On the rise in 2012, part 3: Marketing trends

HOTELS previously presented insights about hotel and spa trends as well as F&B for 2012 from San Francisco-based Andrew Freeman & Co.’s annual report about the coming year in the restaurant and hospitality industries. What follows here is part 3, which focuses on next year’s hottest marketing strategies.

Kid-friendly offerings, QR codes, charitable partnerships — these are just a few trends Andrew Freeman & Co. predict will be popular when it comes to restaurant and hospitality marketing in 2012. Here is a list of 10 of the firm’s marketing highlights for next year:

1. In the “Q”: Garner a quick response with QR codes. Capture foot traffic with QR codes in the window and on key collateral pieces that link to your website, Facebook page or reservations link, or use one for a virtual concierge site that guests can access on the go or a micro-site that tells a story about who you are and what you do.

2. Tuesdays are the new Thursdays: Promote slow nights with special events and promotions designed to draw traffic on off nights. Get creative with ideas ranging from Monday Movie Night in the lobby to Tequila and Taco Tuesdays.

3. Hello kiddie: Custom-tailored child-friendly services and offerings can range from smaller portions of “adult” items and healthy alternatives on restaurant menus to low-temperature saunas or hot tubs in spas.

4. Do the local motion: Hotels, spas and restaurants are reinforcing a unique sense of place as hotels work with local artists and designers to incorporate indigenous materials in their construction, spas rely on locally grown ingredients for treatments and chefs call out region-specific influences on menus.

5. Music as muse: Customized playlists are nothing new, but now hotels and restaurants are working with composers, musicians and designers to compose a soundtrack that enhances the experience and relates to the occasion. 

6. Cell serve: Take advantage of location-based marketing synced to cell phones to make direct outreach to potential guests.

7. Siberia is hot: Turn the least desirable room or the taboo table to the most coveted reservation by booking “problem” spots at discount rates or with special features.

8. Eat to give, give to eat: Expand marketing potential by partnering with a charity and tying the profits of a cocktail, wine or dessert purchase to a good cause. 

9. Open and clothes: Hotels and restaurants are partnering with designers and designer brands for uniform needs.

10. Keep the change: Temporary restaurants are popping up in incredible settings: perched above a museum, on a cliff, in a park or nestled atop a tree with food delivered by zip line. Even more permanent restaurants can regularly change their concept to reinvent themselves and keep guests coming back for something new.