September 2023
Educate, entertain, engage: writing the book on lead generation

Educate, entertain, engage: writing the book on lead generation

The post-pandemic resurgence of travel has been a mixed blessing for hotel operators. Sure, business is booming. But staffing shortages and economic uncertainty are creating new challenges. And there’s a consensus that guests are increasingly demanding.

Leading operators recognize that true hospitality goes beyond customer service. The goal is to deliver hyper-personalized experiences – ones that encourage customers to do more, spend more, leave more positive reviews, and return more often. Which is easier said than done.

With a suite of software and services designed specifically for hospitality, Agilysys helps operators around the globe apply technology to optimize and enhance experiences for both staff and guests. To reinforce its position as the premier provider, the company tasked Arketi Group to devise a content marketing strategy that would engage audiences, capture qualified leads, and convert blue-chip prospects into customers.

Arketi Group's Consumer Pulse on Grocery Shopping
Arketi Group's Consumer Pulse on Grocery Shopping

We recently conducted a study of U.S. adults and their grocery shopping habits – including how, when, where and what they shop for.

The findings offer a unique perspective for industry stakeholders to engage B2B buyers through a deeper understanding of their end-consumer. The research revealed, even considering the impact of inflation, shoppers weigh factors beyond price alone. For example:

  • Despite 81% of respondents living within 10 minutes of a grocery store, 57% regularly order groceries delivered.
  • Of those, 73% prefer groceries delivered from a store over a warehouse.
  • Shoppers prioritize sustainable practices as 86% say sustainability has at least some effect on their buying decisions.
  • Localization is equally vital, with 80% of respondents saying it is important for stores to curate goods for their community’s specific needs.

Crafting the content strategy

This campaign was the first opportunity to articulate Agilysys’s new positioning as the provider of high return hospitality. Operators see greater revenue from recurring guests – and Agilysys’s solutions enable the hyper-personalized customer experiences that keep them coming back for more. Operators also lower costs for recruiting and retaining staff by alleviating stress-loads and workloads. Technology enables guest self-service, eliminates unwieldy processes, and provides up-to-date preference information for guests who prefer high-touch services.

We started with a deep dive into Agilysys’s ideal customer profile to understand buyers’ pain points and identifiers. Pairing those challenges with the company’s value proposition and differentiators, we looked for themes and topics the company was uniquely qualified to address.

For any marketing campaign, the first hurdle is how to break through. Prospects are busy, attention spans are short, and everyone’s inbox is already overflowing with marketing messages.

Our approach was to do things differently: Offer content that educates and entertains, rather than a sales pitch. Then, deliver it in a format that today is unexpected and unusual: A printed book.

Defining hospitality excellence

Researching hospitality industry experts and authors who could offer an outside perspective and elevate the content, we identified Steve Curtin, author of the bestselling Delight Your Customers and a globally recognized expert on customer service leadership, as a perfect fit. Together with Agilysys’s marketing team and Curtin, we brainstormed a total of 21 tenets for hospitality professionals, derived from Curtin’s research and tied to the technology provider’s solutions. These served as the foundation for our content.

We also incorporated seven short segments specific to Agilysys’s technology and their benefits. While the 21 tenets were written as technology-agnostic advice and thought leadership, these solution-focused snippets were tied directly to an offering.

The result was a lively mix of thought leadership on what it means to deliver high return hospitality, plus actionable tips and advice, interspersed with understated promotion of Agilysys’s solutions and their benefits. Each topic was written as a two-page section that could be digested in a couple of minutes, and each was accompanied by New Yorker-style cartoons that poked fun at the quirks and quandaries of the hospitality industry.

17th Annual Tech CMO Roundtable
17th Annual Tech CMO Roundtable

The Tech CMO Roundtable returns to Atlanta this October 19! Join us and our keynote speaker Martina Lauchengco as we discuss how to build, market, and think differently within our organizations.

In her recent book, LOVED: How to Rethink Marketing for Tech Products, Martina examines best-in-class product marketing and the leadership needed to transform how we go to market.

Her session and workshop will explore how we, as marketing leaders, can build dynamic, customer-centric teams that enable our products to achieve their full market potential.

The book… and beyond

Branded the Agilysys Little Black Book of High Return Hospitality, our small hardcover was designed to fit in the hand and travel easily. It became a central part of the hospitality innovator’s annual user conference, where more than 400 copies were distributed to operators and hospitality professionals.

To our delight, the novelty of this approach was well received, with many attendees sharing pictures of their copy of The Little Black Book on social media.

Arketi’s “Rule of 7” holds that any effective piece of B2B content can be converted into at least seven assets – it’s just a question of thinking big enough! Reuse, repurpose and recycle your content to reach your audience – whatever their preferred channel or format.

The Little Black Book, which was initially a standalone print piece, became the cornerstone of a broader digital marketing campaign. Reformatted for digital, and paired with email copy and landing pages, The Little Black Book drove two marketing campaigns targeting property managers in the UK and hotel operators in North America. Together, the campaigns reached well over 4,000 high-value prospects and garnered impressive results. Open rates for the promotions were 64% above the average open rates for previous campaigns, content downloads were 2.5 times other offerings, and first-touch meetings set with market development managers were double other approaches. Additional campaigns are in the works.

Turning marketing into mastery

Perhaps the most rewarding outcome was when one of Agilysys’s marquee hospitality customers requested additional copies of The Little Black Book, and permission to distribute them to all its frontline staff, to train them in the principles of high return hospitality. How many of us can say that a customer has used our marketing material to train its employees?

Buyers may be open to your message, but too often content drowns in a sea of sameness. A well-executed, creative and out-of-the-box piece of cornerstone content can position your company as a thought leader in a field of me-toos.

And as an added benefit, these longer pieces of content often can be broken down into smaller, snackable content to share across social media and on your website. That’s why Agilysys continues to win new business and engage buyers as it shares its thought leadership through this high-interest multichannel campaign.

Ready to create your Little Black Book? We’d love to talk!



When you work with Arketi Group, you collaborate with expert marketers, writers, designers and strategists to create transformative marketing programs that deliver real business value.

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