Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Hotel Brochures - Still Relevant?

I recently opened a Hotel and during the course of preparing for the opening of the property I found myself in a lengthy debate with the Hotel Owner about the need for, or not, a typical brochure.

I’ll tell you right now that the Owner “won” that argument, because, as we all know, Owner trumps General Manager every time.

My concern was related to spending his money on an item that I do not feel is a necessary requirement of a Hotel anymore.

We did have a spectacular web site, where, among other things, you could access our on-line brochure, and if you felt so inclined, you could print the brochure from the web. And, given the fluid nature of web sites, we were able to update the content, as and when new items became available that added to the value of putting them to the web site.

We were also able to upload our extensive Catering, Special Events, and Weddings menus, floor plans, contract terms and such.

Lastly, the web site was also a great spot to highlight our accomplishments, as the Hotel opened and we began to receive praise for our handling of events, conferences, etc., as well as providing a more elaborate selection of photographs that truly spoke to the ability of the Hotel, and the team, to provide an exceptional venue, and exceptional experiences, for business or pleasure.

In short, we were in a much better position to provide up to date, current, relevant material on the web site, and, given that computers are now as common in the household as a refrigerator, if not more so, it allows anyone to access our material at any time.

Comparatively, a brochure provides a limited snapshot in time. If you want to keep it relatively simple, and cost-effective, you are limited to a handful of photographs, and corresponding narratives, that you must ultimately hope strikes the right nerve with the consumer who actually looks at your brochure.

Anyone who has either been in the Hotel business, or in the habit of hosting conferences, also knows that a brochure is a “creative” snapshot in time, which does not necessarily accurately reflect what the property actually looks like, or, does today, compared with when the brochure was actually created.

Given the chance to do so, I would much rather spend the money that would be allocated to produce a traditional brochure, on any number of other Sales or Marketing activities with a much higher probability of creating a successful return on investment.

Alternatively, pump it into the web site, or social media – money well spent.

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