Dr. Breffni Noone, Associate Professor at Penn State, and Kelly McGuire from SAS have done a series of studies to understand how consumers use all of this information to assess value, and ultimately, make a purchase decision. Their latest research looked at unmanaged business travelers. There are a couple of key takeaways from this study: - Reviews matter – business travelers look to the reviews to assess what their experience will be like. If the review is positive or negative they want to know why. - Loyalty matters – Business travelers will put up with “good enough” or “OK” if they can get their points - Price matters – Business travelers still recognize a deal, but it’s only the lowest price that entices them. They are relatively insensitive beyond that. These takeaways present several opportunities for hoteliers. For example, a hotel that has a heavy mix of business travelers who are members of their loyalty program might be able to put off renovations for a while (assuming the declining quality of the product is reflected in declining reviews and ratings), but a leisure property would not. A brand that is relatively unknown in the market, could attract business travelers to forgo their preferred brand if their reputation was better, by offering a “deal”. The bottom line is that pricing in today’s social world is not getting any easier. Not only do you have to understand your price relative to the market, and your reputation relative to the market, but you also need to understand your business mix. All of these decisions require good knowledge of the market backed by solid revenue and reputation analytics. Get the full story at SAS Institute