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Hotels Find an Edge Through TripAdvisor

In the world of digital marketing, data is the most crucial currency. Identifying search trends, figuring out demand trends, and simply understanding the average duration of stay can give hoteliers an edge in pinpointing target markets and customizing offers to exploit every opportunity. And getting hold of that kind of data has now become simpler than ever.

Earlier in January, TripAdvisor released a new subscription product, TripAdvisor Business Advantage. It allows hotels to gain access to customer search data related to their properties, providing a unique insight which can guide the subsequent optimization of their own TripAdvisor pages. The product includes two key components: Analytics Suite, and Promotional Features.

Analytics Suite provides hoteliers with key trends, hotel performance indicators, rankings, click activity, featured photo engagement, and demand trends. Promotional Features makes it possible for properties to stand out from their competitors by sharing customized offers on travelers’ own devices, whether desktop or mobile. TripAdvisor not only offers hoteliers customer insights but also helps them utilize the given data, and one major Thailand-based operator to take advantage is Onyx Hotels.

Knowing your target market is critical for success in any line of business, and for one Onyx property in Bangkok this proved to be particularly important. This hotel considered its main customers to be from the Middle East. Therefore, the hotel’s marketing strategy was customized to favor that particular demographic, in terms of language and promotions, including one based on Ramadan. However, a quick look at TripAdvisor Analytics Suite’s analysis of the hotel website’s traffic revealed that the reality was quite different.

Web traffic suggested the hotel’s main market was Australia, followed by Hong Kong and the UK. The hotel decided to run a case study by shifting its focus to these countries by advertising offers using specific strategies and language for each country through TripAdvisor. The result was an immediate jump in conversion rates and revenue growth within the first two weeks of applying TripAdvisor’s analytical measurements. Accordingly Onyx chose to implement TripAdvisor Business Advantage in more of their properties.

The information on customers’ average planning time and length of stay can also be vital in helping hoteliers to launch an effective display campaign. Another Onyx property, Amari Phuket, utilized the data provided by TripAdvisor Analytics Suite and Promotional Features to optimize their display banners. From TripAdvisor data analysis it was suggested that travelers typically booked their stays at the hotel with a lead time of around 80 days, and their stay was five days or longer.  

Amari Phuket’s peak season is in October, and the hotel had initially planned to launch its display around the beginning of the month, but after reviewing the data it was clear that this release date would not give customers enough time to plan their trips. Instead, they decided it would be best to launch the campaign in early August.

The promotion package that the hotel originally intended was for a three-night stay. TripAdvisor analysis helped them realize that this strategy might not be the most effective, so based on the data they extended their promotion package to offer a five-night stay. Once again the results were quickly apparent, delivering a significant ROI and underlining the utility of this kind of information.

In both of these cases, the benefits to Onyx from using TripAdvisor Business Advantage were simple to achieve and very swiftly realized. It was possible to obtain crucial data and apply it to redirect the marketing strategies, proving that not only is access to data vital for business, but that utilizing that data in the right way can be highly profitable. The ability to see exactly the who, what, where, when, and why of customers’ search activities finally gives hoteliers both sides of the marketing picture, and as Onyx will readily confirm, that can make a big difference.

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