Sharper Hotel Marketing


We help small to medium size, independent hotels, motels and lodging businesses in Australia, New Zealand and the APAC region increase profits through:

  • Clarifying Your Messaging
    • Positioning & Guest Avatar target market definition.
    • Renaming, rebranding and brand style guide development.
    • Unique selling propositions for the hotel & room types.
    • Simplification and clarification of room types & descriptions.
    • User friendly & mobile responsive website design.
    • Photography by Chris Jack
      • Main Advertising Photographs.
      • Hero Image selection.
      • Hyper Local Area Attractions.
  • Visibility Improvement
    • Prioritising & connecting to more OTA's.
    • Continual online presence optimisation.
  • Best Practice Digital Marketing
    • Organic, White-hat Search Engine Optimisation.
    • Integrated Content marketing strategy with a local focus.
    • Search Engine Marketing (Google Adwords) management.
    • Email marketing strategy & implementation.
    • Google Analytics setup and analysis.
    • Social Media Strategy & Social Media Content Strategy.
  • Guest Experience & Reputation Management
    • Identifying areas for improvement at all touch points.
    • Improved passive signage, communications & guest information.
    • Guest review and feedback monitoring & research.
  • Effective Property Management Systems
    • Specialists in the Sirvoy cloud based PMS platforms.
    • Channel Manager selection & integration.
    • Migrating your historical data to Sirvoy.
    • Ensuring a successful implementation and integration.
    • Ongoing optimisation and utilisation of the PMS.
  • Revenue Maximisation and Yield Management
    • Yield Management strategies and & Revenue Management.
    • Strategies to encourage direct bookings & loyalty programs.


Read about this latest success story in August 2017 where we saw bookings increase by a sustained 45% — delivering a return on investment of 100% within just 45 days:



Photo by Chris Jack - Locus Focus

Photo by Chris Jack - Locus Focus


Brad Gibson approached us in April 2017 as his parents Gary and Carolyn had just purchased a 28 room motel located in Bendigo that was in need of better branding, photography and online presence.

Gary & Carolyn were fantastic hosts, and while reviews were very positive, they suspected money was being left on the table in terms of their branding and digital marketing.


After assessing their requirements over several telephone strategy sessions we put together a plan that included a three night stay at the motel — and the following improvements:


Working with Brad we put together a document that outline the key unique selling propositions for the motel, together with 5 target Guest Avatars that we would be thinking about for all future marketing.


I worked with Brad to simplify the naming of rooms and descriptions to make it easier for guests to identify the number and type of beds in rooms. 

TACTIC 3: New logo and branding identity

The existing logo was outdated and needed a refresh. Rather than reinvent the logo, we took the existing logo and modernised it to ensure existing signage could remain untouched.

This was designed and produced by Nick Smith an associate at Locus Focus.

Nick also produced a branding style guide in preparation for the new website with information about consistent colour, font and logo usage.

TACTIC 4: New MOTEL photography

Staying at the motel enabled me to capture a warm and inviting sunrise shot at 6.30am which is now used as the primary hero image across the entire online presence. 

Primary Hero Image — Photo by Chris Jack

Primary Hero Image — Photo by Chris Jack

With a smaller motel or hotel, it is often helpful to show the character and personality of the hosts. We took this environmental portrait of Gary and Carolyn right on sunset. If you look carefully you can see the Queen Elizabeth Oval in the reflection of the room window.

It also tells the story of being able to park right outside your room which is a primary unique selling proposition.

Host Portrait Image — Photo by Chris Jack

Host Portrait Image — Photo by Chris Jack

In terms of the room photography, the strategy was to take shots were "light, bright and white" which contrasted to the previous dark and yellowish shots that were being used.

Light bulbs were replaced in all rooms to ensure consistent white temperature colour and reduce any colour casting on walls and ceilings.

Primary Room Image — Photo by Chris Jack

Primary Room Image — Photo by Chris Jack


While Brad worked on the new website copy, room descriptions and blog content — I put together a brand new website using Squarespace using the new photography portfolio (which I shot).

Squarespace was chosen over Wordpress as the website platform because it was much easier for the owners to update and maintain, while still offering powerful blogging, content management and "Book Now" call to action features.

All the old URL's on the website were not very search engine friendly, so these were remapped to the new URL's to ensure Google traffic was not disrupted.


Bookings increased substantially overnight after the new photography, branding identity, room naming and website were launched, and factoring in cancellations and all booking channels the total increase was 44%* within the first 30 days after the launch compared to the previous 30 days.

*Analysis of longer periods of 59 days before and after actually indicated a 68% increase in bookings. However, there were some room pricing changes through this period which we felt might have skewed those figures.

Quite amazing results. I’ve run the report twice as seemed quite high. Sure enough it checks out. We can confidently say this increase was due to the new photos, improved room configurations and website.
— Brad Gibson, Oval Motel Bendigo

BOOKINGS: 30 days before & after

30 Days before and after Locus Focus Consulting (obfuscated).

Due to the improvements in SEO (Search engine optimisation) and other factors, the site also went from position 13 to position 8 (on the first page) for the search term "Bendigo Motels".

Of course this will fluctuate, but once Brad creates more blog content we are confident that traffic will increase further over time.

Traffic increased by 90.57% compared to the previous two months, a substantial organic traffic increase which had a very positive impact on bookings.


Week 8 Website Launch Traffic Increase (obfuscated)



Marketing accommodation in 2018 and beyond is about improving the guest experience and then making sure your online presence clearly reflects this.

Most small independent hotels fall down in the area of branding and online presence. They are too busy running their hotel and looking after guests.

Every hotel is unique and needs a strategic approach to increasing bookings in the long term that factors in both the Locus (the location) and Focus (online presence).

I help independent hotels & motels achieve this by concentrating on Locus Focus:

locus-focus-asana-project management

We prioritise what needs to be done during regular phone meetings



Effectively, you are hiring a marketing team for your hotel at your disposal, without the costs and risks which is ready to start working immediately:

  1. All time is billed at AUD$75+GST per hour pre-paid with a credit card on file and billed per minute. 
  2. If you are based outside Australia in the APAC region, our hourly rate is USD$60.00. 
  3. Comprehensive time-sheets and reconciliations are provided each week.
  4. Initial 30 minute discovery phone call is provided free of charge, after which you can decide if we are a good fit to work together.

Most independent hotels spend about $225-$1500 per month, but that is entirely up to you. We understand that every hotel is unique and different.

Everything is undertaken with agile processes for maximum return on investment. As a Locus Focus client, you can contact us 7 days a week by email, phone, chat, sms, skype or on-site as required.

Clients that commit to a minimum monthly spend of more than $500 get priority support and scheduled time allocation.

We currently have two consultants available, Chris Jack and Nick Smith.

Email us directly and tell us how we can help! Or give Chris a call on +61 439 169 199.