Revinate Faces Dragons, Emerges Victorious

A few weeks ago, Revinate won Phocuswright’s prestigious “Most Innovative Established Company” award.

In this event, 42 companies, carefully chosen by an experienced analyst team, take the stage at Phocuswright’s Travel Innovation Summit to demonstrate applications, technologies and solutions with the potential to transform travel planning, purchasing and marketing.

A panel of judges evaluates each demonstrator on three categories:

  • Level of technical innovation
  • Business value of the innovation
  • Potential effect on the marketplace

Additionally, a panel of three savvy executives called “Dragons” provides commentary and critiques following each demo. These Dragons don’t hold back. They ask tough questions to help the judges determine what’s hot, what’s only lukewarm, what has the potential to create major change in the industry, and what’s real versus simple slideware.

During my demo, I outlined a problem that every hotel in the world faces.

The problem? Hotels struggle to truly know their own guests on an individual basis, and thus are challenged to offer personalized service and marketing to compete effectively.

Have you ever been targeted with an experience that feels like it should be personalized, but it just misses the mark? Here’s an example. This is an Instagram post from a platinum-tier loyalty club member. He was greeted by his hotel with champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries. For many guests, this would be a great gesture.

However, here’s the problem: This guest doesn’t drink, and he doesn’t like strawberries. So, while the gesture seems like a great fit, it really misses the mark.

Contrast that with this tweet from another loyalty club member at a different hotel. Here, the guest was greeted with a pillowcase embroidered with his initials.

In this example, the gesture is personalized, and it’s directly relevant to getting a great night’s sleep.

As I looked out across the audience, I saw heads nodding as these pain points for hoteliers, and their real implications for guests, resonated with the audience. My heart started pounding as I felt the energy in the room. Every traveler there had experienced the frustration of being treated as a commodity when it should be within the hotel’s power to make them feel like a VIP.

This frustration is what we work to eliminate with Revinate Marketing™. Leveraging the power of Revinate Rich Guest Profiles™, I showed how hotels can be empowered to understand their guests, and then use those insights to drive highly customized in-stay experiences as well as execute targeted and relevant loyalty marketing campaigns. Given their personalized focus, these interactions are much more likely to convert effectively, build long-term loyalty, and promote direct bookings.

Beyond the functional and immediate financial benefits, I also encouraged the audience to think about a hotel’s long term value as being directly tied to the value of their customer database, as opposed to simply their room inventory.

After I left the podium, it was on to the hot seat for questions from the Dragons. The questions generally revolved around what made Revinate different among all the companies claiming “personalization” (answer: real data integration with the Property Management Systems along with a direct tie from guest profiles to marketing campaign execution), and data integrity (answer: Revinate isn’t relying on cookies or web signals, but instead matching transactional data directly to public social profiles and actual known-customer feedback and behavior).

In the end, my colleague Kyle Duffy accepted our award for Most Innovative in the Established Company” category. What a delightful surprise to hear that we’d won! Soon after, I received a deluge of emails and interest from industry executives. It was great validation for the years of customer success, hard work, and vision to build a full stack guest engagement platform for the hospitality industry.

What tops an amazing day like this? Dinner with my friends from Sojern that included Mediterranean food and impromptu table dancing!

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