Finding First-Party Data Success: How Hotel Marketers Are Maximizing Revenue and Performance

Focus your first-party data strategies now vs. later for the best results.

Kurt Weinsheimer
|
February 7, 2023

Hotel marketers have a closing window to prepare for the inevitable cookieless world. Those that are implementing first-party data programs in preparation are seeing real-time value in doing it today vs. tomorrow. As hotel marketers focus on these initiatives they must find new ways to collect, enrich, and activate data. 

Together, the three pillars of data–hashed emails, first-party data, and historical booking data–enable contextual and addressable targeting to build connected, multichannel, and cookieless campaigns. We decided to explore the impact of one of those three pillars: first-party data. In partnership with Benchmark Research Partners, we conducted a survey to zero in on the largest hoteliers’ first-party strategies from around the world. We compiled our findings in our latest report, How Hotel Brands Are Using First-Party Data to Drive Revenue & Build Stronger Relationships.

The results spoke for themselves: Namely, 81% of hotel marketers have seen a lift in revenue as a result of implementing a first-party data strategy.

What is First-Party Data?

First, let’s define first-party data and what a first-party data strategy looks like. First-party data comes directly from consenting guests. It can include contact information, booking history, and demographics that come from a hotel website, social media channels, in-person interactions, and more. 

First-party data combines online and offline experiences and is used to understand guest behavior to increase targeting accuracy, predict behaviors, and deliver personalized experiences. A first-party data collection strategy is a hotel’s process for integrating, using, and deleting data. Most importantly, every first-party data strategy must adhere to any privacy regulations in the country where the hotel guest resides.

First-Party Data Collection Is a High Priority for Hotel Brands

Of the hoteliers we surveyed, 59% have implemented a first-party data strategy, indicating many are well on their way to cookieless success. Of the 41% who have yet to deploy a first-party strategy, 75% want to—and for good reason. Hotel marketers believe that they can use first-party data to:

  • Maximize campaign performance (73%)
  • Build stronger customer relationships (67%)
  • Maximize overall revenue growth (67%)
  • Increase brand value (64%)

Think about it this way, when a hotel brand makes an effort to better know its travelers, it can create a personalized experience from the very first interaction. This not only makes guests feel more welcome from the get-go, but it also creates a seamless customer experience from booking to check out. This can increase brand status, which can drive pricing power and make franchising more appealing to hotel owners. 

Activating First-Party Data Creates a Significant Lift in Marketing Objectives

More and more hoteliers are finding success with first-party data. Knowing that, 81% of hoteliers surveyed have seen a lift in revenue as a result of implementing a first-party data strategy. Fifty-seven percent have seen a lift in guest satisfaction. The best part? As the amount of collected data grows, hoteliers can use that information to increase campaign accuracy and enable people-based marketing across devices. That’s why more than two-thirds feel confident that they’ll get more out of their data strategies in 2023. 

Preparing and Implementing Your First-Party Data Strategy

Hotel marketers can get started with a first-party data strategy by using the three pillars of data: Hashed emails, first-party cookies, and historical booking data. Here’s the breakdown:

  • Hashed emails are email addresses collected when a user logs into the website. Those emails are hashed, meaning they are encrypted and semi-anonymized into an unrecognizable string of characters. The hashed email is used to identify and target travelers online without using third-party cookies, allowing hoteliers to target travelers when they visit other websites. 
  • Historical booking data is just that: Data is collected and stored in CRM or other systems, allowing hotel marketers to look at past stays, amenities booked, and offline interactions.
  • First-party cookies collect data about guests from the hotel website to give them a personalized website experience. It can help hotel marketers understand traveler behavior on their site so they can create campaigns that drive bookings. Every first-party cookie is a unique traveler ID, and that ID can be shared with partners to match with hashed emails to enable retargeting. 

First-party data is critical in a soon-to-be cookieless world, and the best time to get started with a strategy is now. Hotel brands that are collecting and using first-party data are reaping the benefits of more bookings and increased traveler loyalty. When hoteliers gather the right data from across the customer journey, they can create effective multichannel campaigns that entice travelers to book time and time again.

Collecting and Activating First-Party Data Into the Future

In our report, we discovered that market research is the #1 resource hotel marketers trust when planning first-party data programs. If you’re looking for more information on first-party data collection and activation, here are a few resources to continue your research:

When you’re ready to take the next step with first-party data collection, chat with one of our hotel marketing experts today.

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