Many choices of channels and devices means that the customer journey no longer follows a single, linear path. This is pushing brands beyond the “multichannel” digital experience of mobile, social and web to delivering experiences across even more touchpoints and blur the lines between the digital and physical customer experience. Consumers expect brands to create “frictionless experiences” explains McKinsey.
Read this article to learn:
✔ The nine key features in a DEM platform designed specifically for hotel groups
✔ Questions to ask a DEM vendor
Features to look for in a DEM
Achiga has identified nine key features you should look for when selecting a Digital Experience Management (DEM) system designed specifically for hotel groups.
1. Channel and presentation layer agnostic
Look for a Digital Experience Management system (DEM) that separates content from presentation layer to support omnichannel publishing across all stages of the guest experience. Many modern content management systems have been built around publishing and editing webpages. The Internet of Things (IoT) however, is forcing us to think of content across all platforms and devices in entirely different ways. A comprehensive digital strategy now typically includes any of the following channels: websites, landing pages, mobile apps, call centers, kiosks, digital signage, in-room tv monitors, and many more. This is why hotel brands need a solution that is more than a tool to build and manage websites. They require a central platform to not only store and manage content and assets, but deliver content to digital channels, ensuring brand consistency, and improving efficiency and productivity. A DEM that is channel and presentation layer agnostic can be the nucleus of your digital strategy and elevate all of your online marketing initiatives.
When you’re a busy hotel marketer responsible for managing the digital experience for multiple properties, agility, speed and efficiency are everything. Access to one central platform through which you create, manage and publish content (that enhances a guest’s experience and keeps your brand top of mind, such as offers, events, room upgrade and guest facilities) to any number of channels from a single application makes the process significantly easier and less time-consuming.
3. API ecosystem
Currently, most CMSs are built to only publish content, however, soon channels will also generate content and your CMS will need to ingest that data. Working with a DEM that offers flexibility and scalability through an API ecosystem helps ensure that you won’t be limited as your hotel, and your marketing efforts, grow and evolve. The free flow of data and content between your DEM and third-party reporting tools, F&B reservation tools, booking engines and media services ensures connectivity and efficiency today, and tomorrow.
Being able to speak to international guests in an educated and clever way is crucial to a hotelier’s success in today’s global market. Ensure your DEM choice has a robust languages capability. The ability to manage and publish content in multiple languages (including right-to-left written languages), not just on your website but across all of your digital marketing channels, and ensure that the process of adding content in different languages is simple and intuitive.
A DEM that allows for dynamic content personalization helps you connect to your guests on a true one-to-one marketing level. This is more than an automated email with the guest’s name; tracking your users’ region, language preferences, previous website behavior, booking history, loyalty program affiliation, and more allows to offer content and promotions that fit their needs and their specific profile.
6. Content control
Your content is the backbone of your marketing efforts. You need a DEM that gives you full control of your promotional visual and textual content across multiple websites, landing pages, emails, mobile apps, digital signage and so on. It’s also important to have the ability to add new properties to multi-property and brand websites on the fly (and automatically add these new elements to drop-down and search menus, reservation widgets and site maps) and to enable photographers, bloggers and other media partners to directly upload media. With all of your content managed and delivered from a central system, you ensure a consistent experience and brand interaction with your guests, on every channel, every time.
7. Hotel specific capabilities
Choosing a DEM that is designed with hotel-specific tools and features that will help you drive bookings (which is ultimately your goal) simply makes the most sense. Hotel-specific features to look for in a DEM include the ability to build in special offers and packages modules, onsite display banners, real-time room rate promotions, room showcase modules, reservation retargeting and abandonment avoidance, CRS, RFP and loyalty program technology interfaces as needed, social media feeds, spa, golf and dining reservation technology interfaces, and more.
While a comprehensive feature set is important, if the interface isn’t intuitive and easy-to-use, you and/or your team will never use it. End users care less about shiny new features and more about getting their routine tasks done day in and day out, so look for a DEM that’s designed with the user in mind.
To maximize productivity, consider a DEM that includes workflow features, where you can assign user access roles with publishing workflows. This helps ensure the right people are creating content, and the right people are reviewing and publishing the content at the right time.
Your DEM is an investment and asset to your business. You want your DEM to remain flexible, modular, and upgradable as new technologies and enhancements emerge. It’s a matter of protecting your investment, as well as ensuring you can adapt as your guests’ needs and preferences evolve.
”Omnichannel is about the ability to be anywhere and choosing where to be strategically. Brands need the choice to add whatever channels may come next, in an integrated way that supports a holistic, mutually reinforcing content strategy.MarketingProfs
Questions to ask a DEM vendor
Here are some questions to ask vendors as you go through the process of selecting the DEM solution to move you from managing digital marketing to managing digital experiences.
- What out-of-the-box hotel centric components does the DEM include?
- Does the DEM meet all of my content management needs (acquire, store, curate and distribute)?
- Is the DEM designed for web publishing or managing of content independent of channel or presentation layer?
- How does the DEM enable me to deliver personalized and consistent user experiences?
- How many languages does the DEM support?
- Which systems does the DEM integrate with?
- Do the DEM users require technical skills or training?
Achiga’s Live Enterprise is a unique solution that offers hotel groups the flexibility and versatility to manage content independently from channel or presentation layer, supporting many different websites and digital channels that make up a hotel group’s omnichannel digital presence.