The hospitality industry is massive. For context, the hotel market is made up of over 4 million rooms worldwide.
In addition to the growing competition in this sector, it is also one that is constantly changing. That's largely due to the fact that the behaviors, preferences, attributes, and purchasing decisions of travelers are always evolving.
To keep up, many hotels, resorts, motels, inns, and other tourism destinations have turned to different types of market research.
Whether it be using data and insights to brand your loyalty rewards program, improve guest satisfaction, understand factors of choice, or perfect your marketing strategy - you will never be short of methodologies to choose from.
Below we share several different market research options for the hotel and hospitality industry.
Market Research Option #1: Online Reputation Management
According to TripAdvisor 8 in 10 people always read online reviews before booking a hotel. Additionally, customers will value guest ratings over a hotel’s brand 72% of the time.
Therefore, it has become imperative for hotels to invest in a strategy for reputation management as they look to improve online guest reviews.
At Drive Research, we often recommend incorporating an element of ORM into your guest satisfaction surveys. At the end of the survey, guests will see a call-to-action to leave a review on a rating site of your choosing: Google, Hotels.com, TripAdvisor, etc.
Additionally, a market research company can create alerts specifically for bad reviews so you can take action on those comments immediately.
While there's nothing you can do to 100% avoid negative online comments, there are ways that you can get ahead of the situation -- like replying to the review publically.
In fact, 91% of travelers want property owners to respond to negative reviews.
💡 The Key Takeaway: Setting up an online reputation management strategy gives you better control of the conversations happening online about your hotel. Get alerts in real-time of negative comments so you can take action and resolve the situation to show guests you care about their experience.
Market Research Option #2: Feasibility Studies
If you’ve ever dined out, there is a good chance that you did some extensive research on where to go and what to eat. It’s best to be prepared, right?
That same logic applies when you’re deciding where, when, and how to construct your next hotel location.
Through different components of a feasibility study, developers gain a better understanding of the demographic, geographic, economic, and financial factors of the market. They are also often used to justify costs and investments.
Additionally, a market research company can help to answer questions surrounding market saturation, current and future local competition, price comparisons, and more.
With this data at your disposal, you’ll be better informed and equipped to make the right decisions surrounding where and when to build your next hotel location.
💡 The Key Takeaway: Feasibility studies are ideal for gathering information around key areas of a market. Additionally, they also lend more information to the financial decisions of an organization.
Market Research Option #3: Website User Experience
In the age of technology, websites are where potential guests get their first impression of your hotel. For context, each year over 148.3 million travel bookings are completed online.
With that said, the importance of having an easy-to-use, aesthetically pleasing website cannot be overstated.
Conducting website user experience interviews will help you to better understand the most common pathways taken by visitors to your website, from the moment they land on your site to the time they click “Book.”
Throughout the study, you’ll be able to uncover barriers and pain points along the pathway to booking a room. You can even find out where potential guests call it quits, and leave the site altogether.
With the knowledge of where users are struggling on your website, you’ll be able to streamline the process and make the journey to booking a room that much easier for your potential guests.
💡 The Key Takeaway: Measuring user experience is one of the major market research options for the hospitality industry. We can all agree that hotel websites have a big impression on potential customers, and can either help or hinder the booking process.
Recommended Reading: How to Improve User Experience (UX) For Your Website
Market Research Option #4: Guest Satisfaction Surveys
Ever had the urge to get feedback from a guest as they leave the hotel after their stay? With a guest satisfaction survey, you can do just that!
A straightforward, quantitative method of market research, guest satisfaction surveys aim to measure satisfaction levels with a variety of factors regarding a guest’s stay upon their departure from the hotel.
With a hotel market research questionnaire, you can gauge guest satisfaction with some of the most common points in one’s stay.
These surveys can cover essential actions like:
- Check-in processes
- Room cleanliness
- Room service
- Concierge services
Guest satisfaction surveys are great tools for uncovering pain points during a guest’s stay. They allow you to improve on any issues that may come up frequently, and capitalize on those improvements with future guests.
💡 The Key Takeaway: Guests make or break a hotel. In order to see where they stand, running guest satisfaction surveys can gather actionable data for hotels.
Why Hotels Should Partner With a Third Party Team
Whenever we are asked, "Should I hire a market research partner?" the answer is always yes.
And we’re not being biased, here! Okay, maybe a little. But for good reason.
The reason we encourage this partnership is pretty simple: expertise. A team who lives, breathes, and eats market research can uncover data a hotel simply could not find.
If a hotel were to conduct DIY market research, it’s likely errors would occur and the feedback would not be as effective. What’s more, hotels need to be focused on the customer experience now more than ever. Leave the technical stuff to us!
So, aside from expertise, why else should hospitality organizations partner with a third-party market research company?
Recruiting respondents for market research is one of the most important steps in an entire project.
In order to get the best feedback, you need the best participants. A recruiter will be able to send reminders, relay any additional confirmation items, and can answer participants’ questions.
Market research pros know how to correctly word questions in a survey or related project to yield the most quality answers.
Questions in market research aren’t always written the way you would assume, and this is on purpose. Just one word that may be “off” can bias an entire survey project.
Because of this, market research questions for hotels must be written clearly with a goal in mind.
This goes back to expertise. When a travel and tourism market research company runs a project, a hotel or related organization can feel confident knowing the data they’re receiving is high-quality. The level of expertise will match the authenticity of the data yielded.
💡 The Key Takeaway: Market analysis for hotels is done best when a research team heads the project. This is due to a variety of factors, but the most important is the fact that market research teams know how to successfully interpret data and feedback.
Contact Us to Conduct Hotel and Hospitality Market Research
Drive Research is a national market research company specializing in the hotel and hospitality industry. Our team partners with hotels, airports, and community attractions across the country to deliver various market research studies.
To learn more about our services or how Drive Research can help, contact us today.
- Message us on our website
- Email us at [email protected]
- Call us at 888-725-DATA
- Text us at 315-303-2040
Devan's love for learning serves him well as a market research professional. With two years of both quantitative and qualitative research in the healthcare space under his belt, he knows what it takes to answer some of the toughest market research questions.
Learn more about Devan, here.