Just got a YUUGE client - how to market?

by 32 replies
Hi!

So far we´ve been doing allright, and my earnings have been about 1/2 of a decent salary. But right now with this client I see no other choice than quitting my day job. I´m a little bit uneasy about writing what it is yet, because it´s a pretty large international company - but lets say that we´re gonna provide services for their customers. Lets say its a huge hotel and we´re gonna provide a spa there. So we rent a room/space inside their hotel and do pretty much whatever we want to.

Now, earlier we´ve been doing a little bit of marketing on a very small scale. Been trying out facebook ads, instagram, email marketing etc - and its been going allright. But we really want to market the shit out of this before launch. Surely, they will market it for us also - but it´s part of a bigger "upgrade" in their hotel-chain. So obviously we will focus 100% on our spa, but they also have a lot of other things to focus on and market.

Are there any obvious things I´m forgetting? It´s going to start in september and we will probably be able to start marketing before summer. I realize that we will get a lot of "free" marketing because our customers will be exposed to us all the time at their stay at the hotel. Our customers will literally be outside our door all the time. But raising some awareness about it in forehand seems like a good idea?

Facebook ads
Instagram posts
Reaching out to bloggers and get them to write about it

Is there any rule of thumb to consider when it comes to spending? There´s already a pretty big risk and cost for us to hire the room(s) + materials etc.
#main internet marketing discussion forum #client #market #yuuge
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  • Profile picture of the author salegurus
    I'm guessing the whole Hotel and Spa thing is an analogy?
    It's quite confusing, i don't know if you'll be getting any worthwhile answers... But that's just MO, maybe others will decrypt it....
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    • Profile picture of the author Vikinghustler
      Hi

      No, it´s something along those lines. It could be exactly that, so it won´t make any difference if it´s not exactly that. Any suggestions that could be worthwhile with the hotel/spa will also be usable for us.
  • Profile picture of the author agmccall
    Why not just have the hotel provide flyers to their guests

    al
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    • Profile picture of the author Vikinghustler
      Yup.

      We will have flyers in the area people are/commute in and out.
      They will also promote our services on their website AND they will do marketing for it. But it doesnt feel like we should sit still before it launches and just wait. Feels like we should do ALOT. But other than ads on social media and reaching out to bloggers I cant think of much ...
  • Profile picture of the author agmccall
    How much foot traffic, other than current hotel guests, do you want. Or for that matter how much will the hotel allow. Most hotels have restaurants in the common area, usually near the lobby, but how many non guests do they want in the area of rented rooms. I for one would not feel comfortable if a room near where I rented a room had in and out foot traffic.

    al
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  • Profile picture of the author ryanbiddulph
    I dig reaching out to bloggers; because I am a blogger Really though, makes total sense to me on all levels.

    One note on bloggers though: if you want to land on top level blogs you will likely be buying post space via sponsored posts. $100-$500 per post as the size, scale and authority of the blog comes into place. Although you can probably snag a few free posts here and there if you whip bloggers into a frenzy.

    Congrats on landing that huge client

    Ryan
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  • Profile picture of the author djgav
    Why are you worried about sharing the exact makeup of what you're offering? Without the hotel brand, you're not going to reveal yourself!

    So assuming it's a spa, you need to split your clientele:

    1: Hotel clients. These will be much harder to "market" to, but as you say they will be on site - so it's important you on site branding is good.

    I assume your contract allows you to promote your service with a price list in each room? Can you offer a discount for those who book at least 3 days before their stay? If so, let the hotel know about that discount and see if they can promote it in their booking confirmation email to each guest.

    2: Local clients. These should form the backbone of your business. Get local clients in, and they will form your repeat business. Generally, in-hotel spa services are more expensive, so find a way of offering good loyalty discounts for local clients. That way they'll keep coming back. For this, Facebook ads will work really well. Get them on a mailing list, and you can email them with discounts for quiet days.

