With Amazon suggesting your next purchase, iPhones identifying your work location and Chipotle remembering your favorite order, consumer’s today expect a customized experience no matter where they go. In fact, according to Mckinsey & Company “Personalization technologies can reduce acquisition costs by as much as 50%, lift revenues by 5-15%, and increase the efficiency of marketing spending by 10-30%”
With those types of possible benefits it’s no surprise that hotels are jumping on board the personalization band wagon as well!
Where to Find the Data
As a hotel marketer how is it possible to find the data that you need to personalize your marketing efforts? Here are a few options to get you on the path towards personalization success!
Your Hotel’s Customer Database
Between online bookings, customer service and on-site reservations, your customer database should have plenty of useful information about guests. At the most basic level simply knowing the most common type of guest (business traveler, families, affluent travelers) can allow you to personalize content that fits those specific segments.
Think about all of the personal information that people put out on their social accounts and imagine having all of that data at your disposal. If you are responsible for running your hotel’s social accounts, it is incredibly easy to use platforms like Sprout Social or SMhack to see the analytics that break down your followers (potential guests or current guests) into gender, age groups, interests, etc. Instead of focusing solely on posting generic advertising content for your hotel, consider catering your posts to the interests of the followers seeing the posts.
Third Party Companies
While digging for your own data is definitely helpful, you’re only limited to the information from your existing guests and followers which is a pretty small slice of the pie.
What about larger trends and guests who haven’t already stayed with you? Going to a company that specializes in data is your best bet. Want specific information about what the average traveler to your city is looking for, or what the most travelers search for when researching your area? A data company probably has that information. For example, nSight specializes in predictive data for the travel and hospitality industry. They offer a range of data that is designed to specifically help you understand your audience better.
With all of this newfound data at your fingertips, it’s time to think of ways to incorporate it into your marketing content.
- Create offers based on guest activity (a hotel system could recognize that a guest typically dines at the hotel restaurant between 7-9pm, and usually has a drink with her meal.) This information could then trigger a SMS message or email with a complimentary drink offer, resulting in the guest visiting the hotel restaurant rather than opting to return to her room.
- Create promotional content for different types of guests instead of creating one template for a single generic audience. Once you understand the different segments of guests that stay at your hotel, you can promote different aspects of it to the different groups. Obviously a family might be more interested in your indoor pool than a business traveler!
Real Time Responses
Social media platforms and online forums make it incredibly easy for guests to interact with your hotel. Don’t create one-way social content, social media should be a conversation, not a billboard. Platforms like BirdEye allows you to see all reviews and comments posted about your hotel. From the platform you are then able to respond to these reviews and show guests that their opinions and comments have been heard. Exactly how to respond to those reviews is another story, but the Ramada Saskatoon is a great example to learn from. They do a great job responding to TripAdvisor reviews.
What are your best practices when it comes to using personalization to market to guests? Let us know in our comments section below! Until next time, be well.
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