I’ve been talking to innkeepers for almost 25 years now and even though I’ve never owned an inn, I know EXACTLY how to market one. Doing anything for that long pretty much guarantees success as long as you are diligent and always seeking to improve your craft. I can usually identify in less than 15 minutes specific areas that when marketed properly will substantially increase revenue. Am I bragging? Nope. I’d better know how to do this after all these years!
Which – brings me to the question of why you should hire White Stone Marketing. It’s simple. We were the first digital marketing agency for independent lodging properties in the under 50-room category and NO other digital marketing company in this space can match our expertise. Not possible. I tell folks all the time, “If you want to be the best, hire the best.” We are that company. In all my years, I’ve never seen an inn go out of business that had an adequate marketing budget. What do I mean by ‘adequate marketing budget?” I’m talking at least 10% of gross annual revenue. Why do you think the OTA’s have out-marketed all of us? At last count, their marketing budget exceeded 25% of their GAR. They are profiting from our industry’s lack of trust in the marketing process.
Several years ago, PAII conducted a study, which showed the majority of small, independent lodging properties were spending less than 5% of gross annual revenue on marketing. And, if you are an innkeeper, I encourage you to stop reading my blog right now and write down what percentage of your gross annual revenue you spent on marketing last year. If you don’t know…you should. It’s simply NOT possible to think you can get away with cannibalizing your marketing budget in favor of improving your property, adding new amenities, general maintenance, etc. Yes, you have to improve your offerings to guests and the property in general but if you pull from your marketing budget, you are guaranteeing you won’t have anyone to enjoy all the plush new amenities you put in place.
So, now that I’ve hopefully convinced you to properly market and to entrust those marketing dollars to true experts, I’ll go a step further. White Stone Marketing really shines in the arena of customer service. Ask any White Stone client! We are passionate not only about what we do but about the success of our clients. We take a partnership approach and we believe the best marketing program is conducted in agreement and collaboration with our clients. We will be honest with you, we will tell you when we believe you are making a wrong decision and we will take your marketing dollars very seriously only suggesting you spend those hard earned bucks for the best possible ROI.
With all of that, you might ask, “Why not hire White Stone Marketing?” The truth of the matter is that everyone is not a good fit. But, I can almost always steer innkeepers in the right direction. I will be brutally honest and tell you if we aren’t the best fit for your property and I will try and find someone who is! Yes, I do care that much about the people in this industry. Every marketing company that started up within a few years of us has gone on to other, often more lucrative industries, but we have held firm. We love what we do and we are here to stay.
Take a moment and fill out our application form and let’s chat. I promise you it will be well worth your time.
Co-Founder – White Stone Marketing