativity separates top-performing brands from average brands in the hospitality industry. B2B hospitality marketing strategies that leverage creative approaches have been proven to increase customer engagement and boost sales.
On the InnSync Show, Cory Falter recently chatted with creative director Michael Duffy about the importance of creativity in digital marketing and how it can help hospitality brands stand out in a highly competitive market.
What to Know about Creativity in Digital Marketing
"Spray & Pray" No Longer Works
At one time, media was very expensive. Getting your message out to the masses costs money and requires a lot of planning, strategy, and execution. For example, you can easily purchase a contact list to market to. As a result, many marketers have resorted to “spray & pray” tactics lacking originality or creative flair.
Duffy says, "And they're doing it because it's inexpensive. And if they're not getting a response, they will immediately do it again and again and again. Each time you alienate someone because you're bugging them with messages they don't want to see, you make it more difficult to build a relationship with them."
While many marketers still utilize this tactic, these days, there are many more inexpensive alternatives to get your message in front of folks.
What Makes A Creative Marketing Strategy For B2B Hospitality Brands?
Duffy says, "Marketing in and of itself is the process of going through and defining who you are, what you're going to talk about, and who you're going to talk to. That in and of itself is creativity. If you don't think about those things, if you don't go through that process, if you don't do that work to identify who you're talking to, what you're going to say, how it relates to them, then you've done nothing."
Here are some tips.
First and foremost, it’s important to understand the goals of your campaign. It could be anything from increasing leads to driving brand awareness. Once you have established your goals, you can use creative strategies to achieve them.
Storytelling is one of the most effective ways to capture a customer’s attention. People love stories—they give us something to relate to and make us feel connected to the brand or organization. This connection will lead customers down the sales funnel as they become more engaged with the brand's story.
Another way creativity can come into play in B2B hospitality marketing is by focusing on visuals. Create visually appealing content like infographics, videos, or photos that show off your brand in an interesting way—you’ll be surprised by the results! Visual content has been proven time and time again to help to increase engagement and sales.
Creativity isn’t just about developing new ideas; it’s about taking existing ideas and putting a spin on them. For example, you can create an interactive quiz or survey instead of a traditional email blast campaign. These campaigns will help you capture customer attention and make lasting connections.
Pitfalls in B2B Marketing
One of hoteliers and hospitality vendors' biggest pitfalls is "feature dumping." Companies try to convey too many features in one message, which can be overwhelming and confusing.
Cory says, "it's no longer the creative concept that helps drive the emotion, which creates the feeling, which makes people hit the click purchase button by or even call. They've gone completely off the rails on any emotional connection on B2B marketing."
Cookie-cutter content. Content should be tailored to specific individuals or companies. Sending out the same generic message to everyone on a list will not be effective.
The solution? Creative content marketing. "Therefore, it requires a lot of creativity to build and execute content marketing strategies that work for B2B hospitality brands," explains Cory.
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What's The Greatest Misconception About Great Marketing For B2B Brands?
The biggest misconceptions about great B2B marketing are that it is not sales and is complicated and expensive.
In reality, the most effective marketing campaigns focus on building relationships with customers, not just trying to sell to them.
Duffy says, "what we do is sell, but we sell based on relationship building."
Marketing doesn't have to be complex or expensive either – creativity and imagination are essential. You need to think differently, create engaging content, and create campaigns to capture your customer's attention.
How Can a Hotelier Understand The Real Value of Creativity?
The real value of creativity in marketing is capturing your audience's interest and emotional response and inspiring them to take action through a Grand Vision. It's a unifying theme used across campaign messages and communication channels.
Cory explains, "Time and time again, creativity has been proven to increase engagement and sales. But creativity needs to be backed up by a Grand Vision that has been properly researched and analyzed. Creativity without vision is chaotic. Creativity with vision is powerful."
Creative ideas that are truly successful have the power to be distinguished, unforgettable, unifying, and pertinent.
Examples of powerful creative visions include Apple's "Think Different" campaign, Nike's "Just Do It," and Red Bull's "Gives You Wings."
By understanding creativity in marketing and its value, hoteliers can create campaigns that will capture their audience's attention, increase engagement, and ultimately bring in more revenue.
Our advice? Don't be afraid to experiment and try something new. Creative marketing doesn't always have to be expensive, so use what you have at your disposal, and don't be afraid of failure – you can learn from it. Creative marketing should be a key part of any B2B hospitality strategy, so use it to your advantage and watch your brand reach new heights
With the right creative marketing tactics, you can make a real impact in the hospitality industry and reach customers in new and exciting ways. So take advantage of creativity, try something new, and watch your brand grow.