President Sales & Marketing Jaypee Hotels and Resorts
The challenges of getting the wedding business are not any different from the challenges of getting the conference business. The guest has ample choice, from wedding banquet venues, to farm houses, to 4 and 5-star hotels, all contenders for the same social business. The challenge is to differentiate in terms of venue, choices in the menu, ambience, location, luxury offerings, accommodation offerings, and finally, distribution - the ability to reach out to the customer first.
PLETHORA OF STRATEGIES
Innovative marketing strategies are adopted to reach out to the customer. From the conventional telephone listings; print ads in newspapers; general interest, women-oriented, and wedding magazines to digital marketing including Google-enabled outreach via SEO and SEM; social media marketing; brand website; wedding -focused websites, and high-traffic generating B2C websites, all avenues of exposure of the hotel are explored. The offline as well as the online wedding customer’s purchase journey is tracked and mapped and an integrated marketing approach is adopted and implemented for maximum benefit.
INCLUSION OF INNOVATION
Weddings today are becoming more and more innovative in terms of décor and ambience. With high costs not being a deterrent, wedding venues and planners today are experimenting with a lot of props and locations. Destination weddings are the new rage as they offer new settings for the grand event. The 5-star luxury chain, Jaypee Hotels, offers five excellent destinations, in New Delhi and others in fabulous destinations like Agra and Mussoorie.
NO EFFECT OF THE BAN
The demonetisation impact on the big Indian wedding was for a brief period of 2-3 months post launch of the move. Things have since normalised and it is business as usual. In fact, the segment is recording excellent growth figures. Jaypee Hotels has not been adversely affected by the liquor ban. The upcoming GST roll-out is yet to be experienced. The segment we are in is levied with 28 per cent GST, which is a deterrent.
Understanding the requirements and philosophy in the initial meeting with the parents of the bride/groom helps set the tone and benchmarks for the overall final offering. Challenges in organising the big social event are handled deftly initially by the sales team at customer location, then by the experienced operations team on site. The social segment is the growth engine for hotels in general and Jaypee Hotels is no exception.
Wacky last-minute requests come from wedding planners and customers. Due to the no space constraints and lots-to-do destinations, we are always able to accommodate out-ofthe-box requests and ideas.