Save Money and Build Relationships with Direct Digital Marketing
By Brian Deagan
Despite unpredictable economic conditions, one truth endures for the hospitality industry – there is always room for improvement to the guest experience. In tough economic times, improving the guest experience is a worthy investment because the seeds of loyalty blossom into a strong relationship when the spending freeze thaws. In ideal economic times, competition peaks and the key differentiator guests evaluate when determining where to spend their time and money is the experience. Positive statements about “improving the guest experience” are a constant in marketing meetings – but how? When resources are scarce, but investment in the guest experience is paramount, an efficient and accountable approach is vital. The most modern, effective, and accountable approach for improving the guest experience is found in direct digital marketing.
Direct digital marketing is a digital marketing method that delivers relevant marketing communications that are addressable to individuals through the primary online channels of email, Web, and mobile using an email address, a Web browser cookie, and mobile phone number, respectively. Hotel guests value personalized, relevant interactions whether they are on property, reading an email, booking a stay online, or reviewing a text message.
Two elements are necessary to properly execute the type of direct digital marketing programs that appeal to guests.
- First, avoid perpetuating organic market inefficiencies by seeking individual relationships for email, onsite targeting capabilities, and mobile marketing. The right direct digital marketing software partner must have multi-channel campaign delivery and management capabilities.
- Second, the content and campaign execution capabilities must live in the same software platform as the data environment. More, that data environment – usually referred to as a universal profile management system – must be designed specifically for direct digital marketing programs. Centralizing all important marketing data into the same on-demand software the content is in enables the truly unique segments and message targeting capabilities guests consistently respond to. For example, building a segment that takes a guest’s email activity, website browsing behavior, mobile interaction, past stay data, and preferences into consideration is ideal for creating a personalized and memorable guest experience.
If you’re switched on to the Mobile world, you’ve probably seen (and possibly even used) a QR (Quick Response) Code. These weird looking symbols are probably going to change the way we deploy direct marketing and make it truly interactive!
Wikipedia describes QR Codes: “A QR Code is a matrix code (or two-dimensional bar code) created by Japanese corporation Denso-Wave in 1994. The “QR” is derived from “Quick Response”, as the creator intended the code to allow its contents to be decoded at high speed.” Although initially used for tracking parts in vehicle manufacturing, QR Codes are now used in a much broader context, including both commercial tracking applications and convenience-oriented applications aimed at mobile phone users (known as mobile tagging). QR Codes storing addresses and URLs may appear in magazines, on signs, buses, business cards or just about any object that users might need information about. Users with a camera phone equipped with the correct reader software can scan the image of the QR Code causing the phone’s browser to launch and redirect to the programmed URL. This act of linking from physical world objects is known as a hardlink or physical world hyperlinks. Users can also generate and print their own QR Code for others to scan and use by visiting one of several free QR Code generating sites.
Below is a sample QR Code that points to “www.hotelemarketer.com”
About a month or two ago, following the release of our featured article “Hotel Mobile Marketing – A Hotel Guest Story From The Near Future” we had a barrage of emails from vendors and companies innovating in the hotel mobile marketing & applications field. Some of these technologies were quite run-of-the-mill but some clearly stood out in creative and innovative ways. Here is one such prototype technology / software, called hYspace.
What follows below is a great overview of what this hopes to achieve in terms of boosting guest convenience and accessibility:
A contribution for hotelemarketer.com by Charles Reed, CEO of world leading hospitality technology provider, DOCOMO interTouch
Running a hotel has never been simple. Experienced hoteliers know that I’m stating the obvious.
Every hour, a hotelier engages in a logistical symphony to ensure the comfort and convenience of guests. To the uninitiated the variables are unimaginable.
Each day, a hotelier mobilises their team to ensure the 500-room property is equipped with the right amenities from the welcome chocolates, toiletries, and show horns, right down to ensuring that the remote controls for the TV and DVD are correctly matched to each room for each guest.