Educating the consumer about the new La Quinta
Brand awareness is key to any successful marketing strategy, but for La Quinta Inns & Suites, it's less about marketing what the brand is and more about marketing what the brand has become. La Quinta is a brand with a deep history. It was founded in 1968, so like any brand with a legacy there are certain assumptions people make when they hear the brand name. La Quinta's strategy is to reinvent its already-stellar reputation and educate the consumer on what the brand is today and how it has evolved since the consumer's last encounter with the company.
Paid search, CPC, and retargeting as part of personal outreach
Getting in front of travelers before they have selected accommodations is crucial for any hotel brand. For La Quinta, its strategy runs the gamut from personalized outreach to travelers who have booked flights, all the way to classic digital tactics such as paid search, CPC, and accurate display ad retargeting. Following travelers from the moment they have selected a travel destination until they have finally chosen their preferred accommodation is a key digital strategy for attracting them to stay with La Quinta.
Amy Bartle, director of media and digital marketing for La Quinta Inns & Suites, speaks to iMedia about how brand education and classic digital targeting techniques are a vital part of the brand's advertising approach.
Bringing in content that helps the traveler
The more La Quinta can help its guests and travelers outside of a sales pitch, the better chance it has of turning consumers into brand loyalists. The hotel brand focuses a great deal on helping consumers when they arrive at their destination by educating them on things to do, see, and experience. La Quinta's content marketing approach is a good example of how brands that may not have direct content marketing channels can still aggregate content and help their customers without the attachment of a branded sales pitch.
Provide free services, complimentary breakfast, and updated rooms
Of course, no amount of smart marketing or clever advertising will help your brand if the ultimate product or experience is not enjoyable. Because of this fact, La Quinta see's its hotel experience, accommodations, and amenities as part of its marketing strategy. In this sense, the brand never stops marketing to its customers. When the consumer has booked a flight, La Quinta is trying to attract them. When the traveler has selected La Quinta, the brand provides content and things to do at the destination to help make for a more enjoyable experience. And finally, when travelers are staying at La Quinta, the brand ensures that the experience is so good that they will become repeat customers.
Amy Bartle continues our conversation by explaining why providing content to travelers is so key for La Quinta and how it helps drive long-term brand loyalty.
Market to the traveler's emotion, not consumer instincts
La Quinta puts a tremendous amount of effort into brand-building online. While most hotel brands adhere to the classic "buy one, get one free" or "20% off today!" messaging in their banner ads, La Quinta prefers to focus on marrying its advertising with content that is somehow emotionally relatable and personal. Discounts, sales, and other tactics that may peak a consumer's superficial interest are not as important to La Quinta's strategy than making sure it is first connecting emotionally with its guests and creating a brand perception not built on two-dimensional sales tactics.
Amy Bartle ends our conversation by explaining why marketing to the traveler's emotion, rather that promoting weekly sales and discounts, is the preferred method when trying to grow a customer base who sees La Quinta in a different light than its competitors.
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"Beach at Praslin island, Seychelles" via Shutterstock.