Personalization is one of the most exciting opportunities in the hospitality industry. Hotels that can customize guests’ stays stand out from the competition and deliver more memorable experiences to their guests. We have written previously about how personalization is upgrading the front desk experience and the guest life cycle. In order to understand how personalizing your digital marketing efforts can drive bookings and build customer loyalty, it’s helpful to look at a few examples of successful efforts:
KLM, the Dutch airline sends customized emails to travellers who have abandoned the checkout process, allowing them to easily pick up their buyer journey where they left off. They also strategically use their brand magazine to poll readers on their top five desired travel destinations—thus gathering useful data on the flights their guests may be most interested in at a future date. By relying on data about the traveller’s past preferences and current travel needs, KLM is better able to encourage a guest to return to the purchase page, or pique their interest with a relevant promotion. Strategically gathering guest data and applying it to digital marketing outreach allows the airline to turn lost opportunities into more bookings.
When the hotel chain’s marketing department was tasked with boosting app downloads, it applied personalization in a smart and subtle way. By tracking what kind of device a user was on when clicking a targeted email, Best Western was able to direct them automatically to the correct app store—Android users were sent to Google Play, while iPhone or iPad users were sent to the Apple Store. This removed a common point of friction from the consumer journey and led to a surge in downloads.
Best Western also uses geotargeting to pinpoint users’ locations and send them hyper-localized offers. For hoteliers, the ability to geotarget consumers can make a huge difference: rather than wasting digital marketing efforts with broader campaigns, geotargeting allows them to send the most relevant offers to the right customers. Using an integrations-rich PMS can allow you to promote personalized offers directly on your website through third party providers, so that you can convert guests while they’re already thinking about their next trip.
Measuring Your Own Efforts
There is no one-size-fits-all way to personalize your marketing efforts. There are, however, certain strategies that the most successful brands rely on to boost their marketing efforts and drive more bookings.
- Targeted Messaging: A shotgun approach to marketing is never fully effective, and thanks to modern CRM systems, it’s possible to deliver messaging targeted to highly specific segments of guests. The more refined your segmentation is, the more relevant and impactful your messaging can be.
- Behaviour Tracking: Visitors to your website leave behind a lot of valuable information even if they don’t book a stay. Monitoring what they search, view and click allows hotels to tailor their next interaction with each potential guest. A conversion is much more likely with a targeted offer or a personalized perk.
- Upselling: Guest data reveals what a person definitely wants and what they could potentially want. Marketing messages are most effective when they use data to recommend upgrades, enhancements and upsell offers that are particularly appealing to their future guests.
- Surveys: Marketing efforts can be used to collect data as well. Pairing targeted surveys with a simple reward is an easy way to make guest profiles more robust and learn about their most immediate wants and needs.
- Location Data: Knowing where potential guests are is a huge asset for targeting your digital marketing messaging. While this is complicated by the fact that guests are travelling to different locations, historic guest data can be accumulated to predict their booking behaviours.
Personalization promises to revolutionize hotel marketing, and hoteliers who want to stay ahead must have systems in place to collect, store, track and analyze guest data. The companies that excel in their efforts rely on best-in-class PMS systems to handle the heavy lifting. With the right tools, marketing managers can focus on applying insights rather than wrestling with data.
RoomKeyPMS provides the enterprise integration that a successful personalization effort requires. When you’re ready to connect with guests on an individual level, contact our team for a demonstration.