    The hardest aspect of this is getting people to book in advance. You'll likely find most bookings are made "on the day" as guests check in, so your late afternoons/evenings will be busiest.

    Out of interest, does the hotel mainly have business travel (1 night stay), or vacation travel (eg, 7 nights) on average?
    • Profile picture of the author djgav
      Just seen the line about it being in a restricted area.

      To try and market to people is going to be very hard.

      You are going to be relying on using the existing hotel's marketing. Your offering should be presented as being part of the hotel.

      I hope you have a great contract, because otherwise, you've got a business that you have no control over...
  • Profile picture of the author Kay King
    If the area is restricted - I don't see how blogging or advertising to local traffic would be of help except to get the name out there. If they can't access the "spa" - what's the point of the ads? Maybe promoting the name would help - don't know.

    I'm going to answer exactly the scenario you used - I've seen an upscale spa business added to a hotel....in a casino.

    It wasn't as restricted but there was no walk by traffic as it was on an upper floor of the hotel. Everything to do with the ads linked the spa area to the hotel/casino brand and to the region where it was located.

    I have no idea where you are located but you might check some casino websites and major upscale hotel chains to see how they present their addon services. The one I was familiar with had a name that sounded "luxurious" and was easy to remember/recognize/associate and ads focused on associating the name WITH the well known casino brand.

    The "restricted" part would bother me. Is there enough business to keep you afloat? If you cannot advertise to bring in local patrons - how do you grow your business or maintain it if the 'hotel' is seasonal or underbooked?
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  • Profile picture of the author Gambino
    There is a huge lack of information that prevents anyone from giving helpful answers here. In my opinion, there's a big difference between a hotel on the side of the highway and some resort destination hotel where people are going to get away and relax.

    Does this international chain have a history of success with promoting spas? If they're so successful, why are they leasing the space instead of hiring their own employees?

    It sounds like you've hitched your wagon to the hotel and can only be as successful as they make you. If you can't sell to people that aren't at the hotel location you are, I think it's a huge waste of money to advertise to people who likely will never have the chance to go to your location and/or will forget about you before they get there.

    But like I said, all that could be wrong if I misunderstood the information provided.
    • Profile picture of the author Vikinghustler
      Hi

      No, they don´t have any experience with spas. But other "hotels" have done it successfully. This is more like an experiment for them.

      Note; It is NOT a hotel - but it´s in sort of the same genre in a way. (Im sorry but I dont wanna say what it is)

      The thing is that there will be a huge amount of people passing through this "hotel". Up to 1500 people per day - in a small area (about 9000 sq ft)

      All sorts of people stays at this "hotel" so I would think its reasonable to market it to all kinds of people..
  • Profile picture of the author Steve B
    Originally Posted by Vikinghustler View Post

    we´ve been doing a little bit of marketing on a very small scale
    If the only marketing experience you've had is with Facebook ads, Instagram, and email marketing, as you've said, . . . you need to hire some professional marketing experience in line with what you're going to be doing because from what you've said so far, your little bit of non-relevant marketing experience isn't worth a dime in this situation.


    Originally Posted by Vikinghustler View Post

    Are there any obvious things I´m forgetting?
    Your problem is not forgetting obvious things . . . it's not knowing in the first place what kind of marketing will be cost effective and efficient in this non-typical situation. You need professional help, not suggestions from a public forum where, most likely, no one has done the kind of marketing it's going to take for you to be successful.


    Originally Posted by Vikinghustler View Post

    Is there any rule of thumb to consider when it comes to spending? There´s already a pretty big risk and cost for us to hire the room(s) + materials etc.
    Another big red flag that you are over your head here. No offense is meant when I say that . . . but if this is really a "big risk" and big expense to you like you say . . . you'd better consult with some professionals that can put you on the right path to profitability or you're going to regret the day you accepted this client.

    The best to you on this project.

    Steve
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    • Profile picture of the author Vikinghustler
      Thanks!

