By George Smith Last updated

20 minute read.




We’ve designed our luxury hospitality marketing services to enhance your service and provide an exceptional guest experience, whether that’s in your hotel, restaurant or private members club. Our unique Digital IQ® framework is designed to grow your revenue, minimise your costs and to obtain a maximum return on investment through technology. Above all, our framework is designed to provide an exceptional guest experience.

Our focus is solely upon luxury hospitality businesses which are usually hotels, restaurants and private members clubs. Although we have worked in other sectors, we find it best to go deep into the technologies, strategies, business drivers, goals and vision of luxury hospitality businesses. We live and breathe hospitality and are fully conversant in running hotels, restaurants and clubs – whether driving 100% occupancy at ADR, increasing FNB sales, managing kitchen inventories through tools such as MarketMan and working with ePOS systems such as Lightspeed X.

This means we are much more than just a luxury hospitality marketing agency, we’re a strategic partner than can help to guide, mentor and improve your operations. Once we’re engaged with a thirty-day rolling contract, we lock in clients with performance – that’s our golden guarantee. We guarantee to save your business more money than our services cost, then to generate more revenue and attribute it to our efforts than you pay for our services.

At any point you’re free to simply choose another provider, which motivates us to lock our clients in with performance – we encourage clients to take up our references before engaging, our clients are ambassadors for our business, and if engaged – your clients will become ambassadors for your business too. This is the delight phase of our Digital IQ® process, which begins with Awareness, Consideration, and Decision phases.




Let’s say that an UHNWI individual wants to kick off a personal journey of discovery regarding fine wine. They may not immediately decide to purchase membership of a private members club. This individual may take to the internet to learn more and make decisions as they progress through the following stages in their buyer’s journey, and it’s our job to assist them in that decision making process.



In the awareness stage, the buyer is experiencing a problem or symptoms of a pain, and their goal is to alleviate it. They may be looking for informational resources to more clearly understand, frame, and give a name to their problem.

An example of a search query a prospect might begin with is: “How do I become a master of wine?” In the awareness stage, they are not yet thinking about solutions or providers. It’s much too early for that. Instead, they’re looking to contextualise their problem first. As a digital marketer, you’ll want to show up in search engine results, even in these early stages, to establish your authority and gain the trust of buyers who are starting the journey.



In the consideration stage, the buyer will have clearly defined and given a name to their problem, and they are committed to researching and understanding all of the available approaches and/or methods to solving the defined problem or opportunity. In other words, they are considering potential solutions.

An example of a search inquiry a prospect would make at the consideration stage is: “What’s better: joining a fine wine club or hiring a sommelier to train me at home?” In the consideration stage, the prospect is not yet ready to buy, but they are deciding on the potential solution for them. Your goal will be to consider your indirect competitors and educate them on the pros and cons.



Once they’ve progressed to the decision stage, the buyer has decided on their solution strategy, method, or approach. Their goal now is to compile a list of available vendors, make a short list, and ultimately make a final purchase decision.

An example of a search inquiry a prospect would make at the decision stage is: “67 Pall Mall vs. Berry Bros” Now they’re ready to spend money, and they’ll likely go with a provider that they like, know, and trust so long as that provider can meet their needs.






As in all marketing disciplines, it’s essential to understand your audience – how they think, the answers they seek, and the path they tend to take to find a solution. From that research, you can begin crafting a documented content strategy that maps your content to the various stages of the buyer’s journey.

When you don’t completely understand your audience, a disconnect is created between your business and your potential customers. For content marketers, this usually means you’re putting out content that your readers don’t really relate to, which can cause you to lose them.

To avoid this, you’ll have to consider the stage they’re at in their journey, how to meet them there, and the best channels to put the content in front of them. The internet has made it easier for marketers (and salespeople) to engage customers at the various stages of their journey using content marketing. That’s one of the main reasons that 60% of marketers consider content as ‘very important’ or ‘extremely important’ to their overall strategy.

However, it can be challenging to create the right content, for the right people, at the right time. This is one of the reasons why we at Strategic Digital Marketing have chosen to focus on a specific sector, the luxury hospitality sector. It makes our messaging strategy much more relevant and it simply resonates better in the golden circle.

