This article previously appeared on Linkedin.
You’re sitting in a hotel room and need to jot an idea down quickly before it’s gone. You reach for the pen and pad on the end table next to the bed. Upon leaving, you probably toss that pen in your bag without thinking twice. The hotel was counting on it.
Though it may go unnoticed, the pad on the table and the pen that is now traveling with you are branded for a specific reason: to keep that particular hotel and resort top of mind among frequent travelers even after they have checked out.
Hotel and resort marketing efforts shouldn’t be focused on the guests who have already checked in, but instead, on those travelers who are still deciding where to stay. A commitment to providing guests with a positive experience combined with the right promotional materials will help keep the rooms of your establishment comfortably booked.
Here are a few things to remember when deciding what to use for your promotional marketing.
Make sure you are providing your guests with something they can use, or something that they may have forgotten to pack. Choosing the right items requires an understanding of who your establishment caters to. For example if your rooms are full of businessmen in town for a conference, the notepad and the pen, a portable phone charger, or a USB drive would be helpful for them to have. People will continue to use items that are beneficial to them once they’ve left your resort or hotel, effectively acting as a living advertisement to others. Other examples of useful items to leave for guests are custom sunglasses, towels, and blankets.
The more longevity a promotional item has, the more marketing value your hotel or resort will get out of it. Of course many travelers take the complimentary soaps with them when they leave, however these supplies run out quickly and the packaging is discarded. Items like promotional coffee mugs, koozies, and t-shirts last for years and will be the source of numerous conversations about your establishment.
If the guests can’t travel with the items and they have to be left at your hotel, your promotional marketing will be much less effective. Glassware items may be fancy and fun to use on-site, but without proper packaging they may not make it back home with your guests in one piece. Furthermore, if you have folks traveling from foreign countries, make sure the items will make it through airport security. Stick with items that are small, lightweight, easy to pack, and that are safe to travel with.
In order to keep manufacturing costs reasonable, come up with items that are relatively cheap to produce and store in mass quantities. Hotels and resorts are large, and the aim is to provide each room with the promotional materials. Therefore, it’s imperative that whatever you are offering is able to be ordered in large amounts at one time and also stored easily on-site to account for guests coming and going at various intervals. Larger, customized items might seem “cool” initially, but are not an economical choice for your resort or hotel.