Hoteliers are fighting to reclaim direct bookings from Online Travel Agencies (OTAs): Check In Image

Hoteliers are fighting to reclaim direct bookings from Online Travel Agencies (OTAs). But are they missing a key weapon in the battle?

With hotel companies paying commission rates from 10-30% to OTAs like Expedia and Booking.com, it’s no wonder they’ve become aggressive about capturing business from these third party distribution channels. Both Hilton and Marriott have made bold moves with campaigns to do just that.

And their strategies are sound—with Hilton’s comprised of rate parity, convenience, Loyalty benefits and personalizing guest experiences. A question remains though: Exactly what intelligence are they using to optimally personalize the guest experience?
According to a Hilton spokesperson, “Appealing to potential guests of all ages was a goal for this campaign. We are absolutely thinking about all customer segments, and looking at new brands like Tru by Hilton and partnering with folks like Live Nation and the Grammys to connect on all levels and passion points. We’re better able to personalize (guest) experiences (than the OTAs), whether our customers are boomers, gen X, millennials, or gen Z.”

Hmm, we think they’re on to something—connecting and segmenting on passion points.

Targeting broad groups of potential guests while they’re engaged in popular events is certainly a compelling strategy. But in order to truly engage prospects based on their passions, hoteliers need to identify and reach those that frequently engage in similar experiences over time—only then can they know prospective guests’ passions; only then can personalization be realized.

So how to do that? New mobile-derived digital audiences are now readily available, built on the local events and activities millions of consumers attend as they live their daily lives. For the first time hotel companies can conclusively know what these consumers are interested in and passionate about—giving them a “secret weapon” for personalizing outreach and engagement in the battle to reclaim direct bookings from OTAs.