Big Data for Hoteliers

By Frank Vertolli Co-Founder, Net Conversion | August 18, 2013

Co-authored by Ryan Fitzgerald, Co-Founder, Net Conversion

"Companies have access to vastly more information than they used to, it comes from many more different sources than before, and they can get it almost as soon as it's generated." - The Wall Street Journal

There is an ever-increasing amount of guest intelligence available to hoteliers, and it can be overwhelming. Big data is a hot topic across business sectors, but in many ways the travel industry has been a data-rich channel for years. Make it more manageable, and effective, by getting back to the basics and evaluating current data as it relates to your goals.

Big Data is a Journey, Not a Destination

It's true, and it doesn't matter where you are on the journey. Start simple. We find when working with our clients that most hotels and resorts already have a substantial amount of data. It's just not organized and accessible. Using the tips and tools below, you can gather a surprising amount of data on your consumers and begin to put together the puzzle of who is coming to your website, who is staying with you and how they are getting there.

  • Website Metrics - The website is the most important consumer touch point, outside of the travel experience itself, as it offers the most comprehensive source of what your business has to offer, branded your way. Also, travelers are often in the early stages of the planning process when they visit your website. This is a gold mine for data, from click throughs to bounce rates, and other behavior.

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Coming up in February 2019...

Social Media: Getting Personal

There Social media platforms have revolutionized the hotel industry. Popular sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube and Tumblr now account for 2.3 billion active users, and this phenomenon has forever transformed how businesses interact with consumers. Given that social media allows for two-way communication between businesses and consumers, the emphasis of any marketing strategy must be to positively and personally engage the customer, and there are innumerable ways to accomplish that goal. One popular strategy is to encourage hotel guests to create their own personal content - typically videos and photos -which can be shared via their personal social media networks, reaching a sizeable audience. In addition, geo-locational tags and brand hashtags can be embedded in such posts which allow them to be found via metadata searches, substantially enlarging their scope. Influencer marketing is another prevalent social media strategy. Some hotels are paying popular social media stars and bloggers to endorse their brand on social media platforms. These kinds of endorsements generally elicit a strong response because the influencers are perceived as being trustworthy by their followers, and because an influencer's followers are likely to share similar psychographic and demographic traits. Travel review sites have also become vitally important in reputation management. Travelers consistently use social media to express pleasure or frustration about their guest experiences, so it is essential that every review be attended to personally. Assuming the responsibility to address and correct customer service concerns quickly is a way to mitigate complaints and to build brand loyalty. Plus, whether reviews are favorable or unfavorable, they are a vital source of information to managers about a hotel's operational performance.  The February Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to effectively incorporate social media strategies into their businesses.