The amount of data readily available to marketers (or anyone with access to Google Analytics) means we now have a magnified and incredibly detailed view into our guests’ online behaviour. In fact, we have so much data available to us that we can account for almost every type of buying pattern. In fact, we have so much data that we can account for almost every type of buying pattern. We can correlate this to seasonal changes and even capture micro-moments. (such as buying a house or getting married).
Search intent is changing the marketing funnel. Shopping for accommodation is a long and winding customer journey of multiple touchpoints and devices. Guests will go through various stages of consideration during their initial research stage, and that doesn’t even take into account the extensive comparisons process involved in the purchase journey. As marketers, we’re taught to master the funnel — a linear customer journey from awareness to consideration to purchase.
But in today’s digital age, no two user journeys are the same. The funnel is not really a funnel at all. It resembles pyramids, diamonds, hourglasses.
In today’s consumer path to purchase journey, a purchase doesn’t necessarily mean an end to the search. In order to increase the likelihood of a visitor returning to your website to complete their booking, hoteliers need to take an analytical approach and use a range of available tools to really understand the guest behaviour. Instead of simply pushing the ‘book now’ or ‘book direct’ message, hoteliers need to track, discover and monitor a visitors intent and adjust their messaging accordingly. This can be done by using the right tools.
Google Analytics – Behaviour Flow
Consider the 80/20 rule: 80% of 1st-time visitors have no intent to book. The remaining 20% of visitors are return visitors, meaning they have a higher propensity to book. Google Analytics tools enable you to segment user journey. The Behaviour Flow report visualises the path users travelled from one page (or event) to the next. This report can help you discover what content keeps users engaged with your site.
Avvio/Booking Engine Insights
Whether you’re an Avvio customer or you currently use a different booking engine, you should receive insights as to how your website is performing. By analysing this data you’re able to delve into your guest’s browsing behaviour and map user trends.
These insights will help you optimise your digital strategies for the year ahead which in turn should help maximise your profitability and increase your property’s booking revenue.
A good data analyst will use their available data to make better business decisions. They look beyond the numbers – they incorporate trends and user behaviour, and come to informed conclusions based on their findings. In the instance of a hotelier, the key to good revenue management is selling your rooms and rates at the right price, to the right person at the right time. In order to effectively do this, you need to look back on previous data, analyse it and make changes where appropriate.
For example, you may have had a rate that was live last year that you didn’t have available this year? Or perhaps the rates per room per night was significantly higher this year which had an impact on the volume of bookings coming through? You might even have had a large influx of guests due to one-off local events.
Once you have done this analysis, work closely with your team and put a strategy in place – ensuring that you don’t fall into these same obstacles in the year ahead. To increase your direct booking revenue you need to implement a multi-faceted, guest-centric digital approach.
Want to learn more? Put on your metaphorical thinking cap, and learn to ‘Think like a Marketer’.