Adobe Digital Dialogue

Defining a hotel’s digital marketing strategy

Trav­el indus­try is boom­ing with growth and in India the demand for hotels is grow­ing at 12% annu­al­ly. The growth rate is sim­i­lar across APAC and a big por­tion of the growth can be attrib­uted to eas­i­ly avail­able infor­ma­tion relat­ed to places to vis­it, stay and trav­el options. A major­i­ty of the hotel guests now come from dig­i­tal chan­nels. Customer’s expec­ta­tions on the dig­i­tal chan­nels are ris­ing and putting pres­sure on the hotel brands to respond quick­ly.

As they say, with great traf­fic comes greater cus­tomer ser­vice, it is impor­tant for hotel’s mar­ket­ing teams to take care of cus­tomer expe­ri­ence on the dig­i­tal chan­nels. In a recent sur­vey on the trav­el and hos­pi­tal­i­ty indus­try, 90% users check the hotel’s web­site for infor­ma­tion on the prop­er­ty and book­ing. Inter­est­ing­ly, 92% of the hote­liers feel that their guests expect their stay to be per­son­al­ized around a set of choic­es they make pri­or to their arrival.

Deliv­er­ing a great cus­tomer expe­ri­ence starts from under­stand­ing the unique­ness inher­ent to every business’s goals and KPIs.
For a hotel’s busi­ness, in order to judge the cus­tomer expe­ri­ence, the KPIs that needs to be tracked are -

1. Occu­pan­cy Rate (OR) — Per­cent­age of booked inven­to­ry to the total inven­to­ry of rooms
2. Length of Stay (LOS) — Aver­age amount of time a guest stays. Some brands call this met­ric as URN (Used room nights)
3. Repeat Book­ings (RBs) — Total num­ber of book­ings done by guests who have stayed more than once

Trans­lat­ing this onto dig­i­tal, addi­tion­al KPIs needs to be tracked in order to com­plete­ly under­stand the qual­i­ty of cus­tomer expe­ri­ence on the dig­i­tal chan­nels.

4. Look to Book Ratio (LTB) — The num­ber of times a hotel prop­er­ty was viewed vs the num­ber of times it was booked
5. Num­ber of Cross Sells — Num­ber of times an ancil­lary prod­uct or ser­vice was sold along with the hotel book­ing
6. Bounce Rates and Time spent

Now once the KPIs are fixed, it becomes eas­i­er to under­stand what con­sti­tutes a good cus­tomer expe­ri­ence that will make the guests come back again to the dig­i­tal chan­nel or not. The mar­ket­ing team can now focus on cre­at­ing dig­i­tal strate­gies around influ­enc­ing user jour­neys and build­ing cus­tomer per­sona. Being dig­i­tal, a big part of any strat­e­gy is tech­nol­o­gy, be it the front end­ing con­tent man­age­ment sys­tems for hotel web­sites and Apps or the back­end book­ing engines. Choos­ing the right set of tech­nol­o­gy for your need is crit­i­cal and can lit­er­al­ly be the dif­fer­ence in mak­ing or break­ing a great cus­tomer expe­ri­ence.

After meet­ing the table stakes of deliv­er­ing a cus­tomer expe­ri­ence is the part where a hotel’s need to dif­fer­en­ti­ate itself from the rest comes in. Per­son­al­iz­ing the expe­ri­ence for hotel guests on dig­i­tal is a key theme that results in delight­ing the vis­i­tors. Inno­va­tions spe­cif­ic to dig­i­tal chan­nels are the ones that clear­ly demar­cate the lead­ers from the rest of the group. A lot of great hotel brands in the world are doing a lot of inter­est­ing dig­i­tal inno­va­tions that help them stand out of the pack.

Starwood Keyless

My favorite dig­i­tal inno­va­tion in this space is the intro­duc­tion of key­less by glob­al chain Star­wood Hotels and Resorts for their SPG mem­bers. Any SPG mem­ber can use Starwood’s mobile app to check in, choose their room and even unlock the door. I think it’s pret­ty cool!!!

Best of the best glob­al hotel brands like Mar­riott, Hilton, Hyatt and Star­wood to Indi­an giants like TAJ and ITC hotels today are imple­ment­ing suc­cess­ful strate­gies to win on dig­i­tal by gen­er­at­ing great cus­tomer expe­ri­ence. At Adobe, we help our cus­tomers nav­i­gate suc­cess­ful­ly in the dig­i­tal age by sup­ply­ing future ready tech­nol­o­gy plat­forms to deliv­er on inno­v­a­tive dig­i­tal strate­gies. Reach out to me if you wish to explore dig­i­tal strat­e­gy pos­si­bil­i­ties for your brand.

Customer Experience, Digital Marketing

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