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Article by Michael Toedt

Hotel Marketing - Stuck in the Year 2000

Toedt, Dr. Selk & Coll. GmbH · 8 April 2016
For more than 20 years, I have been working with digital media. In 2000, I started with marketing databases and CRM. Over the years, I have gained a pretty good overview of the activities within the hospitality industry, in particular when it comes to guest communication. Surprisingly, not much has changed in the past years. It seems to me that 99.9% of all hotels got stuck in the year 2000.The world is moving faster and faster This would not be problematic, if the world around us did not change. But this is not the case - it is moving faster and faster. Technology develops at almost exponential speed and along with it communication.I do not want to talk about all the new channels, which are being used in marketing nowadays. I want to talk about e-mail marketing. E-mail is still the most important communication channel, even if some black-and-white thinkers believe that it will disappear. As a communication channel e-mail is 50 times more efficient than Facebook and Twitter combined. But when you look at the newsletters sent out by hotels from all segments, from 1 star to 5 stars, individually owned or multinational chain, you can see that not much or nothing has changed in the past 16 years except for the design.Marketing for guests from North Korea Most hotels still follow the scattershot approach, i.e. all recipients get the same offer at the same time. This would be okay in North Korea or any other totalitarian country, in which individuality is not very popular and firmly controlled. In our western world, however, individuality and freedom of individuals are fundamental. The hospitality industry still fails to offer the necessary personalization, which Online Travel Agents (OTAs) have been providing already for many years! The lack of personalized guest communication is one of the reasons why the industry is under such pressure.The basis is missing - centralized data management Only a few hotel companies use centralized data management, which has become standard for OTAs or online retailers. Thus, the industry is still far away from personalized automated communication. If at all, the approach is to work with target groups, missing out that each recipient is an individual and wants to be treated as such. Consequently, standardized newsletters should no longer be sent out. Each client should receive a personalized newsletter with content that is relevant and of interest.The hospitality industry needs to open up to the topics of Big Data and centralized data management. Otherwise, they will lose the game. It will only be possible to bridge the gap to the OTAs, if the available data is collected and cleansed, i.e. the data is analyzed and used intelligently.These are the seven most important data sources in a hotel:PMSEMS (E-mail Management System)WebsiteSurvey-ManagementWiFiPOS (Spa, F&B etc.)Table Booking SystemNot only can intelligent use of data bridge the gap to the OTAs, it also opens up a knowledge pool, which is significantly bigger and more valuable than that of the OTAs.The available data helps to tailor the hotel's service offering to the guest's preferences and needs and also enables communication of relevant information at the right time via the right channel. Big Data does not mean anonymity and uniformity; it enables unprecedented individuality. This is what managers need to understand following the principle, "Either move with the times or be removed over time".
commercial

Hotel Marketing - Stuck in the Year 2000

· 5 April 2016
For more than 20 years, I have been working with digital media. In 2000, I started with marketing databases and CRM. Over the years, I have gained a pretty good overview of the activities within the hospitality industry, in particular when it comes to guest communication. Surprisingly, not much has changed in the past years. It seems to me that 99.9% of all hotels got stuck in the year 2000.
Article by Michael Toedt

