Using your hotel revenue strategy to target the right guests for maximum business results
- Hotels no longer need to blindly market to their guests
- Hotels use futurecasting to better target guests with increased chances of booking
- Hotel chain sees click-through-rates increase over 20%, improves average booking revenue by over 16%
It’s that time of year when hotels are eager to maximize their summer holiday months, enticing guests to purchase more premium rooms, stay longer and spend more while onsite. We’ve all seen those “Endless Summer” campaigns, where an email goes out to an entire database to try and get more heads in beds when the weather is still warm, but occupancy has begun to wane. Those key challenges usually include Sunday nights, weekdays without groups and those tricky weeks in August where some schools are back in session and others are still on summer break.
We know there is still demand in the market; it’s why we built the campaign in the first place. But how can marketing and revenue management target that unique offer to the potential guests with the greatest chance of booking? By futurecasting their way to more business. If you’re looking to beat the competition on your STR report this summer season, then consider the following when building a marketing strategy to drive more direct business.
Shape Your Revenue Strategy with Forward-Looking Market Data
Have you ever gone a trip halfway around the world and upon returning home, received emails offering weekly spa discounts from the hotel you stayed at? What’s worse is that you didn’t even use the spa while you stayed there. This happens all too often; the reason being hotels lack the insight to provide a more personalized offer to potential repeat guests. Hotels have historically struggled to segment their guests (beyond traditional segmentation like corporate, FIT, e-commerce, etc.) and as a result, send blanket promotions to all email addresses in a database. The saying goes, “even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while,” but the reality is hotels no longer need to blindly market to their guests anymore.
Forward-looking market intelligence gives hotels the power to futurecast. You no longer have to just look to the past to plan for the future. Predictive demand intelligence gives you real human insights into the behaviors of potential customers in your market. IDeaS provides a powerful layer of data, made available through nSight for IDeaS, that gives marketers and revenue managers this unique competitive advantage. Only with this type of data can you look into the future and identify your dates with the greatest opportunity.
And your strategy isn’t just improved from an occupancy perspective, but from a search perspective as well. If the only thing you have time to do this summer is create a promotional campaign, then make sure you’re targeting dates where you stand to make the greatest impact. Demand intelligence provides a comprehensive view into the relative search volume in your market—not just at brand.com level—but across thousands of online travel sites. The level of insight this tool provides will pay for itself with one $200 booking each month.
Quality Will Bring the Quantity
For those of us that have the time and resources to further personalize offers, we can look beyond the best dates to target, and start considering the where and who that should be targeted. Only with nSight for IDeaS, can you slice the data to identify the source markets from where the business is coming from, all within your RMS As an example, if I see the greatest opportunity on weekdays in July and August, then I can view the top five markets for weekdays for the next 60 days where guests are searching for my hotel or my competition. Imagine the competitive advantage of knowing when and where to target potential guests.
A mid-size hotel chain based in Europe was recently able to apply these insights to a corporate marketing promotion to bolster weekday business. These hotels had very strong weekend demand but their weekdays were suffering; the centralized marketing team decided a targeted campaign was in order. With this type of insight, the marketing team was able to extract the top five source markets for each of their hotels and organize an email campaign to target guests in those markets. The offer required a multi-night length of stay with a stay-over on a weekday night. They fenced this by enforcing a booking window of seven days once the guest received the email. This created a sense of urgency to encourage guests to act, and allowed them to modify and adjust the offer in the following weeks as they monitored production in real time.
The click-through-rates on their campaign increased by over 20%, despite sending the email to fewer customers, and they were able to get more engagement by targeting quality potential guests with the greatest likelihood to book the promotion. In addition to their improved conversion, the average revenue for these bookings was 16% greater than normal. This means that not only were these guests targeted for “need” nights, but they also drove a greater ADR and length of stay for the hotel, resulting in more profitable direct bookings. Even if they only applied this promotion to their need dates without the consideration of source markets, this campaign would still have generated incremental business at a higher ADR over distressed days.
It’s these kind of analytical capabilities that help align marketing and revenue management so both can meet their goals and provide their hotels with the greatest profitability. IDeaS continues to integrate meaningful and insightful forward-looking demand indicators into its solutions to ensure hoteliers have the most holistic view of their market to create an optimal revenue strategy. As your summer season comes to an end, make sure that your ability to maximize your marketing and revenue strategy does not.
Blake Madril joined IDeaS in 2014 with over 10 years of experience in hospitality operations, marketing, sales, technology and revenue management. In his most recent role with IDeaS Blake is responsible for global initiatives that support the market strategy and messaging for IDeaS’ extensive suite of revenue management solutions and services ultimately aimed at helping hotel executives maximize profitability for their hotels. He is a strong advocate for the discipline of revenue management and the convergence of hotel data solutions and job functions to bring the best experience possible for both hotels and their guests.
Prior to IDeaS Blake held positions at properties and hotel management companies that ranged from front office operations to sales and catering and multi-property revenue management. He has worked with global hotel brands and affiliations such as Hilton Worldwide, Intercontinental Hotels Group, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, Preferred Hotels & Resorts and Global Hotel Alliance, as well as luxury independent properties and limited service inns.
Blake holds a diploma in Business Administration from California State University, Fullerton and is currently based out of the IDeaS headquarters in Minneapolis, MN where he is a frequent blogger and evangelist for the optimization of total profitability for hotels and resorts.
An avid enthusiast of all things '90s and sitcoms, Blake recently took home 2nd place in a Saved by the Bell trivia contest. Words spoken right after accepting his trophy: "I'm so excited."