Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Building Hotel Brand Loyalty Through Personalization

With intense competition between brands, hotels are finding that in order to gain and keep each customer’s loyalty, they must create a highly personalized experience. The guest experience must be unique at every step of the travel process. The planning pre-trip, time spent during the trip, and the post-trip need to make the guest feel as if their individual wants and needs have been met and even exceeded by the hotel. We’ll take a look at what hotels can do to personalize how future guests experience their hotel online.
The days of hotel marketers presenting cookie cutter content designed to appeal to all customers are gone. The key to winning over today’s traveler is to know the demographics of the hotel’s guests and shape content and create offers based on that information. From a larger perspective, what type of traveler stays at your hotel? What is compelling to a leisure traveler rarely will have any significance to the business traveler. But creating content that is structured and presented to appeal to the tastes of specific hotel guest segments requires much deeper demographic knowledge.
Technology, through websites and social media outlets, can provide hoteliers information to properly target their hotel marketing efforts. This is accomplished through tracking what users click on, likes on Facebook for example, and compiling them into valuable customer intelligence. The reverse works as well, making various offers and keeping track of who picks up an offer and what they do with specific incentives and rewards. Through these methods, specific users who are most actively engaged can be targeted with hotel marketing offers. Online cookies can be of great value in the process of personalization for hotel guests by recognizing each individual online user and automatically targeting them with special offers geared to their tastes and preferences.
Another area of personalized online hotel experience is making all searches relevant for each individual user. Hotel websites should deliver content that is contextually proper for the end user. Content should reflect knowledge of the user’s location also, as this may have a significant impact on their travel arrangements.
These factors are all of vital importance for the hotel that desires to stay ahead of their guests needs and desires, before they arrive on-property. In the next part in this series, we’ll examine what hotels can do to personalize the guest experience during their stay.

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