Cumbrian entrepreneur, Stephen Hargreaves, has announced the launch of a new marketing company, aimed specifically at providing award-winning marketing to independent hoteliers who want to reduce OTA (online travel agency) commission. Hargreaves, who has become renowned nationally for his exceptional skills in marketing his hotels and has won numerous awards to this end, is emphatic in his belief that hoteliers can do more to market themselves independently, through email marketing and social media.
With more than 100,000 ‘likes’ on their Facebook page and the Cranleigh Boutique achieving more than 96% of its bookings through direct channels in 2014, other hoteliers have been eager for them to share the tips for success. Hargreaves’ latest venture, The Church Suites is currently running at 80% occupancy, having been named the 2nd best hotel suite in the world in July, by ‘design-et-al’.
“Our approach to marketing at the Cranleigh has always been novel and it’s a very exciting prospect being able to share that with those who wish to try a different approach.” says Hargreaves. “To my mind, OTAs have taken over, and as an industry we’ve let them, through mediocre, dated marketing methods. In the same way, many hoteliers are unaware of the power of Facebook. It has simply transformed our business. Our success has come via the consistent use of exciting email and social media content and the level of engagement with our customers. They have become loyal to our brand.”
Working alongside Hargreaves is Associate Director, Adam Hamadache, responsible for reducing the OTA commission at the Cranleigh Boutique and author of ‘More Direct Bookings’, available on Amazon: