Big data as a concept has earned tremendous popularity over the last few years, but most entrepreneurs still believe that it is strictly reserved for international corporations and high-end IT projects. The truth is exactly the opposite since data analytics is already capable of helping businesses of all sizes thrive and grow long-term.
The hospitality industry is not an exception to this rule as top-performing hotels already utilize the power of big data to boost performance and maximize the profit. You are probably wondering: How is that possible?
If you are eager to find out, keep reading to see nine reasons every hotel should take advantage of big data. Let's take a look!
Segment the Target Audience
Hotels vary by size and purpose, with each trying to attract highly specific audience groups. A report reveals that more than a billion people travel every year, which makes it practically impossible for any hotel to indulge such an incredible variety of personal needs and interests.
What you can do, however, is to use big data analytics to segment the customers and perfect your offer. Instead of making strategic decisions through guesswork, you can accurately identify your target audience and concentrate marketing and sales efforts on this cohort.
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Hotel management is not cheap. You don't even have to be a hospitality industry expert to realize that maintenance, cleaning, and all other services come with a hefty price tag. In such circumstances, big data comes in quite nicely as it enables managers to cut costs while keeping the same level of operational efficiency.
Big data is particularly useful here. Instead of hiring too many or too few employees, you can now prepare for seasonal peaks and save money by avoiding over-employment.
Real-Time Price Adjustments
Online booking has become the new norm in the hospitality industry, but it requires much more you're your manual work. The only way to make the system alive and kicking is to use Artificial Intelligence and big data analytics.
Advanced booking platforms can analyze and forecast customer demand on the go, thus making sure to set optimal prices in real-time. This type of booking strategy takes productivity to a higher level and gives you the opportunity to boost revenue with every guest who visits your hotel.
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A typical hotel hosts thousands of travelers annually. This basically means you will get thousands of online reviews from happy or dissatisfied customers. It is quite a big deal as more than 90% of consumers trust reviews.
Now, keeping an eye on every single comment on business directories, travel advisors, and social networks is impossible if you don't rely on big data analytics. Such a system is able to track and follow brand-related reviews and mentions, so you can quickly reply to each comment and do your best to protect the reputation of your hotel.
Big data revolutionized marketing because it made it much more personal and targeted. Instead of sending "one size fits all" marketing messages, you can filter through millions of customers and design highly relevant offers for each prospect individually.
This is possible because big data takes into account the entire history of hotels' interactions with a given traveler, while it also collects information from third-party providers.
For instance, a person searching for "hotels in Venice" on Google will start seeing targeted Venice-related ads all over the Internet. It's not magic, but rather big data in action.
We already discussed the financial segment of the hospitality industry, but we need to mention another reason to utilize big data. Namely, you can also improve revenue management by analyzing every aspect of the business. That includes features such as occupancy rates, traveling trends, annual booking comparisons, and a whole bunch of additional key performance indicators. When combined, these indicators will help you to optimize services and grow revenue steadily.
Improve Customer Experience
Do you feel like you could improve the overall customer experience, but don't really know how to do it or what to begin with? If yes, perhaps you should analyze visitor-related data and extrapolate meaningful conclusions.
First of all, big data will assist you in identifying the most common and acute flaws within the system. And secondly, it will pinpoint the latest trends among travelers and give you valuable advice on how to prepare for the coming seasons.
Identify Missing Services
This benefit of big data analytics is closely related to the previous one. Namely, big data can help you to identify missing services that your guests would really appreciate. It will make your hotel a much more comfortable place to visit and make a serious impression on your clients.
Besides that, big data can identify obsolete services. Instead of wasting time and money on keeping them alive, you can cut costs and shift your focus to the more useful features.
Finally, big data can monitor your closest competitors and give you precious insights related to their sales and marketing strategies. It will help you to stay one step ahead of your competitors and increase the customer loyalty rate.
But that's not the only benefit of competitor research. On the contrary, big data has a global reach and it can discover interesting offers, trends, and services on a global scale. You can use these findings to adjust the portfolio and attract more visitors to the hotel.
The Bottom Line
Big data sounds futuristic, but it is already alive and reshaping the hospitality industry. In this post, we talked about the top nine ways hotels should make use of big data analytics to improve their performance. Have you tried any of these features already?
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