Move with the times or be removed over time

Toedt, Dr. Selk & Coll. GmbH · 9 February 2016
Big Data or holistic and intelligent data management has become a popular topic within the hospitality industry. A lot of hotel companies talk about it, but hardly anyone is even close to doing it right. In my new book I predict that by the year 2020 many hotels will have disappeared for exactly that reason. But I have to admit I was mistaken - the process is already in full swing.Secured Online Cloud Computing Concept with Business ManThe takeover of Starwood by Marriott shows that those who will not act in time will eventually disappear. Barry Sternlicht, founder and former CEO of Starwood Hotels & Resorts, put it in a nutshell by saying that Marriott's goal for the merger was to fight the OTAs and to enhance their market position. Marriott is taking action against these data-driven and progressive companies, but will the size of a company really be decisive for survival in the Big Data age or could it rather be a constraint?Data has become the commodity of the 21st century, the heart of the 4th industrial revolution. It is, however, not only important to own data. A clear advantage of the hospitality industry, as hardly any other industry knows more about their customers. Owning alone is worthless, if the data is not used properly and management has no expertise in doing that. In a world where propositions are similar, the product is no longer the decision-making factor. Look at "Marwood" (Marriott plus Starwood) with its 30 brands. Hardly any hotel expert knows them all, understands what they stand for or knows their brand promise. If experts fail, how should the end consumer get it? Not those with the best product will win the race, but those with the most consumer data and expertise to make use of it. Data has become crucial for the success of your business. If you are good at using the data, like the OTAs, you will "own" the customer.Intelligent data management has a considerable impact on the quality of communication, service level, operations, and decision-making.The fact that Starwood could be taken over shows how fast a former model company can disappear from the market, if management ignores the necessary changes. Big Data has become a catalyst and will filter out companies, which have missed or have acted to late to the changes. Or like Truman Capote once said "Either you move with the times, or you will be removed over time".2016 will be a crucial year, as things are happening much faster and on a much larger scale than expected! The dynamics are actually quite scary. Therefore, it is vital to take action now, to establish interlaced thinking within the management, and to consolidate all relevant data sources. The PMS, the once leading on-property system, is losing its importance. It will gradually be replaced by the so-called Master Data Base. The existing operating systems are not able to meet the requirements of the modern data management and have not been built to connect many different data sources, or clean, analyze and handle huge amounts of data.The success or even survival of the chains is hugely dependent on their data management. In 2016, it will be key to have a good data strategy or to quickly start developing one.For quite some time, we have been visiting hotels and doing so-called reality-checks. We analyze the status quo, identify the systems in place, find out where the data is data stored, check data quality management, look how the existing tools are connected, indentify the communication channels, etc. We ask many questions which could be painful, as they confront our clients with the reality. And although the results are mostly not very satisfying, this process lays the foundation for a data-driven holistic company strategy, which, however, can only be executed if management fully supports and drives the change processes.Holistic data management is by no means just an IT project, which drags through the entire organization. It requires changes in responsibilities and reporting lines. This is one of the main reasons why so far only a few smaller and mid-size hospitality companies have been able to efficiently use Big Data.It is only a matter of time until the next hotel icon will vanish. And not the OTAs will be to blame, but the management, which has failed to adapt to the changes. A good example is Kodak. The company was founded in 1888 and during its peak times had up to 145,000 employees worldwide. In 2012, the former global player went bankrupt and disappeared. In most big companies management just focuses on increasing revenue but ignore that the world around them is changing. Clayton Christensen, the father of disruptive innovation, called this phenomenon the "dilemma of innovators".I believe that 2016 will be crucial and decisive for many companies and I am not sure how many managers are really aware of that.

Move with the times or be removed over time

· 4 February 2016
Big Data or holistic and intelligent data management has become a popular topic within the hospitality industry. A lot of hotel companies talk about it, but hardly anyone is even close to doing it right. In my new book 'Big Data - Challenges for the Hospitality Industry',� I predict that by the year 2020 many hotels
Article by Michael Toedt

Beacons - Top or Flop for the Hospitality Industry?

