All businesses benefit from the use of data. Data can be especially impactful in marketing. Instead of relying on a hunch, marketers can make informed decisions about how to inspire meaningful engagement with their target audience and create content that leads to conversions.
The first and often most challenging step is finding the best methods to gather relevant data. We’re going to dive into ways you can gather data efficiently to elevate your marketing strategies. But first, let’s look at the benefits of using data for hospitality businesses in more detail.
What Data Can Do For Hospitality Businesses
Data can solve many challenges faced by hospitality businesses. For example, 75% of U.S. restaurants cite an inability to keep food costs at the right levels as the reason for low profitability, according to Apicbase. Restaurant owners can collect data on how much food costs are and how they’ve shifted over time. Regularly analyzing food cost trends will help them choose food suppliers that are most cost-effective at the times they’re stocking up to keep food costs in check.
Hotels also face challenges. The average occupancy rate for U.S. hotels in 2022 was 62.7%. By collecting customer feedback data, hotel managers learn what visitors liked and didn’t like about their stays. Hotel shareholders can then capitalize on what visitors love and update the things that they didn’t. These shifts will improve their occupancy rates.
Finally, data can be helpful for decision-making, especially when it comes to marketing. Rather than relying solely on individual perspectives and experiences, your team can use data to make marketing decisions more productive and seamless. For example, collect information on your top customers. Get notifications, like the top products and content they’re interacting with.
You can also customize analytics dashboards to notify your team about customer-oriented key performance indicators (KPIs), such as conversion rate, website bounce rate, and customer retention rate.
Then, use this customer data to improve your website content to decrease your bounce rate. Polish content on your top products to keep customers moving down the marketing and sales funnels. And use the demographic information you learn about your top customers to create marketing messages that cater to them.
Each of these uses of data creates a culture of data-driven decision-making that boosts marketing, empowers your employees, and drives your business forward.
Three Ways Hospitality Businesses Can Harness Data for Their Marketing Efforts
There’s no doubt data can make marketing decisions easier. But the key is to ensure your data is reliable and relevant. And that starts with where and how you gather the data. Here are three efficient ways to harness data for your marketing efforts.
Use surveys and polls on social media
There’s a lot of opportunity to connect with current and potential customers in meaningful ways on social media. As you build these relationships, it opens up the chance to gather feedback from customers.
By launching surveys and polls on your social media platforms, you can collect data on your customers’ likes, dislikes, and needs regarding their ideal hospitality experiences. Get demographic information to segment your target audience and create more personalized content.
Being able to ask what you want to know directly to customers makes the data you receive incredibly reliable.
Deploy social listening tools
In addition to surveys and polls on social media, launching social listening tools on the platforms you use is a smart way to gather data on not just your customers, but your competition and industry, too.
Collect data on the gaps in your competition’s marketing efforts. For example, let’s say you see lots of their followers commenting on how they want live streams. Fill this gap by doing entertaining live streams. As a result, you’ll boost brand awareness and attract more followers.
First, determine your budget for social listening tools. If you can’t afford a paid subscription, many tools offer a free plan that has at least the basic social listening capabilities.
After that, define what you want to “listen” for on social media. It could be brand mentions from customers and potential customers. It could be industry trends. It could also be mentions of your competitor’s brands. Think about how much information you want to collect and how often, as well.
Research social listening tools that can accommodate what you need. Take advantage of free trials and/or demos, if you can, before making a final decision. After implementing your chosen tool, be sure to train your marketing team on how to use it to ensure they get the data they need for better marketing.
Collect data at events
Whether you’re hosting parties at your restaurant or conferences at your hotel, you can bring a lot of attention to your business with stand-out events.
Events are also one of the best places to collect valuable data. You can gather your attendees’ demographic and contact information. Monitor mentions of the event on social media and gather data on how people feel about their experiences. You can also learn about purchasing intent through the products you’re offering at the event.
Send out post-event surveys to attendees via email a day or two after the event concludes. One-on-one conversations with event attendees are great customer feedback sources. Collect demographic data and contact information on event registration forms.
Marketing is the difference between a successful hospitality business and one that’s struggling to retain customers and build its brand. To get positive results with your marketing, put your efforts into what works. Finding this out is easy with data, but first, you must learn to collect reliable data efficiently.