The future is bright for the hospitality industry, at least for the firms willing to embrace digitalization. This point is driven home by Deloitte’s 2019 Travel and Hospitality Industry Outlook, which cited “digital innovation” as one of the key drivers of record growth in recent years.
In the decade since the Great Recession, technology has completely changed the hospitality industry. In the past ten years, tech startups have grown to be industry giants, and personalization has become a must in marketing efforts. We can expect this trend to continue well into the next decade, and new technologies to make it even more pronounced.
In this piece, we’ll review where the hospitality market is heading in the years to come, with a focus on omnichannel marketing, WiFi, and IoT.
Personalization Will remain a Key Aspect of Customer Experience
This drives home a few important points. First, omnichannel marketing has real benefits. Beyond that, in an industry like hospitality where customer experience (CX) and customer satisfaction are vital to success, personalization is becoming table stakes. In so many cases, it is a must to leverage personalization to remain competitive. If you’re not able to provide consumers with offers relevant to their next trip, you can bet your competitors are.
If you’re in the hospitality industry and you haven’t embraced personalization in your marketing efforts, you may already be behind the curve. A SmartHQ survey showed that the travel & hospitality sector had the highest shift towards personalization in messaging, with 63% of communications targeted to individuals as opposed to mass marketing.
For hospitality businesses that have already started some forms of Digitalization initiatives, focusing on refining the overall process will be made more comfortable with the vast amounts of data being collected and used for that purpose. However, the focus should first be placed on utilizing the collated information to provide Tailored Help first.
Many organizations are attempting to implement personalization today, simply aren’t executing well. Often this comes down to in-house expertise and availability of resources. For example, according to Gartner, 74% of marketing leaders indicate a struggle to scale efforts related to personalization. Going forward, businesses will need to solve these problems to remain competitive. The costs of not doing so are too high. The same Gartner piece indicated that brands risk a loss of 38% of their customers due to inadequate marketing personalization efforts. Polled clients signaled communication Opt-out or overhaul relationship discontinuation of businesses missing the refined personalized touch. Bringing Tailored help to ca ustomers accomplishes several things, but the most important one is that it helps keeps Churn low.
With digitalization being “En Marche,” Data shines like a new type of currency. Striking the correct balance between Personal Privacy and willingness to share data in exchange for a highly customized experience will be a winning combination for businesses and consumers alike.
Over the next few years, we’ll see personalization in the space improve for two reasons:
- Marketers will adapt and refine personalization strategies based on what works
- New technologies like the Andromeda platform will make the curation of Data simpler and more effective
WiFi 6 Improving the Hospitality Industry
With all the talk of 5G, one of the most impactful technologies being released this year may very well be WiFi 6. The obvious advantage of WiFi 6 (802.11ax) is higher speeds and range. In the coming years, we can expect more and more WiFi 6 devices to hit the market and for them to eventually become the norm in the industry.
Just how much better is WiFi 6 than its predecessor? According to Intel, from a single data rate perspective, top speeds with WiFi 6 will be up to 40% faster than WiFi 5 (802.11ac). However, that is just one of the benefits of WiFi 6. Two other significant advantages of WiFi 6 are:
- Improved performance in high-density areas- Hospitality venues that provide WiFi are familiar with the strain a large number of users can put on a network. Using technology like beamforming and multi-user Multiple In/Multiple Out (MU-MIMO, WiFi 6 is solving this problem. As a result, WiFi 6 will significantly improve the visitor experience at brick-and-mortar venues. How much better will WiFi 6 be in this regard? Intel also reports that WiFi 6 will perform four times better than WiFi 5 in dense or congested areas.
- Improved client device battery life- In addition to enabling faster speeds and better performance in high-density areas, WiFi 6 consumes less battery life on client devices. Not only is this useful to visitors at physical venues, but it also enables IoT (Internet of Things) devices to operate more efficiently as well.
Enhancing the Guest Experience Using WiFi 6 + IoT
Smart cameras, sensors that detect dwell time, digital signage, and a wealth of other IoT technology that supports WiFi 6 will change how brick-and-mortar venues operate soon. We’re already seeing this transformation today, and improved speed and efficiency will only drive the industry further in that direction. Venues that leverage IoT effectively will be able to improve customer engagement and deliver real-time communications to enhance visitor experiences.
Just how much can we expect IoT to grow in the coming years? IDC predicts there will be over 41 billion IoT devices creating over 79 zettabytes (ZB) of data in the year 2025. This helps demonstrate that those looking to stay at the cutting edge of hospitality need to leverage IoT now or risk getting left behind.
How can hospitality venues use WiFi and IoT to their advantage? By enabling personalized experiences. Bringing the benefits of smart homes to hotels will be a big part of the future of hospitality. As an example, consider the smart room concept Hilton is working on. By building a personalized customer profile, hotels customize rooms based on customer preferences. Want the lights dimmed and AC at 72? IoT, coupled with the right intelligence platform, can make that happen. Providing incremental customer data to a database or a CRM can bring User eXperiences to a different level.
The organizations that can execute and deliver on personalization in the hospitality space will benefit from improved customer loyalty and repeat business. Once you’re able to provide a guest with a personalized room or experience, why would they ever go elsewhere?
How Queentessence is enabling the future of hospitality
At Queentessence, we’re excited about our role in the future of hospitality. Our Andromeda platform enables brick-and-mortar venues to capture a wealth of data from IoT and smart devices and transform it into actionable insights for omnichannel marketing campaigns. Andromeda is agnostic the gear vendors, as long as they are Cloud-based managed.
Venues and MSPs offering WaaS linked to Andromeda can leverage built-in features such as Reward Program, Personalized Marketing, Captive Portal Editor.
Through innovative thinking and a customer-centric approach to business, we’re able to provide our partners in the hospitality space with the value they can’t find elsewhere. For example, our patented “Pre-roll” WiFi technology (U.S. Patent 7,734,283) enables venues to push promotional messages prior to the authentication phase. Users’ Pre Authentication phase is the most valuable one from a marketing standpoint, mainly due to the highly captive attention of users while they connect and move on with their digital journey.
If you’d like to learn more about Andromeda or discuss what the right WiFi guest management solution can do for your venue, contact us today!