Recession-Proof Your Hotel Marketing Strategy With First-Party Data

Hotel marketers must be ready to pivot using first-party data.

July 6, 2023

With inflation still high and a potential recession looming, the hospitality industry must always be ready to pivot. After a surge in demand for travel coming out of the pandemic, hotel marketers should use this time to capitalize on their first-party data. With it, they can increase efficiency and optimization to reach potential travelers and bring back past guests. 

Create Personalized Digital Experiences for Travelers

Rather than providing a single experience for all users, first-party data shows you the unique attributes of online users on your website so you can see how they behave. Then, you can create an experience that’s tailored to each person—something consumers want. There is a huge opportunity for hotels to create the same personalized experiences they provide to their guests in person to their users online, as well.

Using first-party data to create personalized digital experiences for your guests can be a major driver in building loyalty and driving direct bookings. In our latest report, How Hotel Brands Are Using First-Party Data to Drive Revenue & Build Stronger Relationships, we surveyed hotel marketers around the world about their first-party data strategies. Of our respondents that already implemented a first-party data strategy, 81% saw a lift in revenue and 57% saw a lift in guest satisfaction.

Focus on Efficiency To Reach the Right Travelers

Combining real-time booking data, artificial intelligence (AI) technology, and multichannel marketing, hotel marketers can collect first-party data and make informed decisions as they predict future travel behaviors. These tools can help you create custom audiences that represent your ideal travelers and your highest-value guests. 

When you blanket target all audiences online, you might not yield great results. Instead, we use AI to create audiences that are more likely to want to visit your hotel—making better use of your marketing spend, and increasing the likelihood of a user booking directly on your website. If someone is showing intent to visit, you can find them at crucial points in their digital journey to point them in the direction of your hotel.

Drive Direct Bookings to Increase Revenue

While hotel marketers are trying to solve the demands of the moment, driving direct bookings is always a key objective, especially in preparation for a potential recession. Multichannel marketing campaigns can solve this objective by getting your hotel in front of the right people at the right time in their buyer journey. By capitalizing on the different channels at your fingertips–your website, metasearch, social media, display, SEM, and more–a well-crafted marketing campaign can bring travelers to your website as opposed to an online travel agency (OTA).

There are multiple ways to increase direct bookings, and here are a few ways to start:

  • Prioritize first-party data collection to build actionable audiences for your multichannel advertising.
  • Align your marketing and revenue departments on needs and goals to build strategies that will drive the most profit.
  • Leverage metasearch to own the guest relationship, collect high-quality first-party data, and create opportunities to upsell before arrival.

Maximizing direct booking revenue is a key objective for hotels around the world, and as the industry undergoes many changes, data will be essential to creating those direct relationships.

Adopt Always-On Marketing Strategies

Always-on marketing plays a key role in improving efficiency and maximizing your budget. This strategy helps you support the high seasons for your hotel and capture demand during the shoulder seasons. This doesn’t happen through aggressively ad-targeting your audiences all the time. It takes a more dynamic and ongoing approach, using real-time traveler intent data, audience segmentation, and personalized messaging to capitalize on the full scope of the travel buying journey. 

It means you’re delivering relevant messaging based on what these travelers are looking for during the most important moments of their search. When you collect first-party data with your campaigns, you get the information you need to send the right message at the right time.

Generate Incremental Revenue With Long-Term Targeting

Sophisticated targeting capabilities of today enable you to reach and provide value to your highest-intent travelers. When you learn about where your guests are in their lives and in their trip planning, you can share what will most appeal to them at that moment: perks, upgrades, free nights, and more. The more you show up for these guests, the more likely they are to return over the course of their lives.

For example, if you capture the information of a young, solo traveler, you can update their profile as their needs or life changes. Perhaps they’ll want to bring a friend, partner, or family on their next trip, and you’ll be able to adjust your offerings based on how they’re traveling at that moment. This means you’re securing incremental revenue over the course of your guests' lives and setting your business up long-term.

Create a Strategy That Evolves With the Economy

As the digital marketing space moves towards third-party cookie deprecation, first-party data collection becomes critical. With the economic uncertainty continuing to linger, establishing future-proof strategies can help your hotel secure revenue and continue to build strong relationships with your guests into the future.

For more information about first-party data strategies, we teamed up with Wyndham Resorts and Hotels and Benchmark Research Partners to break down our survey findings and analyze how Wyndham puts first-party data into action.

If you’re ready to take the next step with your first-party data, connect with one of our hotel experts today.

More Articles
You Might Be Interested In

Introducing The Hotel Marketer's Playbook: Unlock the Secrets to Navigating the Marketing Funnel

Unlock the secrets to navigating the marketing funnel and drive bookings like never before.

Read More

Cookieless Marketing 101: A Destination Marketer’s Crash Course on the Cookieless World

Dive into essential strategies to navigate the cookieless world effectively.

Read More

Hoteliers in Transition: Adapting to Google's Metasearch Evolution and New DMA Regulations

Discover strategies for hoteliers navigating Google's Metasearch Evolution and new DMA regulations.

Read More

Let’s Start a Conversation

We’re ready to help you take the guesswork out of your digital marketing. Contact us to tap into the travel industry’s most intelligent marketing platform.

Let's Talk