Your resort has so many points of inbound data (from lodging, to spa, to golf to food & beverage) which can lead to scattered, disparate data—or data silos—that prevent you from reaching your guests at the right time with the right message. Luckily, with the appropriate tools in place, you can make meaningful connections with your guests, break down those data silos, and capitalize on additional revenue opportunities.

The challenges resort marketers face

Data silos leave you relying on “batch and blast” messaging that simply doesn’t resonate with all your guests. Ultimately, this results in high unsubscribes, makes it difficult to drive or measure engagement, and doesn’t allow you to strategically segment your audiences. This also prevents you from being able to measure what is or isn’t working in your marketing approach.

Additionally, many resorts face the high cost of OTA bookings that take away from the bottom line. Without the ability to analyze the data from your current direct bookers, it’s difficult to know what strategies will help drive more direct bookings in the future.

The important “buckets” of hospitality marketing

Lodging is one of the biggest revenue opportunities for any resort. The heart of your business is getting “heads in beds” and building a loyal customer base that stays more than once. Clean, strong data is important here, especially if you want to have a seat at the table against lodging competitors like Airbnb and VRBO. Top factors influencing guests to stay overnight include convenience, location, and traveler needs. It’s important to emphasize the convenience of your lodging and what unique aspects bring people into town when they stay with you. Lodging is also about timing — the average booking window is 25 days, but it can get as small as a week to a handful of days. Understanding your lodging data allows you to be strategic about events and activities that can get people excited to book and fill up more rooms, more quickly.

The activities and entertainment bucket is also largely untapped, especially seeing as the data from onsite events sits mostly untouched after the event is over. This includes things like concerts, mountain bike/ski events, food festivals, etc. These are great opportunities to use your data to bring in more traffic from out of towners as well as build more loyalty and presence with your locals. If it is an annual event, you can use your data to look at people who attended in previous years and target your marketing for a return visit.

There is also opportunity in the food and beverage side of your business. Understanding where your guests are dining, how often, and other preferences gives you an understanding of what types of guests you have staying with you and what they care about. If you have a high-demand restaurant that gets booked quickly, that is a great opportunity to use your data to target those guests and encourage them to make a reservation.

Lastly, events like meetings and weddings can be a huge driver of revenue as well as opportunities to upsell while that group is on site. Not only are they booking out the spaces or room blocks, but there may be guests who are interested in learning more or extending their stay.

Understanding guest recognition and data driven marketing

To fully understand your guests and their needs, it’s important to have a tool that integrates all your guest data from lodging, activities (like spa or golf), and entertainment, etc. into one platform. That way, you have a clear and concise view of every point of contact a guest has made with your resort and can target them for future needs more effectively and personally. With accurate and clean data, you can see that a season passholder is a loyal guest and comes back each year, but by integrating with other aspects like spa and golf, you can also see that their activity expands beyond the winter season and the mountain.

Once you have a full integration of data, it becomes a breeze to segment your guests and send them the highly personalized messages that they need and want. Some of the most impactful campaigns seen in the hospitality industry include:

  • Loyalty campaigns (for high-value and “VIP” guests) 80% of your revenue comes from 20% of your guests. These guests are showing they are invested in you as a brand, so how can you show them you are invested in them as a valued guest? You can show them appreciation by thanking them for booking direct, sending a birthday “gift”, or providing complimentary Wi-Fi or breakfast.
  • Upsell campaigns This is where you use your data to determine what other offers guests can take advantage of outside what they’ve already booked. For example, scheduling a spa treatment, a round of golf, or providing a discount when they book lift tickets and lodging together. You can use common threads and buying patterns to make more advanced choices about who to talk to, when to talk to them, and what message to send.
  • Pre-arrival campaigns Before arriving, guests are getting excited for their upcoming stay. This is an opportunity to get in front of them with the information they need to check in and get settled, but also to make them aware of all the amenities they can take advantage of during their stay.

The end goal

Ultimately, the goal of guest recognition and data driven marketing is to understand, optimize, and act on your guest data to create the best possible experience for your guests before, during, and long after their stay at your property. If you are fully booked, where do you turn to next in your marketing? Think about leveraging packages, consider promotional periods, and segment your audiences with all aspects of your resort offerings in mind.

At Ascent360, our guest data and marketing automation platform allows you to get the full picture on each of your guests, understand how they’re interacting with your resort, make strategic decisions with sophisticated segmentation, and help you develop a game plan to overcome your unique challenges. To learn more about our platform, reach out today to schedule a custom demo using your own guest data!

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