Toedt, Dr. Selk & Coll. GmbH ·16 December 2015
There has been quite a hype lately around beacons, in particular since HRS has invested 10m in this technology, which is supposed to improve the customer experience in the hotels. But what is behind all this?The beacon technology allows hotels to identify their guests via an app, e.g. a receptionist can see the guest's profile on a tablet when he enters the lobby. This enables a personalized welcome experience and service. Sounds great in theory, but what about reality? Is the beacon technology the ultimate solution for the hospitality industry? And what actually is a beacon?A beacon is the natural progression of the QR (Quick Response) Code, which never had a real break-through despite its intelligent potential uses. A beacon is a small Bluetooth transmitter, which can be installed e.g. in the lobby, that sends signals to mobile end devices such as Smartphones. The technology enables automatic communication between various devices. If more than one transmitter is installed in a room the user can be localized, which is quite interesting for location-based services. So far, tracking has been difficult especially in closed rooms. The localization allows a hotel to get in touch with its guests, send vouchers, provide additional information, etc.Sound amazing, but where is the catch? There are two fundamental challenges: Firstly, Bluetooth needs to be activated on the recipient's mobile device. Currently, about 70% of all Smartphone users deactivate Bluetooth in order to maximize battery life. Secondly, the user has to download and activate a special app on his Smartphone. The usage of apps is increasing, but is limited to only a few such as Facebook, Youtube, or news apps. In general, customers are getting tired of apps. Hotel apps have a low spread and there are only a few successful ones, as consumers refuse to download a hotel app, if there is no added value.Considering these challenges, the beacon technology should be critically assessed. But why is a smart company like HRS investing huge amounts in this technology? HRS is losing market share and in my opinion the management is looking for new paths. Only the apps of the big OTAs are somehow accepted and used. If HRS integrates the beacon technology in its app and a beacon sender is installed in the hotel lobby, HRS guests could be offered a better service than guests who came via other channels. This would mean that a guest who comes through an expensive OTA would get a better service than the more valuable guest, who booked directly at the hotel.On top, the collected data would remain with the app provider and not with the hotel. Nowadays, data is more precious than stones. The stock prices of Priceline versus Marriott or Hilton reflect this clearly. The investment could indeed be interesting for HRS, depending on how many hotels are installing beacons. But what is in for the hotelier? It remains interesting to see who will actually make the connection.

Beacons - Top or Flop for the Hospitality Industry?

· 9 December 2015
There has been quite a hype lately around beacons, in particular since HRS has invested 10m in this technology, which is supposed to improve the customer experience in the hotels. But what is behind all this? The beacon technology allows hotels to identify their guests via an app, e.g. a receptionist can see the guest’s profile on a tablet when he enters the lobby. This enables a personalized welcome experience and service. Sounds great in theory, but what about reality? Is the beacon technology the ultimate solution for the hospitality industry? And what actually is a beacon?
Article by Michael Toedt

Airbnb, Uber & Co. - Does It Make Sense to Regulate the Sharing Economy?

Toedt, Dr. Selk & Coll. GmbH · 2 December 2015
I recently attended a panel discussion of the "Central Real Estate Committee" in Berlin. Wolfgang Kubicki (FDP) and Michael Gross (SPD), two German politicians, have also been on the panel. My statement was "Regulations are no solution, they only extend the suffering!" Admittedly, this statement was quite provocative, but shouldn't companies have a right to exist in the market? And wouldn't it be better if the government acted more proactively and set the course for the future? At the end of the day the Sharing Economy is all about competitiveness.Take Switzerland: Form any years, it has been ranked first by the World Economic Forum (WEF) when it comes to competitiveness, despite higher prices and exorbitant salaries compared to other countries. How is this possible? Swiss entrepreneurs have to constantly be better and prove themselves. Nothing is kept artificially alive without break-even, but new possibilities are explored. Swiss companies do not have the possibility to hide behind legislation or regulations; the market regulates economy. The interesting thing is that the country has come out of every crisis stronger than before, for example, after the collapse of Lehmann Brothers. This will probably change during the current crisis with the Swiss Franc.Already three years ago, the head economist of the Swiss Trade Association heavily criticized the subsidy policy of the Swiss National Bank. And he proved right! The hospitality has been artificially subsidized through the regulations, which prevented necessary changes. After the switch to free floating exchange rates as a result of the monetary policy of Mr. Dragi, hoteliers had to react quickly and try to compensate what they did not have to do during times of regulations.I believe that we will see a similar situation, if Germany politics will try to regulate the Sharing Economy. Companies based on Sharing Economy operate similar to data-driven companies. They use Big Data to execute their business models. Just look at the market capitalization of data-driven companies like Priceline or Airbnb. The market value of these companies is several times higher than Marriott or Starwood, just because of their data capital. It seems like data nowadays has a higher value than gems. Information about the clients and the management of client relationship are much more important than the actual product. In my opinion, regulation is a waste of time; time which is needed to adapt to the changes.It is certainly not okay that private persons rent out their apartments on Airbnb without paying taxes. That is an absolute no go! But on the other hand it is ludicrous that a private person who occasionally rents out his apartment should fulfill the same requirements as a hotel. As a next step, car-sharing agencies would have to verify the cars of the drivers, ensure that they follow the traffic rules, etc. Where would that lead?Airbnb should not be seen as a threat, but as a new player on the market. The Sharing Economy will not disappear by regulations. Not every guest will leave and not everybody wants to stay in a private apartment or room. Airbnb should be seen as a motivator to do our job better. The hotels suffering from Airbnb have a more profound problem, which is only deferred but not eliminated by regulations. At the end of the day, it is all about competitiveness. Shouldn't the market regulate itself, instead of keeping companies live artificially and extend their suffering? This is a question everybody has to answer for himself.I am very happy though to see that our clients are future oriented and ready to face the challenges proactively. Complaining has not helped anybody!

