Buy Now, Stay Later and Buy Now, Stay Later: Thailand
In an effort to support the hotel industry during the Covid-19 pandemic and travel ban, Rachel Harrison Communications teamed up with ELMNTL to launch the Buy Now, Stay Later campaign. The goal was to administer immediate relief to hotels as they felt the harsh financial effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. With the help of the bonds, hotels were able to support their housekeepers, bartenders, concierges, and staff that help keep the hotel running.
The challenges we faced with Buy Now, Stay Later were to explain the concept in digestible terms so consumers and hotels could quickly understand the concept while establishing legitimacy and trust with those same hotels and potential guests. Lastly to spread the word about Buy Now, Stay Later so new hotels would participate and guests would purchase bonds.
To start, we had to build a concept behind Buy Now, Stay Later where consumers could trust the website and fully understand what it was all about. We began by designing an aesthetically pleasing website that was eye-catching, user-friendly, and simple.
Next, we focused on benefits rather than features. Because times are uncertain, planning a vacation is difficult due to the unforeseen future. One of the biggest benefits of purchasing a hotel bond was that consumers were able to purchase a bond and use it at a later date. On the website, we added a hotel finder tool where consumers can easily navigate the hotels that have signed up for the initiative. The navigation included a filter that enabled users to find hotels in a particular region and city.
On the other hand, we wanted to make the process for hotels signing up as efficient and stress-free as possible. We used an intake form that explained to hotels the purpose of the program and how they can participate.
As a final step, and to make this initiative truly valuable, we needed to get the word out there on this brand new initiative so hotels can join the platform. The PR team pitched the idea to magazines including Travel & Leisure, Chicago Tribune, Forbes, and the NY Times, to name a few. This Public Relations coverage gave us the legitimacy we needed and exposed the initiative to a wider public, which led to more participating hotels and website users.
To further spread the word, we utilized organic social media including Facebook and Instagram, creating an aesthetically pleasing grid with a variety of posts including inspirational travel posts, beautiful destinations, and UGC from participating hotels.
With this integration of marketing and PR, we were able to create a successful campaign and helped hotels earn money during these troubling times.