Thursday, November 17, 2016

Small Data For Hotels - Part 1

There is much hospitality industry buzz about Big Data, and rightfully so. But much less focus and attention on something called Small Data. Small Data can be viewed and understood as the people-oriented details of which Big Data is composed. It comes in actionable amounts which are highly manageable for even one marketer, when compared to the overwhelming quantities of information involved in Big Data. Small Data is very specific in nature as well.

While Big Data involves trends, patterns and how they are associated with large numbers of people, Small Data is linked to unique individuals or distinct segments of people. By using Small Data information regarding an individual guest, hotels can tailor marketing, promotions and services directly to the customer’s point of need. Small Data is readily available to hoteliers; customers create it whenever they interact with a hotel in any manner. Everything before, during and after their hotel stay creates actionable Small Data that can be utilized for both marketing purposes and improving the guest experience.  


Guest Personalization

Today’s traveler wants greater control of their hotel guest experience from start to finish and hotels which offer mobile apps enable them to do so. These same mobile apps provide hotels with the Small Data which they need to shape the hotel experience around the customer. Every preference given, service requested, or purchase made on the app by the hotel guest provides invaluable, personalized information to the hotel. Of course such personalized service and convenience comes at a price to the customer, in the form of personal information disclosure. Customers have been balancing the benefits against the risks. Hotel guests don’t mind as long as something is to be gained for them.

The world of today’s traveler has become evermore dependent on social media. The expectation of hotel guests is for continuity with their connected everyday lives when traveling. 21st century consumers have also become accustomed to a certain level of personalized service from brands in order to gain their loyalty. This requires a degree of empathy on the part of hotels. By furnishing a seamless online experience for their guests, hoteliers can better gather useful Small Data details from customers’ online connections with their brand. In this way, the brand can gain understanding and insight into their hotel guests and in doing so, better prepare the hotel to anticipate their wishes in advance upon their next stay.

In part two we will look into how Small Data can more effectively deliver personalized marketing messaging to hotel customers.



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