Airbnb, Uber & Co. - Does It Make Sense to Regulate the Sharing Economy?

·25 November 2015
Every time the world is going to change, managers call for statutory regulations to secure their own status. For quite some time, lobbyists have been trying to torpedo the Sharing Economy, a phenomenon reflecting our changing society. Taxi companies and the hospitality should no be affected by Uber, Airbnb & Co. But is this the right approach? Is it smart to ignore the changes and call for regulations? Wouldn’t it be better to face the situation, despite the challenges some will not be able to cope with?

The new IT structure for Big Data: Will the PMS lose its central position?

Toedt, Dr. Selk & Coll. GmbH ·By Michael Toedt
Big Data represents a clear opportunity to hotels that are able to drive value growth by using existing potential, writes Michael Toedt of dailypoint.com. But are we prepared for the data era - and the disruption that awaits us?
Article by Michael Toedt

Promo Codes are Costing Hotels Millions!

Toedt, Dr. Selk & Coll. GmbH ·18 November 2015
In an article on hospitalitynet.org this possibility to book a hotel has been heavily criticized as outdated and too costly. It is indeed costing hotels millions. Let me explain why this is the case: During one of my speeches we also touched the topic of "smart couponing" and discussed rate codes. Quite a number of participants said that before booking a hotel they always searched the web for promo codes and that most of the time they were successful. This might sound strange for the older generation, but Internet-savvy clients grasp at these opportunities.Just go to Google and enter "promotion codes starwood hotels". I received 164,000 search results with discounts of up to 40%!This experiment should show every conscious hotelier that promo codes are outdated and should be banned from hotel websites. But what is the alternative?This brings us back to "smart couponing". What it means is to issue customized discount codes with a specific value and an expiry date. When the code is used the booking engine verifies its validity, value and any applicable restrictions.To do this intelligently, a system that covers the entire marketing cycle and collects data from all relevant systems such as the PMS, the e-mail management system, the website, etc., is required. A centralized database knows exactly what each individual guest is doing. This is the basis for smart couponing!It also gives you the possibility to send vouchers to a selected target group, e.g. newsletter subscribers, who have not booked within a certain period of time from subscription. It also helps you to add value to a birthday message, or to encourage a guest to book, if he had fallen out of his usual booking rhythm. Further, it enables retargeting, i.e. when a guest has come back to the site after some time. On average, 30% of the customers take more than one day to actually make a hotel booking; in case of last minute trips the booking phase can even take up to six days. This gives a hotel quite some time to turn a prospective customer into a booker. The prerequisite is, however, a marketing-oriented IT strategy. And this is the real crux of the matter, as less than one per cent of the hotels have the technical possibilities, which have long become standard for the OTAs. Thus, hotels leave the field to companies like Airbnb and Booking.com with hardly any resistance.But back to "smart couponing": The great thing is that in a Big Data environment everything is measurable. For one of our clients, for example, we could generate more than 60,000 bookings. This is the fun part of intelligent data management!So rise to the challenge and embrace the change! Stephen Hawking once said, "Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change". So, don't wait any longer and use the opportunity!

Promo Codes are Costing Hotels Millions!

· 5 November 2015
I’m sure you know that little box for rate or promo codes on a hotel’s booking engine. Chains and individual hotels alike use these codes to promote special services to their guests. Corporate clients are given access to special rate codes and thus better prices. Guests get discounts as part of special promotions. But is this still an intelligent and modern marketing approach in the Big Data era?
Article by Michael Toedt

Hotel Apps - Nightmare or Blessing?

