Fuel Hotel Marketing Podcast: Episode 147 – 4 Ways to Drive Growth and Increase Engagement With Your Guest Data

Marketers have become wizards of data collection, masters of data storage, and champions of data management. But for most of us, that’s where the winning stops. The result? A lot of data and not enough guest engagement. The inability to use data in marketing execution across channels has created a significant disconnect between what guests want and what marketers deliver. In this episode of the Fuel Hotel Marketing Podcast, the 20-year marketing veteran of Priceline and Lending Tree, Josh Francia, will reveal his own tried-and-tested recipe for building an engine that leads to sustained growth and success, propelling you light years ahead of the competition. He’ll also share how this approach brings greater returns, easier execution, and deeper guest insights.

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Special Guest Josh Francia, Chief Growth Officer with Blueshift

1. Leverage First-Party Data

Storing first-party on a unified platform opens up worlds of possibilities.  Most important types of first-party data for hotel/lodging are the following two buckets:

  • Reservation/booking data including room types, preferences, price, length of stay, insurance options, advanced purchase period, guests’ names and ages, post-stay survey responses, etc.
  • Browsing data including location, filters, favorites, time on site, property/rooms viewed, open, click on emails, etc.

Key stats: 51% of marketers don’t store data on a single integrated platform. 59% of marketers that exceeded rev goals by at least 30% store data on one integrated platform.  Conversely, 38% of marketers that missed revenue goals don’t store on an integrated platform.


2. Use AI to Uncover Valuable Insights

AI works by predicting the future based on the past.  Specific use cases for hotel/lodging.

  • Predictive Segmentation predicts the chance of some event occurring in the future.  This is a great tool for intent. Specifically for hotels wouldn’t it be awesome if you knew which customers were likely to purchase and which ones were not in the next 30 days.  This knowledge would change your GTM approach and allow you to focus efforts on near-term success. // Key Stat -> Skillshare 89% increase in conversions when using predictive intent.
  • Predictive Recommendations figures out which content is most relevant to each customer.  For hotels, that type of content can range from articles to room options.  You can build the recommendation once and then show it on your website, email and other messaging channels.  If the AI determines that customer A loves golf, then don’t show a shopping promo on the homepage or in his emails.  // Key Stat -> Zumper 128% increase in CTR
  • Predictive Engage Time is all about identifying when the best time to send a message to drive engagement.  People operate in semi-autonomous routines and if you message them during “get dinner ready mode” they are unlikely to respond or even notice your offer.  But if you hit them during “plan a vacation mode” the response will be tremendous. // Key Stat -> LendingTree 35% increase in revenue.
  • Predictive Channel Engagement figures out where customers are most likely to respond.  Are some of your customers more mobile customers vs email?


3. Expand Triggered Campaigns

Email and Mobile Push are two of the best and cheapest ways of talking to your customers.  One of the easiest and best ways to leverage these channels is through triggered campaigns.  Triggered campaigns are based on a real-time event and messages the user with relevant info of that event.  For hotels, there is a litany of triggered events that happen all the way through the travel-arc. Browsing events like abandoned cart, favorited.  Purchase events like confirmation, pre-trip, check-in, etc. Inter-Trip like itinerary and upcoming events, the weather during your stay, coupons. Post-purchase like reviews.


4. Tighten Paid Media Audiences

There is likely about 30-40% of your paid media that is hitting the wrong people at the wrong time and is essentially wasted.  Obviously, the media publishers are good with this as they make a lot of their revenue on sloppy campaigns. However, using customer data and AI you can right the ship and reduce your spending but not your results.  Using predictive scores you can focus or bid up what you spend on customers with a high likelihood to convert and reduce or eliminate your spend on low converters. By keeping these audiences continuously in sync you don’t have to worry about refreshing them or doing any manual uploads.



In The Newsaroos:     

  • Diseny could be opening the theme parks in the US as early as June 1st.


Submit your questions and topic ideas on Twitter to @_travelboom or info@travelboommarketing.com.



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