The hospitality industry is in a period of transition and change. New technologies are shaping the future of travel and guests are demanding personalized experiences throughout the guest journey. For hoteliers there has never been a more compelling time to review their current hotel marketing technology.
Read this article to learn:
How technology is changing the guest experience
What technologies are shaping the future of travel
Why integrating your hotel marketing technology is necessary
How hotel brands are using Data-driven personalization
Future Technology Will Change the Guest Experience
There is an ever-changing technology landscape and on-going regulatory uncertainty, coupled with shifts in travelers’ demands focusing upon transparency, control and personalization. Such pressures are forcing hoteliers to focus on innovation and reassess their current MarTech stack.
This has meant that along with regulatory compliance and revenue growth, delivering bespoke guest experiences in an omnichannel environment is at the top of every hotelier’s must-win battle list. And at the heart of the hotel experience lies the marketing function. In fact, every corner of the hospitality sector has changed beyond belief in recent years. In parallel to shifting traveler demands, the technology that facilitates the relationship between hotel, the guest and the brand has also changed. The variety of channels, devices and touchpoints that shape the guest experience is constantly evolving. For example, smart hotel rooms equipped with IoT connectivity allow guests to customize their experience with an app or their own voice.
Technology is transforming the way your guests are interacting with your hotel brand throughout the guest journey. With the help of AI, IoT connectivity and other new technologies, your hotel brand can now offer a more engaging experience that increases guest satisfaction, brand loyalty, occupancy and revenue.
Relying on brand history alone is no longer enough
Technologies shaping the future of travel have meant that differentiation via superior brand legacy alone is increasingly challenging, with competition to both win and retain customers becoming extremely difficult. Your customers expect more personalized experiences that are either unique or specifically tailored to them, something hotel brands worldwide are already delivering, so loyalty cannot be assumed.
Technology is a key component in helping your hotel brand cope with travelers continuing changing demands, and if you are relying on legacy technology and have not re-evaluated the effectiveness of your current MarTech stack in the last five years, a review is long overdue.
Those who take a strategic view on delivering great omnichannel experiences, invest in the right MarTech stack to meet the demands of connected travelers, will win the battle for brand loyalty and ultimately, increase revenue and occupancy.
Technologies shaping the future of travel
Below are 3 new technologies that are revolutionizing the hospitality industry and enhancing the guest experience:
- Artificial Intelligence (AI)
AI has been positively embraced by the hospitality industry and is playing an important role by its ability to carry out traditional human functions. Chatbots are being used by travelers during the entire guest journey as their ability to provide useful information and personalized recommendation enhances the guest experience.
Robotic butlers are also being introduced and are carrying out traditional concierge roles that improves the guest experience.
- Internet of Things (IoT)
Tech savvy hotel groups are taking advantage of IoT and delivering great guest experiences by building ‘connected rooms’ outfitted with smart home technology. By connecting their smartphone devises, guests can control room temperature, adjust the lights or use their smartphone as electronic key cards.
- Voice Technology
Voice and natural language processing technologies can now interpret questions and deliver intelligent answers. Hotels worldwide are enhancing the guest experience by installing voice-controlled room assistants that allow guests to request room service, book a table at the hotel restaurant, or book spa sessions by simply speaking to in-room smart speakers and voice assistants.
Leverage connected systems for contextual experiences
For years, hotel marketers have been focusing on content – what to create and how to share it with their customers. While content creation is still important, delivering contextual content relevant to the consumers need is most important. Today content is only a component of the larger aspect of the customer experience and hotel marketers must focus on managing the entire experience of a site visit or user over time.
Many hoteliers still think that one single technology system is enough to provide great digital experiences. The right technology systems will certainly assist your hotel brand in delivering inherently unique personalized experiences, however the technology systems must be connected. Without connected systems, it is impossible to monitor the number of touches or the quality of customer engagements.
Hotel digital marketers therefore need a CMS that can manage complex and contextual digital experiences, and this is only possible with an enterprise-level Digital Experience Management system developed specifically for the hospitality industry with extensive API functionality.
By developing APIs that can connect with technologies shaping the future and integrate data with CRM platforms to extract meaning, hotel digital marketers can bridge the gap to empower hyper-personalization.
The path forward: Data-driven personalization
Imagine a traveler that frequents your hotel brand. She has a membership in your loyalty program and her guest profile data and travel history is stored in your CRM. Your system knows, through your CRM, that she prefers rooms on a high floor and therapeutic pillows. Her go-to drink is champagne and if she had a spare afternoon, she would likely go for a walk to see the sites.
Can your current CMS present an offer that acknowledges these personal attributes by using the data located in your CRM? Most importantly, can your CMS present a personal and contextual experience? When she first visited your website, did you welcome her back, did you sort the list of hotels in her desired location by how interesting they are for afternoon walks and sightseeing? Did you offer her a complimentary flute of champagne for booking or invite her to a GM happy hour event? Did you provide her a list of available pillows with the therapeutic option pre-checked?
The ability to take her profile data and provide a relevant and contextual experience creates a number of dependencies, which affect the decision you make on your MarTech stack, specifically your CMS decision. The better integrated your CMS is with your other marketing and sales tools, like the CRM and CRS, the smoother your marketing machinery will be.
Hotel brands are now using data-driven personalization, like the example above, to unlock new revenue streams. Savvy hotel digital marketers are integrating customer data from their hotel CRM platform with their CMS platform to personalize the guest engagement and service throughout the guest journey.
Want to know more? Download The Hotel Marketer’s Guide to Personalization now and unlock the power of personalization data in real-time across the guest journey to drive guest loyalty and revenue.