Toedt, Dr. Selk & Coll. GmbH ·28 October 2015
But are apps really the ultimate solution? These small programs can easily turn into an expensive exercise and they have to be programmed for the various operating systems. Most importantly, an app should be embedded in a centralized guest-oriented IT structure.The hotel business is often compared with the airlines business. This is, however, misleading, as frequent travelers - the target group hoteliers like to attract - mainly use the same airline. Surveys show, however, that this is not the case when it comes to choosing a hotel. On average, a frequent traveler has four loyalty cards from different hotel companies and eventually has to get used to several apps. Is this a client-oriented approach or just an IT trend, which managers cannot resist to follow?At the beginning of the Internet age IBM's slogan was "Jump in!". But not the ones who just jumped in and followed the latest trends have become or are successful, but those who took some time to verify, analyze and then deliberately chose the right - client-focused - strategy.On the one hand, an app has to suit the respective overall concept; on the other hand, it has to be accepted by the guests. This is the main difference between the OTAs that focus on the guest, and many hoteliers, who just love their product. The guest should always be in the focus. This rule is taught to every trainee or student in the first year of apprenticeship or studies.The figures show that consumers increasingly consider apps as annoying. The result is that downloads are stagnating considering the increasing share of smart phones in the total market. Travel apps only come in seventh in the download ranking. There is not even a separate category for hotel apps.The New York Times wrote about Hilton's attempt to win back guests from the OTAs by offering a special benefits and services and to thus create loyalty. One million users per month sounds quite impressive. The Hilton hotel app - a success story? Considering that Hilton has 4,200 hotels with on average 160 rooms, only 7% of the guests are using the app. It remains to be seen if this can be considered a real success.This number correlates with our experience and research, according to which so far only 5% of the guests use their smart phone to check-in or open the hotel room door. This number does not really show a comprehensive market acceptance.Does it really make sense to make considerable investments in building an app or is it just a prestige project for the management? Rocco Forte recently launched their app, which is hard to beat for its latest technology and features. But are Rocco Forte guests really using it? Or has management become experimental and IT taken the lead?Whether the app is really the tool guests are enthusiastic about remains questionable. Most mobile websites nowadays offer the same features. Location-based services and real-time marketing automation - the next big trends - do not require apps. In certain circumstances, an app can, of course, make sense. But as with any investment it is advisable for every hotelier to question the investment and to analyze in detail if it really makes sense. Only then should an investment be made. My experience shows, however, that in the hospitality industry the question "why" an investment is made is still asked much too rarely.

Hotel apps - nightmare or blessing?

·21 October 2015
Most hotel chains and many individual hotels have their own hotel app – a small program for smart phones, which is supposed to facilitate the check-in process, provide additional information, replace the room key card, and eventually support and facilitate the next booking at the hotel.

Hotel-Apps - Alptraum oder Segen?

·21 October 2015
Ein Großteil der Hotelketten und viele Hotels besitzt heute eine sogenannte Hotel-App - also ein Programm, das auf den Smartphones der User den Check-in erleichtern soll, Informationen bieten, die Schlüsselkarte ersetzen und natürlich das Buchen des nächsten Aufenthalts ermöglichen. Doch sind diese kleinen Programme wirklich der Weisheit letzter Schluss? Apps werden sehr schnell sehr teuer
Article by Michael Toedt

Big Data ROI - a worthwhile investment!

