Being a leader is one thing; being a great leader is a whole new ball game. To stay at the forefront of innovation, creativity and ahead of your competitors, you need to learn the skills required to be a great leader when marketing your hotel.

The Core Fundamentals of Why Your Hotel Exists

Looking at hotel marketing, there are a variety of tactics that you can use to stay popular amongst your clientele. For instance, there are straightforward marketing tools that have been around for a while—like email marketing, offering packages, loyalty programmes, newsletters and the list goes on.

Now, take a few steps back and start at the beginning of all this. Where would a hotel marketing team be? Well, they’d be at their origin. They’d be back at the reason why they started their business, the core fundamentals of why their hotel exists. Once you go back and understand what you stand for as a hotel, only then you can truly learn how to be a leader. You can only lead once you know who you are.

Waiter fixing tables in an empty restaurant
Understand what your hotel stands for to know how to be a good hotel marketing leader.

5 Key Recipes that Lead to a Successful Hotel Marketing Strategy

The leadership qualities can be summed up in a few key recipes that lead to a successful hotel marketing strategy. First things first, to lead well you need to know where you are going. In short, you need:

1. Vision

You need to know where you want to go—and determine how to get there. With which goals, values and beliefs. As a Hotel Marketing Manager or owner of your hotel, you need to define your goals and ensure that everyone in the team upholds them.

In addition to recognising and outlining the goals, you also need to be able to inspire others to follow suit. It makes very little sense to have values and beliefs that aren’t shared by the whole team. The entire team needs to stand behind the hotel’s vision as every member is an integral part of the entire hotel ecosystem. The act of outlining a clear vision and mission statement will serve as the communal thread that everyone in the team can depend on and turn to in moments of doubt.

Keep in mind that the goals that form your vision need to be motivational and offer solace during challenging times for the team. Problems arising are unavoidable in the hotel industry. However, with a clear vision and concrete values and beliefs to hold on to, navigating troubled waters becomes a breeze.

Flat-lay of an orange table with a coffee, a to-do list and a plate with a snack.
Determine how you will achieve your goals by establishing a mission and vision.

2. Flexibility

The biggest expense and the biggest asset in the hospitality industry are its people. They are what make the distinction between an average hotel and a great hotel. Hence, leading people correctly is a sure way to become a market leader as a whole hotel. It is essential to give everyone in the team the core knowledge they need, like the above-mentioned vision and mission statement. At the same time, give them the space and flexibility to act independently.

As a leader, you need to trust that you have trained your staff as best you can and that you have provided them with all the necessary materials to offer exemplary service. Trust that they are true professionals in their own right and will therefore make decisions that benefit the hotel, and not tarnish it. Of course, be flexible in your approach as each team member you engage with is their own person. Communicate honestly with them, let them know that you trust them and that you’re happy to see how they tackle challenges. This can give them immense reassurance and improve confidence.

Two women in a meeting having a discussion
Offer your team all the necessary knowledge and materials to offer exemplary services.

3. Be an Example

A sure way to the road to success is to lead by example. If you have set up a list of goals and values that the rest of the team needs to follow, it is important that you also follow and embody them.

The best kind of leader is willing to do any task, no matter how small. As a great leader, you need never ask a colleague to do something you wouldn’t do. In. fact, a leader needs to exude a sense of willingness at every turn. This will inspire and motivate team members to also want to jump in and start swimming at every new prospect, as well as show that you are relatable. A relatable leader is a beloved leader, and a beloved leader is someone who can be a market-leading great leader.

A group of people sitting at a desk and discussing hotel marketing strategy
Motivate your team by showing willingness to do any task.

4. Show Vulnerability

It is essential to be self-aware and be able to communicate well in areas where you’re unsure of your skills. Typically, when you think of a great leader, you think of someone who oozes confidence and strides through corridors instead of simply walking. But this is a misconceived idea of what a great leader is. Someone with the ability to lead a whole team to the next level of business is someone who can not only communicate their weaknesses but also ask for assistance when they need it.

To illustrate—as the world changes and becomes more digital, you realise that you really struggle with tech. You’re a leader in your area of expertise with 25 years of experience. You should communicate this to an intern or a young, new person in the team. This will demonstrate that you are not afraid to point out the areas where you feel you lack expertise. It will:

  • Show the team that you are self-aware enough to identify areas where you don’t have enough knowledge. You need to have the skills to communicate these areas of difficulty in a way that does not belittle your standing but rather sheds light on where you could benefit from assistance.
  • Demonstrate that you don’t need to know everything to be a great leader. You indeed need to be a true expert. However, you also need to know where to delegate.
  • Give your team faith as they will no longer be ashamed of the things they perhaps don’t feel they’re good enough at yet. It will help them identify these areas and pass tasks on to someone with more experience or skill. As a result, this will improve the output of the whole team.
Older woman sitting at a desk typing on a laptop
Do not be afraid to admit when you lack the expertise and ask for help.

5. Creativity

As a leader, you need to think outside of the box. The hotel industry is tough because it often feels saturated and demands high levels of excellent service. To be a market leader, you need to come up with ideas that excite. Your guests deserve to have creative, unique, cutting-edge, and forward-thinking service. Ultimately, it is your responsibility to create an environment where creative ideas can be shared.

The whole team can get involved in sharing ideas and coming up with things. You need to create a safe space for everyone’s ideas to be applauded, even if not all of them are used. The way to do this is to lead with honesty and an open-door policy. If your team knows you are kind, fair and honest, they will be more likely to share their ideas. Why? Because they know that even if their idea is not taken on board, it will at least not be ridiculed. An open-door policy will also give you a vote of confidence as a leader because the team knows that you are approachable and always there for them.

All in all, if you run a team that trusts you and whom you trust, who can share ideas freely and let their creative juices flow, you have a winning strategy for clever marketing through proper leadership.

A hand opening a hotel door
An open-door policy will give your team the confidence to talk to you and share ideas.

Go and be a great hotel marketing leader

Being a great leader is not a job for the faint-hearted. It will require immense amounts of understanding, control, flexibility, transparency, and creativity daily. However, it will also probably be the most rewarding thing to pursue. Imagine having a team of people you work with, who look up to you, whom you create a shared mission for and a shared beat to which everyone in the team moves.

It can come with its challenges, but what doesn’t? If you’re going to lead, you might as well do so in an exemplary fashion. Go and be a great leader by implementing these key tips.

Aug 10, 2022
Written by
Hotelchamp Team