How to boost your shoulder months with emotive marketing, as told by Daniel Twigg, Marketing Strategist, Clockwork Marketing.

After price, we make purchases based on emotion. We are fickle and make decisions to buy based on how we feel at the time – a recommendation we’ve been given or an ad we’ve seen recently, for example. 

During a hotel’s shoulder months we all reach for the faithful discounted offer to entice people to purchase out of season. 

Black Friday is testament to the effectiveness of a competitive price-based promotion, but more recently, there’s been a backlash to the consumerism of the day and drive to buy more. 

78% of Millennials would rather purchase an experience or event than a product (Harris) with many opting out of consumerism in favour of mindful or emotionally-nourishing experiences. 

But why is this happening and what is driving these purchasing decisions?

How our brains work

There are three parts to our brain that influence our behaviour and how we make purchasing decisions. 

Our most basic needs are survival and reproduction or food and sex. The “primal” part of our brain influences our behaviour to meet these needs. 

We joke at Clockwork that hotels are well placed to key into these fundamental needs with most offering bedrooms and food. A romantic dinner, bed and breakfast will always be a winning package. 

The “rational” part of our brain controls our impulses but also our reasoning and judgement. A cost-effective offer will appeal to our rational brain, as will a tick list of features we want when we visit a hotel – swimming pool, en suite bathroom, ironing board, Wi-Fi etc. 

The emotional part of our brain controls our limbic system and keys into our long-term memory and emotional motivations. Things that make us laugh, feel nostalgic or give us goosebumps for example, affect us on a much deeper level. 

When we are in an emotional state of awareness, we remember things better. Hence stories that provoke emotion are remembered 22 times more than facts. Video that has an emotional impact on viewers is 70% more likely to promote a purchase (Unruly). 

Appealing to the emotions of your guests can give you a powerful edge to market your hotel through your shoulder months. 

Experience and emotion

The key to a great emotional marketing campaign is to research the real needs and motivations of your guests. We know from consumer data that the main reason family’s holiday is to spend quality time together. Instead of just marketing indoor family activities available, build a campaign that keys into their emotional need – “Great times together”. 

Getting to the real emotive benefit of your property, location or features is tough but it could prove the difference in marketing your hotel during the shoulder months and beyond.