Profitability Strategy #4: Employ Actionable Analytics Then Act
For vacation rentals, the volume of available data is matched only by the variety sources providing that data, including:
- third-party and listing site data
- individual home data
- collective portfolio data
- owned property and managed property data
- reservations data
- email list and campaign data
- online vs. offline data
- owner and guest data
“There’s no such thing as information overload—only filter failure,” notes Internet scholar Clay Shirky. Bombarded with analytics, VRMC’s are tasked with translating data into actionable activity. A keen first step to the remedy of filter failure is to examine the intersection of analytics and profitability. Ask the question, “With which activities are analytics available that can be evaluated and segmented in useful, revenue-generating ways, ways that will drive direct change in campaign outreach and make them more relevant to the guest?”
Relevance is the key. It is fundamental to translating data to ROI. Examine the relevance of every campaign. Purchasing email lists and crafting a generic seasonal promotion has low relevance. Trade the expense and opportunity cost of a low relevance activity for a high relevance activity, such as segmenting an existing database based on short lead-time trends among travelers within 240 miles to fill an immediate need or segmenting based on seasonal nightly rate to fill a forecast seasonal shortage. Carefully craft a message that feels personalized and relevant to the guest segment.
Segmented Reach campaigns, developed out of a hospitality-specific CRM, to previous guests show 3 times the increase in Click-Thru Rate (CTR) and 13 times the number of bookings when compared with industry averages for email campaigns. When integrated with a CRM, the revenue from these campaigns is wholly trackable so that campaigns may be revised and improved.
Consider the possibility of a follow-up outbound phone call to support the campaign. The ROI, in this case, comes not only in the form of revenue but equally from having curated a prospect list in a meaningful way that guests remember.
The mechanisms we offer travelers to communicate also speak to relevance. Travel planning flows across multiple devices. Just 25% of travelers who used smartphones for planning booked their accommodations via mobile device (Tnooz). In fact, nearly 60% of travelers are very likely to call a hotel if the opportunity is available in search (Google, Path to Purchase 2013).
Ensuring an opportunity for travelers to connect at every stage of the research process from any device via Push 2 Call and Push 2 Chat increases a VRM’s relevance. The added benefit of incorporating such mechanisms is the ability to track the elusive online to offline path to purchase and capture lead conversations and data.
Relevant, nimble marketing is the result of actionable analytics. Moreover, actionable analytics is the result of obtaining and integrating valuable data. The process is circular, analytics feed action, action feeds analytics, effectively creating a high-conversion marketing funnel as a solution to the data conundrum.