This is an excerpt from our recent trend report, From Data to Action: The Future of Hospitality Marketing, brought to you in partnership with CendynONE.
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When it comes to acquiring traveler data in the digital space, the hospitality industry has what should be a good kind of problem.
That’s because business and marketing leaders have unprecedented access to a wide range of guest-profile data. From travelers’ online and mobile search behaviors to guests’ website and social-media interactions, to their on-property purchases, requests, and feedback, the influx of information that can be leveraged for better customer relationships and higher returns is larger than ever. It’s also expanding within a multi-screen, mobile-device fueled environment.
But the hotel sector is not necessarily equipped to use this data in the best ways. Historically, much of it exists within infrastructures that make it difficult — if not for a time impossible — to share, compare, analyze, visualize, and then take action on the information gathered.
“I think everyone understands, including hospitality brands, that they need to work with this data,” says Michael Bennett, vice president of marketing at White Lodging Services. “But the systems that power many of the major brands are archaic.”
Archaic systems means harder going when it comes to utilizing data. Decades-old customer-relations management systems leave hotels with the unenviable task of retrofitting their databases and user interfaces. This becomes an ongoing process as hospitality’s IT and business leaders face new types and quantities of information from ever-evolving sources. The prospect adds up to lost time, growing expense, and almost certainly a competitive disadvantage.
“The ability to leverage big data will split organizations into those who know and those who just guess,” wrote Michael Toedt, author of Big Data – Challenges for the Hospitality Industry. (1) “Those who know also know what to do and where to invest … big data significantly improves the sustainability of an organization.” [Read More]