Building a content strategy starts with identifying the types of content you’ll need to reach your audience according to their progression through the buyer’s journey, and we’ll guide you through it in terms of both the marketing flywheel.






Once you have an idea of your buyer persona and how prospects move closer to purchase, you can begin creating content for your buyer at different stages and tailor that content per channel.

Doing so can help you map your content to the relevant stages of the buyer’s journey to make a marketing funnel.


  • Awareness Stage: The stage where people look for answers, resources, education, research data, opinions, and insight.
  • Consideration Stage: The stage where people are doing heavy research on whether or not your product or service is a good fit for them.
  • Decision Stage: The stage where people figure out exactly what it would take to become a customer.


Your journey may look very different depending on your industry, business model, product, pricing, and audience. The luxury hospitality sector is primarily involved with B2C customers, who spend very little time in the middle of the buyer’s journey compared to B2B customers that require far more nurturing, engagement, and relationship development before a purchase is made. A £50 bottle of wine, for instance, requires a lot less hand holding when it comes to making purchase decisions than a £10,000 corporate lunch event.






Because audiences can vary widely based on industry and intent, persona research is of the utmost importance. By understanding their unique process for awareness and evaluation, you can create a truly effective content marketing strategy packed with custom content that best supports their journey toward making a purchase. At Strategic Digital Marketing, we’ve spent countless hours in this space and have worked through the French Institute for Wine Intelligence, Liv-Ex Annual Reports, Think With Google, and many more industry specific publications to identify data driven buyer personas, based upon real world observations from Google Search Console and Goggle Analytics. I’ll share that research in a future blog so it’s worth bookmarking this article to refer back later.

So let’s take it from the top and start from the beginning of the buyer’s journey. At the awareness stage, a buyer is trying to solve problems, get an answer, or meet a need. They’re looking for top-level educational content to help direct them to a solution, like blog posts, social content, and ebooks. Their value as a lead is low because there’s no guarantee that they’ll buy from you. But those who find your content helpful and interesting may journey on to the middle of the funnel.

The ideal channels for the awareness stage may include:


  • Blogging
  • Search Engine Marketing
  • Social Media Marketing


Let’s run through the different content formats best suited for these channels.


1. Blog Post


A blog post is an ideal piece of content targeting the awareness stage. By targeting a pain, problem, or topic your target audience wants to discover and then posting it to your website, you’re creating a luxury hospitality brand asset that can be crawled by Google and discovered by search engine users. You can also promote your blog content across other channels.


2. Social Media Post


Social media is a channel that can be used to promote your other content, and you can also create content specifically for the channel. According to Pew Research, 72% of the public uses some form of social media, so your audience is likely native to this channel. Unlike blog posts, social media posts are likely in shorter form, and video consumption is also on the rise.


3. Whitepaper


A whitepaper is an organisation’s report or guide on a particular topic. Whitepapers are especially useful as downloadable offers when readers want to go more in depth on a specific subject they’re reading about. For whitepapers, it’s essential to provide information that can’t be found elsewhere so that your audience understands the report’s value and is compelled to get it.


4. Checklist


For complicated tasks with many moving parts, individuals may simply want a blueprint that spells out what they’re supposed to do to achieve their end goal.


5. How-To Video


Sometimes, the best way to solve a pain or problem is to learn a new skill. Sure, a purchase of some kind may be required along the way, but the audience may need to become more informed about the problem and how to solve it. That’s where instructional video content comes in.


6. Kit or Tool


Informational content provided to a broader audience may not always be enough for your buyer persona to make a decision or take action. In some cases, they may require a little more utility or personalisation. That’s why kits and tools are a great piece of content to create to help the reader along their path to purchase.


7. Ebook or Tip Sheet


Like whitepapers, ebooks and tip sheets are great options for downloadable content. In contrast, they tend to be shorter form and more actionable.


8. Educational Webinar


A webinar is a web seminar where information is typically provided through video. A webinar can be prerecorded or streamed live, which opens up many possibilities to disseminate information to an audience who wants more visual and auditory content.

Moving on from awareness stage content, let’s delve into the next stage of the buyer’s journey.

When someone moves into the consideration stage, it means you’ve captured their attention. They know they have a problem that has to be solved, and now they’re trying to discover the best solution. The need for a future purchase commitment creeps up as they’re evaluating their options.

