A tale of stars and constellations. Why we need a different kind of Analytics in Hotels.
I grew up in a small village on the Greek Eastern coast. During the warm summer months, the night sky was particularly clear. You could see the billions of stars very clearly. As a young boy, I could admire them through the lens of my telescope but there was one issue. Even If someone would point me the different constellations that the stars form I just had trouble seeing them.
Fast forward a few decades later and it seems we are facing the same challenges in hotels as I was. The digital landscape is creating a huge trail of data behind every single customer that is staying in hotels. Imagine a comet "customer" moving at lightning speed and its tail "the data" following. All of this data is sitting in different areas and layers and is useful to different people in the organization to Optimise hotel Performance. It is challenging to see the constellations out of all these data points. Let alone make the decisions that drive performance.
This Digital Landscape is forcing hotel companies to rethink the way they are organized in order to improve their performance. The most common change I hear is aligning the different commercial disciplines under the same umbrella. Some call it Revenue Generation Team, some call it Commercial Team, some Revenue Performance team, etc.
Revenue Management, Sales, Distribution, Digital, and Loyalty more and more sit under the same umbrella and need to collaborate to improve performance for the organization. But until now every part of this organization is chasing its own "stars". Breaking down the silos and allowing for true collaboration and seeing "The constellations" is quite a challenge. In order for these people to collaborate efficiently 3 things need to happen:
1) Automation. In the digital world, agile and fast is the norm. There is no time to compile information manually or wait that everyone is available for a meeting in order to make decisions.
2) People need to be empowered through data to make the right decisions real-time and at scale. From the Meeting and events team at the hotel level to Regional teams, to Revenue and distribution managers and up to the CEO. Everyone needs a different set of analytics to make decisions.
3) There needs to be complete transparency in the goals of the organization. Take The most digital company of them all Google, uses OKR's " Objectives and key results" These OKR's from CEO down to the whole organization are public, Every employee can consult real-time what a peer or leader is doing and how far he is from achieving his goal. This creates great alignment at each level. Moreover, team members help each other supporting their goals and creating more value for the company as a whole.
So how do we enable this change to happen in the organization? Current Revenue Management or Analytics systems are not designed for this new environment. We have somewhat forgotten to empower the digital marketer, the meeting and events team, the salesperson, the distribution manager, the regional manager, the loyalty manager and up to the CEO.
We need to Re-imagine systems and allow companies to transform digitally. Imagine an organization where true collaboration occurs. We need to empower the Digital marketeer to be able to spend the marketing budget at an optimal ROI, the Revenue Manager to forecast accurately by using new data points such as Airline Arrivals, Weather, OTA searches and other forward-looking data. We need to empower him to price at the point where digital campaigns will convert better and allowing his colleague to reach is objectives. We need to empower him to optimize Hotel Inventory properly together with the Groups and Meeting Events team and communicate this back to the digital marketer so that we optimize our spending improving Sales and Marketing efficiency. We need to empower the loyalty Manager to improve lifetime value and total spend.
But there are far more team players to empower: From sales to the regional team to the head office to Revenue Management Centers and the CEO and executive leadership we can count up to hundreds of metrics that quantify success. We need to make them available and transparent so that everyone can connect the dots forward and thrive in the Digital Hotel World.