Personalization is one of the key factors that affects guests’ choice of booking via a third party rather than directly with the hotel. By using past guest data, OTAs offer personalized deals that are tailored to the guest’s interests and travel history.
Hotels can now use AI tools to personalize guest experiences automatically and even better than OTAs. By focusing on improving guest satisfaction through personalization, hotels can effectively compete with OTAs and nearby hotels and attract more guests.
In this article, we will explore why personalization is an effective strategy for hotels to differentiate themselves from OTAs and competitors, as well as win back direct bookings. We will also provide two simple steps to get started with personalization and six proven strategies for personalized hotel marketing campaigns.
- Beyond One-Size-Fits-All: Why Personalization is Game-Changer in the Hospitality Industry
- 6 Must-Know Strategies for Personalized Hotel Marketing Campaigns
- Get Started with Personalization: 2 Simple Steps
Beyond One-Size-Fits-All: Why Personalization is Game-Changer in the Hospitality Industry
In today’s digital age, hotels need to follow the example of OTAs and start leveraging personalization strategies as part of their marketing efforts. It can be challenging to gather and analyze the vast amounts of data required to start crafting personalizes campaigns.
Fortunately, customer data platforms leverage machine learning algorithms to analyze guest data from multiple sources. This includes loyalty programs, booking history, past experiences, weather conditions, social media, and website interactions.
As a result, you can get a comprehensive profile of each individual guest, including a 360-degree view. The wealth of data enables hotels to send highly effective, personalized campaigns that are more likely to resonate with the guest. Overall, it’s ultimately leading to increased engagement, guest satisfaction and revenue.
3 Key Benefits of Personalization
1. One of the key advantages of using personalization is that hotels can even reach out to guests who have previously booked through an OTA. By analyzing guest data and identifying past OTA bookers, customer data platforms like Directful can identify guests who are likely to book directly with the hotel in the future and create hyper personalized marketing campaigns to target them.
2. Personalized campaigns have a significant impact on guests’ loyalty and can boost direct bookings.
3. Another significant advantage of offering personalized campaigns is that hotels can avoid violating OTA rate parity clauses, which prohibit hotels from offering lower rates on their websites than on OTAs. For example, a hotel could offer personalized packages & offers to past guests, without publishing it on their main website.
6 Must-Know Strategies for Personalized Hotel Marketing Campaigns
Let’s explore 6 proven strategies for personalized hotel marketing campaigns that can help your hotel build stronger guest relationships and drive more revenue and profitability.
1. Regain Lapsed Guests Who Haven’t Booked in a While
One of the most effective personalization strategies for hotels is to create personalized campaigns for guests who haven’t booked in a while. It’s not uncommon for guests to fall off the radar, especially in the current climate where travel has been disrupted by the pandemic.
However, with the right personalized campaigns, you can target lapsed guests with customized promotions and offers and encourage them to book a stay directly.
According to a studies conducted by Deloitte, 78% of guests believe that personalization in hospitality is a sign that the hotel cares about their business. Also, 65% of guests expect hotels to remember their preferences and use them to enhance their stay.
By segmenting guests based on their past behavior and preferences, hotels can target guests who have only made reservations during certain periods. For instance, a hotel could send personalized campaigns to guests who previously booked during the Christmas holidays with a promotion for a special holiday package. This approach can be highly effective in winning back lapsed guests and increasing revenue.
This is especially important during times of lower demand, when it can be challenging to attract new guests. For example, Directful’s guest segmentation tools can help hotels identify guests who haven’t returned to the property within a specified timeframe, such as the last 3, 6, or 12 months. This allows hotels to reach out to them with personalized campaigns and offers, which can optimize occupancy rates and fill available rooms.
2. Win-Back Cancelled or No-Show Reservations
Win-back campaigns can help hotels recover lost revenue and demonstrate their commitment to guest satisfaction. These personalized campaigns are designed to target guests who have previously cancelled or no-showed their reservations.
By reaching out to these guests with customized promotions and offers, hotels can encourage them to re-book their stay and generate incremental revenue. This is especially important since cancellations or no-shows can result in a significant loss of revenue for the hotel.
Moreover, win-back campaigns also allow hotels to analyze guest feedback and behavior to identify common reasons for cancellations or no-shows. It’s an effective strategy for hotels to not only recover lost revenue but also build stronger relationships with their guests by showing that they value their business and are dedicated to providing exceptional guest experiences.
3. Target Guests Who Left a 5-Star Review
Targeting happy customers who have left a 5-star review is a smart strategy for hotels to capitalize on positive feedback and drive high value repeat bookings. By using customer data platforms to identify happy customers and personalizing the campaign to their specific needs and preferences, hotels can show their appreciation for the guest’s reservations and encourage them to return for future stays.
There are two significant benefits of targeting happy customers:
1) Helps hotels to build a loyal customer base.
2) Helps hotels to build a positive reputation online.
