We live in an era of Digital Darwinism, a time when technology and society are evolving faster than the ability of many organizations to adapt. Hotel brands can survive Digital Darwinism by taking a data driven approach when engaging with guests throughout the travel journey.

Read this article to learn:

✔ The digital expectations of Generation Z and how they differ from Millennials
✔ Why adapting to digital Darwinism is necessary for hotel brands
✔ The four main sources of data needed to create a truly personalized experience

Today’s hotel marketers are rightly focusing on millennials, a generation born and raised during the internet revolution and thus very tech-savvy. However, many in this generation lived before the internet got widespread and experienced the transition from a non-digital environment to an ‘everything is digital’ environment that we now live in.

As the millennials have experienced living without the internet and digital technology, they may not demand that physical experiences be transferred online. However, a new digital generation (Generation Z) has emerged, born in an age where digital technology is widespread and ‘always-on’ is the norm.

This generation will be your future guests and it is growing up in a time of digital Darwinism with various constantly interconnected digital tools, and because of this hyper connectivity, their expectations are very different. Unlike millennials, they don’t know of a world before digital and expect a frictionless experience across your physical- and digital touchpoints.

Outperform competitors by adapting to digital Darwinism

Digital Darwinism has forced an evolution in the hospitality industry by introducing technologies such as mobile, social media, digital signage, touch screen display kiosks, robots, chatbots etc., all naturally embraced by the digital generation. In todays’ omnichannel environment great hotel experiences are both physical and digital, and these technologies can help enhance the guest experience, if used strategically.

The impact these emerging technologies bring to the hospitality industry is enormous and hotel brands must now adapt to digital Darwinism and see the world through the eyes of the digital generation. A change of mindset is needed, and hotel brands must move from content driven digital experiences with limited or no personalization, to data-driven guest journeys that recognize guests at every touchpoint and deliver contextual content and experiences.

Tools for data driven personalization

Creating a truly personalized experience requires digital tailoring based on data from four main sources of data:

  • Trigger-based: User activity on your website or digital channels triggers specific content to be served.
  • Behavior-based: User activity allows that user to be segmented into a specific persona, and content based on that persona is served.
  • User set: Users establish their own preferences via mechanisms on your website.
  • Profile-based: A user profile is established and built open over time, usually in your CRM, and content is served based on what you know about the user

Hospitality leaders must invest in an integrated Digital Experience Management (DEM) system that allow hotel marketers to deliver the right content to the right user at the right moment in the right format. In other words, they should invest in an API-centric DEM system that facilitates personalized engagements throughout the entire guest journey.

Hotel brands that have adapted to digital Darwinism

The digital generation is led down if its guest experiences aren’t personalized and contextual. For this very reason, several modern hospitality groups are currently experimenting with novel ways to increase personalization and enhance the guest experiences.

The Set Hotels, a young, ultra-luxury hotel group based in London, increased their web bookings by over 60% after deploying a personalized, omni-channel strategy that provided users with customized experiences based on location and data. Using Achiga’s Live Experience Management platform, The Set was able to orchestrate the approach across multiple properties, using a consistent, branded look and feel that adapts and responds to a user’s environment

The Set also recently chose Cendyn for CRM to personalize guest engagement and service. “In order for us to use data in the right way and provide the best possible experience for all our guests, we need an engine to help power that, and that engine is Cendyn,” said Martijn van Eijk, Director of Guest Loyalty & Retention.

Specific personalization technologies can also have a dramatic impact. Aloft, an Achiga client, recently introduced ChatBotlr, a powerful chatback that lets guests make service requests via text directly from their cell phone. It’s been a huge success, with 2 out of 3 Aloft guests interacting or making requests using ChatBotlr, and it drastically reduced average response time to 5 seconds. Companies that innovate and seek out new ways to have personal interactions with guests are usually richly rewarded.

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