We are simple creatures. The more we see things, the more likely we are to use them. The problem is how to get your product in front of the people that want to see it? When you have a website, social media platforms and adverts, it might feel as if you are doing everything you can to get your product out there. But perhaps there is a cerebral side-step than can be done. Vacation rental managers can try lateral thinking and product view optimisation to see if it is possible to revolutionise their exposure.
A long time ago, astute marketers found out that the fridge is opened twice as often as cupboards. Anything in the fridge is going to be seen more. The trickle-down effect of this is that it is used more, and eventually bought more. So, how did these marketers get their products in front of their customers twice as often? With just three words of copy: ‘Refrigerate after opening’.
This was an inspired moment that cost nothing, did not change the product or increase the advertising. It just put the product in the most prominent position possible.
Brands and businesses that make it into common consciousness do not do so by accident. They conduct meticulous research into eye line trajectory and product placement. The characters on children's cereal may seem harmless, but their eyes are designed to meet those of children. Eye contact from these characters increased trust by 16% so the eyes are angled down 9.6 degrees to create with eye contact with the children in the aisles. These techniques are not just reserved for impressionable children. Adult cereal is placed higher and the eyes on these boxes stare straight out.
This technique is called product view optimisation (PVO). It is all about increasing the amount of times your product is seen and the effectiveness of these views. So how do you apply this process to vacation rentals? Where is the fridge for our industry? Should you develop a company mascot with hypnotic snake eyes?
The idea behind PVO is that people will see your product at times when they are not actively looking for it. You have to consider your product as something that people want, but don’t know that they want it at that time. Product view optimisation is basically similar to the principles of SEO. You put your business in the position where most people are likely to see it. SEO lets your business sit at the very top of online searches. PVO puts your business in front of people in the offline world.
An example of how non-traditional marketing and PVO could be used for vacation rentals is to sign up your property as a film or TV location. This means that production companies will hire your property to film in. It could be for adverts, educational shorts or even blockbuster films. What this does is three-fold. Firstly, it brings you revenue from the production company that will not be as seasonal as your regular guests. Secondly, it puts your property in front of thousands of people that may never see your normal advertising. Whilst this is not advertising, it puts your product in a prominent position. Companies pay exorbitant amounts to place their products into popular culture. Finally, you then have the option to market your property as a location from whatever it was in. Holidays based around visiting the locations of TV programs like Game Of Thrones or films like Lord Of The Rings have soared in the last decade. Imagine how many people would see your property, and then the boost in bookings you would have if people could stay at one of the locations from a major part of popular culture!
This is just one example of alternative marketing and PVO. It can require lateral thinking to develop an innovative and original way to implement PVO but having vacation rentals being seen and being noticed offline, as well as online will be of great help to the growth of the industry and your business.
Have you considered any other strategies to get your properties and your business seen by the mass market?