The Importance of Research-Backed Hospitality Marketing

Using data over intuition is the proven path to success. Let's dive into the undeniable impact of data-driven strategies for hotels and destinations.

A young family watching two children run on the beach - Hotel Photography - Shore House at the Del

In a world where data means everything, it’s the data-driven organizations who are 162% more likely to surpass revenue goals than their behind-the-times counterparts, according to a Forrester Consulting survey. Over the last few years, the hospitality industry has seen the most change and evolution out of any industry. From restaurants and entertainment to lodging and tourism, the hospitality industry has emerged from the pandemic, resilient and hungry for growth. As markets grow competitive and travelers have taken control of their vacation planning, it’s imperative to have a strong marketing strategy backed by research and data.

Gone are the days where decisions are made based solely on a gut feeling or because something “sounds great to me”. As new tools and information continue to emerge, it has become easier than ever (with the right resources) to define a marketing strategy backed by research and insights. Here are the reasons why you need to make sure your hospitality marketing plan is backed by data and some tips to help your marketing plan succeed. 

One: Targeted Marketing Campaigns

Your customers feel heard.

According to a study done by SmarterHQ, 72% of consumers will only engage with personalized messaging. Understanding your consumer is one of the most important factors in campaign development. Acknowledging and understanding target consumers’ behavior, preferences, and trends, allows you to develop campaigns that speak directly to them and feel recognized. Marketing that resonates with your consumer will increase brand loyalty and lead to more conversions.

Start by analyzing the data you have access to – your actual customers. What is the average age range? Male/Female? Collect data from social channels. Meta can pull likes and behaviors of your current followers. From here, observe the trends in your audience, research what typical behaviors are like for this demographic, and use these conclusions to lead to how you can best speak to your target audience.

A young family watching two children run on the beach - Hotel Photography - Shore House at the Del

In producing Shore House at The Del’s launch campaign, we looked at the data of who actually visits and stays at The Del, specifically with multi-room/condo bookings. We concluded it would be best to market to multi-generation families traveling for vacation, and families, just like in our campaigns, could envision themselves at the Shore House.

Two: Increased ROI

Get the tangible win you’re looking for.

Researched-backed marketing can help you maximize your budgets and resources, resulting in increased return on investment – 15-20% according to McKinsey & Company research. By leveraging data and insights to identify the most effective marketing channels and messages, your business can focus on high-impact campaigns that drive results. 

How can you track this? Identify your baseline sales performance before any campaigns launch and track the same metric to measure the success of your campaign. Whether that be rooms booked, meals purchased, or customers through the door, you can calculate the difference in sales before and after, compared to what you spent on your campaign, to measure your return on investment.

Three: Competitive Advantage

Be smart, and stay ahead.

When you fully understand your business’s unique value proposition and target consumers, you can lean into marketing with confidence and differentiate your business from competitors. Harvard Business Review found that data-driven companies are 6% more profitable than their competitors. Not only are you increasing your bottom line, but you’re staying ahead of the game.

Pro Tip: Curate experiences that your customers would LOVE to check out. Whether that be a mountainside yoga activation or a music & sweets pop-up lounge, there’s always something to get your audience excited about.

Four: Improved Customer Satisfaction

From data to delight!

A happy customer means higher brand loyalty, positive reviews, and more than likely repeat business! Research-backed marketing can help businesses understand what customers value most and tailor their products and services accordingly. This can lead to improved customer satisfaction and loyalty, as customers feel that their needs and preferences are being met.

Free Advertising: Once the positive reviews start rolling in, share them to promote your business! According to a study done by Podium, 93% of consumers say that online reviews influence their purchasing decisions. Positive reviews and testimonials are a HUGE (and easy) way to establish trust and gain more business.

Five: Data-Driven Decision Making

Harness the power of insights.

You’ve probably heard the saying, “Throw spaghetti at the wall and hope it sticks”. This is what you’re doing when you put a campaign out into the world without thorough research and preparation. Research-backed marketing allows businesses to make data-driven decisions rather than relying on intuition or guesswork. A 2021 survey done by Salesforce stated 92% of marketers believe that data-driven marketing is important to success within their organization. By leveraging data and insights, businesses can feel confident making decisions about marketing strategy, messaging, and channel selection, resulting in more effective and efficient marketing campaigns.

So where do you start? 

Dedicate time to start reviewing the data that your business is already collecting. Understanding your customer, your unique selling propositions, and the trends present throughout your customer journey will give you insight into future decisions. Always analyze the performance of your campaigns – from copy and design to audience and channels – and use the findings to make the next campaign more effective and hyper-targeted to your audience.

If you find that the time commitment and data analysis are more than you can handle right now (because we all know time is money), look to outsourcing this work and partnering with an agency. As hospitality experts in marketing and advertising, WeCreate has a proven track record of producing actionable insights and world-class creative solutions that will fill the gap you might be feeling in your marketing team. 

Consider this article a jumping-off point for you to analyze what data you are using to your advantage, and if you’d like to hear more, you can always reach out to us

Good luck, and may you harness the power of your data!