5 Things Modern Hotel Marketers Can Learn From Vintage Travel Posters
Hotel marketing hasnt changed much in 100 years
This article originally appeared on Tambourine.
In the Golden Age of travel in the early part of the 20th century, there were no online banner ads. Nor guest analytics, marketing technology, mobile apps, retargeting campaigns, email offers, Insta-influencers, or search engines.
Instead, airlines, CVBs, resorts and railway companies relied on one of the most powerful mediums of their time the travel poster.
These travel posters shared common characteristics: exuberant colors, a gorgeous single graphic, and bold eye-catching lettering that all evoked a lust for travel and exploration with a single glance. In fact, these poster designers have been nailing it for more than a century. These vintage travel posters are still provoking inspiration for adventures far and wide today.
Theres a lot we can learn from these beautiful illustrations.
Decades before the creation of modern hotel marketing, poster designers inherently understood and integrated five key elements of successful hotel marketing:
1. Take time to CRAFT your story
Your hotel is different.
You may know that, but your prospective buyer doesnt.
So, you need to make it obvious. Your hotel marketing needs to deliver relevance and intrigue immediately. A mistake many hotel properties make is me too marketing that is cliché and already overused by many of their compset neighbors. For example, describing your hotel as in the heart of New Orleans or oceanfront hotel, making it difficult for travelers to differentiate your property from other central New Orleans properties and oceanfront hotels. Ditch these overworked marketing messages and present something brilliant and provocative, instead of bland and predictable.
This poster for a French hotel tells a unique story of mountain air and healthy activity!
2. Tell It Succinctly
The marketing concept behind travel posters is simple: combine one vibrant image and bold text to create a uniquely effective marketing medium that inspires travel.
These posters were easily understood and were perfect for capturing the attention of people on the go. Today, attention spans are at an all-time low, so every second of your hotel marketing counts. Hotel marketers need to be cognizant of the first five seconds that a visitor lands on a property website, that short span of time determines if the person will book, bounce or return. So, you need to squeeze performance out of every second for higher chances of conversion and revenue. Cut the clutter, get rid of slow-loading graphics, keep things simple.
Is there any question where this Rio hotel is located?
3. Be Visually Arresting
Your marketing images and hotel photography should be more than just pretty pictures. Just like the eye-popping colors and a single image on a travel poster, your images should catch attention in seconds and convey your experience in a single glance.
In fact, studies show that travelers spend time scouring through hotel images before making a decision. And, that your hotel photography has the power to change a buyers mind, for better or for worse. Ditch the stock images or dated blurry photos. Invest in a photographer experienced in shooting interior design, real estate, architecture or other hotels. Plus, leverage your hotels best FREE photographers your own social media-savvy guests. Instagram enthusiasts are producing images on par with paid professionals for their personal channels.
Sometimes, the best image for a hotel is not the hotel at all its the nearby attractions!
4. Keep messaging consistent
Back in the heyday of travel posters, hotels could not change messages very often so they were forced into being consistent in their marketing.
Today, rate parity isnt the only consistency your hotel should be vigilant about. Maintaining your hotels STORY parity is also vital to your bottom line. Smart hotel marketers know their Unique Selling Proposition (USP) has to be consistent across all touchpoints and marketing channels. If consumers see your hotel described as cosmopolitan and sophisticated on one channel, then as central and family-friendly on another, potential guests will be confused and leery of moving forward. Consistency builds trust and trust turns into buyer confidence.
For many years, the Outrigger hotel in Hawaii used images of guests enjoying the surf with the locals. They were the early advocates of celebrating authentic local experiences!
5. Be Intentional with Time and Place
The biggest boon of marketing technology is the ability to target and automate campaigns, allowing you to reach the right audience, with the right message, at the right time.
The most popular travel posters were commissioned by airlines and railway companies and were respectively displayed in airports and train stations touting resort destinations, thrilling cities, and weekend getaways. Today, consider whereand when to deliver your marketing messages. For example, consider the impact of a billboard promoting a Caribbean resort and its sunny beaches displayed in New York City during the bone-chilling months of winter.
Tambourine uses technology and creativity to increase revenue for hotels and destinations worldwide. The firm, now in its 33rd year, is located in New York City and Fort Lauderdale. Please visit: www.Tambourine.com