What'S it GOING TO cost?
Firstly, the idea of investing in marketing should be that it provides a return on investment in a reasonable period of time. That is, the money invested is returned back and then some, through increased bookings, revenue and profits in the near future.
The very word 'consultant' evokes images of endless meetings, tedious corporate speak and expensive day rates.
Nothing could be further from the truth when you work with Locus Focus to attract and delight more guests.
Here are some of our philosophies that help you achieve maximum return on investment:
Locus Focus is a small hotel marketing agency that works with independent hotels, consisting of Chris Jack and Nick Smith.
Despite increasing workloads, we decided in December 2017 to actually reduce our hourly rate to AUD$80+GST for clients that hold a credit card on file. Our accountant doesn't see the logic in that, but our clients haven't complained.
We wanted to appeal to smaller independent hotels and motels and be more accessible and affordable. You could say that our transparent and affordable pricing is a unique selling proposition for us.
We bill by the minute, not by project or quote and keep detailed time-sheets for complete transparency.
For clients outside Australia in the APAC region we bill at US$65 per hour.
We work from home offices, not from a 9-5 office. This is the only way we can provide support and service to you 7 days a week, whenever we are available.
That is also why we can charge $80 per hour, and not $100-$125 per hour (we have minimal overheads). This price also reflects we can bill you automatically via a credit card, so our cashflow is improved and administration costs reduced.
While we are not always available immediately without making an appointment, you can often get hold of us after hours and certainly over the weekend. We work when you work, which is often first thing in the morning and late into the night.
Alternatively, you can arrange a phone call at any time by using our online scheduling service. That means if you want a call at 2PM on Sunday to discuss your marketing, this can be pre-arranged.
Okay, so what are things actually going to cost? What is the bottom line... Well we only charge for the minutes that you engage us whether that be by email, phone, Slack, Skype or text message. And of course the time we spend implementing the marketing strategy we have agreed on.
We can also work proactively by allocating a set spend per month. For example, it might be $800 per month which means ten hours of marketing. Clients that agree to a minimum spend like this are prioritised and time scheduled appropriately.
Your website is a very important part of your online presence, but it is not the 'be all and end all'. We place equal emphasis on your entire online presence.
As such, we believe your marketing website is very important, but it shouldn't be a massive, expensive undertaking.
We are big believers in keep it simple stupid, both in terms of design and the user experience, and the content and structure of the website.
BRAND NEW MARKETING WEBSITE
A brand new, mobile responsive, secure marketing website built using Squarespace or Wordpress and including these features (as an example):
- Attractive design featuring and showcasing your hero marketing photo (not some image slider that distracts guests, but one great image).
- Search Engine Optimisation and redirection of old pages using industry standard 301 redirects.
- Blog for Content Marketing and News that guests can actually benefit from.
- Prominent direct booking links connecting to your booking engine.
- 'Things to Do' in Your Local Area blog or content portal.
- Important Hotel Information like check-in, check-out and other helpful stuff.
- Contact and About pages that encourage direct bookings and group enquiries.
- Rooms & Amenities pages that are clean, simple and are photography centric.
- Guest Information such as menus etc for any related facilities or services.
- Integration of your newsletter signup if this is a valid marketing strategy (not always).
- Rewriting your copy and descriptions as required so they are clear, concise and reflect your USP's.
- Switching over your domain records to the new site and all the other technical stuff.
- Setting up if required, Google Apps cloud based email hosting if this needs replacing.
Etc... takes about 30 hours of work for the average independent hotel or motel to do properly. If you are a very small motel or hotel on a budget, we can probably do it in 20 hours.
Therefore, the example pricing for this service is $2400+GST.
Unlike other agencies, we do not do 'project pricing'. This leads to significantly less costs for you. You do not need a $5000 or $10000 website to attract and delight and more guests. If you invest that much it is probably because you have multiple locations or complex technical requirements.
A single, stand alone, independent hotel or motel in 2018 should not need to invest more than $2500 in their main marketing website.
You probably need a simple, attractive and functional website that showcases your photography and unique selling propositions and meets the expectations of both prospective and current guests.
You don't need endless meetings and quotes from 'Website Designers' and 'Web Developers' or 'Account Managers' to achieve this. In fact, you often don't need a designer or developer at all.
If you have great photography and have clarified your branding and positioning, the website itself is not hard to put together and shouldn't cost an arm and a leg.
An investment in improved photography for your motel or hotel should be aligned with the potential to increase the profit over the useful life of that photography.
So if you intend to use that photography for the next 3-5 years, you may want to budget more than if the useful life is only six months, as there are upcoming renovations planned.
Likewise, if you are a smaller hotel with less overall revenue, the benefits of improved photography (while still being justified from an ROI perspective) will be less than a hotel with say, 20 or more rooms.
Locus Focus will work with you to determine the strategically ideal level of photography that works best for your hotel.
Our strategic approach means we first determine these factors, and then present a proposal for photography that reflects your position.
Therefore, there is no fixed cost for hotel photography, it could be as low as $1000 for twelve photos or as high as $50'000 if you hanging out of helicopters or staging scenes with Calvin Klein models makes sense.
On average, a small motel, hotel or apartment hotel should budget anywhere between $1000 and $2000 to completely replace their photography. A larger hotel should consider having the photographer stay overnight, and process the photos on location to proofing stage (costing in excess of $2500).
Note: These estimates are for properties in Brisbane, Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast.
NEW LOGO AND BRAND IDENTITY
It is often too expensive to completely rename your hotel for obvious reasons. But doing a brand identity makeover and creating a modern and properly designed logo can be a very affordable first investment.
How much you spend on this really depends on your budget and size, and therefore the amount of hours that can be justified or needed.
All brand identity redesigns and refreshes are accompanied by formal style guides and usage guides, which can be as simple as colour palletes and font recommendations, or as complicated as a 10 page guide to the use of your brand identity, brand voice etc.
Again, the amount you spend has to be right for your budget and priorities.
All branding and logo redesign is created by Nick Smith in-house and would normally include at least the logo redesign in both colour and grayscale versions, along with font pairing recommendations.
A typical logo rebrand and refresh from an existing logo takes between 10 and 20 hours and therefore will cost between $800 and $1600 for the average small to medium size independent hotel.
Investments in your marketing are crucial to attract and delight more guests and make more profit. In fact, investments in branding, signage and your website not only attract guests, but improve the overall reputation of your hotel leading to even great returns down the track.
Whats the secret? Spending your money wisely and and making sure every investment is a strategic one that takes a holistic perspective.
If you aren't sure where to invest your marketing budget, get the ball rolling by booking a Free 30 Minute Discovery call and we can get the conversation started.