Guest demands and expectations have evolved with pace over the last few years. On the back of a period shaped by worldwide lockdowns, an ongoing global cost of living crisis, and a desire for more meaningful travel, marketers are tasked with aligning strategies to a customer base with new behaviours and preferences. And with shifts in markets leaving some historically stable segments struggling while others are not only emerging but showing signs of rapid growth, 2023 looks set to present its own opportunities and challenges.
As we set priorities for the coming 12 months, what should drive the agenda for marketers? What trends should be shaping your messaging? And what tools can help support the delivery of a meaningful and engaging relationship with your guest? We explore what the proactive marketer should consider as we enter 2023.
Leverage tech integration for deeper guest insights
Prior to planning marketing activity, it’s key to ensure you have the tools in place to deliver a meaningful communications strategy. While hoteliers are fortunate in the wealth of guest data available, the challenge can be collating this data, typically stored in multiple systems, to build comprehensive and meaningful guest profiles.
With your CRM the hub of delivery of your guest communications strategy, ensuring it collates guest data found in multiple sources is key. The For-Sight CRM Platform integrates with your PMS and other transactional systems to provide a comprehensive and robust profile of your guest highlighting their preferences. This information can be used to design a powerful guest communications strategy that optimises engagement, drives conversion, and positively impacts your bottom line.
Promote loyalty with personalisation
With the cost-of-living crisis forcing more considered travel purchases, and guests increasingly looking for hyper-personalisation throughout the customer journey, hotels are expected to drive optimal impact with relevant communications that resonate with guests’ expectations and requirements. A highly personalised email strategy allows you to build relationships with your guests that promote loyalty and drive guest satisfaction. Given the fluidity of guest segments and their changing expectations, a CRM platform integrated with your and other in-house transactional systems will allow you to develop sophisticated guest segmentation strategies based on the most up-to-the-minute guest data. As a result, your guest communications are timely, relevant and allow for an email strategy that delivers maximum impact.
Drive efficiencies through automation
Just as we are emerging from the chaos and volatility of the last few years, another crisis threatens hotel recovery. The much-documented labour crisis has put increased pressure on the industry – the requirement to do more with less is a familiar one and the source of stress and frustration for hoteliers.
Increasingly, hoteliers are looking to automate manual processes to streamline operations and drive efficiencies. With a powerful guest communications strategy reliant on the delivery of relevant and timely information, automation of your guest emails enables you to develop deeper guest relationships without putting pressure on your team.
For-Sight’s CRM automates recurring guest communications with an email schedule that can be linked and triggered by guest activities. Keen to welcome a guest and provide them with essential information for their stay? An automated email sent on check-in ensures the guest feels welcomed and informed on arrival. It’s a powerful tool in your communications toolbox and our expertise in this area can help you develop and set up an email strategy that drives engagement and strengthens your relationship with your guest.
Take a proactive solution to the staff shortage crisis
With teams pulled in many directions, designing and delivering email strategies that convert can stay on the back burner as more pressing operational demands take over For-Sight’s Campaign and CRM Management Service can support delivery of your email marketing strategy in 2023. Our team of experts will draw on their extensive experience to work with you to plan and create campaigns, build and design templates, and target customer segments with an email strategy that can have transformative results. Post-campaign analysis of performance ensures the build and delivery of highly effective email strategies that translate into deeper and more meaningful relationships with your guests, driving bookings and boosting loyalty.
Easy access to powerful and robust performance metrics
Increasingly, hoteliers are forced to look to technology to drive efficiencies where possible. For hotel marketers, easy access to performance metrics to allow marketing decisions to be made with speed is crucial. The For-Sight CRM Platform presents key metrics in a highly visual way meaning an end to trawling through spreadsheets trying to make sense of data sets. The at-a-glance overview of the effectiveness of your marketing communications will allow you to quickly identify opportunities, taking the hard work out of data analysis, allowing you to focus on building revenue optimising strategies based on solid business insights.
Boost ‘Book Direct’ Strategies
The ongoing quest for hoteliers is to optimise ‘book-direct’ strategies to drive down acquisition costs and avoid those hefty monthly commission cheques. While third parties have a place in distribution strategies, the challenge for hotels is, as always, to convert OTA’s bookers to ‘direct bookers’ for subsequent stays. The For-Sight CRM Platform highlights email addresses associated with OTA bookings, which are typically temporary ‘OTA’ email addresses Front Office can then ensure the guest’s personal email is captured on check-in. This can support marketing strategies designed to connect directly with guests and encourage repeat direct bookings. Incentives to book direct can help build a relationship with your guest, building loyalty, driving revenue, and reducing costs!
Create messaging to align with emerging guest trends
Key trends are emerging that are shaping guest’s travel decisions. In 2023, guests are looking for much more from their travel bookings than previously and the pressure is on for hoteliers to look to creative ways to deliver on these demands. Key trends that are defining guest booking patterns include:
- A desire for sustainable travel – guests are increasingly looking for evidence of ecologically sound practices in their decisions to book and marketing strategies should ensure these are promoted to optimise conversion. Key search engines now allow bookers to filter by ‘sustainability accreditation’ such is the demand from travellers looking to book only with certified ‘sustainable’ hoteliers. Promote your ecological practices to ensure your sustainability efforts benefit not only the planet, but also your business.
- Wellness Tourism- as people are globally incorporating elements of health, fitness, and mindfulness into their daily lives, we should not be surprised at the desire to continue their wellness programmes when travelling. Wellness retreats, day spas and mindfulness breaks are all gaining in popularity. And with a report by market research company GWI stating that ‘wellness travellers spend about 178% more than the average traveller’, catering for and marketing to those seeking a wellness break can be a profitable, untapped source of revenue.
- Bleisure – A pandemic fuelled trend that is gaining popularity. This typically encompasses people travelling for work who then look to take advantage of the new trends for remote working by extending their stay and combining it with a few days’ leisure. This is an excellent opportunity for business hotels to showcase their leisure facilities and location highlights to incentivise longer stays.
Commit now to identify how your marketing messaging can align with what guests trends in 2023, to create deeper engagement and promote loyalty.
Support the digitisation of the guest experience
With such giants as Amazon promoting the one-click purchase, and many aspects of our day-to-day living from banking to dating managed through an app, guests are looking increasingly for digitisation throughout all stages of their journey. With the tech-savvy guest expecting to control all elements of their stay from their mobile or handheld device, the pressure is on for hoteliers to ensure guests have easy access to important information. An email strategy designed to present timely and relevant guest information can help support a seamless customer experience for guests looking to manage their stay from their phone. In addition, it can provide an opportunity to promote upselling opportunities, enhancing the guest experience and driving incremental revenue opportunities.
If you are keen on hearing how the For-Sight CRM & Marketing Solution can support your marketing campaigns to allow you to develop deeper and more meaningful relationships with your guests, we would love to have a conversation. Contact us here