Geo-tagging, personalisation, the marketing and revenue team relationship: these were all key themes we didn't have time to discuss in a jam-packed webinar last week. But we’ve addressed these points in this short follow-up article.
Now available on-demand, the webinar in question was Making your hotel data profitable: how to leverage your PMS data at every step of the guest journey, a collaboration between OTA Insight and Revinate. In the discussion, we aimed to provide listeners with key insights on how to make the wealth of data in their PMS work best for them in attracting guests.
We answered some questions from the audience on the day but with more raised than we had time for, we had a few outstanding which we’ll address here.
A strong partnership between the revenue and marketing teams to utilise the wealth of data available can benefit hoteliers in a number of ways:
All these data sources boost the effectiveness of marketing campaigns, which in turn will go towards increasing the hotel’s bottom line. Even better news is that this partnership is a two-way channel. The revenue team can use data on segmentation and conversion from the marketing team to aid their drive to increase profit.
We detail more ways marketing and revenue teams can work together in our on-demand webinar in partnership with HotelChamp, Creating the ultimate couple - how to bring together marketing and revenue management teams, as well as in our eBook and blog.
Geo-targeting can be applied at different levels with hotels choosing to target specific cities, states, countries or even continents. This gives hotels the advantage of higher brand visibility tailored to different markets, more specific targeting efforts, and higher potential of customer base reach.
It’s also important, however, to be aware of some of the issues surrounding geo-targeting. There is the possible complication of rate disparity across OTAs because they may do region- or country-specific discounts that are harder for hotels to discover. Also, with different rates being set across different geo-specific source markets points of sale (POS), marketers and revenue managers would need a lot of technical knowledge and take a lot of time to manually shop each arrival date for every OTA and POS.
This complication can be combated by using business intelligence tools that allow you to monitor your rate parity across different points of sale and take action when disparity arises. So when geo-targeted pricing is set, hotels are less likely to be caught off-guard by OTAs. The most effective of these tools will have a live view of the metasearch website for proof of disparity, allowing you to take action if needed.
You can also carry out the following:
Identify anomalies. Awareness is the first step. Understanding your hotel’s source markets allows you to benchmark performance.
Sort into threats and opportunities. Some of these anomalies will threaten rate integrity, while others will reveal potential revenue growth opportunities. Know which is which, and make a list.
Make changes. For the opportunities, adjust pricing to capture more bookings. For the threats, share screenshots with offending websites to correct rate disparities, and consider contacting the wholesalers you deal with.
Do random spot checks. Keep an eye on source data at regular intervals. This ensures that rates don’t drift out of parity based on the point of sale.
Share your learnings. Knowing how a hotel appears in a variety of markets is crucial information that can offer insights across departments. For example, POS trends could help your marketing colleagues identify an opportunity to target that region with a direct booking campaign that combats any bad actors. This is a unique POS-based approach to yield management.
Plan ahead. The final step is to use these learnings to plan ahead for future contract negotiations. Strong contracts protect against bad actors, and any past POS-based disparities should inform future contracts with channel partners.
The notion of using personalised data is not a new one, originating in the airline industry over 10 years ago. Personalisation is, however, still growing rapidly within the hospitality industry. In an increasingly technology-driven world, consumers are much more connected and have an excess of companies trying to get their attention and business.
This means consumers have started to expect more from service providers, and showing you know your customer is one of the biggest ways to not only gain attention but to keep customers loyal. Hotels have a broad range of guest data at their fingertips, such as room-type preference, meal options and high demand dates. This data can be used to encourage direct booking. Recent reports also suggest that direct booking campaigns, which have been the staple of hoteliers’ fight-back against the takeover of OTAs, are beginning to yield results. Reports indicate that net average daily rate for brand.com loyalty bookings is higher than the net average daily rate for bookings made via a third party, such as an online travel agency like Expedia or Booking.com.
It’s worth cautioning that attribute-based selling can make it harder for revenue managers to make a real apples-to-apples comparison when building a competitive set to measure themselves against. This can be tackled with some dynamic pricing and a rate shopper that is able to provide frequent updates on pricing changes within the market.
Want to recap our full discussion on using data to enhance the customer journey? Revisit our webinar here. For other informative and engaging webinars, take a look at our resources centre, where you’ll find more on topics such as parity, the changing distribution landscape and how to increase revenue throughout the customer journey.
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