hotel toilet marketing

What you do matters, but where you do it matters more

Recently I was fortunate enough to be invited to a rather plush country manor hotel deep in the Hampshire countryside. This is a large, former Lord’s residence, and is a flagship hotel for the group it represents. Therefore I was a bit baffled not by their choice of marketing but where they chose to do it. So, whilst I personally think that QR codes are a bit of a waste of time and effort (another subject for another post), there are those who feel they are obviously worthwhile. I’ve never had much of a response from them, testing for clients has proven that they are rarely snapped and scanned and used, however sometimes they can be useful to acknowledge there are always those who want to use the latest tech and therefore are very good for communicating your desire to be “cutting edge”.

So when I used the facilities at this rather grandiose establishment I was amused to find they had chosen to use QR codes in the gents. So imagine the scenario, there you are, mid “stream” and you are checking out the offer. Suddenly, you spot it, there at the bottom, is a QR code (the only way to respond mind)> So, you whip out your phone, one handed naturally, and fire up your QR code snapper and take a picture of the QR code. Should you have someone sharing a moments respite of bladder relief I’m sure they would be alarmed at you whipping out your phone for a sneaky snap. I would find it very inappropriate to use a camera in a toilet facility.

I was alone, as the hotel was quite empty when I was attending, but if I imagine a busier time I couldn’t think of anyone having a suitable excuse for whipping out their, erm, camera for a snap.

The point to marketing is provoking a response and if you are not allowing your target market to take action, due to circumstances then you create a massive flaw in your marketing. To the point where it will be ineffective, and I am convinced this QR code placement would have no respondents. PLUS, we’re in the venue, and this is advertising the venue, the social media pages and special offers page on the website. Surely it’s better to just list the URL, or just the offers? With “Ask a staff member and receive a special visitors rate”. As it is prime advertising real estate, with a captive audience is wasted with no specific offer and a response mechanism that is flawed.

This has to have been caused by the marketing team failing to put themselves in the shoes of the target market, or possibly a failure of a female marketer to realise the difference between men’s facilities and ladies. I’m not being sexist here, this is just a practical reality of bathroom arrangements, and highlights that you should understand and know your target market.

So when you next decide to make an offer, really think about your target audience, how you are delivering your message and WHERE you are delivering it.

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About Stuart Morrison

Stu Morrison's background in marketing, entertainment and web development has fused him into a guy thirsty for results in marketing. His regular talks on marketing and web conversion help others to gain more revenue from their websites. He also has a big moustache.