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Leveraging Targeted Guest Marketing to Drive Hotel Revenue

‘Crowd vs Customers — who is your interest?’. Drawing a difference between your customer and the rest will determine your customer’s relationship with your hotel. Guest experience is a top priority for hotel marketers. However, not having enough information has been a challenge in doing their best. This information could tell them more about the customer’s intent, interests, purpose, personalized needs and so on. Reaching out to each customer to serve their exclusive needs is ‘targeted guest marketing.’

Targeted guest marketing is what today’s customer expects. 74 percent of them get frustrated with websites when content, offers, ads, promotions, etc. appear that have little to do with their interests. Targeted marketing and promotions remove the frustration out of the experience, and are twice as effective as traditional marketing.

In this blog, we will explore how you can make the most of targeted guest marketing to drive your hotel revenue. But first, let’s take a look at the different benefits of targeted guest marketing.

Start with a Guest-centric Approach

The most successful hotels embrace a guest-centric approach while implementing a targeted marketing plan. They map the customer journey from different perspectives. They create the journey map using single vs holistic customer guest view. It involves listening to your customers and answering a slew of questions that determine the character of your customer persona.

With this approach, a hotelier can know, understand and recall the customer’s personal information and preferences. For instance, a 200-unit casual chain that used guest-level redemption data and real-time promotion tracking to optimize an automated birthday offer, resulted in $5 million in incremental sales.

How Targeted Guest Marketing adds to the bottomline?

A guest-centric mindset contributes to the ROI. Your revenues increase at lower operational costs. Here are a few ways how targeted guest marketing can help:

Brand resonance and affinity

When each customer gets exclusive attention, the amplified customer satisfaction is translated into brand recommendations among the customer community. The customer who receives a personalized experience would be happy to come back to purchase products or services. The same customer would be willing to recommend the brand to friends and family.

Targeted Selling

69% of marketers say using “hyper-personalization” to provide the right services at the right time will be key to success. Data-backed insights allow hyper-personalized and targeted selling. You will be enriched with information about what exactly a customer is looking. For instance, your guest might be looking for a massage and you could create an exclusive offer inviting the guest to your hotel’s spa.

Upselling and Cross selling

More than three-quarters of consumers have recommended or paid more for a brand that provides personalized services. This shows that upselling and cross-selling would be made easy when you approach a guest with a highly personalized and customized package. This could include a combination of room rates, spa and gym allowance, entertainment deals, tour packages, and other exclusive services that you offer.

Save cost with laser-sharp focus

When little is known about what your customer is willing to spend on, you end up providing overwhelming information. Such overload dissuades the guest from showing interest in your offers. Moreover, you spend further money to create follow-up communication without any specific target. In a targeted approach, you know everything about the consumer before approaching with an offer or service. This ensures that you spend only on the communication that matters to the customer who is willing to pay for your services.

Newer Opportunities

The unknown information keeps the marketer in dark about different opportunities available to sell and increase brand recognition. When the customer provides information, it can be used for devising other exclusive packages. For instance, if your hotel banquet is hosting a 3-day conference, you have an opportunity to sell deals associated with smaller meeting rooms, food, accommodation, fun and entertainment.

How to implement Guest-Centric Targeted Marketing?

Targeted Guest marketing is best put to practice with the following principles. The common thread that runs across all tactics is technology.

Geo-targeting

No matter how large is your chain of hotels, what matters to your customer is the location. In the hotel business, location is still the top parameter to choose a hotel. Both small and large accommodation hotels and restaurants use geo-targeting to customize services as per the location for the customer.

Digitally, this can be achieved through paid ads, marketing emails, and collaboration with complementing service providers such as travel and food. These deals could be tailor-made for travel agents who stir business offline. Technologies like SAMMY provide an option to integrate online and offline actions of the customer and provide relevant communication that is location-specific.

Email marketing

Holiday-themed emails, exclusive offers for repeat customers, and service-specific emails are a few ways to capture the attention of your customer. Personalization can be effectively automated through email marketing. Name, offer, discount rates, service names, offer periods, follow messages can all be personalized. PMS data, time of the day, subject lines and CTAs are few areas where constant optimization can happen.

Leverage AI

Though a hotel treats one family of four people as a single customer, AI would show you four different selling propositions. Specific data of each occupant could be used to provide family packages that include targeted offers and promotions. This happens by enriching the customer profiles. With a customer experience management platform, you can capture data and enrich profiles without having to intrude.

The consumption and behavior patterns, habits are captured into the guest engagement system. They are further attributed to respective customer personas. If the confectionary section of the hotel wants to sell pastries over Christmas eve, then families with a sweet tooth and children could be sent this information.

Integrate Technology and Management Systems

Poor data quality, inability to link different technologies, and lack of relevant technology are the top three barriers for customer personalization. (Source: Marketing Charts) This implies the importance of finding a solution that understands other technology and management systems. It adds ease to the integration process, creating a bigger repository of data for targeted marketing.

Automate Guest Journey:

A guest’s journey begins even before she arrives at the hotel’s location. The customer journey and experience begins from the time of intent. That from the point in time where a prospect intends to use a hotel for a given purpose. It continues during the stay and after the guest vacates. This intricate process cannot be manually charted for each guest. Platforms like SAMMY can help automate these customer journeys integrating with your organization’s software ecosystem.

Know Your Guest — Inside Out

Intelligent guest insights will help drive your hotel revenues. The first step would be to acquire data that builds each customer persona, store it and keep it in an accessible format for the hotel management and technologies. Use the data while designing targeted marketing campaigns so that you include both online and offline touch points. Measure them against effectiveness, efficiency and revenue generation.

A customer engagement platform like SAMMY gives you enhanced ability to understand your customer’s behavioural patterns from sources such as Wi-Fi, Native apps, social media, booking engines, POS systems and web-portals to give your employees actionable insights and drive targeted promotions.

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