      Yes, we´re definitly in over our heads. The investment is not really a big problem..I dont know exactly why I wrote that. Its big ENOUGH, but we have the money - and even if it doesnt work out great we shoulde break even. We´re talking 25-30k a year. Our profit should be something between 6-8k a month conservative estimate.
      We know how to do this kind of stuff - we have 8 clients allready, some pretty big and serious..but nothing on this kind of scale. This is like going from level 5 to level 20. We don´t have the financial power to spend big bucks on professional marketing. With spending I was talking about marketing. We have calculated everything and its profitable even at 20% coverage. 40 is even conservative.

      I havent gotten all the info from our client yet, but since it´s a huge company and this is something they are going to offer for their customers - I would suspect they will also market it? Doesnt that make sense? The thing is that I dont think the person in charge/our contact is that professional - and we have yet to recieve good info on stuff like marketing etc.

      Even though..I mean, the "spa" is going to be right there where all the customers are. They will see it and get info about it when they are accomodated in that restricted area. We´re talking probably 1000-1500 people every day. We can be open from 8 in the morning to 9 in the evening.

      But sure enough, it would be nice to get bookings from people who heard about it etc, and not entirely relying on on site spontaneous customers.

      I understand that hiring a professional marketing team probably would be better. But what exactly do they do? And the price, omg, the price. We couldnt afford it.

      I can´t see how any marketing team here would know how to market it better - because it´s sort of a new businessmodel at least in our country. We were one of the first going "corporate" with this, and is the second largest (and definitly most professional). Our best competitor has been doing it with almost zero competition for 15 years. We´ve been in it for 5 and we see how he copies most of our stuff.

      But you´ve got a point on the marketing aspect. I´m self thought, but I´ve been running facebook ads and know how to do it. I also know how to do instagram, twitter etc and got a nice legit following. And when it comes to the big guns I really hope that our client pulls them out. It´s one of the largest and well known companies in scandinavia. I understand that a little fizzling around with facebook ads for 100 bucks doesnt get us anywhere marketingwise.
  • Profile picture of the author djgav
    Is there any rule of thumb to consider when it comes to spending? There´s already a pretty big risk and cost for us to hire the room(s) + materials etc.
    Any marketer would want to know all the specifics before advising on budgets and recommendations.

    Without you giving us very specific information, the answers here are going to be very vague - way too vague to be of any use to you.

    We have no idea what the level of spend is per visit or even the venue these people are visiting - so we can't advise on how to reach these people.
    • Profile picture of the author Vikinghustler
      I understand. People spend a whole lot of money in this place. Money is loose, and they´re in the mood of spending.

      I got ahead of myself with this thread..I should have waited until I didnt feel like keeping it a secret.

      I will share everything once i get the go ahead. Hope theres still some interest then

      Thank you so much everyone!
  • Profile picture of the author KarenCully12
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  • Profile picture of the author KarenCully12
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  • Profile picture of the author Connann
    Dont put all your eggs in one basket, no matter how large is it
  • Profile picture of the author squeebo
    Well my first thought is eggs in one basket. By the balls. Leverage. It's all honeymoon now, but if they're smart they'll start demanding more and giving less until you're hanging on by your fingernails.

    If it's that great I'd go for it and aggressively try to outgrow my reliance on them.
  • Profile picture of the author Emily Cooper
    Your analogy is indeed very vague but from what I gather, the first thing you need is an effective online marketing plan written for you. You could do the execution yourself but to be able to have a detailed guide. My company used the 90 day online marketing plan by SME.Consulting (Google it), it was the best 1st step we ever made and we have been growing because of it ever since. Hope that helps
  • Profile picture of the author Regional Warrior
    So you are trying to sell your spa services in a Brothel ! hence the sparse info you provided
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  • Profile picture of the author unifiedac
    You could reach local residents and hotel guests with local offers:

    Living Social
    https://merchant.livingsocial.com/welcome

    Facebook Offer
    https://www.facebook.com/help/410451192330456

    Groupon Campaign
    https://www.groupon.com/merchant

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