Data and predictive marketing allow Best Western France to personalise relations with guests, increase their commitment and develop their loyalty.
Best Western Hotels & Resorts, the world’s leading cooperative, grouping together nearly 4,200 independent hotels in over 100 countries, puts the customer experience at the heart of its strategy. Its Best Western Rewards® loyalty programme, rated by guests as one of the best in the business, is a case in point. Global turnover has risen at a brisk pace in recent years, growing by 18.9% in 2017.
As part of its #Conquête #Transformation three-year strategic plan, Best Western France uses data to enhance the personalisation of relationships with customers, develop their loyalty, cement their commitment and boost direct sales. Better use of knowledge about them is a top goal for the group.
The e-mail channel’s decline is often due to some brands’ mass mailings of irrelevant messages, generating customer disinterest. That is why Best Western France has decided to use new marketing technology, including predictive marketing, to improve the targeting of its CRM campaigns.
Artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms allow campaigns to use customers’ detailed data to offer them the most relevant deals and content, thereby limiting the volume of messages they receive and avoiding marketing fatigue.
Best Western France’s marketing teams are working with Influans, a company that offers an SaaS match marketing platform, to implement a six-month POC taking into account guests’ preferences and stay history, processed by the platform’s algorithms in real time. The goal: to boost booking volume by introducing customers to hotels, destinations or thematic stays most likely to interest them.
A huge amount of information from different databases was gathered and reconciled in the platform ahead of time.
The platform’s predictive and prescriptive abilities have helped to enhance CRM campaigns’ targeting in two ways. The algorithm identifies not just the products (hotels, destinations, regions, etc.) most likely to interest customers, but also the customers most likely to book certain products at a specific time.
Best Western France’s Marketing and Revenue Management teams have identified hotels and regions with low bookings and integrated them into predictive campaigns, thereby maximising direct sales. Over 20 e-mail campaigns have used Influans’ AI algorithm in their targeting. Best Western France and Influans experts met on a regular basis to track results and continuously improve use of the algorithm.
During the planning stage, indicators such as the conversion rate and turnover were defined to assess the POC’s performance. The trial involved three groups: a Best Western group receiving e-mails based on the usual behavioural targeting, an Influans group targeted on the basis of AI algorithms and a ‘control’ group receiving no e-mails. The results were very promising and demonstrated two things.
First, the algorithm can identify the right deals and the right people at the right time, avoiding marketing fatigue of the customer base. Second, it can generate incremental. Best Western France noted that the booking rate directly attributable to predictive campaigns is three times higher than the average booking rate of traditional campaigns. Turnover rose by over 150% compared with the control group.
The marketing match trial showed that data mining is a vast area to explore. Predictive marketing is the first step in implementing Best Western France’s data strategy. Other AI, smart and big data technologies are being studied, reflecting the group’s desire to develop innovative, agile operating methods.
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