Friday, 29 April 2016

All About the R.E.A.C

Isn't it a funny thing how easily we are sucked in by the prestige of certain brands? 

For example, I recently stayed for a long weekend at the Hilton Berlin. I'd always wanted to stay at a Hilton because I perceived it to be the number one brand in affordable but prestigious hotels. Oddly, I think my desire to book into the Hilton began via the re-booted Hawaii Five-0, which had Hilton as a show sponsor. Practically at the end of every episode, Steve and Dano would be sipping cool beers with the big blue 'H' somewhere in the background. What can I say? I'm an admitted sucker for advertising.

Anyway, I digress. As it turned out the room we booked wasn't up to much.

The city of Berlin on the other hand is utterly gorgeous.

The view looked onto a concrete courtyard and easily into neighbouring rooms. The lamp shades were stained and the furniture was visibly marked. The TV didn't work either. And when I asked at the front desk for it to be fixed, my request was either ignored or forgotten (no difference, really). At a cost of over 400 euros for three nights, I expected more.

Conversely, we stayed at a Premier Inn (budget UK chain) back in November in Edinburgh. It cost £100 and came with no frills attached. The room was spotless, the bed was infinitely more comfortable and the reception staff welcomed us with nice big toothy grins. 

Money and appearances really don't stand for much unless it is backed up by sincerity and value. The same is exactly true of social media marketing. 

The most polished, slick content marketing might drive some web traffic but it's likely the conversions will happen when trust is built on a foundation of good value. 

To be fair, I did complete a (dis)satisfaction survey and the manager of the Berlin hotel emailed back with an apologetic message and offer of complimentary upgrades for a future visit. With two kids it's unlikely, we'll be hitting Berlin as a two-some again any time soon.

Funnily enough this story stuck in my head after a meeting with my manager at work today. We were chatting about the RACE model of marketing. Reach - Action - Convert - Engage. I was immediately struck by how odd it seemed that 'Engage' came last. I know 'REAC' doesn't make as handy an abbreviation but surely should be the modern version. 

And so the Berlin Hilton should have this in mind in the future. 

Reach out to customers with the offerings of complimentary upgrades ahead of the visit. Engage with guests beyond checking in and out. Act by ensuring they have everything they need and actioning any complaints immediately. Then convert a satisfied customer with loyalty programmes and request for advocacy.

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