This article is part two of a three part series on revenue management. Here is part one.
While social media is commonly integrated into hotel operations, it is often overlooked for its value to revenue management. Increased online reputation has been shown to drive rates and occupancy, said Sanjay Nagalia, COO at IDeaS. “Understanding how your pricing and online reputation compare against your competitors can be leveraged when pricing your rooms to capitalize on your relative market position,” he said. “If you do not have the tools to react to changes in demand or within the market, you will miss out on opportunities to capture more revenue.”
Being able to collect data from mobile is immensely important because the information can be collected in virtually real-time, said Jason Bryant, CEO of Nor1. “It allows revenue managers to make real-time decisions for the guest,” he said.
With that real-time merchandising and pricing information available, it enables a real-time dialog with the consumer through mobile, Bryant said. “You can easily measure the guest experience by converting that into revenue—but you have to be careful on what you’re measuring—you should be measuring that ancillary revenue.”
Hoteliers should explore opportunities to integrate social media into their pricing decisions to understand where there are opportunities to drive incremental revenue. “But you have to be selective; data is good but you have to have the tools to consume it to make informed decisions that derive measurable value,” Nagalia said.
Bryant encourages hoteliers to make sure their mobile partners know how to develop the easy-to-interact-with mobile that guests want. “This is the way the guest wants to communicate but you have to be smart about how to communicate with them,” he said.
The mobile experience should be quick and easily relevant. Guests don’t want to sit on a site that takes too long to load, Bryant said.
Revenue managers might not want to hear it but not all things mobile can be measured using a quantifiable metric. The style and feeling of mobile can effect the impression of mobile messaging. Many experts agree that a “less is more” criteria can have the most impact.