Toedt, Dr. Selk & Coll. GmbH ·13 October 2015
A world without Big Data or industry 4.0 is unimaginable today. Meanwhile, each responsible manager should understand the importance of this subject, at the latest since CeBit and even Chancellor Merkel has put it on top of the agenda.Strangely enough hardly anybody asks for the concrete usage! Mainly large corporations outside the hospitality industry are investing heavily in Big Data, if they have not already started a while ago. It is almost amusing to see that many of them lack a usage scenario. Consulting firms are hired to hastily define areas that can justify their investments.The hospitality industry is often accused of being unprofessional, but other industries have not exactly covered themselves with glory either. This is somehow comforting. As with every investment, the key question is WHY the investment is done and this question should be asked before an investment is done. In my experience, this is rarely the case. In particular, entrepreneurs who invest their own money could avoid bad investments by asking this question.The key motivations for IT investments, which are the first steps towards Big Data, should be:Reduction of CostsCreation of Additional RevenueGathering of information (which justify the investment)Other reasons certainly include sustainability, generation of USPs or enhancement of services. But the ultimate goal should also be a sustainable increase in profitability.With dailypointtm, we provide the leading Big Data package for the hospitality industry. In the following, I will explain why an investment in Big Data is so profitable. The following aspects are significant for a holistic Big Data approach:Empower management to take the right decisionsSupport direct salesConduct targeted cross- and up-sellingOptimize the use of media channelsReduce administrative costs and licence feesIncrease productivityThe six variables for Return on Investment (ROI) alone make it clear that a general statement is not sufficient. In order to be able to make a valid statement it is important to look at the characteristics of each individual company. Experts claim that intelligent data management, if used correctly, can increase profitability by up to 100%. How this works I will not be able to explain in a blog. But you can find detail information in my latest book "Data Revolution". Here is a brief and explicable summary:1. Taking wrong decisionsStill today, many decisions with a huge financial impact are taken instinctively or based on misinterpretations or false data. Social Media channels including TripAdvisor and Facebook are used to enhance products - an almost silly misuse with risky negative effects. Big Data has changed fundamentally market research, which reduces the risks for decision-making. Thus, bad investments can be avoided. In my opinion, it is only a matter of time until banks use the data management of a company as a criterion when calculating the interest rate.2. Support direct salesBig Data helps to create a central guest profile. This profile is different from a guest profile in the PMS. A Big Data profile contains data from many sources and makes the guest "transparent". Through special software systems companies can thus keep in close contact with their guests. A higher communication frequency increases the chance to be considered in the booking decision. What nowadays only OTAs can do individual hotels will be able to achieve through Big Data. The share of lucrative direct bookings can be increased or at least stabilized.3. Targeted Cross- and Up-sellingJeff Bezos and Amazon are so successful, as they understand to send their customers the right information at the right time. This is only possible in a Big Data environment. From an industrial psychology standpoint this makes the integration of senseless up-selling offers in the booking confirmation redundant.4. Optimize the use of media channelsHoteliers in many countries, including chains in the US, have ceased to send out mailings by post. Managers in other countries, however, have understood the value of this medium and not followed this trend. A good example is Austria: Direct marketing has a long tradition and thus the awareness for a central data management is much higher than in, for example, Germany or Switzerland. As a result, Austrian hoteliers enjoy the highest direct booking rates in Europe! They continue to send out comprehensive mailings by post to stay in the minds of their guests. Only the frequency of the mailings is sometimes too high. Through the RFM++ system, which has been developed for dailypointtm, and the use of scorecards we can achieve a reduction of the number of mailings of up to 50% while keeping a constant booking rate! Some of our clients were able safe amounts in the six-digit range. This is a good reason for an investment.5. Reduce administrative costs and licence feesBig Data means connecting all relevant data sources. This requires either the development of various costly interfaces or the consolidation of the providers. dailypointTM often replaces up to five systems. In a Big Data environment, it does not make any sense to use an external system for newsletters and surveys. Also vouchers, loyalty or up-selling and cross-selling should run via a centralized system. The system grows with the needs of the hoteliers. For the first time, this consolidation enables the creation of a significant and usable database, as it is centralized. It also reduces the number of service providers and thus the costs for administration and licence fees.6. Increase ProductivityCross-linkage nowadays means automation - in communications, but also in many other areas. Big Data makes manual input of interests, transfer of feedback into the guest profile, or editing and uploading of mailing lists in the email things of the past. You might not be able to reduce the number of staff, but you can definitely use your resources more efficiently.
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Big Data ROI - a worthwhile investment!

· 7 October 2015
A world without Big Data or industry 4.0 is unimaginable today. Meanwhile, each responsible manager should understand the importance of this subject, at the latest since CeBit and even Chancellor Merkel has put it on top of the agenda. Strangely enough hardly anybody asks for the concrete usage! Mainly large corporations outside the hospitality industry are investing heavily in Big Data, if they have not already started a while ago. It is almost amusing to see that many of them lack a usage scenario. Consulting firms are hired to hastily define areas that can justify their investments.

