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No industry is immune to change – and the hospitality industry is no exception. But what changes can hotel brands expect moving forward, and how can they avoid disruption by innovative competitors? The NetBase 2018 Social Intelligence Report: Hotels has all the insights!

Here are some highlights:

Things Are Looking Good – But Don’t Get Too Comfy

There’s a lot to be optimistic about heading into the future. As Zacks reports: “The industry looks attractive, owing to rise in occupancy rate and gain in commercial transient demand. Further, we note that rising employment, higher real income and increased household net worth reinforced consumer confidence and sentiment. This has resulted in a steady rise in business and leisure travel, and higher transaction volumes, which are likely to continue.”

But of course, there are always challenges. Things like labor and renovation costs, and pricing limits dictated by online agents like Expedia and TripAdvisor, are just a few stumbling blocks. We talk about a few others – as well as where hotels have the upper hand – in the report.

Saving money isn’t always the most important thing to travelers…

The important takeaway is the constancy of change.

It’s just one reason staying on top of things via real-time social analytics is so imperative. We’ve seen in other research that not all brands use social analytics as well as they could. But trends can emerge quickly, and if you aren’t hip to them, you can lose big time.

Disruptions and Disruptors

The potential for loss is particularly high with trends that change the way business is done. The success of Airbnb is the biggest modern example of this for the hospitality industry.

The report talks about the impact Airbnb and new copycats have had on hotels, but it’s not all bad news. Hotel brands aren’t taking this disruption lying down, and the ones poised to rise above are those looking at ways to disrupt in return.

Social data powered by sentiment analysis is the mightiest weapon you have for fighting back. It’s how you’ll know where consumer hearts lie, and what steps to take to win them over.

What’s the next big thing in hospitality? We don’t want to give everything away, but think “mobile” and you’re on the right track. Download the full report for more specifics on new ideas worth exploring.

Differentiation Challenges and Opportunities

Of course, even without industry-changing innovation, hotel brands have work to do. In the best of times you still have to stand out against competitors offering the same basic service you are. How do you do that?

If you’re following marketing trends at all, you know everything comes down to the customer experience now. What does that mean for hotel brands?

Well, the specifics will differ, of course, but it certainly means taking in social sentiment and understanding everything you can about your guests and prospects. If a large contingent of your audience are passionate about fitness and giving to causes they care about, then you’ll find a way to offer that, like Westin has by partnering with Charity Miles:

And as you perform your competitor analysis, you’ll look at adjacencies you might not have previously considered and brainstorm about how to reach new audiences. Perhaps something you offer can overlap with an entirely new category – like camping.

That would set you apart while expanding your share of the market overall.

This is the kind of innovative mindset you need to compete in an evolving industry, but your efforts must be intentional. Anything you do that doesn’t work is a lesson for competitors, who’ll then sail past you, perfecting your ideas and reaping the rewards.

That’s Competitor Analysis 101 – a course you absolutely must pass.

We cover more about how to do this, along with why you’ve got to bring all your data into one place for best results, in the complete report. So download the NetBase 2018 Social Intelligence Report: Hotels now – so you can start strategizing for 2019. It’s almost here!

And reach out to see a demo of our social intelligence tools in action.

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