With the phasing out of third-party cookies, there is an increasing importance for hotels to move towards first-party data.
First-party data can be used to create a personalized experience that creates loyal guests and become brand advocates with a higher lifetime value
First-Party Data vs Third-Party Data
First-party data is data the hotel collects directly from its customers, whereas third-party data is collected from other sources.
How To Capture First-Party Data
First-party data can be captured through your website, emails, POS (Point of Sale), and CRM (Customer Relationship Management) systems among others.
Examples of data you may want to collect: if the customer used the facilities such as the spa or restaurant, the last time they visited, how much they spent previously, or if they requested a sea view, any specific allergies, favorite type of wine, etc.
Creating A First-Party Data Strategy
There are 2 steps that you can take today to start designing your first-party data strategy:
- Defining your goals is the first step to your first-party data strategy.
- State what data you will collect, why, and how you are going to do that.
Here are a few things to keep in mind to create a winning data strategy:
- Only ask for the data that you need. Customers do not want to give their data away unless there is a good reason. They may get fed up and drop out from conversion or become suspicious.
- Creating a strategy allows you to audit what data you have. Audit your email list at least yearly to remove guests who do not want your emails or email addresses that no longer work. This will help target people interested in your company and will lower spam and unsubscribe rates while increasing your open rates.
- Continuously monitoring your data is essential to ensure you are using it properly, and to assess how the process can be improved.
The Challenges Of Using First-Party Data
The initial investment of time and money in gathering and maintaining first-party data can seem like one more complicated task to add to your never-ending to-do list. But, taking the time to implement a culture of using first-party data, will mean reaping the rewards later.
Changing the culture in your business can be a long and slow process, however, educating your staff about how first-party data directly impacts their work will promote productivity in the long run.
Speaking at the Covid Comeback Conference Cologne on October 14th, Nils Scheers, COO at Thynk, said,
How To Use Your First-Party Data
- First-party data is vital for marketing. You can use guests’ data to understand their preferences, re-market to them, and capture more accurate information.
- Use the data to map your customer journey. Know what steps they take and the order in which they take them to identify your strengths and weaknesses. If a lot of potential guests opt out of communication at the same time, this touchpoint may need improvement to encourage conversion.
- Once the customer journey is mapped, you can use it to create an individual view of the customer instead of a generalized profile.
Nils Scheers recommends:
First-party data can be used to segment your customers and target them at the right time, in the right way, and with the right message instead of sending out mass emails that are relevant to no one.
Being transparent about the data you collect and giving guests access to their data, creates trust. Remind them they can change their preferences and personal details, giving you more accurate information, but also allowing them to control the information they want to give you. It not only helps guests, but it saves time for staff, reduces human error, and it saves costs.
Here is what Nils Scheers at Thynk has to say about that:
While it may be perceived as a risk to invest in technology, any company that stands behind their product will not be afraid to show you their solution and will let you try it for a couple of months at no cost.
With third-party cookies moving away, first-party data is going to be a bigger issue, and having the right technology to help you is key.
First-party data is vital for your hotel and finding the right system that can help with this, is crucial.