In this exclusive editorial with Silvia Mayer, Senior Account Executive at IDeaS, we discuss the role of revenue management in driving guest personalisation.

Hotels are eager to establish personal connections with their guests, and data has provided the means to achieve this in new ways. However, the ever-changing preferences of guests over the past three years presents a challenge. In this tech-dominant era, travelers expect a heightened degree of personalisation, which hotels strive to offer. To bridge this gap, operators are delving into travelers’ spending patterns during their journeys. Analysing this data enables hoteliers to discern the priorities of travelers, their current perceptions of personalisation, and the best approaches to cater to these expectations.

Perhaps surprisingly, revenue management has emerged as a cornerstone in delivering genuine personalisation within the hospitality sector. Occupying a vantage point at the nexus of a vast array of critical guest data, revenue managers are now often leading the charge to pioneer novel personalisation standards industry-wide. Pricing, sales, distribution, and market mix channel data, underpin revenue management practices. Consequently, today’s revenue leaders are ideally placed to fathom the intricate ways in which this data impacts the guest experience.

As we look ahead to 2024, for hoteliers to truly resonate with their guests, it is essential to focus on evolving performance metrics and the new data elements that influence buying choices. Hoteliers should be introspective, asking pertinent questions like: Why do guests opt for specific hotels? What attracts them to certain areas? From where do the ideal guests hail, and what are the costs associated with acquiring them? Moreover, understanding a traveler’s budgetary allocations during their trips and their expenditure patterns is crucial.

Once hoteliers begin to collect data that answers these questions and apply the foundational basics of revenue management to their findings, it’s possible to create micro-segments that can be targeted and priced individually, increasing the level of personalisation offered to guests in addition to growing revenue.

Delivering Tailored Experiences in Measured Quantities

The goal of micro-segmentation in revenue management is to attract guests and improve the distribution landscape. The most effective way to achieve this is by curating offers and packages during the booking process that resonate on a personal level. Such tailored packages can encompass specific room types, amenities, and services, informed by a guest’s previous interactions with the hotel. Furthermore, these personalised offerings can deliberately omit features less appealing to certain guests. All these efforts are anchored by the wealth of data from the hotel’s revenue management system.

In the contemporary hospitality landscape, personalisation is synonymous with adaptability and a breadth of choices. By putting forth compelling options, hotels simplify the task of marketing these services. Pairing these offerings with robust marketing strategies, enriched by consumer insights, hotels can satiate the desire for personalisation among travelers. This is increasingly manifesting as attribute-based shopping, wherein individual facets of a hotel stay are pitched during the booking process.

While a hotel room teems with options for attribute-based selling, true personalisation necessitates think beyond the confines of the room. Consider enhanced pre-arrival experiences or flexible check-out timings. These features, and many more, can be positioned as value-additions, augmenting the unique offerings distinct to each hotel. To truly harness the potential of these upsell avenues in the forthcoming year, hoteliers need to delve deeper into their establishments, the surrounding locale, and the data that sheds light on guest preferences.

Stepping into the Age of Digital Proficiency

Today’s traveler has seamlessly integrated technology into their routine, a trait shared by most hoteliers. Pre-pandemic, there might have been an anticipation of guests needing assistance to navigate the online booking process. However, in the current landscape, travelers demonstrate a heightened digital acumen, often turning to the Internet as their initial booking touchpoint. This necessitates hotel brands and operators to augment and improve their digital presence to keep drawing in travelers. Better property imagery, instantaneous direct message channels, and targeted packages will be pivotal for hotels to stay afloat in this digital-first age.

What’s critical to note is that consumers are starting to expect this level of engagement across physical and digital properties. Hotels big and small across the globe need to be able to meet guest needs on their terms. Providing guests with agency, choice, and personalisation goes hand-in-hand with meeting continued high-levels of guest service.

Once hotels have adopted this mentality, they can look at their entire property as a total asset, not a collection of guestrooms connected by public spaces – and in some cases, a restaurant or two. This perspective allows hoteliers to unlock the holistic potential of their establishment. Yet, achieving this requires an advanced data creation strategy supported by good data hygiene, all supported by revenue management.