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The Division for Research and Analytical Study at W7Worldwide revealed 10 factors that contributed to the absence of a brand image and reputation of the large and medium-sized hotel sector in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with focusing on two categories (five and four stars), which weakened their marketing and communications/media campaigns.

The periodic advisory report issued in July said that one of the main factors that led to the absence of brand image and reputation management is the weakness in and lack of creative content development.

The methodology of the report was based on interviews with large and medium-sized hotel managers, be it local or international hotel brands, as well as media monitoring of news published during the second quarter of this year (April, May and June).

The report revealed many factors that led to the absence from the media, including but not limited to the lack of a strategic vision for the sector in terms of building reputation and brand image and relying on foreign public relations agencies that are not well aware of the characteristics of the local audience in the Kingdom.

However, the most important factors highlighted in the W7Worldwide marketing communications consultancy agency report are that some hotels, especially 5-star hotels, did not adopt a specialized entity to create creative content and tend to confuse commercial and press content, hence ineffectively delivering key messages. The results showed that most hotels (65%) prefer to publish their content on online news portals.

The press content of hotel activities (in the five-star category) received the highest share (84%), while the four-star news did not exceed the (16%) barrier. Despite the huge gap, there lies a common denominator between the two sides: the lack of creative and professional content.

On the other hand, the announcement of the establishment and launch of new hotels achieved the largest share (39%) out of the total publication during the monitoring period, followed by the news of the follow-up of the establishment of hotels by (21%). The third place (10.5%) focused on delivering the news of hotels winning awards.

In parallel rankings, with a total of (19%) various news content (1.7%) each – distributed on recruitment and acquisition news, international food weeks, hotel renovations, appointment of new CEOs and chefs, and expansions on hotel accommodation, cooking competitions, delays in hotel construction, signing of agreements, advertising of new dishes and news of hotel chefs.

The report included four recommendations to ensure that the hotel sector achieved the vision of 2030, including the importance of assigning the brand image and reputation industry to the hotel sector to specialized local agencies that understand the characteristics and behavior of the target audience and the nature of the creative content, stressing on the importance of applying the A.B.C model to guide the content creation process at the right audience.

Furthermore, the importance of integrated communication to convey messages and to make the required persistent impact. Lastly, the need for senior officials in the hospitality and hotels sector to understand the image correctly and not to integrate them with other marketing strategies, plans and tactics.

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