You doing great in your home country? so why not enter the European hotel industry?
Did you know that, Europe has the largest number of hotels worldwide? Indeed, up to 144.000+ hotels and 5+ million rooms. Italy is leading with up to 28.000+ Hotels. France and Spain come second and third in the lead. Imagine the potential!
Expansion is the dream of every business.
That’s why you have to make sure you plan your expansion adventure successfully. Here are some tips.
Step 1: Location
Your adventure starts with doing your homework. For example it plays a vital role whether you sell a physical or a digital product to hotels. In case you sell a physical product, you will have to think about how you will get your product shipped out to the countries you want to target. From a logistical perspective, countries like the Germany, Netherlands, Belgium are smart options. These countries have the three largest harbors in Europe and have excellent logistical connections to the rest of Europe.
Do you have a digital product? Then you are good to go. The European hotel market opens its arms wide open to your products and services.
Step 2: Language
The EU has 24 official languages, of which three (English, French and German) have the higher status of “procedural” languages of the European Commission. Especially with sales and marketing, it’s essential to communicate in the local language to bridge cultural differences and to create a successful marketing campaign. Very important aspect before entering the European hotel market.
Germans are punctual, the French are chauvinistic and the Spanish love their siestas. Of course these are stereotypes. So don’t overdo it! The Germans are pretty proud of their punctual reputation, but the eternal siesta is a sensitive matter in Spain. And not every Frenchman wears a beret and striped shirt.
Don’t have native speaking reps. yet? No worries. You can start with a country, where English is not a barrier. The Scandinavian countries, UK and The Netherlands for example.
Step 3: Define your target group
Data is your biggest friend if you use it properly. However, it could be your enemy if you plan your expansion based on bad data. That’s why you need to get access to the right the data. Based on your products or services, you can define your exact target group.
For Example: If you sell coffee machines, then your ideal selection is hotels with restaurant, bar, or -most important- meeting/conference facilities. Imagine 100+ people coming out of a meeting and all have only one goal in mind: Coffee!
Hotels with meeting/conference facilities need a huge number of good and tasty coffee machines. They need your product.
Another example is if you offer hotel software such as PMS or Channel-Manager, etc. You can easily define your target group based on the star rating or the size (Number of rooms) of the hotel
Setting up campaigns for thousands of hotels, whom you also have to follow-up with is an expensive and time-consuming job. What about filtering your exact target group? This makes your job a lot more easier and profitable.
Step 4: Seduce your target group
You’ve defined your target group, now it’s time to approach them.
However, please keep in mind that privacy rules vary from a country to another. B2B E-Mail campaign in UK, France or Sweden? No problem. But the rest of Europe is meanwhile very strict. It’s not allowed to send any type of digital commercial messages without opt-in. Adjust your campaign according to foreign privacy rules and regulations of the different European countries. An alternative would be of course post mailing or telemarketing, which you can easily realize with our comprehensive database.
Step 5: Evaluation
Ways of success in Marketing & Sales are various. Most important is that you learn every day from your campaigns and always find ways to improve. Dividing your target group in smaller portions is always a good idea. It gives you the overview. And not to forget: Test your campaign, analyze the results and look for ways to improve. Use your knowledge and expertise when you enter new markets in Europe. Slowly and before you even know it, you’re dominating the whole continent!