By now, many hoteliers are tired of hearing about “Big Data” and why they should be utilizing it for customer engagement and marketing. Many hoteliers assume that utilizing Big Data equals past guest data i.e. CRM Data. At the property level, CRM Data means past guest profile information, past booking history, service preferences, purchasing habits while on property, affiliation with the hotel guest loyalty program, booking channel preferences, preferences for auxiliary services, opt-in email recipients, etc. In our view, CRM Data is only part of the equation, and only the smaller part of the hotel’s customer engagement and acquisition strategy. On average, on any given night, only 15% – 25% of guests at a typical independent hotel are repeat guests, the rest are first-time guests. For branded hotels the percentage of repeat guests at any property is higher, but still below 30% – 40%, not counting loyalty members who have stayed at other properties of the brand. The more important part of the overall strategy – the one that will result in a much higher percentage of direct bookings – is Intent Data i.e. targeting and engaging travel consumers who are “in market” and planning to visit your property’s destination in the near future. Intent Data is crucial to engage and acquire first-time guests, which generate the bulk of roomnights at the property. Get the full story at HeBS Digital