S1 E4 Is personalisation the key to reducing reliance on OTAs? (feat. Michael De Jongh Avvio)
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What’s the key to increasing direct bookings and reducing cancellations? It might be customer journey personalisation! In this episode of the Pack a Punch Podcast we’re talking about this hot topic in hospitality marketing.
Our guest today is Michael De Jongh – Chief Commercial Officer at Avvio who has an extensive background in leading global sales & marketing functions for fast-growing technology firms like Sage plc. We sat down with Michael to talk about how personalised customer journeys play an important role in increasing direct bookings while reducing reliance on OTAs by providing customers with better experiences.
On the Pack a Punch Podcast we are keen to give our listeners actionable guidance and takeaways. Michael reveals 3 top tips to start utilising personalisation to increase direct bookings and reduce cancellations at your hotel.
Personalization is very varied. In this context, we’re talking specifically for hotels. The experience at three to five-star hotels is highly personalised. You might be greeted y name at the reception desk and the higher up the star rating you go, the more tailored and personalised your experience becomes until it’s much more than an overnight stay. It is equally important to personalise the online journey. Long before the guest steps foot in your property, you should be considering how you can personalise their experience on your website.
Michael goes on to explain the power of AI in customer journey personalisation. We know that a first time visitor is unlikely to book during their first visit to the website and yet we’re screaming Book Now, Book Direct with our calls to action. Also, once a guest has booked, if they’re returning to the website we know they’re not there to book again, they’re there for research or potential upsells but we’re hitting them with the same Book Now, Book Direct messages. By personalising the experience for the guest and wherever they are on the customer journey you can greatly increase the conversion of your website and booking engine.
Avvio recently published a whitepaper about customer retention and cancellations. You can download and read the whitepaper here. Michael talks about how you’ll never be able to stop 100% of cancellations but by personalising each touchpoint and even enabling guests to cancel early in order to reset the room and give you an opportunity to resell it you can reduce your loss due to cancellations.
On the Pack a Punch Podcast we like to give our listeners actionable takeaways to help them with their own marketing. We asked Michael for his three top tips to start utilising customer journey personalisation.
- Focus on the guest. Ensure your website is keeping your guest engaged rather than focused on your brand.
- Invest in digital marketing. Michael predicts cancellations will increase as we head out of the pandemic so it’s time to invest.
- And finally, don’t underestimate the power or customer advocacy.
Have a listen to the last five minutes of the episode for his full response.
The Pack a Punch Podcast is brought to you by Punch Creative, a full-service marketing agency in Leeds. Since 2007 we’ve been establishing brands, filling hotel rooms and making headlines for the hospitality industry. Get in touch today to give your brand some love.
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Impactful Marketing Talks
The Pack a Punch Podcast brings you impactful marketing talks with industry expert guests. Hosted by marketing agency Punch Creative, each short but mighty episode contains actionable advice for you to implement into your own marketing strategy. So grab yourself a cuppa, get comfy and listen as we dive into the latest trends and share our triumphs and mistakes for you to learn from.
In series one we are pleased to welcome some wonderful guests from the hospitality industry. We will be talking to hoteliers and hotel marketers about their goals and predictions for 2022 and asking them to share their wisdom from their many years in the industry.