Sojern, a digital marketing platform built for travel, released the findings of a 2022 survey to discover 'How Hotel Brands Are Using First-Party Data to Drive Revenue and Build Stronger Relationships'. The study, conducted by Benchmark Research Partners with global hotel executives, sought to understand how hotel marketers are thinking about and using first-party data to inform go-to-market efforts. When surveyed about measures of success for their businesses, 81 percent of hoteliers said they have seen a lift in revenue as a result of implementing a first-party data strategy.
Hotel executives from the largest global brands were surveyed with 57 percent having seen a lift in guest satisfaction at their properties. Findings found that 59 percent of hoteliers have already implemented a first-party data strategy, and 62 percent say it’s “very important” to digital marketing, while 75 percent of those who have not yet built a first-party data strategy want to build it. Of those who have established a first-party data strategy, it was primarily to maximize campaign performance (73 percent), build stronger customer relationships (67 percent) and maximize overall revenue growth (67 percent).
Further findings demonstrate that hoteliers have adopted first-party data strategies not only because they saw the monetary benefits, but also the positive impact on customer satisfaction. Of those surveyed 86 percent saw a first-party data strategy as being effective in maximizing overall revenue, 76 percent in increasing campaign performance, 68 percent in building stronger customer relationships and 64 percent in increasing brand value.
Future-proof marketing: Activating first-party data to increase bookings
“It's no surprise that three quarters of hotel executives want to build a first-party data strategy. Personalized engagement with consumers is a powerful tool for understanding traveler behavior and creating digital campaigns that deliver the right message at the right time. Marketers must make collecting privacy-friendly 1st party data like hashed emails a priority to power their personalization strategies,” said Kurt Weinsheimer, Chief Solutions Officer, Sojern. “ Marketers can then use their first-party data to learn about their audiences – their interests, search behaviors and travel preferences - to ultimately deliver a relevant, seamless customer experience. With Google phasing out third-party cookies in the second half of 2024, a 1st-party strategy also prepares for this change.”
“With the deprecation of third party cookies on the horizon, leveraging first party data is at the center of our audience strategy,” said Jacquelyn DiStasi, Senior Director, Digital Analytics & Optimization from Wyndham. “We invested early in a CDP to ensure we would be able to future-proof our media activation and prevent loss as data collection practices evolve. This shift has enabled us to be more effective and efficient with our spend, leading to better returns for Wyndham. We would highly recommend investing in a first-party data strategy to augment your media practice and partners like Sojern allow for continued growth and enhancement.”
In addition, of those hoteliers who have already built their strategies more than two-thirds feel confident they will get more out of it in 2023. “With a cookieless world coming, it will disrupt the entire industry, and marketers must use this time wisely to prepare,” adds Kurt Weinsheimer. “It's a great opportunity for the industry to rethink data strategies, but this requires a new mindset. Rather than marketing to the cookie, travel brands can use the opportunity to use people-based marketing across devices. At Sojern we’re already helping hoteliers build their first-party strategy to unlock customer loyalty and drive profitability.”
Supplementing first-party data with a specialist like Sojern
After fifteen years supporting travel, Sojern is well versed in helping partners build long-term strategies to stay ahead of changes in the digital landscape. Knowing that direct bookings are the best way to build brand trust, loyalty and profitability, marketers are encouraged to build relationships with their customers to increase the engagement, efficiency and effectiveness of travel marketing strategies. Developing a first-party activation strategy with a trusted travel marketing partner across channels and devices to drive direct bookings is key to that success.
To see the survey methodology and download the full Hotel Benchmark Report on how hoteliers can unlock the power of personalisation and privacy through first-party data, click here.