BIG DATA ROI - lohnt die Investition?

· 7 October 2015
Big Data - oder auch Industrie 4.0 genannt - ist nicht mehr wegzudiskutieren. Spätestens seit die CeBit und auch die Bundeskanzlerin das Thema ganz oben auf die Agenda gesetzt haben, sollte jedem verantwortungsbewussten Manager bewusst sein, dass es hier um ein nahezu unumgängliches Thema geht. Doch die Frage nach dem konkreten Nutzen wird mir erstaunlicherweise
Article by Michael Toedt

How can I identify my guest? The mistaken belief in the single identifier!

Toedt, Dr. Selk & Coll. GmbH · 2 October 2015
A few weeks ago, I participated in a panel discussion on Big Data in Brussels. Like at a similar conference in Dubai by HTNG (Hotel Technology Next Generation) one of the topics we discussed was what kind of data should be collected.From a today's point of view it can be assumed that about two-thirds of all available data is useless. The rest, on the other hand, can be of enormous value for marketing, operations and sales. All experts agree on that. What they do not agree on, however, is how the data should be collected and combined to create an overall picture. Many companies count on a so-called single identifier, i.e. data, which is supposed to identify the consumer throughout the various channels. Some providers use Facebook, which makes Facebook Connect so important for them. Despite the fact that Facebook has more than one billion users, many consumers are still offline or simply do not want to share their Facebook-ID with companies, no matter how useful and advantageous it is from a company's point of view. This in my opinion disqualifies Facebook as a Single Identifier.A lot of managers increasingly count on e-mail addresses. They help to easily identify consumers throughout the various channels with the goal to link the existing data. It is, however, not a good long-term strategy, as every year approximately 20% of all e-mail addresses lose their validity. Every job change, for example, creates dead data and data breaks. And each consumer has approx. 2.7 e-mail addresses. Therefore, it is ignorant to believe that an e-mail address is a valid single identifier.Many companies nowadays neglect to collect and store postal addresses, as they are considered outdated and useless in the era of Facebook, Whats App and e-mail. But these "experts" are mistaken.Big Data is not about finding one single identifier, but about combining a huge number of data from various sources through intelligent algorithms with the goal to create a centralized, comprehensive guest profile across various systems. dailypointtm contains the by far most inclusive data cleansing process. The method is currently being patented. It uses all above-mentioned data and more, in order to accomplish the best possible result.A centralized guest profile can eventually only be created by considering multiple data such as first name, last name, e-mail address, postal address, Facebook and much more. The core of Big Data is the centralized database, but the data is useless without prior intelligent data quality management. DQM is thus one of the key success factors for Big Data. Do you have a DQM Manager? And what are your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)?Please contact us, if you have any questions or need support. We are more than happy to show you how to use your data profitably for your company.
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Wie erkenne ich meinen Gast - Der Irrglaube vom Single-Identifier!

·23 September 2015
Vor einigen Wochen saß ich in Brüssel bei einer Podiumsdiskussion zum Thema Big Data. Ähnlich wie bei einer vergleichbaren Veranstaltung in Dubai, von der HTNG, ging es in Brüssel unter anderem auch wieder darum, welche Art von Daten gesammelt werden sollten. Man geht davon aus, dass rund zwei Drittel der vorhandenen Daten aus heutiger Sicht
Article by Michael Toedt

Booking.com has stopped transmitting guest email addresses - now what?