Happy customers who have stayed at a hotel multiple times and had positive experiences are more likely to be loyal to the hotel brand and feel a sense of connection to the hotel. They are also more likely to recommend the hotel to their friends and family or leave another positive review on popular review sites such as TripAdvisor. This also helps hotels to increase their visibility and boost their online reputation.
4. Tailor Offers for Guests in a Specific Geographic Area
Geofencing is a powerful marketing strategy that allows hotels to target guests who are near their property or in a specific location. To implement location-based personalization, hotels can use various tools and technologies, such as geolocation data, customer data platforms, and marketing automation software. With Directful, hotels can have all these tools in one platform.
Customers who receive location-based personalized contextually relevant messages are 59% more likely to purchase. This type of campaign is particularly effective for hotels located in urban areas or tourist destinations where there are likely to be many potential guests living within a certain radius of the property.
One example of a location-based campaign is inviting guests who live near the hotel to come for a staycation. Moreover, guests who book a staycation at a hotel are more likely to spend money on other hotel amenities, such as dining, spa services, or activities, which can drive revenue growth for the hotel.
5. Engage with Guests Based on Membership Tiers
Hotels have two main target audiences for their marketing efforts: members and non-members. While both groups may have different needs and preferences, hotels can use targeted marketing strategies to effectively reach and engage with each audience.
For example, by creating personalized campaigns for non-members, hotels can effectively promote their loyalty programs and encourage more sign-ups. According to a survey by Oracle Hospitality, 86% of hotel guests find it compelling to fill out a questionnaire about their personal preferences as part of a new loyalty program membership.
Personalized campaigns based on hotel membership tiers are an effective way for hotels to reward loyal guests and increase guest retention, by creating personalized campaigns that are targeted towards each individual guest’s membership tier. By offering customized promotions, exclusive discounts, and other personalized experiences based on a guest’s membership level, hotels can create a sense of exclusivity and enhance the guest experience.
Additionally, personalized campaigns based on membership tiers can also help hotels to increase revenue. By offering exclusive promotions and discounts to guests in higher membership tiers, hotels can incentivize guests to book more stays and spend more on-site. Furthermore, such campaigns can help hotels to drive revenue growth, improve the hotel’s bottom line, foster a deeper connection with their guests and differentiate themselves from OTAs.
6. Attract Guests to Your Hotel Through Local Events
Event-based personalized campaigns can be a highly effective strategy for hotels to increase revenue, drive guest engagement, and build stronger customer relationships. By leveraging event data and tailoring campaigns to specific guest preferences, hotels can create a truly personalized offers for guests attending events. This can include promotions on room rates, dining, transportation, and other services, which can help to incentivize guests to book directly with the hotel.
Personalized campaigns targeted at guests attending events can help to improve guest satisfaction and loyalty. By providing relevant information about schedules or offer complimentary transportation options, hotels can help guests feel more informed and prepared, which can lead to a better overall stay experience and sets a hotel apart from the competition.
For example, sports events are a highly popular reason for people to travel, and hotels can tap into the lucrative sports tourism market, which is estimated to be worth billions of dollars worldwide. With the help of customer data platforms, hotels can identify sports enthusiasts, like a group of guest who are golf fans, and create personalized campaigns that cater to their interests.
Get Started with Personalization: 2 Simple Steps
The implementation of personalized campaigns has posed significant challenges for hoteliers, including data privacy concerns, balancing automation with human touch, managing the vast amounts of guest data that they collect. In this context, technologies can prove to be a valuable ally in addressing these challenges.
Here are 2 Simple Steps for Hotels to Get Started with Personalization
1. Firstly, hotels should consider working with a reliable customer data platform that integrate with their existing systems. Nowadays, the data integration process can be quick and simple, as many platforms are designed to work seamlessly with hotel PMS, booking engines, and other systems. For example, with Directful platform, getting started takes only 15 minutes.
Once integration is completed, machine learning algorithms will begin analyzing data and identify trends and patterns in guest behavior. One of the most important aspects is that, such tools can predict the guest’s most likely time to make a new booking and help hotels reach out to them at the most opportune time.
2. The next step is to create a personalization campaign. For example, marketing automation platforms, like Directful, provide a simple drag-and-drop campaign builder that allows hotels to use pre-built templates that are designed by marketing experts and based on best practices. Instead of starting from scratch, hotels can use these templates as a starting point and then customize them to fit their specific needs.
In addition, with customization options, hotels can add their own branding, messaging, and content to the campaigns, allowing them to create personalized campaigns that still reflect their unique brand and voice. Ultimately, this leads to higher conversion rates and increased revenue.
Overall, personalization is no longer an optional strategy in the hospitality industry. 45% of people said they generally ignore communications from companies unless they’re personalized for them. Hotels that effectively leverage personalization can gain a competitive advantage over their competitors and win more direct bookings.
Not only does personalization increase guest loyalty and engagement, but it can also lead to higher conversion rates and revenue for hotels. Therefore, it is crucial for hotels to prioritize personalization as a key element of their marketing and guest experience efforts and incorporate modern technologies.