Solving Hotel Marketing Challenges with a First-Party Data Strategy
Solve your biggest hotel marketing challenges with first-party data.
Traveler expectations are higher than ever. They want to be inspired during every part of their travel journey, from the time they start exploring their next trip all the way through their hotel stay. First-party data is a great way for hoteliers to understand online traveler behavior and engage them on an individual level.
Sojern’s recent report, How Hotel Brands Are Using First-Party Data to Drive Revenue & Build Stronger Relationships, highlights just how important first-party data is for every hotel. Our research shows that 59% of hotels have implemented a first-party data strategy and 62% say it’s “very important” for digital marketing. While first-party data is important, deploying a strategy can be challenging. Here are the top three challenges around first-party data and how you can solve them.
You want to enact a first-party data strategy, but collecting the data is a huge challenge. The best way to find a solution is to first determine your goals. If you want to build loyalty, focus on collecting data from loyalty programs to turn your guests into brand advocates. Our survey showed that 68% of hoteliers said first-party data helped them build better relationships.
Once you start to collect data, you can use that information to continually learn about your guests. You can build relationships with them, but only if you activate that data across touchpoints and digital channels. Use your customer profiles to tailor your offerings and rewards to ensure your message resonates with your travelers.
If you are still unsure about how to collect first-party data, you could also consider hiring someone to focus on this initiative, whether it’s a full-time employee or a contractor. You can also increase the amount of content you produce to afford yourself more opportunities to collect data about your customers. In addition, there are a number of tools and technologies (DSPs, CDPs, etc.), as well as partners who can help. Regardless of which options you choose, remember that collecting first-party data is an investment—but it’s an investment you’ll be glad you made.
A successful first-party data strategy requires buy-in from multiple members of your team. You may also have to work with multiple departments, including your legal and loyalty teams. Some might just see it as an added expense, but stay true to your goals, and focus the stakeholders on the ROI activating first-party data will bring. With inflation, a potential recession, and the volatility of the market, proving ROI will continue to be crucial for hoteliers around the world.
Collecting first-party data is the key for hoteliers to navigate uncertainty and thrive in a cookieless world, and the benefits speak for themselves. Our report revealed that 81% of hoteliers have seen a lift in revenue; 57% have seen a lift in guest satisfaction; and 64% said it helped increase brand value. When implemented correctly, you can prove ROI with the measurable results the program provides, which should quell any reservations from your stakeholders.
Your team may be small or lack the expertise to deploy a first-party data strategy, and that’s okay! Many of our survey respondents didn’t work alone. In fact, they most frequently reported working with technology specialists focused on the hotel industry.
We learned that Sojern clients are more than 2x as likely as non-clients to see a lift in revenue. It’s because specialists like Sojern have hospitality industry expertise and are often equipped with tools, such as machine learning algorithms and automation tools, to get multichannel campaigns off the ground. They can help you understand your travelers’ unique paths to purchase and help you navigate data privacy and compliance. Finding the right partner can be a game-changer, and often the biggest difference in finding success for your first-party data program.
Collecting first-party data is imperative in a cookieless world. It is also the best tool you have to get to know your guests and deliver a consistent, tailored experience that keeps them coming back again and again. While implementing a first-party data program has its challenges, you can overcome these challenges. By setting goals, getting buy-in from your stakeholders, and finding the right partners, tools, and technologies, your hotel can find first-party success.
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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“With any product and service, you have to spend time and resources to grow your customer base. Sojern provides us with an extremely effective way to increase our direct bookings and maximize guest lifetime value. The platform delivers impressive results, achieved with minimal time and resources invested by the team. It's a great product and service that I never have to sell to ownership–the results speak for themselves. Sojern seamlessly integrates into our marketing distribution, freeing us up to focus on other initiatives. When a program performs this well, I know we're making the right marketing investments.”
“Sojern is the top performing conversion partner that we've run for travel specific activities. I would definitely recommend investigating how to work with Sojern to my agency peers with travel clients. Their team is really proactive, and very quick on everything we need. We value the great quality in terms of reports and support the team provides, and on top of that, we also see activities perform incredibly well. So clearly, there's a lot going on in the back end to make sure we're hitting and meeting all of Sandals’ KPIs.”
“We were seeking a partner that could help us increase our direct booking share and reach, as well as overcome seasonality challenges. We looked at Sojern, which was very well recommended, and I can definitely say we made the right choice. Working with Sojern is so easy and reliable and the entire process is incredibly smooth and straightforward. Since joining Sojern we consistently convert new guests looking to visit the Caribbean, regardless of seasonality.”
“Working with Sojern, it’s not just a cookie-cutter solution, as Sojern listens to our needs and recommends what’s best for our hotel. We have someone to bounce ideas off of, and Sojern gives us a higher-level perspective on how we can get the best value for our investment.”
“We love the simplicity of the solution and how clearly we can see results. The technology works so well that it leaves us to do our other day-to-day jobs. We are seeing increased interest in our superior and deluxe rooms as a result, which is improving the overall average booking value. I think we will be long-time customers for as long as Sojern continues to perform the way it does today!”
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.