Studies show that increasing customer retention by 2% is the equivalent of cutting operating costs by 10%. Hotel bookings from third parties often hamper the interaction you can have with your guests early on, which can interfere with your ability to add value and promote repeat bookings. So, in order to build customer loyalty, you have to get them through the door—preferably, with a direct booking. Here’s how we helped Hotel ICON do just that with our RevDirect™ solution.
Hotel ICON Trailblazes in Hong Kong
Hotel ICON is located in the bustle and energy of Tsim Sha Tsui. The property is luxuriously designed while maintaining a uniquely intimate feel. Their partnership with the School of Hotel and Tourism Management of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University ensures they are on top of the latest hospitality trends, including training tomorrow’s hospitality leaders from the school.
Their affiliation with the University as well as their relatively flat management structure means they have the flexibility to test and learn from the latest and greatest hospitality solutions. “I think we’re able to be more responsive and try new things,” says Michelle Lai, Director of Communications and Public Relations at Hotel ICON. “Through experimenting and trying new initiatives, we’ve established ourselves as a leader in the market.”
The team tried some online marketing initiatives in the past. However, it was largely based on demographic targeting alone, and wasn’t driving the results they desired.
Moving beyond demographics for more effective targeting
Demographic targeting operates on the premise that people who are part of a similar subset of the population will behave in a certain way. While this type targeting can work well on its own for some products, travel isn’t one of them.
Imagine two people—Evona and Lina. Both are women living in Singapore, single, in their early 30s, with similar incomes. Demographic targeting says both women will be receptive to marketing messages from Hotel ICON. But wait! Evona prefers beach destinations, and always stays with a major hotel chain, where she is a loyalty member. Lina, on the other hand, prefers the city, and tends to stay in boutique properties. It’s clear that Lina would be more receptive to marketing messages from Hotel ICON. Unfortunately, demographics alone don’t provide that level of insight.
In order to reach the right in-market travellers based on travel intent, the Hotel ICON team turned to Sojern’s RevDirect™ in November 2016.
Sojern’s behavioural targeting delivers more direct first-time bookings for Hotel ICON
Sojern’s 350 million traveller profiles and billions of travel intent signals hones in on those who are in-market for travel to Hong Kong, but may not know about Hotel ICON. Sojern then reaches these users with Hotel ICON’s beautiful display messages. Inspired by the creative, the user researches further on the Hotel ICON website, where they can complete their booking online.
Nearly a year into the partnership, the Hotel ICON team is impressed with the results. Sojern has driven hundreds of direct bookings since partnering on RevDirect. But more than that, these bookings are primarily from new guests to the property. The Hotel ICON team did an in-depth analysis and found that around 65% of Sojern RevDirect bookings are first-time visitors.
Turning first-time bookers into long-time loyalists
Always a market leader, the Hotel ICON team plans to make the most of the bookings driven by RevDirect. “We expect in the future to utilise the RevDirect acquisition channel to build up the relationship internally with our CRM and loyalty programs,” says Terence Fong, Digital Marketing Manager. Those first-time bookers, inspired by the excellent customer service they received during their stay, will keep Hotel ICON top of mind through the team’s CRM efforts. This way, Hotel ICON keeps more of those direct relationships and builds loyalty over time.
To see how RevDirect can work for you—get in touch!