Why On-The-Go Financial Technology is Critical for Today's Hotelier

By Scott Watson Executive Vice President of Sales & Marketing, M3 Accounting + Analytics | January 06, 2019

This article was co-authored by Casi Johnson

Co-authored by Casi Johnson Chief Operations Officer& Innovations Leader, M3 Accounting + Analytics

Today's hotelier is constantly on the go-boarding planes and hailing Ubers-all while trying to keep tabs on multiple properties at once and make critical business decisions that drive financial performance for the brand as a whole. With the upswing of development and competition in the industry and rising demands from potential guests and online travel agencies, hotel operators are being asked to deliver bigger, better data faster-without the increase in personnel and resources they need. The same struggle applies when it comes to managing property finances and business accounts.

To navigate this balancing act, it is critical to adopt a mobile solution that's designed like a "Fitbit" for hoteliers to track performance and improve financial health on-the-fly. The benefits of replacing physical logbooks and outdated radios with mobile devices are innumerable.

For starters, here are four of the top assets that make mobile technology a no-brainer for today's hotel business leaders:

Guest Personalization

Ultimately, the end goal of a successful mobile strategy should be improving the customer experience, from check-in to checkout. Anyone who has recently stayed in a branded hotel has likely had the option to avoid all human interaction, if desired. Mobile check-in has become the norm, complete with room maps that allow potential guests to select their preferred room before they arrive. 

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Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.