Millennials have been the centre of every mass-market hotel campaign for the last twenty years or so. This demographic was raised analogue but adapted digital technology as their primary shopping and advertising platform.
NB: This is an article from Clock PMS+
Advertising to Millennials has always been more broad and inclusive as they are a transitional generation who have grown to become mature and conscientious consumers, who care about experiences but not at the cost of the environment.
If you have been in hospitality for some time you probably already have an active plan when appealing to Millennial guests’ needs and wants. But the oldest among Millenials are now entering their 40s, meaning that you are about to welcome the next generation of guests: Generation Z.
GENERATION Z: THE DIGITAL NATIVES
This guest demographic is born in the late 1990s and early 2000s, ranging between early teens and young adults. They are the digital information generation, the first generation that does not remember a time before social media and many of them are quite apt at using new technology.
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Their education also differs from that of the generation before them. While there are still millennials which only utilize digital technology in a limited capacity, most GenZers are fluent in the scope of the digital market place be it in terms of media, software, or hardware.
For Generation Z digital literacy is as rudimentary as saying the ability to drive a car. Naturally, they carry this skillset into every aspect of their lives, both as future consumers and employees.
GEN Z AS GUESTS
As you can see most of the representatives of Generation Z are still not financially independent but to make up for it they are extremely socially communicative in the online market space.
GenZ hotel guests rely on their parent’s financial support to travel, but they also have very specific requirements that appeal to their digital sensibilities, which affects their parents’ spending.
Since this is a demographic which is actively going through puberty, many of the parents of these guests are inclined to book holidays based on their child’s preferences in order to avoid conflict and encourage family time.
It would be best to view GenZ as the true spending power behind your family guest demographic. Family vacations tend to involve a longer booking time and a more generous upselling margin, most of which stems from the parental need to entertain their children.
While the parents are likely to splurge on a spa procedure or some golf lessons for themselves, they are very unlikely to put down requests from their already independent children. As such, if you do cater to family vacationers, it would be an oversight not to focus on their GenZers’ interests and hobbies.
- Booking For GenZ
Generation Z guests will likely have a say on where the family’s holiday will be booked, increasingly more so as they age. You can appeal to them directly through social media campaigns.
This will involve an investment in better hotel representation both visually and as an experience. Mind that many of Generation Zers take up photography as a hobby, so seeing your business represented by amateur shots is likely going to leave a negative first impression.
And this is a generation which knows that they do not need to agree to something that does not reflect their sensibilities, instead, they can take their parent’s business somewhere else. After all, they want to be able to show off their vacation on their own platforms and they will find that hard to do if you do not seem like the sort of place they can brag about.
Some improvements that you can make are having professional photographers update your room inventory to your social media and website. You want to make that first impression as accurate as possible, but you also want to make it a good one. Another on-site improvement would be to add a selfie-spot in your lobby.
Designate an area with enough natural light and set up a screen and some decoration, possibly using your hotel’s branding in the background. While this might not appeal to older users, GereationZ is unlikely to pass up a photo op. If you want to make an even better impression, train your lobby staff to approach guests and take their photo for them if necessary.
- Upselling GenZ
Images play a pivotal role in GenZ upsell ability, so having the right hospitality solutions to represent your services inventory will be crucial to securing the sale. Hotel self-service apps will come in handy when looking for ways to increase the value of your GenZ guest.
The app will provide guests with a list of your services, which you can update on the regular through your property management system and the guests can simply charge their room for the upsell if they wish to. The self-service app is not a completely frivolous tool, and guests and their guardians can track their spending through the app, ensuring that there are no unnecessary changes made to their card.
GEN Z AS EMPLOYEES
You probably already have some representatives of Generation Z amongst your staff, and you are looking at a new generation of hospitality management expected to join the workforce this very year. But what can you expect from GenZ employees and how can your property benefit from their involvement?
For starters, this is the generation which will not need retraining when it comes to managing your hotel property management system (PMS) . This is not the same as not having to introduce them to the tools entirely, but they will pick up on new software solutions with ease that simply does not come to other employees.
There is a reason for this, namely GenZ are raised with an expectancy of automation and integration. They expect that any job that requires software should be intuitive in nature and so they put any effort into learning the new functions they are offered. As such they actively welcome any change that you bring to your systems and implement it with ease.
You can imagine how this will improve your return of investment on your hospitality software solutions. A GenZ employee tasked with updating room inventory and rates will be actively engaged in learning how automated revenue management and your hotel’s channel manager to work in order to get the job done faster and with a greater success rate.
The future of hospitality is digital and so it is only natural that the people who will work in this industry and enjoy these services are also digital natives. GenZ will bring to hospitality a much-needed breath of fresh air when it comes to adopting new technology, which can only serve to improve hospitality as a whole.