Through our work with companies in the hospitality sector, such as Dubai Tourism, Cathay Pacific and a host of others, we’ve identified some emerging trends we believe are crucial to future proofing your marketing and meeting the needs of your consumers over the next 3 years.
We believe these trends will effect marketing in hospitality;
- The Experience Economy – social media sharing, casual dining boom, AI and VR
- Redefining Hospitality – strategic partnerships, tech-investments, user generated content
- Modern Marketing – integrated customer journeys, marketing automation, easier to measure ROI
The Experience Economy
Consumers are now after unique experiences and swift responses, whether on social media, the company website, by smart device or by desktop or television. Consumers are now seeking more casual dining experiences than ever before. BarclayCard Consumer Research data tells us that 34% of consumers preferred to invest in experiences as opposed to objects. As a result, companies are focusing more on bringing experience into the way they engage with their consumers, from the use of AI and VR to customer services. More than ever, consumers are investing in travel experiences, 31% of consumers showed greater interest in hotels that provide guest experiences – in particular, it is shown that 80% of millennials strive for unique experiences and seek authenticity when travelling.
These trends have led to strategic changes in the hospitality industry. We now see more hotels and resorts forming strategic partnerships, or alliances, with media and retail partners. One example is Marriott, who recently partnered with Alibaba. Hospitality companies are also investing in tech start-ups and platforms. Accor is hedging its bets by acquiring hospitality tech startups and platforms which allow the brand to provide a comprehensive portfolio of alternative accommodation, from upper scale (is upper scale accommodation a phrase – sounds weird) to luxury. Many are now bringing tech in-house. Digitization within hospitality has become more prevalent; for example, Hilton is making specific investments into their tech capabilities by personalizing bedrooms using digital tech. These trends creep into the lifestyle space as well, with many brands realizing that social shareability is a valuable currency. Some of the smartest hotels and resorts have capitalized on this and have begun to create more shareable lifestyle experiences.
So how do we see Modern Marketing changing?
A strategic integration of customer journeys and communications has been key. There is great value in understanding the customer journey and the role for communications at each stage. The best planning has clear KPIs and metrics for each stage of the journey, and a clear role for all communication (bought, owned, and earned) at each stage. We are also seeing modern media buying practices using data and tech to automate trades, setting out test and learn processes. There has also been a shift to a focus on ROI offered by creativity and innovation, ensuring talent and processes are in place to deliver outstanding creative. Better data allows for greater conviction in calculating return on investment. Joining together data and selecting the best measures must be at the heart of planning.
We look holistically at change and the key factors that dictate success. Flock’s four practise areas of Operations, Capabilities, Procurement and Mar Tech, cover the key areas that will dictate success or failure in your transformation, and putting the needs of the consumer at the centre of everything we do.
Ask us how we can help deliver your change in 2019!