Hotel or Guesthouse Marketing Plan

This is a Sample Marketing Plan for the fictional 'Cedar Trees Hotel' which has 25 rooms and a good Food and Beverage (F&B) Trade. Any Marketing they do has to cover both areas.


It is their intention to use as many Methods as possible to get their Messages out once they have invested the time to create them. For example when they wanted to promote their Christmas Restaurant Menu they use these Methods to get the Message out ie
  • FaceBook Paid Marketing
  • E Zine
  • Adwords
  • Road Signage
  • Reception/Restaurant Pullups
  • Wall Boards dotted around the hotel.
  • Website Blog
  • FaceBook Status Update.
  • Instagram Status Update.
Every idea or promotion they come up with has the maximum chance to reach the public
The Cedar Trees is located on a busy main road with an estimated 3000 cars passing per day (To get the same sort of traffic from FaceBook Marketing they would need to spend 30 Per Day ie 900 Per month, whereas a simple road sign only has a one-off cost of 136€. Additionally, Bar, Restaurant and Accommodation customers could well average over 150 guests per day ie 4500 per month, so the reception pull ups AND the 4 A4 sized clip frames they have in the toilets, lift and reception areas will be invaluable to promote their Messages. There is some investment in the initial road sign base, 'pull up' stands and A4 Clip frames, but after that it is not expensive to replace the inserts.

Dont be confused! Just because the bookings happen online it does not mean that only online advertising is seen. Its very possible that the online booking you received today came from someone who drove past your property last Saturday and saw the road sign.

Cedar Trees send the content to the sign company who do the graphics and come out to the hotel to change the road signs/pullups and clip frames. Cedar Trees long ago learnt to come out with a standard layout/background/frame for the graphics and just change the 'Messages'. Any time spent on 'design' tended to slow the roll out of promotions.

Devolving the work
The Hotel Management also learnt the value in setting up a plan that covered 80% of their promotions, but keeping some budget back for unplanned promotions ie The month of May can often be a difficult month to forecast. Additionally Cedar Trees found it hard to plan promotions for their F&B Business so gave the Restaurant Manager 500€ (50€ per promotion) with which to use for FaceBook Promotions whenever they felt the need to. The Restaurant Manager was a big FaceBook user and came out with some very creative ideas using drinks promotions from suppliers ie 'Free Gin Tasting' from our very own Local Micro Brewery this Saturday Night with Dinner......Free Bottle of House Wine with this Sunday Lunch etc

At some point Cedar Trees had been made aware of the benefits of Remarketing on FaceBook and Google Adwords, they didnt fully understand the details but they knew that anyone who landed on their website would then be served up either Google Adwords when they surfed the internet or FaceBook Ads in their FaceBook Account in subsequent weeks. They saw this as simple Brand Awareness or 'getting their name out there' in simple terms, and allocated a monthly budget to this 'Background Marketing'.

Website Address Promotion
Knowing they had ReMarketing in place however moved them to wonder just what they could do to promote their website and get people to visit it. They did a quick brainstorming and came out with this list of internal areas where they felt they could promote the website address.
  • On the Guest Sign-in forms.
  • On the Guest Key card Holders.
  • On Restaurant Menus.
  • On all their Signage.
  • Inside the Bedrooms.
  • On the Wifi Access Page.
Cedar Trees were surprised to find the Print/Post Marketing could still yield results. They found that when they were contacting local businesses e mails were not so effective but a post card had a better chance of landing in the hands of the correct person within the company, so they built a local business database (with help from the night porter) and send a post card once per year (usually pre Christmas, in the hope of capturing some party business) reminding local businesses of their midweek lunch offering and giving them a promotion code 'local business' offering 15% off if they booked accommodation for their customers on their website. They did however find the work of designing, printing, putting labels on envelopes, inserting in envelopes and taking to the post office onerous. So they used the Post Card system within Mailchimp that allows them to upload a design and Excel Sheet of customers addresses and MailChimp do the rest.

4 Ms
To keep their Promotions on track and effective they memorised the 4 'm's' and brought them up frequently when talking about Promotions. Too often in the past someone had a great idea to 'put on the website', but this if course does not thoroughly identify the 'Market' and is not an effective 'Method' to a get a 'Message' out. ie
Message - 2 B&B and 2 Courses from our Dinner Menu 99€
Market - Men and Women over 30 in a 25-75 Mile Radius
Methods - Paid FaceBook Marketing
Money - 50€

Cedar Trees noticed some time ago that its much more difficult than their consultants tell them to track sales against particular promotions, but at the same time when they stop their marketing they do see a gradual decline in business. So instead of looking for results from a particular promotion they measure monthly key data such as their website visits, how many clicks they are getting from Google and FaceBook and of course their room sales to see if they are going in the right 'rough' direction.

What does this Cost?
The cost of this fictional plan is 9196€, totally insufficient for a business of this nature that should have a turnover of 750,000€ to 1,000,000€, but still more than most Guesthouses/Hotels spend on Sales and Marketing.

Who does all this?
From long experience when we corner a Hotel Owner/Manager they acknowledge the need for Sales and Marketing, they often dont even have a major issue with the money if it is made clear to them where it is being spent, but prod a little harder and you will see that the real doubt is over who is going to do all the work? In this fictional case above Cedar Trees employed a marketing company to execute some of the more technical issues (at a cost of 500€ Per Month) and used some of their own staff for some of the simpler tasks. They met with the marketing company once per year to set up the Marketing Plan and the work was divided up as follows;
  • Creation of Marketing Plan with Promotions - Hotel Management + Marketing Company
  • Creation of Offers and Website Content - Hotel Management
  • Creation and Maintenance of Google Adwords - Marketing Company
  • Creation and Maintenance of FaceBook Paid Marketing Ads - Marketing Company
  • Creation and Maintenance of Ezine Campaigns - Marketing Company
  • Creation and Distribution of Post Cards - Marketing Company
  • Gathering and Maintenance of Ezine Post Card Database - Hotel Management
  • Maintenance of Results and Distribution of Monthly Report - Marketing Company
  • Instructions to Sign Company - Hotel Management
  • Sign Design creation and changing - Sign Company
  • Instagram and FaceBook Status Updates - Restaurant Manager