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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Hotel Group Meetings: The Need for Speed

2017 was a banner year in the Hotel Group Meetings marketplace and that trend is expected to continue throughout 2018. Planners are experiencing a renewed sense of confidence due to a reinvigorated economy and increased job creation, which typically provides a boost in corporate meetings. Given this promising outlook, planners are maintaining a fast and furious pace, and they are utilizing an array of technologies to speed things up. For example, planner requests and proposals are expected to be turned around quickly; the mantra seems to be “as soon as possible, or sooner!” To that end, the use of electronic Request for Proposals (eRFPs) to source hotels and venues has increased in recent years, bringing many timely benefits to the Meetings industry. As a result, in order for hotels to attract and book meetings, they have to be willing to operate with a sense of urgency, which is the new baseline for success. Once on property, the need for speed doesn't diminish. Poken is a cloud-based event management platform, which enables attendees to easily and quickly connect, network and share contact info. ClickShare is a wireless presentation system that permits others in the meeting room to share their laptop with the presenter screen at the push of a button. Skype is useful in order to engage with remote participants in real time, and dedicated apps are being routinely used to drive registration and communication before, during and after a meeting. Finally, text messaging is replacing emailing and phone calls simply because it's quicker. The September Hotel Business Review will examine issues relevant to group meetings and will report on what some hotels are doing to promote this sector of their operations.