Do you SMUCA? And, if not, why not? In this ever-changing, advertising-cluttered world, the attention span of your target audience is measured in nano-seconds. So, how do you break through to the craniums of those critical potential guests? I’ve come to the conclusion that you have to SMUCA your communications. Here’s what my take on this acronym stands for:
Social Media Active: It starts with a true web site blog. By true, I mean one that is in tune with your guests, your community and your property. Whether managed in-house, or through an external agency, your blog should be considered paramount in terms of delivering your message. The level of activity is obviously based upon your property. A resort with a golf course and a spa is probably bound to have more to talk about than a downtown office-tower-complex. Whatever you’re writing, make sure your activity is relevant. The weather forecast alone, for the sake of ensuring activity, is not appropriate.
Memorable in Your Execution: Memorability comes from providing the viewer with facts, style and/or points of view that jog the brain. One of the ways of staying memorable is to utilize a consistent brand image. For example, think of Hilton Hotels, what color comes to mind? This approach is also used successfully by Travelocity (their gnome) and hotels.com (animated figures). Once you lock in a style, stick with it. This will enhance long-term customer memorability.
Useful in Your Approach: Do you remember the old Dragnet movie line, “The facts, mam, just give me the facts.” This naturally applies to presentations, advertisements, collateral and in-house materials. Present your property, your amenities and price points in a clear and unambiguous fashion. Don't make your prospect have to work hard at understanding what you wish to communicate. Give them the facts and let them make their purchase decisions.
Controversial, As in Having an Edge: This is not quite the same as memorability, as you certainly can be memorable without being controversial. And, I am not advocating controversy just for the sake of conversation! Rather, I am encouraging you to create some thumbprints regarding your property…being items that provoke a deeper thought and in doing so, increase retention. Here, I am not thinking of controversy from a negative standpoint, but rather, in terms of key selling points that can be used to differentiate your property from competitors. Here are some examples from properties that we have worked with:
- Guaranteed twenty-minute room service pizza delivery
- The only golf course by a famous golf designer that can be played without a membership to a private club
- A unique spa treatment, available only at this property
- A distinct location with a very unique viewpoint
Ambitious: Set goals for yourself first, your team second, and your business third (if you like, reverse this order for your owners). The reason that you are first is realism: first and foremost, you are responsible to your family: to not only ensure that bills are paid, funds are put aside for your children, etc., but for your own long term growth and job satisfaction. Next your team, recognizing that without them, our ability to manage your position is impossible. Your growth comes not only from what you do, but moreover, from what your team does in support. If you get one and two correct, the odds are pretty strong that a successful property will be the result.
(Published in HOTELSMag on July 25, 2012)