Millennials have a track record of seemingly favoring disrupters like Uber and Airbnb, but a new study shows they overwhelmingly prefer full-service hotels to short-term apartment rentals by a margin of more than 2-to-1. This is great news for hotels as the same study notes that Millennials, between the ages of 20 to 26, are projected to have $200 billion in spending this year alone. (Montevago, 2018)
While Millennials may also be called the “the smartphone generation”, the reality is that with 2.5 billion smartphones in the world and 80% of U.S. adults owning a smartphone, most U.S. travelers are part of the smartphone generation.
So, how does a hotel engage with the smartphone generation? The obvious statement is on their smartphone of course, but what if that is not possible or where the guests want to engage? What if the guests don’t have the hotel app, aren’t in a loyalty program, or haven’t visited the hotel website? Phocuswright says the OTA U.S. travel market share will reach 41% by 2020. That means many guests show up at check-in knowing little about what the hotel or brand may offer for services.
This could pose a real problem around connecting with a guest or an opportunity. While the guest is at the hotel, there are numerous ways to educate, inform, and entertain the guest away from their smartphone.
By providing relevant content that anticipates a guest’s needs in highly visible spaces, the hotel is helping curate a positive experience for the guest. The key word being relevant. In most retail advertising studies, there is between 4 and 7 seconds to capture the attention of a viewer. If the hotel content is stale, the hotel has lost the ‘engagement moment’.
By thinking of spaces in the hotel as engagement opportunities, the hotel has numerous ways to connect with a guest. A simple example is when a guest is thinking of having a meal. Let the guest know about dining options at the proper time of day. Advertising breakfast in the late afternoon, doesn’t create interest in your bar menu or dinner options. If there are new specialty items in the grab-and-go, let the guest know!
What about activities? Golf on a day that is pouring rain or the course is being used for an event is a miss, but are there spa appointments open?
While the guest may fail to connect with the hotel on their smartphone, hotels have plenty of opportunities to reach them in other ways that are fairly easy to execute with the right technology.
If you want more information on Uniguest’s Digital Signage solutions and how we can not only assist in providing your guests with an outstanding stay at your property, but provide your guests with exceptional cybersecurity protection, click here.
Chuck Wigand, Director of Product Development