On April 26th, 2021 the Apple iOS 14.5 update rocked the marketing world by letting users opt out of sharing their data with Facebook and other third parties. Following suit, major browsers — Apple, Mozilla, and Google — are also phasing out support for third-party tracking cookies.
As hoteliers know, third-party data has been invaluable for creating hotel marketing campaigns. But as the third-party cookie crumbles, hoteliers must learn to collect and utilize the hospitality data they already have to help optimize marketing, boost direct bookings, and personalize guest experiences.
Get ready to learn more about the importance of first-party data, which types of hospitality data to collect, and how to leverage your data effectively.
What you will see here
The significance of big data in hotels
In this upcoming cookie-less world, hotels must turn to zero- and first-party hospitality data to fill the gap. Zero-party data is proactively shared by guests via surveys, messaging, and phone conversations (though it’s often considered to be first-party data). First-party data is gleaned from customer interactions with websites, apps, social media channels, etc.
There are actually big benefits to using your own data over third-party data. First, because it comes directly from guests, it’s more reliable, specific, timely, and accurate. And second, because your guests are sharing it voluntarily, there are no privacy concerns.
Let’s examine specific types of guest data hotels can collect.
9 types of hospitality data
1. Contact information
Obtaining basic information, such as a guest’s name, physical address, phone number, and email address is a crucial first step in guest data collection. This information makes it possible to reach out with direct mail and email marketing campaigns.
Not only that, but it allows you to target those emails specifically to the guests who’ll receive them. And research shows emails with personalized subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened.
2. Guest demographics
Guest demographic information, including age, gender, location, marital or parenting status, and native language, is equally valuable for personalization. Just think, your promotion offering a warm escape from winter’s chill will be much more effective for customers in the Midwest portion of the US versus those in the southern states.
3. Stay-related hospitality data
This hospitality data can include the booking channel used, dates and length of stay, and purpose for the stay (i.e., business, leisure, or both!). It can also include whether the guest is traveling with their family, solo, with a friend, or with their partner on a romantic getaway.
With this data, you can be certain your offer for a free drink in the bar goes to your business travelers while recommendations for top kid-friendly activities go to families.
Looking for a better way to consolidate, access, and gain insights from your data? Get a demo to see what’s possible with our solutions.
4. Guest preferences
Keeping track of what type of rooms your guests book, whether they travel with a pet, and what room temperature they prefer is incredibly valuable. Also record any special requests they make for things like extra pillows, a bottle of wine, or a specific type of soda in the mini fridge.
Armed with this information and the right platform, you can more effectively upsell. And you’ll delight guests by proactively ensuring their room is set up just the way they like it.
5. Guest interests
More than 6 out of 10 customers expect businesses to tailor messaging to their needs, and to offer targeted promotions. Furthermore, marketers see a 760% increase in email revenue from segmented campaigns.
One of the most effective ways to personalize guest experiences and segment marketing promotions is by keeping an accurate record of guest interests. You’ll get much higher engagement when you recommend the new photography exhibit to your art lovers, the ceviche-making class to your foodies, and the surf lessons to your adventure seekers.
6. Ancillary purchases
By maintaining a record of a guest’s on-property purchases, you can uncover opportunities for upselling while simultaneously creating a better guest experience. For instance, if you know a guest uses your spa when they visit, offering a discount on a 90-minute Swedish massage may incentivize a future stay.
7. Engagement information
The right data platform lets you track how guests interact with your website, hotel app, emails, push notifications, and surveys. Are they opening your emails and messages? Are they responding? And what website pages do they linger on?
You can analyze this data to help boost direct bookings and increase engagement with your guests. Hotels are already doing this. With Revinate Marketing, Lore Group’s Pulitzer Amsterdam hotel leveraged their guest data to build a more engaged database, earning €1.1 million in direct revenue.
8. Historical data
When it comes to customers, repeat buyers are the most profitable. This is true for all industries, particularly hospitality.
Guest data on booking frequency, booking patterns, and lifetime customer value all provide guidance for promotions that your guests will respond to. For instance, you can reward your VIPs with special perks that build loyalty to create a powerhouse of brand evangelists.
9. Social media data
Consider monitoring shares, likes, and comments on your Facebook page, Instagram account, and other social media channels. You should also keep tabs on review sites.
These interactions can be a treasure trove of guest data, and the right technology platform brings all that information together into one dashboard, making it easy to analyze and helping you personalize interactions with guests.
Top sources of hospitality data
To streamline the collection of big data in hotels, you need a solution that gathers and consolidates information at every guest touchpoint. And you also need one that continually cleanses your data. Without this feature, your database will likely contain multiple and conflicting guest profiles, And you won’t be able to accurately segment your guests.
With the right technology in place; however, you can capitalize on these effective sources for collecting zero- and first-party hospitality data:
- Booking engine
- Call center interactions
- Digital invoicing
- Guest surveys and polls
- Messaging interactions
- On-property purchasing behavior
- Review sites
- Service requests
- Social media
- Website email opt-in forms for your newsletter
- WiFi signups
What hotels can do with the right hospitality data
Every interaction with guests creates an opportunity to better understand them and how they feel about the services your hotel delivers. When you automate hospitality data collection and analytics with the right data platform you achieve a number of benefits:
- You can deliver better, more personalized guest experiences to foster stronger relationships and build greater loyalty.
- You improve your services because you can clearly see exactly which features and amenities attract guests to your property (and what may frustrate them). You’re no longer merely guessing.
- You can segment your guests based on anything from demographics and trip purpose to interests and purchasing behavior to achieve greater engagement. Case in point — using Revinate’s Guest Data Platform, Aramark Destinations was able to get creative with their segmentation and now averages $136k per marketing campaign.
Hospitality data: Make every touchpoint count
Your guests preferred communication channels will vary. So, you need an omni-channel solution that allows you to collect guest data from every touchpoint and consolidate it into one place. With a healthy database, you can then improve guest experiences to drive direct bookings and greater profitability.
Learn how to use hospitality data to boost guest engagement, loyalty, and revenue through email marketing with our guide, “The ultimate guide to email marketing for hotels.”