In the ever-evolving landscape of the hospitality industry, independent hoteliers are facing a shift.
NB: This is an article from WebRezPro
Third-party data – such as data purchased from marketing companies or collected through cookies – was once a cornerstone for understanding guest preferences and market trends but is gradually disappearing due to privacy concerns and changing regulations.
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While third-party data provides convenience, a move away from it is a move in the right direction, especially when first-party data is literally at every hotelier’s fingertips.
In this blog post, we’ll delve into why first-party data is important and how, with the right tools, it opens up a world of dynamic possibilities, allowing hoteliers to precisely target their audience, grow their business, and deliver tailored, personalized services.
What Is First-party Data, and Why Is It Important to Hoteliers?
Whereas third-party data is collected and owned by external sources that are not directly related to the business using the data (such as various websites and data brokers), first-party data refers to information that a business collects directly from its customers or audience. This includes data obtained through interactions and transactions, such as customer purchases, website visits, and user behaviour. This data is owned and controlled by the business itself and is considered the most reliable and valuable type of data for personalized marketing, customer insights, and improving business operations.
For hoteliers, first-party data is essential as it comprises information collected directly from guests and website visitors. This data empowers hotels to personalize guest experiences, target marketing efforts effectively, foster guest loyalty, and optimize operations. Moreover, it facilitates compliance with data privacy regulations, ensuring secure and ethical data usage and ultimately resulting in improved guest satisfaction and business success.
How Can Hoteliers Collect First-party Data?
Hoteliers can collect first-party data through all customer touchpoints, encompassing contact details, booking history, guest preferences, and feedback. It is crucial to handle this private information discreetly.
According to Salesforce’s State of the Connected Customer Report (2020), 84% of customers emphasize the importance of being treated as individuals rather than mere numbers, with 73% of them expressing their willingness to share data in exchange for a more personalized experience.
In light of this, what’s the most effective approach for hoteliers to gather guest data? Put the trench coat and x-ray glasses aside; there’s nothing clandestine here. While the ultimate goal is personalized service, data collection primarily centres around constructing guest personas for targeted marketing.
Various customer touchpoints offer opportunities for collecting personal information from guests, such as during booking or check-in. However, requesting excessive information upfront may, much like a disastrous blind date, deter your guests. Think of it as a reverse drip campaign, where instead of disseminating information, you’re gradually accumulating it.
Whether guests book online (directly or via third-party websites) or through your front desk, they usually provide contact information, including names, email addresses, and phone numbers. This data constitutes the foundation of your guest database. Consider requesting additional information that aligns with this stage in the customer journey. This may include: