Hotel market data analysis is not about the amount of data you collect, but rather the insights you can uncover within your data and how you use it to your hotel’s advantage.
The strongest hotels rely on data to shape their distribution and marketing strategies and harness it to influence all their major decision-making.
The data you decide to focus on is going to make a big difference in the direction your hotel business takes.
The key is to find a correlation between data sets, and realising why you’re getting the results you are.
It’s important to filter and ensure the insights you gain are in aid of a consistent purpose and building towards a consolidated brand image for your guests to engage with.
This means collecting data in an accurate and efficient manner, preferably with a product that is simple and customisable.
How have guests and their expectations changed?
These days, hotels need to concentrate their efforts more on understanding the customer on a personal level rather than an occupancy stat or some kind of algorithm.
The reason for this is that consumers now have more power than ever and businesses need to be aware it’s not easy to keep up with growing expectations for service and higher standards for satisfaction.
The digital revolution has been a massive driver for change as far as consumer perspective is concerned. Travellers are now able to pull as much information as they could possibly want on their own, giving themselves more choice and a greater desire for top quality service.
The result is they are less susceptible to any one brand ‘pushing’ information to them or trying to influence their buying decisions. Furthermore, the path to purchase is more complicated because the customer may take a delayed or diverted route to a booking instead of flowing down a traditional funnel.
Millennials are at the forefront of this movement. At the moment they represent the future majority of the market. It’s speculated they will outnumber baby boomers by 2030. The prominence of social media and mobile devices has meant the opinions of young travellers in particular are greatly amplified and spread quicker, meaning positive promotion can be instant, but so can negative.
Hotels need to get it right and the first step is to realise marketing is now about multidirectional engagement, where positive reinforcement for consumer decisions is necessary.
Hotels also have to project an image of social responsibility, environmental awareness, transparency, and sincerity lest they be caught up in a viral scandal.
What data do hotels have to focus on?
The biggest factor hotels need to take note of is consumer behaviour and guest reviews in as fine detail as possible. Given that 89% of travellers believe reviews are influential to bookings, the goal should be to create a personalised experience for each and every customer based on the data a hotel can glean from them.
It’s been proven that a more personalised form of email marketing can increase open rate by 25%. To achieve this, alternative forms of data collection can be trialled such as staff reporting on their interactions with guests throughout a day or week. Not everything has to be done by numbers.
You can use review data not only to personalise a guest’s experience but to shape your marketing and promotion. If on TripAdvisor you constantly see the location or amenities of your hotel praised, this is what you should strongly push on your social media or website.
Conversely, if you’re seeing some negative comments about value or transaction experience try to keep a low profile until you’ve sorted out the kinks. The difficult and unavoidable issue is that unhappy guests are usually more vocal and extended in their comments, so quality service is at a premium.
No successful strategy can be implemented without first possessing accurate data so make sure your hotel has a process in place to resource as much data as you can.