Hotel occupancy rates and ADR’s are heavily impacted during times of economic variability. Many consumers are traveling domestically with many trips closer to home or planned staycations.. Business travel decreased significantly and has not returned to pre-Covid levels due to businesses embracing remote working policies.
What do travel marketers need to do now?
It’s more important now than ever before to personalize messaging across channels and devices. To drive relevant communications and offers, travel companies need to build out improved guest segmentation and guest personas using their first-party data in combination with third-party data to understand customer behaviors and characteristics. Over the years, lodging companies have been slower to adopt data-driven marketing decisions and strategy. Covid-19 helped travel marketers understand the need to accelerate this adoption. Those that welcome this transition are realizing the many benefits and continue to move forward with a data-driven marketing approach to leverage data in combination with analytics and modeling.
With a data-driven approach, travel marketers can find new customers via prospecting look-a-like models and present cross-sell and upsell incentives to their current customers who are most likely to accept targeted offers. This will improve the understanding of the lifecycle of their customers and loyalty members that lead to strategies and tactics to prevent attrition by leveraging at-risk models to identify customers before they are lost.
For a quick win, focus advertising and marketing spend on regional feeder markets. Test stay-cation deals for locals, weekend getaway packages, special occasions, leisure deals, food & beverage packages, family packages, or add the option of a bonus night stay to increase the incentive for your regional markets. Leverage localization with a Google relationship to provide local content and video to improve search ranking.
In addition, properties need to ensure they have a digital presence. As most travelers viewed lodging websites on mobile device, websites need to be responsive with fast download speeds and mobile-friendly content. s. Additionally, driven by Covid-19 the branded apps have become a crucial part of marketing strategies as a one-stop portal for everything from reservations to room service and an improved overall guest experience in a contactless way. Used correctly, a branded app can help streamline operations, establish a direct channel of communication between hotels and guests, and provide a marketer with a treasure trove of individual guest data.
Today, the amount of data that travelers produce is vast and growing exponentially making the value of the data is priceless. Marketers have the opportunity to learn about all aspects of guest behaviors and inclinations including length of stay, , food and beverage choices, restaurant reservations, guest satisfaction, room service, spa, and other amenities. The amount of data generated creates the ability for companies to personalize the guest experience even further from personalized booking offers to on-site amenities to post-stay follow-ups.
In the hospitality world and the travel industry as a whole, data and analytics can be the cure during times of uncertainty. The ability for marketers to collect first-party data generated by their guests to seamlessly integrate from numerous data silos, (e.g.; PMS, POS, CRS, APPS, Website, etc.) and resolve to a single view of the guest (i.e.; Identity Resolution) will be paramount to their overall success. Data is information and marketers can use this information to gain knowledge. Knowledge provides the power to drive strategy, develop key initiatives, make sound business decisions, and connect in a more meaningful, personalized way with guests. Used correctly, data and analytics can help travel brands heal, get stronger, and recover from downturns more quickly and successfully.