Hotel revenue managers and commercial teams rely on data increasingly amidst increasing volatility to make better decisions that can help in generating revenue. The need for data continues to evolve and increase as we focus on the digital first guest and their ever evolving needs.
Meaningful data has many advantages for hoteliers. For starters, they can understand what’s working for them and what isn’t to improve their guest experience, boost customer loyalty, predict trends, and, most importantly, increase their bottom line.
In fact, data collection and analytics have become a top priority for hotel owners, especially since the pandemic. But can the utilisation of new data sources yield significant revenue for you?
How To Make More Out Of Guest Feedback
Customer data can be a goldmine for hoteliers to tailor their processes and better match guest expectations. For instance, when a booking is made, you receive the visitors’ details. Then sending them a survey can give you a clearer idea of their preferences.
That said, simple data about the customer—which only includes the amount of time that they have stayed at the hotel—is no longer enough. On top of these basic details, you also need to know their likes, plans, and overall purpose. You can do this in two ways:
- Engage in a casual chat with them about local attractions and get a hold of their preferred activities
- Talk to them about the services in the hotel and ask if they have tried them
By understanding their personal preferences and interests, you might understand if they can be a regular guest or someone enjoying a one-off trip. For example, if they are on a business trip, chances are that they could become a recurring customer for your hotel.
So, how does this help? By collecting this data over a period of time, you will be able to identify cohorts and develop a marketing and content strategy that speaks to each individual guest about ‘why’ they should book with your hotel improving conversions.
Updating this content on your website, OTAs and social media will ensure consistency of experience, meet guest expectations and increase guest lifetime value.
A recurring guest not only reduces your cost of guest acquisition by becoming a repeat customer, but also spreads the positive word of mouth on important channels further increasing conversions.
But this is just the tip of the iceberg. Data collection can provide even better ways to boost revenue.
Paid Digital Marketing Strategies that Drive Higher ROAS
Guest Feedback to identify cohorts allows you to send targeted emails, personalize experiences and engage with them for longer. But most commercial teams, struggle with the question — how do we know when to engage.
Inflation and cost of living increase has continued to impact margins in the hospitality and service industry — which depends on manual labor to deliver the experience at the hotel. Therefore, in the event of increasing costs, any service-based industry starts squeezing its marketing and sales budgets.
However, commercial teams are already struggling with volatile demand and with the added burden of lower budgets. They need data source that can help them deliver better results. This is where understanding inbound travel demand to a specific location over the next 90 days.
This helps you not only understand when to initiate campaigns but also when to start communicating more frequently via emails as guests are more likely to respond to communications when they are closer to finalizing their travel plans.
Helping hotels understand when and when not to run their campaigns, helps save crucial marketing dollars as well as drive better returns.
How is it made possible
- Hoteliers can understand demand trends and chose to stop campaigns when demand is high and invest more when demand is low
- Hoteliers can also understand which market is seeing higher demand and then change their target keywords as well as targeting criterions to spend lesser money
- Hoteliers can also understand through different tools the length of stay that is being searched on OTAs as well as metasearch channels and tailor their offers to offer an additional night
All of these sources of data help the hotelier improve their marketing campaigns.
Understanding Local Events and Competitors Better
As the pandemic raged on, the biggest competition to hotels was not only the virus but also short term rentals and stand-alone hotels in nearby locations, that people could drive to for a weekend and during the pandemic, a lot of hotels — irrespective of their size — competed for the same market in the recovery phase.
However, after the pandemic, it becomes crucial for the hotel industry to adapt according to consumer behavior. It is a known fact that customers will return to a hotel that provides them with the utmost comfort. Often, this comfort is related to the general attitude of the hotel towards the customer, along with the services offered.
Now, this is where numerous hotels tend to make mistakes. For example, the price for average accommodation in New York for a standard double room increased from USD 222 in May 2021 to a whooping USD 375 in May 2022. To put it into perspective, this was a 69% increase in the span of a year!
However, with volatility and ever evolving global politics, these rates can change any time of the day and tracking such events in your local area is critical. Any new event or new promotion started by any player can impact daily bookings.
Understanding How Travelers Make Decisions
Apart from understanding factors that impact demand, and where the demand is coming from – another important factor or data source for hoteliers is in understanding which content attributes, policies and information convince travelers to book a hotel on OTAs. This is critical to reduce the cart abandonment rate and improve conversions.
Travelers are looking to invest up to 50% of their income in travel and hence are specific about the experience they can expect at the property – and therefore, getting insight on what are the most critical content attributes will help hoteliers prioritize in updating that content over OTAs and on their website
With the market constantly evolving, it is necessary for hoteliers to adapt rapidly. The landscape is changing, and indeed, it could be a cause for panic. However, keeping track of the market movements and adjusting your hotel experience accordingly will always help you stay one step ahead of other hoteliers.
It is all the more reason to increase your reliance on data. Numerous other industries have started making data-driven decisions to make better product adjustments and allow a steady stream of gains to flow. After all, data is an essential tool that every hotelier must employ if they want to keep up with the market and increase their source of revenue.