The Big Data Revolution Within the Hospitality Industry

Uncovering a Traveler's 'Digital Profile'

By Rahul Razdan CEO, Ocoos | March 27, 2016

Big Data will provide a complete "digital profile" of current and prospective guests, enabling hotel executives to create more effective marketing and communications campaigns. This opportunity, available for all and affordable to all, will transform the way hoteliers interact with travelers; it will revolutionize this relationship for the better by making outreach more direct, personal and relevant. Thus, these benefits are too important to ignore - they are too substantial to dismiss - since the result will be a more intimate and gracious expression of loyalty from hotel executives on behalf of their most loyal supporters. Welcome to the big dividends of Big Data.

Attention, hotel executives: Every morsel of information about every guest – past, present and future – already exists; it is available for you to analyze, scrutinize, read, review and examine; it is decipherable, thanks to a revolution in technology and a transformation in pricing, where data – all those ones and zeroes, in perfect correspondence to each person’s digital profile – reveal how, when and why to customize your marketing to each patron . . . without busting your budget.

This series of events is worthy of the word revolution because, when you look at the way hoteliers try to attract new guests and retain current visitors, when you look at the expensive advertising campaigns by global brands and the more modest initiatives from boutique destinations, the type of messaging is, for all intents and purposes, the same.

These efforts, through print, radio, TV and various forms of online media, tell the public what a specific hotel is; whether it is an international chain that chooses to summarize its values with a slogan, or whether it is an independent hotelier that seeks to highlight its emphasis on exceptional service – either company spends the majority of its time talking about itself, never bothering to learn how to speak to each individual guest, who has his or her own respective interests.

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Big Data changes this relationship for the better.

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Eco-Friendly Practices: The Greening of Your Bottom Line

There are strong moral and ethical reasons why a hotel should incorporate eco-friendly practices into their business but it is also becoming abundantly clear that “going green” can dramatically improve a hotel's bottom line. When energy-saving measures are introduced - fluorescent bulbs, ceiling fans, linen cards, lights out cards, motion sensors for all public spaces, and energy management systems - energy bills are substantially reduced. When water-saving equipment is introduced - low-flow showerheads, low-flow toilets, waterless urinals, and serving water only on request in restaurants - water bills are also considerably reduced. Waste hauling is another major expense which can be lowered through recycling efforts and by avoiding wastefully-packaged products. Vendors can be asked to deliver products in minimal wrapping, and to deliver products one day, and pick up the packaging materials the next day - generating substantial savings. In addition, renewable sources of energy (solar, geothermal, wind, etc.) have substantially improved the economics of using alternative energies at the property level. There are other compelling reasons to initiate sustainability practices in their operation. Being green means guests and staff are healthier, which can lead to an increase in staff retention, as well as increased business from health conscious guests. Also, sooner or later, all properties will be sold, and green hotels will command a higher price due to its energy efficiencies. Finally, some hotels qualify for tax credits, subsidies and rebates from local, regional and federal governments for the eco-friendly investments they've made in their hotels. The May issue of the Hotel Business Review will document how some hotels are integrating sustainable practices into their operations and how their hotels are benefiting from them.