Looking Ahead on User Generated Content (UGC)
By Lisa Ross President & Partner, rbb Communications | November 17, 2019
Today's consumers are socially networked, technologically active and very well informed. The effect is a complete transformation of consumer purchasing habits and Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) have adapted accordingly. To stay competitive, the hospitality industry has responded by evolving how and where it connects with travelers.
Yet, this only represents half of the equation that hotels must have in place if they're to be successful. Independent properties and hotel brands alike have the added task of creating rich experiences that drive differentiation in the marketplace as well as opportunities to offer guests personalized experiences that translate into value add.
According to Deloitte Consulting's white paper Next Gen Hotel Guests Have Checked In: The Changing Guest Experience, "-truly knowing your guests-what they have told you, what they request, what you have learned, and what should be implied-should yield larger results."
Millennials and UGC
In other words, satisfied guests are likely to become loyal guests and the positive user generated content (UGC) that they post to their social media accounts and review platforms like TripAdvisor will have a ripple effect on future bookings by other potential guests. The white paper Talking to Strangers: Millennials Trust People Over Brands, published by The Center for Generational Kinetics, Bazaarvoice and Kelton Research, states that 32 to 39 percent of Millennials won't book a hotel or travel experience that doesn't use UGC marketing.
Not only are peer-to-peer recommendations free, but they also inspire greater trust, helping consumers cut through the marketing and advertising messages with which they are inundated. Then there's also the fact that 69 percent of Millennials experience "Fear of Missing Out" or FOMO and, according to the Eventbrite paper Millennials: Fueling the Experience Economy, UGC hits that emotion head-on.