Making the News Work for You
That a passenger went ballistic after waiting an hour-and-a-half for his luggage and wound up in police custody was unfortunate, but not surprising.
Much is happening in the world to give us all angst—tight security and long lines at airports, the high price of oil and natural disasters. All can interrupt the normal patterns of our lives.
Marketers have two choices: (1) Business as usual or (2) use news to enhance your business by scoring Brownie points with your customers and prospects (and perhaps making extra sales).
This is old-fashioned PR, salesmanship and customer retention management.
Savvy Hotel and Rental-car Marketers
Last month when arrests were make in the United Kingdom of alleged terrorist plots to destroy U.S.-bound airliners with liquid explosives, passengers who showed up at airports worldwide were told they could not carry on any liquids—no gels, no shampoo, no medicines, not even bottled water. All of these items—many of them very expensive—were confiscated by screeners and trashed.
Quick-thinking executives at luxury hotels realized that this ban on liquids was a marketing opportunity. They sent employees out to cosmetics and department stores to buy up not only basics, but also top-of-the-line moisturizers, hair gels and shampoos.
When disgruntled guests checked in, many found big baskets at the registration desk filled with upscale toiletries free for the taking—Kiehl’s, L’Oréal, Clinique and Lancôme.
A spokeswoman for Starwood Hotels told Judann Pollack of AdAge.com, “Our hotels have stocked up on amenities we don’t typically offer guests, like hair gel, hair spray, deodorant, etc., anticipating that guests may have had to abandon toiletries at the airport. At the moment, we are not charging guests for amenities.”
Omni Hotels President Mike Deitemeyer ordered his chain to make a full range of liquid toiletries available to guests, saying, “We want to do whatever it takes to make their travel experiences less stressful.”