Using First-Party Data and Personalization to Build Loyalty

Hotel marketers target loyalty members and use personalization online.

Kerrigan Flynn
August 18, 2022

As the travel industry bounces back, there has been a lot of discussion on how hotel marketers have revamped their marketing strategies to build off the growth of direct bookings during the pandemic. By taking a look at their first-party data and Customer Data Platform systems, hotel marketers can harness this growth by re-engaging their loyalty members and creating personalized experiences online.

Using First-Party Data to Provide Value for Guests

As many good hotel marketers know, building loyalty with your guests starts with understanding them. Collecting first-party data allows you to see your audiences up close. With loyalty program information, booking details, and observational data, you can discover who has a high chance of becoming loyalty members. Then, you can figure out how to provide value for those guests. 

While this can look like points, free nights, upgrades, and other offers, it can also appeal to the emotional side of guests. We've all seen the viral videos and photos when personalization goes well. From family photos in the room to fulfilling a fun request, it creates a memorable experience that all travelers are craving since the pandemic. When you learn about and build trust with guests, you can find ways to “wow” them throughout their stay and build repeat business

Bringing in repeat business is important for hotel marketers to evolve as the industry shifts. Loyalty isn’t created overnight. It’s a relationship that requires first-party data, a multichannel strategy, and personalization to stay top of mind anytime a potential guest is planning a trip.

Benefits of Using First-Party Data for Personalization

Collecting first-party data isn’t a maybe–it’s a must. First-party data allows you to provide relevant information and draw in guests at all touchpoints of the buyer journey. Here are a few reasons why you need first-party data in your strategy:

  • The data is more accurate. Because first-party data is collected from your customers, you know who is who and where the data came from.
  • The data boosts performance. Targeted and relevant information will drive travelers to take action–increasing bookings and providing opportunities to build loyalty.
  • The data prepares you for cookieless. As cookies go away, your first-party data will be the most efficient (and only) way to reach travelers.
  • The data provides personalization. It's the only way to communicate with your entire company—from corporate marketing teams to staff on the ground—the guest's preferences.
  • The data is cost-efficient and standardized. First-party data can help hoteliers save money, and because you’re gathering the data, it will work with your tools and systems.

Hotel marketers can get personal with travelers and find creative ways to engage and convert them online. Pair first-party data with travel insights, and get a more complete picture for your marketing strategy.

To learn more and access in-depth interviews with industry experts, including Sojern’s executives, hospitality customers, and digital marketing partners, check out our recent report with Skift, 6 Ways Hotels Can Maximize Revenue in an Evolving Data Landscape.

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