By Sharon Hirschowitz
Bridget will be talking about how hoteliers need to change their approach to Digital Revenue Optimization to a profit-forward strategy at the International Luxury Hotel Association’s INSPIRE’19 summit. Here she explains her thinking behind this concept, along with how she has lead phase 1 of their new adaptive website.
What can attendees expect from your talk on Digital Revenue Optimization at the ILHA's INSPIRE Summit in December?
Within the hotel industry, “Digital” is often referred to as marketing, advertising and ecommerce; while “Revenue Optimization” is often referred to how we generate revenue and expand our distribution. These two departments within a company most often find themselves working against each other, although both departments aim to achieve the same ultimate end goal of trying to generate business and revenue; but their mindsets and approaches toward the end goals are different. What the attendees will take away from this session is: when we combine the Digital and Revenue Management mindsets, we get a new way of looking at hotel business through the comprehensive commercial lens. Attendees will learn how to identify and maximize hotel profitability and exposure, by combining the science and art of ecommerce, distribution, data intelligence, consumer psychology and technology.
Can you tell us about a recent project you have implemented?
I’ve recently spearhead and launched phase 1 of our adaptive website solution across the global Nobu portfolio. We are getting rid of the concept of a dedicated homepage. We are adding virtual wallets as part of our payment gateway and providing guests with data-based recommendations. Over time our websites will be individually targeted and personalized based on behaviors, interests, geography, look-alike modeling etc. The business objectives are to increase guest engagement, interactions, services, conversions, and purchase confidence and efficiency.
What have been your biggest learning curves? Where would you advise hoteliers to start with Digital Revenue Optimization.
We all know digital (data, ecommerce, technology, marketing etc.) plays a critical role in driving today’s business growth and success, but it is changing the way people (re)think their hotel business and how to incorporate digital—which is still one of the biggest learning curves. Business isn’t about making money, it’s about maximizing profit. We need to challenge the processes and the mindsets of the past and the current and incorporate digital (not as an add-on to whatever has been done) but instead to rethink what and how you are operating your hotel business. Reshaping the current environment will produce a future of improved efficiency, increased effectiveness, lower costs, broadened reach, and higher returns.
I recommend hoteliers should always focus first on their lowest hanging fruits. What digital channels, efforts and/or markets bring in the most business success, in terms of profits? How can you do more on these channels to ensure even higher returns?
What trends are you following now?
I like to follow retail ecommerce and OTA trends. Companies within these two industries have innovation labs, data scientists, researchers, as well as staff psychologists on their teams to understand human motivations and behaviors, and to develop innovative products and technologies, to drive business and scalability.