Now more than ever, consumer resentment of intrusive marketing is deepening. With new technology and big data, actually any data available to you, and all other possible means of segmentation and personalization, just randomly spamming people with your offers is unforgivable.
1. Mobile is not a privilege, it’s a must!
Mobile marketing has finally emerged as the powerhouse we have been hearing about and it is definitely a strategy to stay on top of and develop. The fact is that you are dealing with a moving target, rather than an audience or customer base. Your guests’ needs are changing throughout the different phases of travel planning as well as throughout the day when they are staying with you. It is up to you to always remain relevant and in tune with their changing needs. Don't just promote things they can buy from you, but promote your knowledge as well! Let them know they can count on you at any time. Many hotels like St Regis, Hyatt and Ritz that use handy now create valuable personalized message alerts for their guests to inform them about special events, best deals or latest happenings in the destination.
2. Chatbots Are In. Your TripAdvisor ranking matters even more!
Have you tried @TripAdvisorbot available to you through your Facebook Messenger? Suggestions I got from it so far were strongly associated with TripAdvisor rankings for hotels, restaurants and activities. In 2016, Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook’s messenger platform will be opening up for third party access. Chatbots can’t replace real human interaction, but they can help to serve your guests while waiting to speak to a live person or answer some frequently asked questions. The ONLY device in the world that allows your guest to rate your property while they are still staying with you is handy. Through special cooperation with TripAdvisor, handy has made it possible for your guests to rate their stay while they are still staying in your hotel and they added a special feature for service recovery. Hotels using it report a 50% increase in number of comments and their ratings, and we all know where your TripAdvisor ranking is coming from – the quantity and consistency of reviews.
3. Organic Traffic is Declining. Welcome to advanced Analytics!
The need for paid advertising unfortunately isn’t going to go away. In fact, it will continue to increase in 2017. It is not enough just to develop amazing content, but you need to promote it as well. If you want to be on top of your campaign ROI, you want your ads to be as targeted as possible and, of course, placed through the right channels. Getting your content to your social audiences is going to take some investment in 2017 but the key is relevance. To be relevant you need to know your audience and which collected data can help you with segmentation. Just from using data available in your PMS system you know which booking channel your guest used, where they are coming from and which age group they belong to. You know their average length of stay and when they created a booking. But with handy analytics you can pair that knowledge with insight data about their preferences in your destination and further. You know when they were looking for restaurants and which kind of restaurants, you know when they felt like having a massage and which attractions they were googling the most.
That information can make all your content, product upgrading and advertising relevant.
4. You want to make an app? Focus on Customer Experience and Usability
It seems to me that apps are so hot right now in the hospitality industry and in general, that we have forgotten the whole point behind them! The app should be useful for your customer first if you want them to actually download it and then your business will prosper from it as well. Your marketing plan should be strongly influenced by your customers and geared toward positive customer experiences and focused on ease of usability. Understanding who your customers are and what they want can be achieved through insights analysis. If you already have a hotel app, try it with handy and see what happens. No charge! People don't like to just randomly add apps to their personal phones, especially if the main focus of an app is to create more added revenue for the business and no actual added value for their guests.
5. Personalization, Targeting, and Automation
Personalization, targeting, and automation all tie into customer service and the customer experience trend. Your guests don't just accept it, they expect it. The intelligence gained from your handy analysis data will help you with all of your personalization, targeting and automation efforts. What makes it different from just having an app available for download is that guest actually use handy and they don't need Wi-Fi access for it! You have data about their preferences, not just in your hotel, but your destination and even further out.
You can deliver content to your guests that is relevant to them because it helps them save time, and usually money too. And they will reward you for it!