Are the weekday room doldrums getting you - and your revenue - down?
Weekends will always be the busier times for the holiday-maker market. But Mondays through Thursdays can still generate substantial revenue. You just need to get creative, strategic, and employ the right tools to address the right target market.
This is where you can leverage the powerful combo of data and strategy for the win. By getting the right business intelligence and using it to gain a thorough understanding of your market, those midweek rooms can bring in substantial revenue.
Let’s review some of the key strategies.
Personalise for better guest relationships
With the abilities of marketing technology to track guests’ experience and preferences, personalising offers is a no-brainer. By tailoring offers to echo past customer behaviours, you’re more likely to attract bookings, and this applies to the midweek as much as any other period. The retiree demographic will probably like certain conveniences and offers, like early dinner specials, that will be different from a younger traveller, who might want nightlife deals.
By using personalisation, you’ll be able to offer dynamic pricing and promotions that accommodate their tastes and are almost irresistible to your guests.
Use historical performance data for today’s advantage
Time to take a dive into some data. Your business intelligence will illuminate historical KPIs - such as occupancy, ADR and RevPAR - that you can then use to inform decisions now.
What’s worked in the past? Who bought last year in terms of segment and business origin? Which channels did they come through? How far in advance were they booking? For example, do US guests book an average of three months in advance and via Expedia? A good revenue intelligence tool will help you answer these questions and more.
By analysing these historical KPI performances, you’ll be better placed to assess your midweek high points accurately. This will help you set up an efficient strategy to target clients based on their buying behaviour, and you’ll reduce missed opportunities.
Create irresistible offers
Plenty of hotels offer midweek deals to help punch up those slow times. But the key is creativity, strategy and technology - create interesting packages with enticing add-ons and extras that guests can’t find elsewhere. That means using data on guest preferences and past behaviours to tailor offers. But don’t forget to check your prices against your competitors’, making sure you’re comparing like with like.
Wedding planners like packages that take care of several items at once - that saves them time and money. Foodies will appreciate offers that provide unique menus and access to local cuisine. Motivate guests with value-added packages that reward weekenders if they extend their stay through the week, or arrive earlier than Friday.
Nurture relationships so you become the favourite
Every day in your community in real life and digital there are opportunities to connect with other businesses and industries. When the time comes for your network to make holiday plans, or recommend hotels to their community, you want to be the property they think of first.
Part of your reputation management strategy should leverage word-of-mouth networking to bring in bookings. To cultivate these relationships, you can develop customised promotions that specifically answer their needs.
Stay up-to-date with upcoming events
Do you know about every weekday event in your area? Do you have historical data on them? Events, be they festivals, seasonal, and the like, and holidays always have a big effect on dynamic pricing. Your built-in calendar should be full of this information. By analysing event data, you’ll be able to improve your knowledge of fluctuations in demand and price rooms accordingly.
This is about capitalising on a multi-channel distribution strategy to meet potential guests where they are - researching on OTAs, booking direct, or employing agents.
... or organise your own events
Why rely on the ebb and flow of seasonal events and trends? Make your own news by hosting in-house events, or collaborate on special events co-hosted by other local hospitality providers, like restaurants and attractions.
Novelty works. Try creating unique opportunities, like hosting a pop-up, a wine tasting, or an art event, that can’t be found anywhere else and will attract the kind of guest who’s passionate about experiences and engages in experiential purchasing.
Be a guide with social
Social media is a great tool for maintaining relationships with past and potential guests. A solid social campaign, particularly with a judicious use of hashtags, can link your hotel to trending topics, local events, and influencers.
More and more guests are turning to social for travel information and recommendations, and your property’s social outreach can be their guide. Apart from becoming a trusted source of knowledge, you’ll be able to reach midweek guests with targeted offers.
Speaking on our recent on-demand webinar on parity, Jennifer Kim, Director of Revenue Management at Cycas Hospitality, said that hoteliers should “social proof” themselves and that you need brand presence. She added that some hotels even “believe [that] taking bookings over social media should be available”.
Get the full view of your market
Know where you stand in your market. An important part of business intelligence is competitor data, which you can leverage to understand the steps you need to take to make your hotel attractive to midweek bookers.
Use trusted market data to get an accurate competitor comparisons and other tools to gain insights into rate party across major OTAs, and to aid in optimising your channel mix.
But don’t make the error of severely undercutting the competition on price - that could be detrimental to your reputation and revenue, and could trigger a rate drop in your segment.
Monday-through-Thursday holiday guests are out there. But you need to find ways for them to find you. With accurate data tools that help forecast and identify trends, remove the uncertainties of pricing and distribution, and create targeted promotions, the midweek booking doldrums can not only be banished, but replaced by revenue maximisation.