Most hoteliers associate the term Social Media with Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. But there is much more to Social Media. Facebook & Co. are one aspect, the other important part is rating portals. Communities are nice and valuable, but money is made through TripAdvisor, HolidayCheck, and Google+.
Never before has change been so omnipresent like today. And never before has it been more important to stay up-to-date and to expand ones knowledge. Such statements can be seen a lot. And they are true! Big Data, the hot topic of the past months, confirms this.
In 1965, Gordon Moore, one of the founders of Intel, postulated that processor speed would double every 18 months and network capacities every 9 months. Back then, only a few people understood what this meant. More than 50 years ago, Gordon Moore already predicted how fast our world would change. This means that, if the development continued at the same speed, computers will be 64 times faster than today by the year 2026! It is hard to imagine the possibilities this would bring.
Data has become the new gold in the Big Data era. When you look at the business value of companies such as Booking.com, AirBnB or Uber you can see the immense value of data. All these companies would have no basis for existence without the data they are generating.
Hotels also create huge amounts of data. One massive data source is the WLAN, a system hardly anyone pays attention to or makes use of. This, however, is a big mistake! There are calculations according to which a 200-room hotel gives up around 280,000 Euros per year by not tapping into this potential.
The fight for guests and their loyalty manifests in the booking behavior. In other words, guest loyalty stands or falls with the guest data. Only if you know your guests, their needs and expectations and how much they are willing to pay, will you be able to go up against the OTAs. Success does not depend on the size of a company, but on the management’s ability to adapt to the changing environment. In the end, it is all about Central Data Management (CDM).
Each year, many hotel managers ask themselves what and how much they should invest in to meet the expectations of their guests. Without doubt guest satisfaction alongside communications is the most important variable influencing guest loyalty and repurchase behavior.
Thomas Reisenzahn, former secretary general of the Austrian Hotel Association and today managing director of GFB Prodinger Tourism Consulting, recently stated that one of the main reasons for the increasingly difficult situation of hotels in the Alpine region was false and costly investments. I completely agree. However, I believe that this statement is not only applicable to hotels in the Alpine region, but to hotels everywhere!
What is Big Data? I hear this question almost every day. It is indeed not so easy to explain Big Data in simple words. Although Big Data and intelligent use of data are highly relevant topics and present throughout the media, only a few experts are able to deliver a logical and clear definition.
For more than 20 years, I have been working with digital media. In 2000, I started with marketing databases and CRM. Over the years, I have gained a pretty good overview of the activities within the hospitality industry, in particular when it comes to guest communication. Surprisingly, not much has changed in the past years. It seems to me that 99.9% of all hotels got stuck in the year 2000.
Big Data or holistic and intelligent data management has become a popular topic within the hospitality industry. A lot of hotel companies talk about it, but hardly anyone is even close to doing it right. In my new book I predict that by the year 2020 many hotels will have disappeared for exactly that reason. But I have to admit I was mistaken – the process is already in full swing.
There has been quite a hype lately around beacons, in particular since HRS has invested 10m in this technology, which is supposed to improve the customer experience in the hotels. But what is behind all this?
Every time the world is going to change, managers call for statutory regulations to secure their own status. For quite some time, lobbyists have been trying to torpedo the Sharing Economy, a phenomenon reflecting our changing society. Taxi companies and the hospitality should no be affected by Uber, Airbnb & Co. But is this the right approach? Is it smart to ignore the changes and call for regulations? Wouldn’t it be better to face the situation, despite the challenges some will not be able to cope with?