Dive into Data: Predictive Marketing Analytics For Hotels

Peter Bretschger

February 12, 2016

With the U.S. population close to 323 million strong, and world-wide expanding beyond 7 billion, a hotel’s marketing net must continue to evolve in order to find the right transient guest who will want to book a room.  And once that guest is found, operationally the team needs to transform them into a subscriber or endorser, while marketing goes back on the hunt for another just like them. We’ll leave the subscribing and endorsing for another post, and let’s focus on finding more of the right guests.

With the consideration process expanded, by-in-large a more prominently self-directed customer journey, and an every growing number of sites to research, the task of finding these consumers is becoming more complex each day.  So how do we go about finding these people, while also responsibly managing budgets and media mix?  Predictive Marketing Analytics.

Predictive Marketing Analytics is part art, part science.  It combines the worlds of marketing and data to help define your target audience, optimize conversion, generate incremental revenue, and eventually leads you to definitive view of who your most efficient target is.  Using customer data to determine patterns and predict future outcome and trends, we’re able to use more time marketing, and getting our hotel’s messages our to the right audience.

The concept of predictive technology is not new. In fact, predictive machine learning is already present in your everyday interactions online. Think about what happens when you go to Zappos.com or browse through Hulu. Based on your prior activity, each platform predicts what you might enjoy next. Did you recently purchase a pair of running shoes? Perhaps you might like a new pair of headphones as well. Did you just finish watching the season Family Guy? Maybe you might want to try a Simpsons marathon. Apply this same concept to marketing your hotels. By looking at which guests you have already made endorsers, you can predict what new customers to target and which customers in your database have the highest probability of making a lifelong subscriber.

5 great advantages that predictive intelligence can deliver to your hotel:

  1. Get The Right Leads To Sales 
    • Predictive intelligence is providing double digit increases in sales conversions by leveraging the digital footprints buyers leave as they do research. When we look at this in a Group context, it’s possible to tap into the signals of the decision-makers and predict with more than 85% accuracy who is going to buy (both accounts and contacts), when they are going to buy, and what they are going to buy. One client realized a 450x increase in conversions from marketing-qualified leads to sales-qualified leads (MQL-to-SQL conversions).
  2. Optimize Guest Personas. 
    • The more that is known about guests at your hotels the more the message and communication can be tailored to meeting pain points and activating them. By coupling what is already known about hotel guests with predictive analytics, the right patterns or traits can be uncovered.
  3. Better Segment Your Data. 
    • Because you have more and disparate information on your guests and potential guests, you can see them from multiple angles. This allows more sophisticated segmentation which then results in a laser focus on the right leads with the right message. As a result, campaigns are more successful, and budget and resources are focused on who in the market will buy.
  4. Nurture With More Personalized Messages.
    • When marketers are more strategic and personalized with their outreach, the result is significant boosts in MQL-to-SQL conversions, booking-rates, and ultimately, revenues & room nights.
  5. Focus Your Marketing Spend.
    • Knowing where your next guest is coming from allows you to target your budget to get the optimal results. With predictive intelligence you can determine which events to participate in, which content syndication providers to use, and even how to improve your direct mail or traditional media results.

Today’s buyers are self-educated, plugged in to all channels and device ready. So get down to the data. Find where Predictive Marketing Analytics fit into your hotel’s marketing plan today and in the future.