Source: VIDEO: Personalization and its impact on hotels – past, present and future | PhocusWire
Kevin May hosted a panel of industry leaders to discuss what personalization for hotels and hospitality is in the current Digital Media. The panel included Charlie Osmond of Triptease, Nancy Rademaker of Nexxworks, Antonio Figueiredo of Salesforce and Gary Mayger of PROS. This blog summaries salient points and the insights of the discussion.
What is Personalization for Hotel Guests?
Kevin – Personalization is a powerful tool where a company knows what you want to buy before you even thought about it. What do you think it is?
Charlie – Hoteliers do personalization very well, every day, all the time, in a face-to-face way.
Example: On arriving at this hotel, a concierge noted I had no suitcase and was looking around. He asked: “are you attending an event?” – Perfect personalization.
Much of the time, we may try to sell a room when they want to know where to go for a pint. Different people have different needs and you should treat them in different ways.
Tony – People are trying to get more and more connected. You need to be in front of them for every step of the journey: Pre-stay, The Trip, The Stay, Post-Stay.
If you only connect when they are in the hotel, it’s too late.
It’s about the mindset of the experience – from the inspiration to completion of the journey and return.
Garry – It’s about interpretation of needs based on behavior. Then ensure friction-less delivery of recommendations instantly. The most important piece is that it has to be friction-less.
Nancy – Unlearning old patterns is where we fall short. Unlearning is about being open to new experiences and getting in touch with the people who are experiencing with you.
Understand what the Chinese want. It’s a massive new customer group that we know little about. We need to get out there and experiment.
Charlie – Go to your coffee shop and ask people to book your hotel. You will be amazed. We send our designers out to interview and interact with people who may use our product.
When is Personalization Most Effective?
Kevin – What phase of the buying cycle does personalization work best in?
Garry – People don’t wait anymore. Get the offer right at every phase.
Tony – Ask, “have you stayed with us before?”, when they first inquire. We miss that too often and it’s very powerful if you know they have and can gain access to their information. Repeat clients are high-value and the highest value customers get different treatment.
Charlie – Lifetime value of your client is the key, not just what the value is on this occasion! It’s at the beginning that it really counts. Get the offer right at every stage, starting with the first step.
Tony – Sell at ever stage. Sell Earlier – Sell Relevantly – Sell Direct – Sell More.
Who is Most likely to Succeed and Benefit From it?
Kevin – Are OTAs in a better chance of winning in personaliztion because they have so much data?
Nancy – The Chinese because they have one integrated centralized system. In China, precision marketing is at the next level as it’s all on the same platform.
Charlie – OTAs have a good chance of winning / profiting as they have the data. But Google could really nail it. They use info in your emails to personalize your recommendations.
Garry – Content must be bookable and the offer must be trusted. What I see is what I get. You must get it right the first time and every time.
We are missing this a lot in the very segmented data and get it wrong too many times.
Is Creepiness an Issue?
I.e., is their too much access to personal information and prying?
Garry – I don’t worry about it. I think it’s a very low risk. People’s imagination is far greater that the reality.
Nancy – My daughters, who are in their early 20’s, don’t care what you do so long as it helps them.
Tony – The sharing economy around data is going to get more and more evolved. Just watch how it’s going to be nudged up. Creepy is not an issue if it helps and adds value.
Garry – For my Dad, everything is creepy but my 19-year-old son will just go for it.
Millennial’s don’t care and they are the future!
More To Watch and Hear
The discussion went far deeper than this summary. I just pulled out bits that resonate with me. It goes on to discuss Amazon, which everyone says is going to be a challenge. But no one knows quite how and when. Remember: they tried before and gave up, so next time, they must get it right… maybe with an acquisition. See the Webinar here
For more on Personalization and Artificial Intelligence and Behavior Responsive systems see:
Barbados Gets Personal
Mood Matchmaker – New Frontier of Travel
Marriott’s Personality Quiz Helps Personalize The Experience
Machine Learning Insights for Hospitality
Insights Instagram, luxury, millennials, pinterest Millennials redefine luxury and spur changes in marketing
Millennial (born between 1981-1997) are the fastest growing customer segment in the hospitality industry, and by 2005 they will account for 50 per cent of all travelers.
Much has been done to understand this market segment and how they research, engage and book. All point to a shift to digital media. American Express survey recently found that more than 72 % of Millennial travelers prefer to spend money on experiences than things.
As they say “millennials redefine luxury experiences”. They love to travel to discover and experience! “Quality and time off are top priorities, so they are willing to splurge on luxury.” They are about to redefine luxury experiences & marketing. The article by e-hotelier concludes that to Millennials requires “a strong emphasis on empathy and personal customer connection.” Social media is a vital part now of any marketing to this sector and should be used to engage, build trust, loyalty and community.
“Millennials get much of their news online, through blogs and whatever pops up when they are surfing the internet and especially Facebook. In addition, they pay attention to mainstream top tier media like Conde Nast Traveler, The Wall Street Journal, The Huffington Post and The New York Times. Those carry tremendous influence. The stories that appear online from such outlets are highly valued by Google, and indexed at the top of a search.” Articles published on the authority sites are highly influential and also create backlinks that are invaluable.
We have noted before how important experiences are becoming and this article empathizes the need to create personal experiences.
Personality branding that fascinates and connects with travelers is making great strides in winning the minds of traveleers who are looking for more personal holidays that reflect the qualities of their character.
Check out e-hotelier article by Lorraine Abelow
By Lorraine Abelow
Lorraine has had a 30 year, award-winning, boutique travel PR firm in New York City and is at the forefront of trends affecting traditional and digital media. Her firm has represented such blue-chip names as Four Seasons and Hilton Hotels, as well as boutique properties across the globe and island destinations including St Barth’s and Necker. The agency’s affordable hotel PR and digital campaigns are designed to move the needle regularly gaining eye-catching feature exposure in such top outlets as The New York Times, Travel and Leisure and Conde Nast Traveler. For more information about this boutique New York City PR firm visit www.AbelowPR.com. You can contact her at Lorraine@AbelowPR.com or 203-226-9247.
March 14th, 2017|