All of the tools used to market and cater to customers during their guest journey are constantly evolving. The number of options can seem overwhelming. But the best way to take advantage of personalization technology is in conjunction with multiple tools to improve each guest’s experience. Many of the most exciting personalization trends are tied to analytics that can allow hotels to learn guests’ behavior and personalize responses to the fullest.

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  • Techniques and technologies to enable personalization at scale

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML)

AI and machine learning capabilities have advanced tremendously in just the past few years, and it’s more accessible than ever. Machine learning-based software can predict preferences in real time, using online activity to alter their scores, with different scores matching different segments. It only takes a couple of minutes for a system to gain enough user behavior to begin classifying users and making predictions based on decision trees crafted by marketers and data specialists. And the more data that’s integrated into a hotel’s CRM platform, the better artificial intelligence can help marketing and operations.

Marketing automation and CRM

The essential components of a truly integrated CRM solutions include enhanced guest profiles, communications automation, guest intelligence, and powerful analytics tools. The CRM should be programmatic and intuitive when it categorizes contacts into segments based on their reservation, preference and lifestyle data, which in turn allows marketers to engage with small, highly targeted lists. The right hotel CRM, like Cendyn eInsight, powers guest engagement, and alongside an integrated digital experience management platform, like Achiga’s Live Enterprise, allows marketers to send personalized communications to guests across any channel. Targeting and retargeting carefully cultivated target audiences not only helps marketing messages succeed, it actually gives guests exactly what they want. More than 75% of customers like it when brands send them personalized messages and offers.

Making it social

Targeting guests across multiple social platforms isn’t actually very different than targeting them through email or anywhere else. By blending the ample amount of information available on social media with guest data collected through a CRM platform, it’s possible to create exceptionally effective, highly segmented, targeted marketing campaigns on social media. For example, let’s say a hotel marketer has identified the specific group of guests that stayed at a property in the previous year during a weekend when they’re trying to drive bookings. The marketer could match them against their social media profiles, and target them directly with ads across multiple social media channels. Taking it even further, they can also use that data to create lookalike models to find other people who have similar demographics, behavior and intent patterns and effectively target them with direct social advertising, as well. Highly targeted campaigns like these have a much higher return on investment versus standard generic social marketing campaigns.

Digital Experience Management

At the end of the day, all travel brands should be aiming to deploy holistic experience platforms rather than siloed marketing systems. And when it comes to online user interfaces, customers are more demanding than ever, expecting their favorite travel brands to provide the same level of experience they enjoy when using sites like Amazon. Marketers need to think beyond the website and purchasing stage, using omni-channel communications to connect content to experience. Everything needs to be mobilefriendly and contextual. The ultimate goal should be to provide a digital experience that’s relevant to each guest’s journey and is consistent with the brand.

It’s not just other hotel brands competing for guests online. Airbnb is rapidly positioning itself as the only travel brand a consumer would ever need, for every part of their journey. That’s why hotel chains like Marriott and Hyatt are heavily investing in software and platforms that develop more direct relationships with their customers. Hotel marketers must demand e-commerce tools and CRM platforms that work beautifully and seamlessly from a guest standpoint while making it easier for them to capture, collect and analyze data in real time.

Chatbots

Consumers are increasing their expectations when it comes to the speed of information, as well as the mediums they want to use to interact with brands. They don’t want to wait to get an answer to a simple question. And younger generations do not want to pick up a phone to dial into a call center or reception desk. That’s where chatbots come in, changing the game when it comes to customer service by reducing response times and giving guests more ways to interact with hotels.

Providing guests with a personalized and curated experience is really hard to do if you do not have the right technology platforms.

John McAuliffePresident, Achiga

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.

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