How Integration of Social Guest Intelligence is Providing the Competitive Edge
By Josiah MacKenzie Vice President , ReviewPro | February 08, 2015
Recently, I was in Florence to give a keynote presentation on the topic of innovation to Italy's travel business leaders. What's interesting is that something happened in that region 500 years ago under the influence of the Medici family is something that we can all learn from today.
The Medicis were a banking family in Florence who funded creators from a wide range of disciplines. Thanks to this family and a few others like it, the best practitioners in diverse fields - artists, scientists, philosophers, bankers and architects - converged in the city of Florence, meeting each other, learning from each other, breaking down the barriers between disciplines and cultures and creating a new world based on new ideas that emerged from convergence of diverse disciplines. The city became a catalyst for creativity - a hotbed of innovation that reverberates through history to this day.
Historians have written a number of books written about Florence during this time, one of the more popular recent ones being The Medici Effect. As author Frans Johansson states, "When you step into an intersection of fields, disciplines, or cultures, you can combine existing concepts into a large number of extraordinary new ideas."
Fast forward to today.
Over the past 5-7 years, the hotel industry has focused on how specific social and mobile platforms are changing the landscape - yet the real change has been less about any single technology, and more about the reality of what those technologies bring: more communication, more connectivity, more transparency.
Underneath all of this is the real opportunity for hoteliers – guest intelligence - and infusing that intelligence into every area of their operation. Something that could bring "The Medici effect" of cross-functional innovation to the hotel industry. Capitalizing on this opportunity means you don't merely use certain guest-centric technologies, but move towards becoming a guest-centric company in every dimension: aligning your organizational culture around the needs and wants of your guests. This ultimately creates the most bulletproof type of advantage.