5 Technologies That Have Changed Luxury Hotel Marketing in the Last 10 Years
The luxury hotel marketing industry has been turned on its head with all of the new technologies available to consumers and businesses in the digital revolution.
Consumers have access to more information than ever before. They have more ways to communicate with hotels, book rooms, and find out what the experience will be like — all without ever having to talk to the concierge.
This presents a huge challenge for hotel marketers. Staying on top of the latest hotel and resort marketing trends is difficult even for the savviest marketing professionals. Also, it’s difficult to know which trends to prioritize and which trends to nix.
As an industry-leading text message marketing provider, we have a keen eye on what's here to stay and what's just in vogue. We keep up with the trends so that you don’t have to. Here are the top technologies that have changed luxury hotel marketing forever.
It’s now critical to build a seamless mobile experience…
— Rahim B. Kanani, Luxury Hospitality Expert and Author
5 Technologies That Have Changed Luxury Hotel Marketing: Past, Present, and Future
Failure to stay on top of the latest and greatest marketing trends will spell disaster for your hotel or resort. Fortunately, we’ve compiled a list of go-to luxury hotel marketing technologies for growth-oriented businesses.
1. Text Message Marketing
When new guests arrive, you have to be focused on their stay. Your goal is to take a one-time guest and transform them into a lifetime, loyal customer, and raving promotor of your hotel.
Text messaging can help you do that. It’s become so much more than a form of social communication. Text messaging enables you to streamline your interactions with guests while creating a lasting, positive experience.
Text messaging software can help you:
Confirm Reservations: You can easily send a quick reminder to guests before their stay and ask if there is anything you can do to prepare for their arrival.
Share Important Information: You can share additional information about parking, breakfast, on-site amenities, transportation, and event information.
Send Welcome Messages: After a guest arrives, you can send a short welcome message to start your relationships with them. This message helps make it easier for them to start a conversation with you if they have questions.
Request Feedback or Reviews: Almost 70% of people will leave a review if you ask them directly. So, when their stay is complete, ask them to share feedback with you about their visit and request that they leave a review on sites like TripAdvisor.
2. Virtual and Augmented Reality
Adopting new technology is necessary as target demographics shift. Younger generations are demanding more information before making a purchase decision. They also want their vacations to be an experience and not just a trip. Virtual and Augmented Reality is quickly becoming a requirement for hotels that want to offer an enhanced experience to their guests.
Virtual reality (VR) allows guests to view your hotel or resort without ever stepping foot on the property. Guests can explore different areas of the hotel, view on-site facilities, and more.
Hoteliers can take this experience even further by allowing them to view nearby amenities like restaurants and shopping malls.
Augmented Reality (AR) gives a savvy hotel marketer even more opportunities. For example, they can embed AR content into on-site restaurant menus and brochures. This embedded content allows non-native guests to read the materials in their native languages.
Guests are able to use their smartphone to uncover additional information through AR technology. For example, The Hub Hotel from Premier Inn in the UK started using AR with wall maps in their hotel rooms to provide an immersive experience.
of travelers read online reviews before booking a room at a hotel
3. Review Sites
Positive reviews can have a massive impact on your hotel’s ability to generate new reservations. In a Cornell University study, they found that a hotel can increase its prices by around 11% for every one-point increase in its star rating — without losing customers.
Future guests rely on reviews left by past guests to help them decide which hotel to stay in.
- 97% of travelers read online reviews before booking a room at a hotel.
- Negative reviews can cause four out of five customers to change their mind about purchasing.
Review sites like TripAdvisor can dramatically influence hotel reservations. In 2017, TripAdvisor users were responsible for $546 billion (10.3%) of global tourism spending worldwide.
Your guests have the power to influence another guest’s decision by simply opening their computer and telling their story on these review sites. So, it’s your job to make sure your guests have a positive experience and tell others about it.
4. Mobile Devices
Mobile phones and tablets are transforming the way people book and interact with your hotel. Trivago interviewed luxury hospitality expert and author, Rahim B. Kanani, on the subject of mobile technology and its influence on a guests’ booking behavior. His advice, "It’s now critical to build a seamless mobile experience… technology means checking into your room via your mobile phone in advance of arrival, using bedside tablets to ease the ordering of room service, booking spa appointments and securing other activities, connecting to an ultra-fast WiFi service, connecting directly with the concierge before, during and after a visit using SMS or WhatsApp, and enjoying a more personalized stay that allows your mobile devices to play content on TV, connect to Netflix, YouTube, and other digital offerings."
In this day and age, building a mobile-optimized website is a no-brainer. Are you leveraging the power of mobile devices in the ways that Kanani suggests? These and other powerful mobile marketing recommendations will transform your customer experience.
5. 360-Degree Video Tours
Interactive 360-degree virtual tours amplify all of your online marketing efforts while providing your guests with an engaging experience before they even arrive.
Omnisightinc, a company that specializes in capturing, rendering, and optimizing these virtual tours, has some fantastic examples of tours they’ve created on their site. Jump in and see for yourself how they can be a powerful aspect of your marketing:
After you’ve created a virtual tour, you can even include a link to it in your welcome text message that you send to new guests before they arrive.
Statistics show that:
- Hotels and resorts with a virtual tour included are clicked an average of 10 times more than those without one.
- 92% of internet users say the ability to view a 360-degree panorama is essential when they are browsing online.
Develop Your Marketing Playbook
Technology is constantly evolving and will continue to impact your luxury hotel marketing campaigns. You need to stay agile and adapt your strategies to keep you focusing on the most effective efforts.
Our team of SMS marketing experts has worked with hundreds of hotels and resorts over the last decade to help them increase their bookings. We’ve compiled some of our best text marketing campaign ideas into a single, free resource that you can download right now.
Download our Text Marketing Playbook for Hotels and Resorts, and you’ll get 16 text messages that you can send to get more reservations and boost the guest experience. You can even copy our templates for campaigns such as:
- Your Room is Ready
- Virtual Concierge
- Dinner Reservation Confirmations
- Review Requests
- Extended Stay Invitations
- Travel Tips
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