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Researching your Buyers (best tips for hotels)

The modern hotel guests have high demands. They`re the power holders in the hotel sector. It`s no surprise that all effective social media strategies are focused on them.

Wonder how to access more information about the demographics and the special interests of your current and future hotel guests? We`ve got you covered. Here`s what you need to know:

Who`re your buyer personas?

Let`s start with the essentials. Buyer personas, which are sometimes called marketing personas, are generalized representations of your ideal customers or in this case hotel guests. Why defining them is important? They can help you get a clear idea of how your audience looks like in terms of:

  • Age

  • Gender

  • Location

  • Job title

  • Family

  • Income

  • Pain points/Needs

  • Interests

It may well be that your hotel caters for more than one persona. That`s normal. Use this knowledge when creating content and social media campaigns for these people. Here`re useful free templates created by Hubspot that might help you define your buyer personas.

Reach out to your personas

Now that you have an idea who your ideal customers are, it`s time to engage with them.

Here`s a simple step by step guide of how to do it:

Surveys & Interviews

Use your hotel guests. They`re your most valuable resource. Select people who have interacted with you or used your services recently.

Here`s the deal: you need to mix things up a little. Aim for participants who stayed at your hotel, and participants who stayed at another hotel or accommodation. Let`s review some ideas of where to find them and how to make them spare some time for you and your surveys:

Use your hotel guests lists

You probably have some regular hotel guests or guests who`ve signed for your newsletter. Ask them if they want to participate in the study. Approach new guests as well. Ask them at check-in or check-out whether they might be willing to help you with that.

Spread it across your network

Tell coworkers, former colleagues, and connections that you`re studying the hotel sector. Ask them to spread the world. Many people have been hotel guests – might not have stayed at your hotel but they`ve perhaps used the services of your competitors.

Call for respondents on social media

If you already have some social media followers, you should benefit from it. Try contacting them and see whether they might be willing to tell you what they like or dislike about your services. Have they used your services? Why (not)?

Give them something in exchange

Surveys and interviews might be useful for you. But they`re not benefiting your guests. Let`s be honest here: why losing time to fill out surveys? The respondents need a reward. Give them some free content in the form of a guidebook or be more generous and offer a small discount for the next time they visit your hotel.

Formulate your research questions

After reaching out to your buyers, it`s time to present them with some questions you`ve prepared in advance.

The golden rule here is to center on open-ended questions. The idea is to discover more about your guests` habits, needs, and interests. That way you can offer them a service tailored to them.

For instance, you could ask them:

  • Why did they travel to this particular location?

  • Why did they choose your hotel over other hotels?

  • What`re the things they value the most when staying at a hotel?

  • Why they will (or will not) come back at your hotel/your competitors` hotel?

Dive even deeper into the different stages of their buyer`s journey. Explore the Awareness, Consideration and Decision stages more thoroughly by asking things like:


Could you think back of the moment when you first realized you need a hotel? What problems was staying at the hotel solving for you?

What were the different options on the market? How familiar you were with them?


  • How did you find our hotel?
  • What filter criteria did you use to find it? What words did you type in Google (if you found us this way)?
  • Tell us more about your first impressions of our hotel (online experience and/or communication with employees)?
  • How did the information you found online affected your perception of the hotel? How could it be improved?
  • Did you reach out to an employee? How did they help you (if at all)? How could the service be improved?


  • Which of these things you described above was the most influential factor to help you make a decision?
  • How did you compare the different alternatives?
  • Was there anybody else involved in making the final decision? Your family, business companions or anybody else? Why?

Don`t forget to thank your participants for giving you access to this information.

Analyze the results

Getting to know your customers is essential for your hotel. You might think you know them but you can always learn new things. In turn, this will help you improve your services and content to answer these specific needs. Surveys and interviews are a good start that`s often underestimated. Use their power to give your business a boost.

But there`s so much more you can do to get to know your hotel guests better. We`ll gladly provide some insights into online reviews and analytics tools in our next blog post. Stay tuned! 🙂

Free Bonus: We`ve summarized these tips in a free infographic created just for you. Feel free to download and share.

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