Tuesday, 9 December 2014
Disruptive changes usually happened only periodically– the online booking system for example, which revolutionised the consumer experience and continues to be central feature amongst today’s hospitality operators. Now, disruptive changes occur on a much more regular basis driven by consumers whose expectations are shaped by continuing technological advancements, globalisation and changing social norms. Omni-channel marketing is a product of this disruption.
Digital marketing has been undergoing rapid advancements at stomach-churning speed. Now marketing teams have to contend with a number of digital touch points to satisfy the demands of today’s tech-savvy guests (and potential guests) who expect information at their fingertips across any device, at any time, whether they are online or not.
‘Omni-channel’ therefore implies the delivery of a seamless, integrated, and consistent guest experience irrespective of the channel or device. For example, before going on holiday a family is likely to use their laptop or desktop computer to make a booking and then later switch over to their tablet or mobile phone to view their booking, redeem loyalty points and access helpful information about their intended accommodation. During their stay, the family may need to book dinner at the hotel restaurant, view their current bill and book a local activity, which they would do via their mobile device or perhaps an interactive kiosk within the hotel foyer. The family would expect the same experience across all devices.
You can begin to see why omni-channel marketing is so important. It offers businesses in the hospitality industry the opportunity to get an edge over competitors by delivering an enhanced guest experience. And since it’s been proven that people generally buy based on emotion rather than price, you take yourself out of the ‘race to zero’ i.e. being forced to compete on price until you are left with no margin.
A guest’s experience may begin with their first visit to your website and continue right through to the communication following their stay. Examples of how technology can be used across multiple touch points to automate and enhance the contact you have with your guests, include:
Yes much of the information viewed by guests in the examples above is similar, but remember that they want the flexibility to access it on their terms. The obvious question is how do hospitality operators ensure consistency and manage communication across these different touch points? You’ll be glad to know that the solution is not, ‘get a bigger marketing team.’ Technology again comes to the rescue, this time in the form of purpose built platforms that allow content to be centrally managed across multiple digital touch points. Omni-channel technology is alive and well on our shores – more hospitality businesses just need to leverage this technology to deliver on the growing expectations of their guests.
Labyrinth Solutions are the leading omni-channel platform provider in Australasia, which centralises the management of content across the four primary omni-channel touch points – Website | Mobile Application | Kiosk | Digital Signage.
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