Industry Update
Opinion Article 3 December 2020

Hyper-personalized, Fully-automated, and Real-time Omnichannel Marketing Through Open Customer Data Management Platforms Will Shape the Future of Hotel Marketing

Advertorial by Mikael Fries, Vice President Sales Excellence at NextGuest CRM

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As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact the hospitality industry for years to come, it is even more important for hoteliers to invest in the right tools and technology in order to capitalize on what travel demand remains. Our mission at NextGuest is to help hoteliers continue to generate revenue through digital engagement by providing integrated technology, marketing, and consulting, closing the gap between traditional CRM solutions and digital marketing services.

Next generation CRM solutions in the hotel industry should not only reduce complexity for marketing managers, but also increase the ROI of campaigns. By introducing fully automated, score-based marketing campaigns in real time, your CRM solution can be utilized to deliver highly personalized content with the right messaging and offers at the right time, via the right communication channel. For example, a hotel can generate incremental revenue by sending a pre-stay email that promotes a room upgrade or a seasonal dining special based on the guest's arrival date. Additionally, while COVID-19 is restricting travel in some regions, hotels can stay connected with past and future guests and continue building strong brand relationships by sharing editorial content that adds value to their everyday lives.

In order to deliver campaigns with a high degree of personalization and relevance, it is important to understand the guest's real-time behavior (e.g. web search, social media behavior, comments, and hotel ratings), their interests and preferences, historical booking behavior, and the footprint left by the guest during their stay. All behavioral data (historical guest data and real-time data) can then be combined to determine a score which triggers a personalized campaign. How does this work? Each guest profile receives different behavioral or interest scores in real time. These scores indicate the probability of booking a certain hotel offer, triggering a 1:1 campaign. Traditional 1:1 personalization usually requires complex definitions, which in most cases require in-depth CRM expertise at the campaign setup stage. Next generation CRM solutions can remove this complexity, as they provide a pre-configured catalogue with relevant scores for the most common use cases in the hotel industry.

With this automated process, the CRM platform makes it very easy for hoteliers to set up a highly personalized campaign for their target audience. For example, a "Spa Booster Score" calculates a guest's potential interest and willingness to purchase a spa offer by using a large amount of data about the guest and their interests stored in the CRM. As soon as an interest score has reached a certain threshold, the CRM solution triggers the relevant campaign with the corresponding content and offers in real time. As a result, complex queries or selections of campaign target groups are no longer necessary. In addition, the scoring engine constantly updates the guest profiles in the CRM database and automatically enriches them with additional information.

NextGuest CRM offers hoteliers a robust platform powered by a scoring engine that drives compelling personalization, and the results speak for themselves. On average, the ROI of campaigns have increased by more than 30%, while substantially reducing the manual work involved in developing complex campaign queries. Newsletter subscriptions have also significantly increased as they are supported by personalized lightboxes on the website which generate new guests and prospects for hotels.

Keeping full transparency of marketing performance and ROI, comparing actual business metrics to set goals or industry benchmarks, understanding business trends and, even more importantly, understanding the root cause of certain trends is now made easy with the NextGuest Decision Maker. The Decision Maker is a central BI solution for hoteliers which comes with a pre-configured set of analytics and dashboards that are fully adapted to hoteliers' needs. Without any analytic skills required, hoteliers can identify business trends and their root cause, allowing them to make business decisions based on real data. Since there are almost no restrictions to connecting multiple internal and external data sources, the Decision Maker can be utilized as one unified platform for group-wide BI across all functions and hierarchies in a company.

To take personalization to the next level, NextGuest is introducing a new Customer Data Management Platform (the NextGuest CDP) that provides an unmatched centralized platform where all relevant data sources are integrated, such as the Property Management System (PMS), Central Reservation Systems (CRS), booking engine, member and loyalty portals, digital marketing channels, Online Reputation Management System (ORM), and so on. With its seamless industry integrations, the NextGuest CDP allows hoteliers to consolidate their currently siloed infrastructure into one single source of truth. Hoteliers can now automatically integrate data from their various data sources into the NextGuest CDP and automatically create and enrich CRM profiles with data from all relevant data sources. All data entering the NextGuest CDP is cleansed, matched, and merged with existing data sets or used to create new profiles. The CDP stores all touchpoints with guests, such as reservations, stays, emails sent/opened/clicked, interests, reviews, and much more. With two-way integrations, the NextGuest CDP is also able to write back enriched profile information to other platforms such as the PMS, allowing the front desk to always have access to the most current and relevant guest information.

NextGuest is one of the hospitality industry's first vendors that has received full certification by the CDP Institute, which recognizes that the NextGuest CDP offers a truly open and accessible customer data platform ensuring that customers are investing in a future-proof, open and flexible, and safe platform.

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CRM

NextGuest CRM is a worldwide leader in hospitality CRM services. We work closely with hoteliers to offer a CRM platform that targets guests with dynamic, relevant communication before, during, and after their stay.

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    ABOUT NEXTGUEST

    NextGuest provides hoteliers with everything they need to thrive in the digital world, with bespoke technology solutions developed to meet the needs of luxury hotel clients coupled with elegant design capabilities that bring brands to life. We marry the power of data with brand discovery to uncover unique strategies that apply to everything from website design, content marketing, CRM, and more, helping the world's top hotel brands maximize ROI as they acquire, convert, and retain guests throughout the travel planning journey. While each of our services is available on its own, the integrated technologies, marketing, and consulting offerings work together to increase digital engagement and generate revenue for hoteliers, allowing them to focus on what matters most — serving their guests. www.nextguest.com | [email protected]

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