A Four Step Approach
We live in a world of exponential data growth. Recent research from IBM suggests that 90% of all data created since the dawn of humanity has been created in just the past few years. In the digital space, the volume and speed of this data generation has created a multitude of challenges for businesses around the globe.
As is often the case, challenges lead to new opportunities. Backed by Big Data, marketers now may drive consumer loyalty in new and unique ways—from data-driven personalized communications to one-to-one marketing to customized products and experiences. Nonetheless, many brands can’t take advantage of these opportunities due to technology hurdles, such as integration problems or data silos, or from a broader inability to analyze and derive proper insights from what data is telling them about their customers.
At Cendyn/ONE, we successfully solve this issue for our travel and hospitality clients with a four step approach that turns data into action.
The Guest is Telling You Everything. Are You Listening?
Consider, for a moment, the tremendous amount of data generated by customers as they move through the travel and hospitality Guest Lifecycle. While making travel plans they may visit twenty different websites. They may interact with a travel and hospitality brand a dozen or so times across multiple digital channels—search, social, mobile, web, video, email, etc.—all before they actually book a room. And once they do book, guests are likely subject to multiple touch-points across a myriad of hotel technology systems, like CRS, PMS, CRM, Call Center, and Loyalty. Then, as they arrive on property, they engage in a range of services and activities that are supported by even more technology and systems, like POS, Spa, Golf, In-room, Mobile App, etc. Finally, when they check out, they are sent a satisfaction survey, encouraging them to write a review and to share their experience across social media.
At every step, there are opportunities for successful interactions, personalized connections, and one-to-one marketing engagements. The key to bringing a brand and its guests together is harnessing the power of data; it’s what we at Cendyn/ONE call Data Intelligence.
Generate Actionable Insights to Unlock Advanced Personalization
Many hospitality companies fail to leverage Data Intelligence because they have not implemented a comprehensive, data-driven digital marketing solution capable of acquiring, managing, and effectively taking action on their data. This is why we still hear of email campaigns that begin “Dear Guest,” a failed opportunity that immediately conveys to the guest that the exact same message was blasted to thousands of others, with no thought given to the person on the receiving end of the message or why they travel. This is also why we still hear about loyal repeat guests checking into their favorite hotel for the umpteenth time, and being asked, “Have you stayed with us before?”
On the other hand, hotel brands that fully understand their guest preferences and booking history create meaningful interactions that put them ahead of the competition. It’s can be as simple as offering a repeat guest a spa package because you know they book a facial and a massage every time they visit your property; or as complex as knowing an incoming guest has a delayed airline connection that’s forcing a late arrival, and thus arranging for a call to offer a complementary airport pick-up, pre-ordered room service, and a quick rebooking of any early morning property activities so that the guest can catch up on rest.
Along the guest life cycle, there are countless opportunities for such loyalty-building personalized interactions that treat guests as they should be treated—as the stars of the show. And it all starts with centralizing you data so you may ultimately turn Data Intelligence into action.
The Four Key Steps to Increasing Your Brand Growth & Revenue
Each part of our four-step approach is geared toward improving the ways hotels internally collect, assess, and react to guest behavior.
1. DATA: Connect various platforms and centralize systems’ data so it’s searchable and capable of revealing relevant guest-behavior patterns.
2. INSIGHTS: Parse, analyze, and extract the details that fuel Data Intelligence and support action from the information the hotel or property has gathered.
3. ACTION: Prospect for higher-yield guests and build loyalty through data-driven personalized interactions. Influence guest behavior to generate ancillary revenues throughout the entire guest lifecycle, especially pre and post stay.
4. IMPACT: Measure and adjust performance to grow the brand-guest relationship. When we use data to market to the right guest, at the right time, and through the right channels, we increase brand affinity and boost ROI, thus solving the seemingly never-ending tension between acquiring new guests (marketing) and profitability (revenue management).