Marketing Plans

Without a plan it will
take you longer and cost you more to get there if you get there at all 

A marketing plan is one of the most important business documents that your business will ever have, it is your map to your future. 

A good marketing plan considers where you want to go, how to get there. It is a three R Document, one that will be, Revisited, Reevaluated and Revised based on business and performance and external conditions. It is an organization tool that helps keep your business on the road to a profitable future and can be used to help raise money from external sources when done professionally. 

Nicholls Hospitality Marketing Helps You

  1. Spend more time on what makes you most profitable
  2. Gain valuable outside perspectives
  3. Get the best possible marketing mix
  4. Helps you do more of what you enjoy

1. Helping You Spend More Time On What Makes You Most Profitable

You didn’t start your business to write marketing plans but we did. 
By working with NHM we will help you spend more time doing what is most beneficial for your business and helping you spend as much time as possible in your highest payoff activities. We can all cook to some degree, but very few of us are chefs, making our living from preparing meals for others, it is not our highest pay off activity.

2. Gain Valuable Outside Perspective

One of the best reasons to hire an outside agency is to get a fresh set of eyes to see new opportunities and business limitations. Because NHM is constantly looking across the horizon in many different areas in the world of hospitality and marketing we can see what those that are not in the regular practice of scanning the environment may miss resulting in what is known as Marketing Myopia.

A short-sighted and inward looking approach to marketing that focuses on the needs of the company instead of defining the company and its products in terms of the customers’ needs and wants results in the failure to see and adjust to the rapid changes in their markets.

When Marketing Myopia occurs opportunities to create amazing guest experiences are missed and revenue for the business owner is lost. Hospitality must first consider how their services can be of benefit and enhance their guests’ lives.

As an example a small vineyard in California wanted to increase the occupancy of the cottage they rented out on their property but did not consider the fact that people would want to participate in viticulture activities because to the vineyard owners they were “just regular daily chores that were done around the farm”.  A marketing expert helped to show that this would be a unique experience for others and would add value to guests stays at the cottage through this unique experience if promoted and could increase demand for their property as well as increase revenue.

3. Getting The Best Possible Marketing Mix Getting The Best Results

We pride ourselves on being able to offer you our skills in helping you to allocate your marketing budget to the highest payoff activities in the right quantities so that when everything is working together you get more than the sum of the individual components.

Like a great recipe, we can all know the ingredients but how you prepare them and what portions you use makes all the difference. The most expensive bowl of soup cost sold according to Campbell’s was over $5,000.

4. Helping You To Do More Of What You Enjoy

Not everyone enjoys spending hundreds of hours doing research and writing reports and hanging out on the learning curve away from their guests. NHM has spent the time and continues to grow so that when we meet we can produce excellent results faster than you would be able to on your own helping you to do more of what you love.

An excellent marketing plan can easily take 200 hours for those who have never written a marketing plan. As it is most hospitality business owners work very long hours already and adding to that workload would negatively impact areas of the business.

Marketing Plan Creation Process

  1. Discovery meeting with the owner(s)
  2. Research
  3. Recommendations
  4. Revision
  5. Recommendation and delivery
The process of creating your marketing plan includes a discovery meeting with the owners that focusses on history, goals, resources, and roadblocks.  If a marketing audit has already been completed than a lot of preliminary research regarding roadblocks and competition will have already been completed making the process of developing your marketing plan faster and less expensive.  After the discovery meeting, research will begin and the creation of the plan will begin. An initial draft for discussion that considers two scenarios’ and a revision if needed. Support in executing the marketing plan is also available through our other services for the business owner.

What is Included in your Marketing Plan

Here is what you can expect to find in your hospitality Marketing Plan.  

Situational Analysis

The situational analysis will include a detailed look at your current business operations and will include a S.W.O.T. & P.E.S.T.L.E. evaluation. A situational analysis by NHM also looks very deep into the competition using Porter’s Five Forces and tries to identify if the business operation can create a Blue Ocean marketing strategy.

Target Market

The target market research that you will receive will contain detailed demographics and psychographics Special considers for restaurants and food service providers also include local economic health indicators. For accommodation and tour businesses feeder economies as well as other factors that can impact your target markets’ ability to participate in your service offering such as tourism intermediaries, airlines, and communication outlets.

Marketing Mix2

The marketing mix is created with two scenarios. The first scenario is based on current resources, budgets, and goals. The second scenario is based upon any property or operational equipment improvements and increases in promotional spending.
Each scenario will encompass all 8 aspects of the hospitality marketing mix. Within each scenario, strategy and tactics will incorporate integrated communication to leverage all promotional channels.

Revenue Management
As pricing is such a key component in hospitality operations additional focus and attention is given to dynamic pricing strategies to help increase revenue and profit without increasing expenses.

Goals and Objectives

Based upon the information gained in the discovery meeting intermittent goals and milestones will be outlined with the timelines and resources required to achieve the objectives. Key Performance Indicators will help to guide activities and the probability of achieving the predetermined goals.  The Marketing Mix2 will also be reflected in the goals and objectives in various areas as appropriate.

Financial Projections

This component will outline and timeline revenue projections and financial resources required to implement the marketing tactics recommended in the plan as well as break-even points and how scale impacts profit margin.

Fixed Expenses and Volume Considerations
An important consideration in hospitality operations is that there is a high level of fixed costs and that with strong marketing the fixed costs that contribute to expenses and detract from gross profits can be drastically affected based on volume. Within the financial sections, various levels of occupancy and table turnover will be indexed to help if the marketing plan is required for external financing.

Seasonality Considerations
As seasonality can be a major variable and the timing of promotional activities are often required several months in advance to help in securing bookings a cashflow plan will need to be included to help make sure that funds are available when it is quite likely that operations could be slow and that cash on hand from sales could be low or even non-existent if the business closes for the season.

Shut Down Point
If the business has very low seasonal points and a very small local economy to draw on in the offseason determining an economic shut down point will also be determined to help preserve earnings so that funds would be available for the next season.

Next Steps 

A marketing plan is a living document and one of the most important business documents for your business so it is important to review and update your plan regularly. One marketing plan for the life of your business would cause an early demise of your dreams.
Marketing plan reviews should not be confused with tactical performance reviews which must be continuously monitored to make sure that KPIs are being met or tactics adjusted made to achieve the strategic goals. Marketing plans should be reviewed at a minimum of every 12 months and ideally every 6 months or mid-season if the business is highly seasonal.

Funding The Marketing Plan Creation 

In many cases funding may be available to offset the costs of the advisory and consultancy services that NHM is providing through this marketing audit and development of a marketing plan as well as for the execution recommendations and requirements to help the business become more profitable.

Additional Reading for Marketing Plan Strategies for Restaurants

If you are looking for some quick insights that will help your restaurant be more competitive in high foot traffic areas you will want to read 

Marketing For Restaurants Off The Beaten Path

Restaurant off the beaten path