Market segment, the new paradigm hotel revenue people seek to optimize and utilize, it can be an elusive beast. Using guest analytics and loyalty data will become more and more useful, but the key segments, and those data sets, will power the coming hotel operations shift toward predictive analytics. Here are some resources that should be “plugged into” your business intelligence matrix, so you can learn more about potential consumers and target hotel marketing directly at the desired hotel segments.
The HVS Library
HVS allows access to literally hundreds of articles on everything from hotel valuations and investing, to asset management, sales, PR, and much more. This library is particularly useful to learn about international trends. As a “for instance” users can search and filter for “Europe” – then find articles like the Q2 2015 Hotel Bulletin, by Russell Kett. Without dissecting the report, one big takeaway for hoteliers in the London market is the Travelodge
and Premier Inn moves to bolster the budget segment there. While we hear of luxury, luxury, luxury all the time where London is concerned, the coming competition is budget, budget, budget. In order to get an independent hotel take on this emerging data paradigm I spoke briefly with Lefteris Karatarakis, Managing Director at Lato Boutique Hotel, one of Greece’s most successful operations. Here’s what the he had to say about data points of pain:
“At Lato one of our biggest hurdles is understanding demand out past 30 days. By using very in depth analysis like that found in the HVS Library, we can glean a picture of the immediate and extended future. But predictive analysis bears its own stumblingblocks, as an independent time and resource are often too critical to engage in such research. A better tool-set is urgently needed.”
Key information, no matter what type hotel you own or run. As you can see by the chart below from Kett’s report, 3 star supply is about to get a big boost. Important analytics, if you’re competing to sell budget rooms, wouldn’t you say?
Passport is another online market research tool that is crucial for monitoring such things as consumer spending, industry trends, demographics, and much more. Thousands of companies worldwide utilize this resource to help develop business intelligence and planning, and to help influence strategic planning at the micro, and macro level. For the hospitality segment, Passport allows users to study a range of Hotels and Restaurants industries by single country or across 18 countries.
An example of key market intelligence to be gleaned here is reflected in this report on the Russian market. Would it interest competing hotels outside Russia and the CIS to know the market there has grew by more than 54% for hotel services alone in 2013? Intelligence here is vital for understanding CIS or competing regional figures. For key travel partners with Russia, knowing outbound travel from there exceeds forecasts, would be vital targeting data. To gain some insider insight on how revenue managers might better make use of such data, I asked Tomasz Janczak, Director E-Commerce& Distribution, Plateno Europe and co-founder of the dotcomhotel Hospitality E-commerce& Revenue Management Conference for his insider’s take on big data and tools. Here’s what this expert had to say:
“Hospitality management changes the way the marketing and price management proceed. In my experience I’ve paid notice to the evolution the evolution of the decision processes, from analysing the previous years data, than adding competition rates, and market demand etc., and so on. Today technology supports hoteliers, but the market also changed and there is much more data to be analyzed. Therefore, one major key to harnessing all these variables is a single dashboard that will present all available information integrated into an easy to understand format. The problem now is not a lack of data, but the means to harness it.”
So, as a “for instance here,” the way OneTwoTrip, Airbnb and Anydayanyway.com continue to see significant expansion in Russia, is in keeping with industry movement there toward online travel as a stronger segment. For Russian providers, these reports give key insight into touristic flows to regions like; the Altay Territory, the Arkhangelsk Region, the Astrahan Region, Irkutsk Territory, Kaliningrad Region, and all the others. However, what Janczak points out brings into the forefront much needed innovation. Frankly, no independent hotel owner I know has the staff, or the time, to do deep analysis as it should be done.
