If you’re on the marketing side of hospitality, you have likely witnessed the surge of new marketing technologies over the last decade. From digital ad platforms to social media to chatbots, there is always something new that promises to drive revenue. In many cases, horizontal solutions serve the hospitality industry well. You don’t need any special technology to bid for adwords around hotels or engage with fans on Instagram. But when it comes to CRM (Customer Relationship Management), using a solution purpose-built for hotels makes sense for a number of reasons.
The whole point of CRM is to centrally manage guest data. In order to do that, the system must be fed data from the hotel’s POS, PMS and other on-property data sources. Hotels tend to run on specialized systems and often these solutions weren’t built with integration in mind. Only a hospitality-focused CRM company will have the expertise to work with these legacy systems to ensure that data is able to automatically sync with the CRM.
Hotels engage with their customers in unique ways at very specific times. Unlike other retail businesses, hotel communication needs to be perfectly timed with the guest lifecycle. Pre-stay, check-out, and other transactional emails don’t just provide guests with critical information at the right time, but they can also be sources of ancillary revenue or new bookings. For example, a pre-stay email, when sent at just the right moment, can persuade a guest to upgrade to a suite or purchase the breakfast buffet option. Only a hospitality-focused CRM company will have the industry expertise to help make these emails as effective as they can be.
Hotels are able to capture very unique data about guests that can be used to market to them more effectively. Does a guest travel with children or alone? Does he eat at the outlets or off-property? Does he golf, use the spa or visit the gift shop? Is he a leisure or business traveler? All these details provide clues about the person that can then be used in highly personalized marketing campaigns that are proven to drive bookings. Only a hospitality-focused CRM will allow you to segment your guests into hotel-specific segments (ie business travelers) to ensure that your messages are as relevant as they can be.
Hotels are complex entities, with marketing often being done by a management company or brand. Hospitality groups only want to manage one CRM but need to be able to brand your emails for the individual hotels and brands. Only a hospitality-focused CRM company can support this use case and make it easy to send on-brand emails every time.
Ease of Use
Unlike other industries, it’s rare to have someone at a hotel or management company dedicated to just email. With lots to do during the day, hotel marketers need software that’s intuitive and easy to use, with support available when they get stuck. Horizontal solutions need to be jam-packed with features to support many industries and can often be complex and confusing to use. Only a hospitality-focused CRM company understands the features needed to support hotels and the importance of usability.
While every CRM today has reporting, only a hospitality-focused CRM will provide you with the hotel-specific metrics that you likely care about, such as lifetime room spend per guest or segment and average room spend per stay per guest or segment. In addition, you will want to ensure that your campaign metrics track attribution and separate bookings from ancillary revenue. That’s something that only a hospitality-focused CRM will do.To find out why Hotel Tech Report named Revinate Marketing 2019’s Top Rated Email Marketing and CRM Product, reach out for a demo. We would love to show you the product and share the specialized features that our thousands of clients are using to drive bookings and ancillary revenue.