Marketers at smaller hotel and motel chains face constant pressure to increase bookings and strengthen guest satisfaction. Printed cards for customer surveys only go so far in giving marketers the insights they need to improve their marketing. Plus, pen and paper feedback is a thing of the past.
Looking ahead, it is expected that consumers will increasingly shop based on price rather than brand name in the non-luxury product and service segments (just ask Alexa). This is true for the hospitality industry, as well.
Hospitality WiFi marketing professionals face a number of hurdles with regard to guest retention, how to improve satisfaction rates, and the yearly struggle of ensuring full capacity in the off-season. With digital competition on the rise, what’s a marketer to do?
One might suggest they fight fire with fire. Marketers should look to digital solutions to face digital competition. In evaluating other retail industries using Wi-Fi connections as an untapped tool, marketers may find a goldmine for strengthening their marketing with their own hospitality Wi-Fi.
Many hospitality marketers may not have considered the marketing and analytics potential of the Wi-Fi they provide to customers. They should. Wi-Fi marketing is making a splash for brick and mortar businesses trying to compete against large and/or online competitors. Hospitality Wi-Fi is an easy-to-deploy tool that provides the type of guest information that your online competitors may already have.
There can be no doubt that AirBnB is at an advantage over small to medium hotel chains to track customer behavior because they can literally read the thoughts (i.e., keystrokes) of guests. With their digital platform, they can easily assess which customers book which locations, how frequently the guest books accommodations, whether the guest re-books the same AirBnB, easily utilize a built-in review system, and much more.
Such data is invaluable. Luckily, it’s no longer outside of your reach.
Hospitality Wi-Fi can be your next marketing engine when stoked with Wi-Fi marketing and analytics data. Wi-Fi marketing and analytics is a system for tracking and understanding customer behavior through the use of your hotel Wi-Fi system. Your Wi-Fi connection snags customer information, such as when and how often customers visit, internet use patterns (if the customer logs onto the Wi-Fi hotspot), first customer return rates, and more.
A Wi-Fi analytics platform allows you to extract this data and unearth patterns and marketing opportunities. Wi-Fi marketing and analytics work together to improve customer experience, drive business, and increase revenues. You already offer hotel wireless internet; now you can maximize its potential to improve your business.
Breaking it down, Wi-Fi analytics allow a business to know how often a customer is returning to any of its locations, the lifetime value of its customers (collectively and individually), location-to-location comparisons such as the churn rate of one location in comparison to another, and much more.
Wi-Fi marketing then comes into play, using the data and analytics, to push customer incentives to guests, provide opportunities to join and engage with loyalty programs, and encourage guests to return through email marketing campaigns.
Wi-Fi marketing platforms offer various tools to incentivize hotel guests to bond with the hotel brand. Bonding with a brand revolves around the “relationship” or “experience” associated with the brand. Making a guest feel as though they have a one-on-one relationship with your hotel will increase the guests’ feeling of loyalty.
As a starting point, you can offer free hotel wireless internet that your customers come to enjoy. This may even be the reason they choose you when your price is similar to another hotel that charges for wireless internet use.
You can also integrate your Wi-Fi platform with your email marketing system to strengthen the loyalty of your guests. Once a guest is identified for the first time via the Wi-Fi platform, you can automate sending post-stay thank you notes to the guest. Or, when the guest arrives at your hotel, you can send them a welcome note with a copy of your in-room dining menu, notes about special events or partner savings (e.g., a local attraction discount code), and a reminder about their loyalty program perks.
Taking this even further, with your hotel wifi system, you can offer an e-concierge that activates once the guest arrives within your location’s geo-fence. Similarly, when a guest leaves, you can send them an email asking them to provide a review and share written feedback through a digital platform. In each of these ways, the guest is engaging in a unique, personalized “conversation” with the hotel.
The ideas you can generate using hospitality Wi-Fi are endless!
In rolling out the new marketing ideas you come up with, you will be collecting valuable insights into your guests’ experience and behavior. That experience and behavior is captured as data that your Wi-Fi analytics processes to give you certain customer metrics. Unlike much other data you might buy or find online, this data is gathered in real-time and based on your own customers.
With the proper analytics tool, you need to do nothing more than review your dashboard to understand your up-to-date customer metrics like churn rate, return rates, loyalty program participation rates, Facebook likes, and even see a list of at-risk customers to rescue.
The customer information uncovered by the analytics tool can inform future campaigns and business decisions. If you’re tired of not knowing if the expensive new marketing strategies your team is coming up with are actually working, the analytics tools from a robust Wi-Fi analytics platform will tell you. And, it will be your baseline for making solid decisions going forward.
Rather than looking at your hotel wireless internet as a drag, think of it as your best weapon to fight the online price war. With a solid Wi-Fi marketing and analytics platform, it is precisely that. And, it may be just the thing your hotel needs to not only improve your numbers, but also enhance your guests’ experience--the ultimate goal for any hospitality company.
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If you own a restaurant, coffee shop, bar, or any other location-based business, you're probably looking for ways to inc...Read full article
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