You can also use trends to track sentiment and trends towards your brand compared to competitor brands.
What happens with automated revenue management systems in a situation like now during this global pandemic that has had a catastrophic impact on the hotel industry, where there is just no historical data that is remotely relevant to running a property in such circumstances. No matter how fancy the software is, if it has been designed to crunch historical data and use Machine Learning and AI, relying on such software to be your 'crystal ball' could prove fatal for your business.
The properties that come out standing will be the ones where hoteliers have upped their own personal data game and collected, analysed and made decisions based on the data that IS relevant for their business. This article will outline 8 key metrics that you should be following each day that will help you pull through this crisis. They are based on the article Revenue Management in recovery: 7 trends to track.
The data that you'll need to be crunching falls into two main categories:
- Public (Open Source Intelligence or 'OSINT')
- Private Data
Publicly Available Data - 'OSINT'
Despite what your business reality was in the past, things have changed. Now, rather than having a 'comp-set' of a selection of competitor hotels in your area, your comp-set has now become the world. Travelers aren't just choosing what property in a given city that they'll be staying in. They are comparing country against country and city against city - only when you've won them to your city can you then look at getting them into your property. The following public data sources will be your friends for the foreseeable future, and help you plan your marketing initiatives and determine as best as possible exactly what kind of numbers you might be expecting and most importantly, what they will be expecting - crucial if you're to win their business.
Social Media Sentiment
One good way to check whether or not a particular market is planning to travel to your country or your city is a destination is to check the pulse or 'sentiment' towards your destination on social media. For many markets, Twitter is a very good source of open source data and there are many freely available tools that can help you search Twitter data at a granular level to help you see who's tweeting what, from what markets and how they're feeling about the places that they're tweeting about. To learn more, check out this Hotelintel.co article 'What Can Global Tourism Learn from US Consumers' where we analysed US sentiment towards certain destinations.
Google trends allows you to see what people are talking about based on geography. The image below is a search looking to compare Bangkok as a tourism destination compared to Hong Kong based on searches over the past 90 days. You can see which markets are strongest and who your competitors in the region are. They are your new comp-set.
You can also use trends to track sentiment and trends towards your brand compared to competitor brands. Use your creativity and try out different keywords to see if you can find trends that you can leverage.
Foreign Exchange Rates
When travelers finally decide that they're going to travel somewhere in the middle of this pandemic, they're going to want to make sure that they get the biggest bang for their buck. It's prudent to keep track of the foreign exchange rates of currencies from source markets that you're hoping to attract against not only your country's currency, but also against the currencies of potential competitor destinations. If your destination is looking like it will be a better deal for potential travelers, you can use this as a key marketing point in your campaigns targeting those segments.
Covid Virus Related Data for Target Source Markets
You could run all the marketing campaigns you like, but if a country you're hoping to attract guests from has had a resurgence or tightened travel restrictions, you're going to need to regroup, pivot and target another market.
Spending power is also another important determiner as to whether a given market is going to be valuable to you or not in the coming months. If unemployment is going through the roof and local GDP's are down, chances are that you're going to need to downgrade the probability of gaining the numbers from those markets to your property. To get good global economic data, use resources like Trading Economic - a popular source of data for investors.
Global Rate Bucket Reports
Given that your comp-set has now ballooned out to the entire planet, you'll need to have reports of other 'in class' properties that you will be going head to head with in other markets. Your traditional comp-sets won't cut it. One such service comes in the form of 'RADAR' reports by Origin World Labs. These reports allow you to compare rates in your market against rates in your own star category in other competitor markets to see how you fair. This will help you strategize your own rates, as well as determine where people are most likely to travel to and how you might shift your marketing strategy to gain these people back to your market.
Website Analytics Data
If you've set things up well using tools like Google Tag Manager and Google Analytics on your site, you can start to drill down into the data and find information that can give you an edge on your competitors. Google Tag Manager in conjunction with Google Analytics allows you to collect data from any and every interaction of people coming to your site - searches, scrolls, clicks - even where they hover their mouse and read. Put on your 'mad scientist' lab-coat and see what metrics you can measure to give you insights on where your potential guests are wanting to stay and what they're expecting when they get there. You can then use this data to not only re-target hyper-personalized campaigns back at them, but also market to similar 'look-alike' audiences, giving you an even better chance of winning new business in these troubled times.
What enquiries have been coming in? What have your customer service agents been speaking about with guests? What questions are being asked? What have people been booking and who has been cancelling - and why?
All of this data should be readily available in a well-maintained CRM system, and can be used in conjunction with your marketing department to craft marketing strategies that target high potential markets, as well as help you address any concerns that may be being raised about travelling to your property.
Although this has been included in the 'Private Data' section, Airline Data falls into both Public and Private data categories. You can use freely available data from services like Flight Radar 24 to see what flights are scheduled to fly where. This will give you a good idea whether or not people will be travelling to you - and if they're going to other markets, you'll be able to work on ways to get them flying back to you.
There are premium airline data services available like Forward Keys who provide not only scheduled flights, but also demographics of travelers, target cities and spending patterns which will help you determine exactly who is going where - and who you might look to be targeting.
It's one thing to have all of this Data, but as a hotel professional, you will need to also ensure that your data skills are on-point and perhaps learn to use some of the many tools available out there that will help you collect the data, crunch it and start to see patterns that will be useful for your business.
If you are serious in taking your data and analytic skills to the next level, you might also want to consider continuing your education with EHL’s world-renowned MBA in Hospitality program. Another place to get your feet wet would be doing an online certificate based on components of EHL’s world-renowned MBA Hospitality program.
For more information on the MBA program, click here.
For more information on the online certificates, click here.
Disclaimer: This article is adapted from EHL Insight