This online platform affords users truly robust market intelligence, this is probably why the service is the number one suck resource in the world. Mintel’s travel product are considered the industry benchmark by many, and is a trusted market data resource whether your business wants to slice and dice market data by continent or by the tiniest segment imaginable. The platform allows users to discover emerging destinations, see new trends and formats, innovations in accommodations, as well as the latest sales and service data. The resources bridge package markets, independent holidays, special holidays, the cruise picture, air travel, and hotels and accommodations. (Click the image below to visit Mintel)
For the sake of an example here, let’s assume you own a hotel somewhere in Brazil. A quote from Mintel’s Senior Analyst, Naira Sato reflects a “must know” value for any hotel with a restaurant, or any hotel with beds for people who eat, for that matter. This report also let’s hoteliers know people over 55 tend to appreciate “specialty menus” more. In other words, older guests like eating at places that offer special menu options (eg vegetarian, lactose-free, gluten-free dishes, etc.).
“The economic downturn has already started affecting Brazilian’s eating out habits, but more than focusing on price alone, it is important that the foodservice sector is aware that low price does not necessarily guarantee consumers’ loyalty. Many consumers consider eating out as a leisure activity, a way to get out of their usual routines. For this reason, restaurants need to pay attention to the quality of the dishes on their menus as well as to the service they offer to customers.”
STR and STR Global track supply and demand data for the hotel industry. The various services they provide are invaluable for international and regional market share evaluation. Some 50,000 plus hotels participate in STR’s performance surveys, which provides a vast resource for understanding historical events, day to day. If you’re hotel business requires supply and demand dynamics for predicting future business, STR Global data is vital.
My example here is a recent STR report on Poland. After hosting a pretty wide array of sporting events, fairs ,and business conferences this country shows potential for the future. The STR story on this destination verifies increases in investment, infrastructure improvements, and demand numbers. As for STR and cutting edge predictive analytics to come, I asked my friend Martin Soler about SnapShot GmbH’s integration with these data libraries. Here’s what one of hospitality’s most respected marketing gurus had to say:
“As a hotel data and analytics company, at Snapshot we realized early on the vastness of data and insight that exists. Rather than trying to re-invent this data we believe there is great value in integrating with existing authoritative statistic companies such as STR, and in helping hotels find the relationships in between their data and these very deep data resource libraries.”
Another online publisher library, MarketResearch.com is a massive collection of market intelligence products and services with reports from over 720 top publishers. The database is updated daily, and is a great storehouse of expert insights globally. The library is a bit unique in that users can “buy-by-the-section” reports detailing whatever segment or topic they need. Unlike most paid resources, this service allows for analysis of either full reports, chapters, charts, or even graphs and tables individually.
MarketResearch.com features publishers such as; Alexander Watson Associates, Aruvian’s R’search, Beverage Marketing Corporation, BioSeeker Group AB, Canadean Ltd, Energy Aspects Ltd., GBI Research, iCD Research, IDATE, and hundreds of others. Another differentiation point for this firm is their so-called “Knowledge Center,” which further allows clients to pick and choose what intelligence they want.
For hotels the single most crucial value proposition is to provide guests with services that exceed expectations. Simply meeting a need is no longer feasible in this highly competitive hospitality world. The customer journey has been discussed in detail by experts. Now marketing and technology expertise is being leveraged to create who news systems, refined tools, and innovations we have yet to see. However vital Big Data and predictive analytics may be to future business though, many hotels lag far behind. As I have illustrated here, the mountain of useful business intelligence is available, but the chore of introducing capability to managers and owners is ahead. Lastly, the technologies needed to leverage guest preferences and needs, they still just over the horizon.
We will keep you updated as key innovators like IBM, Duetto, SnapShot and a few others will soon break ground on capabilities we have heard trumpeted. Positives like optimized yield management, IT operations analytics, increased customer satisfaction, and managing for future demand will be vastly simplified we know. For now though, it’s crucial for all hoteliers to understand the competition will not stand still, innovation is ongoing. There may never come a day when reading articles like this one, and learning how to be better at hospitality will certainly be ongoing. We’ll do our best to keep you in the loop.