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This is an excerpt from our most recent FREE trend report, Hospitality Analytics: How Data Can Make Hotels Smarter, brought to you in partnership with Snapshot.
It takes nimble, future-minded, and forward thinking leadership to take advantage of collected
guest data and applied data analytics. And while legacy hotels are working to turn their attention to data-driven customer relationship management, marketing, and marketplace insights, a look at independent hotels and smaller-size hospitality leaders reveals additional ways to implement and benefit from data analytics.
The following cases illustrate instances in which that effort is giving hoteliers an advantage — and where challenges still exist in reaching for the future of data and hospitality no matter the hotel company’s size.
Citizen M builds its niche with guest data
One way to approach guest data and analytics is to contextualize strategies within the niche a given hotel seeks to reach and serve.
It is a concept fueling the efforts underway at Citizen M, a Netherlands-based boutique hotel group. Very much the definition of a small hotel company, Citizen M operates some seven properties worldwide, six of them in Europe. The New York Times describes Citizen M’s rooms as a hybrid of boutique and pod hotel. A mid-week room for one person in Times Square in December 2015 was available for about $426 per night, at the time of this writing.
Citizen M is reaching out to a particular customer: a traveler most probably without a family in tow and one with a business-level budget amenable to a smaller, boutique, design conscious space. As its chief operating officer notes, attention to these very elements of the company’s niche guest demographics often runs counter to larger segmentation strategies, industry wide. This micro level of focus is a strategic consideration that Michael Levie, chief operations officer at Citizen M, says hotel leadership often overlooks when it comes to the data they own.
“Data is not necessarily used in the best ways, but it is available,” Levie tells Skift. He focuses on two key reasons for this: “One is the knowledge base, the education around what data is and what it can reveal to you is not always clear … the other thing is our industry — the hospitality industry — we are pretty much set in a very old-fashioned and ingrained way of how we do our business.”
In the course of reaching guests who fit Citizen M’s guest demographic, rather than segment guests into broad categories such as business and leisure, says Levie, hotels ought to use data to mine the potential for more holistic assessments about consumers.
Levie suggests that data analytics can tell hotels about the whole guest, identifying different phases of a single guest’s travel sentiment across a whole trip. For example, a journey might start as a business endeavor, and then resolve as leisure time. Recent statistics suggest this to be a significant factor when it comes to hospitality revenue strategies.