In the perpetual quest to achieve greater market share, hoteliers constantly seek strategies to help them transcend the competition posed by online travel agencies (OTAs). This is where hotel data revenue can help.
Hotel data revenue is the revenue that’s generated from using the zero-party and first-party data you receive directly from your guests. It can include email addresses, booking patterns, stay data, customer preferences, interests, and more. This type of hotel data not only helps you generate new revenue by claiming a bigger piece of the lodging industry pie, but it helps you maximize profits as well.
Here we delve into specific ways you can leverage customer data to improve your business performance, drive additional revenue streams, and give you a competitive edge over OTAs.
What you will see here
Outshine OTAs with direct communication
The power of direct communication and building direct connections with your guests is a game-changing strategy for fostering customer loyalty and driving hotel data revenue growth.
While hotels and resorts can rely on OTAs to help put more heads into beds, their efforts come at a cost of up to a 30% commission for each booking. However, when visitors book directly with your hotel — via your website, reservations department, or hotel app — you avoid third parties taking those hefty bites out of your profits.
Furthermore, by marketing directly to your audience, you gather more valuable customer data. And with the right Customer Data Platform, you can synthesize that information to begin building rich guest profiles.
Be tenacious about email address capture
A major OTA-related issue that impacts your ability to directly connect with visitors is the fact that OTAs often mask guest email addresses when customers book through them. Therefore, you need to proactively capture guest emails. You can obtain this information as part of your standard check-in and check-out process, by offering to send email bills, or by soliciting their feedback.
Once you have guests’ email addresses and other big data at your fingertips, you can use it to elevate your marketing strategies. And there are few marketing strategies that can rival the return on investment (ROI) of email campaigns. In fact, for every $1 spent on email marketing, brands earn $36.
Leverage the OTA “billboard effect”
OTAs give your property added visibility through the “billboard effect,” allowing you to connect with customers you may not otherwise reach. However, once guests arrive and experience your hospitality, it’s time to take over the reins. Use exclusive deals and personalized emails to strengthen relationships and win direct bookings from return visitors.
A huge advantage you have over third-party providers is that your hotel guest data helps you deliver those personal touches no OTA algorithm can replicate. With the right data platform, your team can instantly access visitor information, greet guests by name, easily recall their preferences, and tailor your offers and communications accordingly. Your guests will come to think of your hotel as more than a mere lodging place, but a space where they feel welcomed as valued members of the community.
Use the power of segmentation to boost hotel data revenue
In today’s data-driven world of hospitality, segmentation is not just a buzzword, it’s pivotal for properties looking to maximize their hotel data revenue potential. Segmenting your customers helps you tailor guest experiences, monetize campaigns, and drive substantial gains in ancillary revenue.
How to slice and dice your big data
Hotels that directly communicate with their customers can effectively harness the power of segmentation by drawing from a range of hospitality data. You can group guests according to key demographic information, such as age, gender, and location; shopping behaviors; booking history and frequency; or preferences and interests. You’ll be able to identify your most loyal patrons and highest-value customers and effectively target them with irresistible offers that are more likely to convert.
Segmentation is key to personalization
A primary advantage of segmentation is its ability to unlock the door to personalization. And personalization is a revenue accelerator. According to research from McKinsey, over half of your customers expect you to offer them targeted promotions specific to their needs, such as those related to room type, dining options, or recreational activities. Companies that monetize personalization grow faster, achieving 40% more revenue from using personalized marketing tactics.
Segmented emails perform better
In addition to enhancing personalization, segmentation also boosts marketing performance. Research from Hubspot bears out this fact, showing that the most effective strategies for email marketing campaigns are based on subscriber segmentation. And when you send relevant emails based on past purchase history or interests, engagement rates rise.
Revinate’s data also shows that emails with multiple segments see 2.5x higher open rates and 3x higher click-through rates.
For instance, by leveraging rich guest data for segmentation, the MOA Group GmbH took their marketing to the next level, earning nearly €360K in email campaign revenue in less than two years.
In another example, Lub d hotels used first-party data and automated, personalized campaigns to combat OTAs and transform their direct booking strategy. They successfully increased their direct revenue 100% year-over-year.
Generate new revenue with hotel guest data
Beyond the traditional avenues of room bookings and dining services, your guest data holds the potential for delivering fresh streams of revenue.
Capitalize on the ancillary advantage
Guest data can help you identify demand for enticing add-ons and ancillary services, such as:
- Airport transfers
- Transportation services
- Laundry / dry cleaning
- Event planning
- Pet-friendly amenities
- Tours and excursions
- Wellness programs
- Early check-in / late check-out
By understanding visitors’ reasons for travel and other key data, hotels can maximize monetization efforts while meeting guests’ diverse needs.
As an example, historic French Lick Resort used hotel guest data and Revinate solutions to improve pre-stay communication in ways that made a huge difference in customer spend. They successfully increased guests’ length of stay by an average of 1.8 days, driving ancillary revenue and measurably improving the guest experience.
Master the art of targeted upselling
Through customer data analysis, hotels and resorts can strategically offer upsell opportunities based on past behaviors, and craft tailored experiences that resonate with individual preferences. This type of hyper-personalization helps you strengthen relationships with your guests.
On top of this, your visitors will pay more for information and experiences that are customized to their interests. So, businesses that extend the right offers to the right guests at the right time — such as an hour with a pro for the golfer, or a cooking class for the foodie — enjoy a 16% premium on products and services, plus increased loyalty.
Check out “The ultimate guide to upselling techniques for hotels” to help you develop a strategic approach to upselling that also fosters greater guest loyalty.
Go even further with your hotel data for increased revenue
By adeptly leveraging insights derived from your guest data, forward-thinking hoteliers can improve business performance, capitalizing on untapped sources of revenue and creating exceptional customer experiences that help ensure sustained success.
It all starts with the right solutions and effective big data management. For ways to boost your lodging business profits, download Revinate’s first-party data guide.