In a noisy distribution environment, hotels are in significant danger of becoming commoditized. Differentiating themselves not only from the competition, but from the third party distributors, will be crucial to maintaining a competitive edge, or even just maintaining profitability. In an effort to connect better with guests, most hotel companies are taking on initiatives to improve the guest experience, whether through personalization efforts or giving guests more control over their experience through mobile check-in, mobile keys or choice of rooms. To support this effort, hotels have been talking about getting that 360 degree view of the guest – gathering as much information as possible about needs, preferences and behaviors across all of their interactions with the guest. This information can be leveraged through the guest journey to provide more relevant offers, improve communications and increase engagement. Loyalty programs help hotels to gather this data – effectively rewarding guests for being willing to provide information about themselves. Hotels also try to gather and match any personal information provided at reservation or checking – emails, phones address, and tie that back to a person or a stay. Natalie and I have talked in this blog about the importance of that 360 degree view and the benefits infusing analytics through the guest journey to support personalization efforts. The vision of stitching together fragments of data collected across the guest journey is challenging enough when you have a profile to work from, but most hotels only “know” a small fraction of their guests. Most of the traffic to the website, or even guests in the hotel at a given night, are not included in the hotel’s guest database. So, if you don’t know the majority of your guests, how can you implement personalization initiatives? Get the full story at The Analytic Hospitality Executive