This stage is typically a point of extended engagement where you’re nurturing a lead, building a relationship, and establishing trust between the audience and your brand.

The ideal channels for your consideration stage may include:


  • Website or Blogging
  • Search Engine Marketing
  • Email Marketing
  • Social Media

Let’s go through the best content formats for this part of the buyer’s journey.


1. Product Comparison Guides


In the consideration stage, the buyer persona still considers solutions to their pain or problem. For this reason, product comparisons are a great way to help them decide.


2. Case Study


A case study can be used in both the consideration and decision stages simultaneously by convincing the reader that the solution works by establishing that the provider achieves results for their clients by administering the solution. A good case study will appeal to the emotions and logic of the persona by providing detailed information and quantitative data on the final solution.


3. Free Sample


A free sample is another example of content or an offer that overlaps between the buyer’s journey stages. Consider this: An individual wants to try a new wine from the comfort of their home but doesn’t know which wine.

As they consider which wine (the solution), they drop into a wine merchant and sample a glass. A wine merchant captures the buyers contact details as an individual and can recommend further wines based upon the buyers tastes. When the individual falls in love with a wine, they already know who sells it and who makes it, which means that they can now choose where to buy it from.

So now that you’ve provided content to help customers list out or sample their options, it’s time to move them into the decision stage.

As prospects near the end of the buyer’s journey, they’re evaluating providers down to specific or specialized offerings.

Marketers, in turn, want to go above and beyond their expectations and provide an easy and frictionless customer experience that can win them over their competitors. Typically in luxury hospitality marketing this involves handling objections and responding to negative reviews well, removing hesitation, and positioning your business ahead of the competition.

The ideal channels for your decision stage content may include:


  • Website
  • Email Marketing
  • Live Chat and Chatbots for Service


With your prospects getting increasingly interested, let’s go through the content formats that can help them get closer to purchase.


1. Virtual Memberships or Annual Visits


What better way to know if you want to join a club than to try it? Private members clubs allow members to bring guests for these reasons and have used this tactic for years because it works. If the club itself checks all the boxes the guest has, all the membership team has to do is handle their objections and arrange a proposer and seconder for the potential new club member.


2. Consultation Offer


A consultation is another example of providing just a little bit of service in exchange for the opportunity to close the sale. The best consultation reduces the anxiety of entering into a sales conversation by promising something concrete they can walk away with (a strategy or actionable advice) in exchange for their time, such as a WSET course delivered remotely.


3. Events


An event appeals to a fear of missing out (FOMO) mindset. By reducing the availability of an event through ticketing, an event is handing a reason to visit while convincing the prospect that they’re missing out if they don’t secure a ‘hot ticket’ to the event. This inertia is often enough to win the prospect’s business.

In addition to decision stage content, you should create content to delight your existing customers. This may include FAQ and knowledge base content to make the customer experience more accessible, coupons for the opportunity to upsell, and additional educational content that deepens their understanding of a topic.







Every luxury hospitality business offers a unique buyer’s journey that can’t necessarily be replicated from one club, hotel or restaurant to another. When creating your buyer’s journey, you must understand your audience and develop a strategy that maps custom content specific to each phase of their journey through the process. If done well, it can have a significant impact on your customer relationships and lift your overall conversions.






Take a look at our individual service pages for more details. In summary, we create the following deliverables along our journey together to create digital growth, feel free to use them as templates and begin your journey:


  1. Start-ups and Scale-Ups 32 Points Package – our starter package.
  2. Red Carpet Client Onboarding Form – a survey of your existing technology stack.
  3. Customer Background Presentation – a discovery exercise to understand your drivers.
  4. Service Introduction Presentation – our complete service catalogue.
  5. Goals Document and Forecasting Spreadsheet – the cornerstone of Digital IQ®.
  6. Service Delivery Plan – the roadmap for our engagement.
  7. Monthly Service Review Presentation – keeping us on track to deliver and measure results.
  8. Executive Quarterly Business Review – keeping us aligned.
  9. Data Driven Design Package – our data driven approach to web design.
  10. Digital Marketing Package – the effective execution of our services.
Post by George Smith

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