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The Caterer

Marketing for dummies

23 May 2014 by
Marketing for dummies

It's a fairly simple request: make your menus easy to read, and advertise your hotel using pictures that speak to me, says Arnold Fewell

We all know that marketing budgets need to show a return on investment, regardless of whether they use traditional, new media tools or a mixture of both.

That is why I despair when I look at many of the marketing I am sent or see in hotels. There are two reasons for this. The first is that much of the material is unreadable, and the second is that it does not demonstrate the sort of guest experience I want to have.

Restaurant menus often provide a classic example of where a designer has had free rein, but these menus are often unreadable in low restaurant lighting that has been turned down to create a better ambience. Many times I have had to ask for the lights to be turned up so I can actually read the menu and place my order.

This results in me skimming the menu as fast as I can, just ordering a main course, and so this reduces my food spend and probably my beverage spend, too.

Unreadable marketing material is a waste of money, especially when you consider that, according to a Google search, 62% of the UK population wears glasses. Yet we are bombarded with reversed colours, insufficient contrast, unsuitable colour combinations, italics, uncaptioned pictures, small fonts or strange
or artistic fonts that are difficult to read.

My second point is that hotels are selling a great guest experience, whether I am on holiday, making a business trip, looking for a meeting room or a wedding location (just one more daughter to go). What I want is to see images of people having the type of experience I am looking for. But what I do see is picture
after picture with no people and that look much more like furniture catalogues. Surely it would be better to see a family enjoying the facilities if the hotel is
selling family holidays.

Similarly, reading a blog from a happy bride describing a wonderful day is going to give me confidence to make a booking, and seeing a picture of people in a meeting room will encourage me to arrange a training course.

This does happen, but not often enough, so I will continue to ignore what I can't have an emotional attachment to or can't read, and wait for the marketing material that will make me purchase. Will yours?

Arnold Fewellis managing director of AVF Marketing and AccessChamp, the online training resource for hoteliers about accessibility

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