How data-driven tech can enhance hotel loyalty programs

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With nearly 75% of Americans planning to travel domestically for summer vacations, 2022 travel is expected to be up 16% compared to last year, according to a recent Allianz Partners review. This returning demand for travel is leading hotels and other hospitality companies to face a larger customer base and the opportunity to attract new revenue and capitalize on existing customers.

It has been shown that just 20% of a business’s customers account for 80% of its profits; as travel demand climbs, hotel leadership should direct its attention to the most valuable 20% of guests in order to establish repeat revenue. One way to do this is to establish an attractive rewards program that caters to unique desires.

Utilize data-driven marketing solutions to become better informed

There are plenty of ways for hotel operators to gather data, often from digital marketing solutions. These methods can include email marketing, interactive kiosks and, maybe most notably, a streamlined point-of-sale (POS) platform.

Omnichannel POS platforms capture the useful guest data necessary for developing targeted marketing campaigns, all while streamlining a guest’s stay.

With a POS system that is tightly integrated with a property management system, guests can make purchases, charged to their room number. Not only does this establish an internal efficiency with backend integration with service staff and financial reconciliation, but it also simplifies the buying process for guests and allows the company access to valuable data regarding what resonates with certain guests.

This same data can be compiled into a report that supports marketing teams in determining incredibly specific interests of guests, in turn developing unique marketing approaches to specifically address proven interests. Further, targeted one-on-one touch points that come out of such data utilization have been proven to be incredibly effective in encouraging guests to return and facilitating additional sales.

Leverage real-time data to maximize revenue

As POS systems take in information constantly, data on guests’ buying trends and other habits can be analyzed to develop a hotel loyalty program that is a great fit to each individual’s proven interests.

These programs allow hotel operators to offer rewards and incentives that are based on previously collected data, messaging unique incentives to guests who have a proven likelihood to express interest. Further, hotel operators can leverage data collection to focus on top guests, identifying desires and encouraging return visits with unique offers, an approach that has proven to be very effective during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Combine data with unique, personalized loyalty programs

Hotel loyalty programs built on a foundation of personalization tend to rise above the others as they communicate a level of care and visibility to valuable guests. Therefore, a more proactive approach to data collection and utilization will better support the success of such programs.

One of the most popular ways to target highly loyal guests is a hotel loyalty program that utilizes points, targeting repeat guests and offering exclusive offers or unique upgrades. However, a more recent trend in hotel loyalty programs is instant gratification rewards systems, which allow brands to offer immediately redeemable incentives. By providing rewards available during the current stay, these programs encourage guests to make a purchase in the moment in order to take advantage of exclusive discounts for offerings like dining experiences and spa services.

Leveraging integrated, real-time data solutions allows operators to understand the proven desires of guests and continue to offer rewards and perks that are sure to spark the interest of targeted guests.

Further, in recent polling, 75% of consumers reported a preference for companies that offer rewards, and over half of consumers said they stay loyal to brands with such programs.

Carefully investing in the right technology will allow brands to continue to grow, analyzing guest behavior and working to develop even more strategic, targeted marketing campaigns in the future. As the hospitality industry begins to bounce back, this data-driven, rewards-based approach will provide invaluable benefits to guests and brands alike.

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