Toedt, Dr. Selk & Coll. GmbH ·11 September 2015
How should a hotel react to the fact that OTAs like Booking.com stop forwarding guest email addresses? Meanwhile, Booking.com only transfers a non-personalized email address for each guest, i.e. an address generated by Booking.com. The hotel can use it for pre-stay communication. But clearly Booking.com will not allow the hotel to use that address (example@guest.booking.com) for marketing communication after the guest's departure. Therefore, it is highly recommended to avoid this process.Not only does the new Booking email address have a negative impact on communication, it also impacts quality of the available data. This is particularly the case, if the guest profile is transferred via the Channel Manager interface directly to the hotel PMS or even more so, if the data is merged. Typically, the PMS adds the newest email address to the guest profile. This means that available contacts may be lost to the OTA, if the system overwrites the already existing and correct guest email address with the one created by Booking.com.The impersonalized email address also has impacts the rating platforms. If a questionnaire is sent to the guest after departure to the Booking.com email address and the results are automatically transferred to a rating site, such as HolidayCheck, the review can no longer be considered by the portal, as an independent contact with the guest is no longer possible.How can you as a smart hotelier react to this challenge? Here is our recommendation:1. Send a normal pre-stay email directly to the guest and make use of cross- and up-selling potential.2. Adapt your Registration Card: The registration card provided by dailypointTM, for example, does not show other email addresses, which means the guest can add his personal address.3. Make sure that your guest has to provide his personal email address for identification purposes and to allow for automatic transfer of his review to the rating site.4. By using dailypointTM external email addresses are automatically deleted from the guest profile and not considered during updates of existing profiles. This prevents existing personal email addresses to be overwritten with external unencrypted ones.5. Encourage your Front Desk staff to use the daily arrival report to ask the guests for a valid email address.Of course, the success of such activities has to be analyzed constantly. Another option is to incentivize the front office staff on the collecting of email addresses. An automatically generated report can show the updated OTA profiles and calculate the bonus to be distributed. No matter if you pay out one, two or five euros per correct email address, the effort will pay off. Not only you as a hotelier and your employees will benefit from it, you will also see a huge impact on the guest loyalty.Please feel free to contact us if you need support!

Booking.com has stopped transmitting guest email addresses - now what?

·11 September 2015
It has always been legally prohibited to contact or market to a guest, who came through an OTA. But since OTA websites are valuable channels to acquire new guests, only a few hotels followed this. If a guest, who has already stayed at a hotel, continues to book through the commissionable channel and not directly with the hotel, the hotelier has a problem with his marketing.
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Booking.com ubermittelt die E-Mail-Adresse des Gastes nicht mehr - Was tun?

·11 September 2015
Rein rechtlich war es bisher schon so, dass von OTAs vermittelte Gäste nicht von den Hotels angeschrieben oder beworben werden durften. Daran gehalten haben sich jedoch nur wenige Hotels, schließlich sind die OTA-Webseiten ein sehr guter Kanal für die Neukundengewinnung. Problematisch wird es lediglich, wenn der Gast immer wieder über den provisionspflichtigen Kanal anstatt bei

Data capital - the value of your guest data

·23 July 2015
Since Big Data has gained momentum about two years ago managers have begun to understand the huge value of intelligent data usage. In 2011, years before Big Data has even been recognized, I talked about the value of customer data to an audience of bankers, investors and hoteliers at the hotel forum in Munich.
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Daten-Kapital: Was Ihre Gast-Daten wert sind!

·22 July 2015
Seit Big Data vor knapp zwei Jahren Fahrt aufgenommen hat, erkennen immer mehr Manager, welch großen Wert eine intelligente Datennutzung haben kann. 2011, also Jahre bevor Big Data überhaupt bekannt war, durfte ich auf dem Hotelforum in München vor Bankern, Investoren und Hoteliers über den Wert von Kundendaten referieren. Anhand eines von TS&C entwickelten CLV

Who will be the next big OTA - Accor or Amazon?

· 8 July 2015
In the past couple of months Accor has been in the media with quite a number of news around technology. With these digital developments Accor want to secure their market position in the battle against the OTAs and thus move closer to the big online booking providers. The goals are pretty clear. They want to
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Wer wird der nachste grosse OTA - Accor oder doch etwa Amazon?

· 3 July 2015
Die Hotelgruppe Accor hat in den letzten Monaten mit vielen technischen Neuerungen auf sich aufmerksam gemacht. Durch diese digitalen Entwicklungen will Accor sich im Kampf mit den OTA's eine bessere Position auf dem Markt sichern und sich somit den Online-Anbietern annähern. Das Ziel ist klar: Die Deckungsbeiträge und somit auch die Profitabilität sollen gestärkt werden.

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