There is a common misconception of the phrase “target market” and most people in the accommodation industry don’t actually know, or understand how to differentiate a well-defined target customer from a regular customer. Given the fluctuation in demand spikes, high and low season and of course the economy its imperative to know exactly who your customers are…

It’s alarming how many accommodation providers say their target market is anyone who wants to stay at their property or use their services. I’m not saying that these aren’t valuable customers or they should be excluded, I’m saying focus your marketing dollars on your defined target market and you will have a higher conversion rate.

So, here are some simple yet effective tips to help you define your target market.

Look at your current customer base

Who are your current customers? What are they buying from you? Is it a basic room, the most expensive room or somewhere in between?

Look for common characteristics, interests even nationality, do you get a large number of customers from one particular Country or region?

Check your competition

Firstly, exactly who is your direct competition? Who are they targeting and who are their current customers?

This Step can make or break to you and your competition, the decision to target the same market as your competition or find a Niche and reduce the competition aspect is critical. Its very important to consider this carefully, remember if you choose to target the same market as your competition you have to do it better and prepare for a competitive market.

Alternatively, you can quite easily find a Niche that they aren’t targeting and focus your marketing efforts on them.

Analyse your product/service

This is a very simple step and all accommodation providers should already have already completed this step prior to reading this post.

Step one: List the features of your property

Step two: List the benefits of these features

Step Three: Make a list of who you think would benefit from these features and benefits.

Choose specific demographics to target

Once you have analysed your product/ service, choosing your demographic is pretty simple.  All you need to do now is think about who has the need for your product/ services and who is the most likely and willing to purchase it.

Think carefully and answer these eight questions about your targeted demographic:

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Location
  • Income Level
  • Occupation
  • Education Level
  • Ethnic background
  • Marital and Family Status

Once all these eight questions are answered its pretty safe to say you’ve just worked out your target market.

Evaluate your decision

Finally, once you have decided on your target market you need to ensure that you are going to make a substantial profit.

  • How are you going to reach this target market and are they easily accessible?
  • Is the target market big enough to sustain your cash flow requirements?
  •  Do you understand what drives them to the decision making process?

Handy Hints

  • Remember you can have more then one-target market.
  • Don’t breakdown your target market too far, as you will reduce your potential customer base.
  • Make sure you get and store information from every customer that walks in the door!
  • Ensure every customer gets the best possible experience!