With superheroes, you see time after time a single incident turning a “normal” person into someone with unimaginable superpowers. Whether it’s a radioactive spider bite, being struck by lightning, exposed to gamma rays, or injected with a serum, an ordinary person is turned extraordinary in an instant. Throughout their transformation, they acquire special abilities that range from invisibility to flight.
While of course these situations and transformations are entirely fictional, are they truly impossible to achieve on a hotel website?
The answer is clearly no. Hotel websites can easily and quickly undergo a similar transformation that will make the ordinary hotel website absolutely extraordinary. The trigger event to kickstart the transformation is a quick copy/paste three-second injection of a simple tracking into the hotel's main website and their booking engine. This will activate the full power of targeting, personalization, and benchmarking on the hotel website. The instantaneous transformation into an extraordinary website reveals the following superpowers:
- Invisibility: With this power, users can move about an environment unseen by others and act without being observed. When the hotel website and booking engine is loading, the backend information can be invisibly watched, examined, and analyzed. Based on this data, the hotel can choose to act and message users if they meet certain criteria.
- Shapeshifting: With this power, users can change their shape, size, and color. Based on what the hotel learns about the website visitor, the hotel can automatically deliver different content depending on where they enter the website, what they look at on the website, and when they are leaving. The shapeshifting content can be through images, copy, links, or a combination of them all, as well as how they are delivered on the device. So the hotel website pages can dynamically be changing from person to person. For example, the dynamic content can appear to be part of the existing webpage, a note, or a layered message on the website.
- Telepathy: With this power, users can transmit information to another's mind without using any known human sensory channels or physical interaction. Understanding the purchasing intent of the hotel website visitor and delivering an appropriate message based on their intent is seemingly impossible. However, it’s made possible with predictive personalization. With a hospitality-specific algorithm tracking over 150 variables about each user’s past and present interactions, the predictive personalization AI compares the visitor’s behavior with every previous user. Therefore, the hotel can know what the user wants before they even know themselves. Based on the calculated results, the website can instantly make a determination if the visitor has a low or high intent of making a booking. The website can then use discounts to target visitors with low intent who need an extra incentive to book, and attempt to upsell higher room categories to those with a higher chance of booking in the first place.
- Teleportation: With this power, users transfer matter from one point to another without traversing the physical space between them. With geotargeting technology, the viewable content changes based on where you are physically viewing the hotel’s website, down to the zip code. Therefore, a specific web page's content can change from country to country, state to state, city to city, and even neighborhood to neighborhood.
- Time Travel: With this power, users can travel to the future and/or the past. It is evident that what was booked and consumed in the past, cannot be changed. Hotels can, however, change the future booking pattern on their booking engine. Based on the dates visitors select to travel, a series of messages can be displayed that are date specific. In this situation, someone searching for stays over a holiday (Labor Day, Memorial Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year) or for specific future needs, can be presented with a message that has been adapted based on the date. The booking engine with selected dates becomes a time machine delivering relevant information about their stay for that specific date.
- Healing: With this power, users can heal, restore, and/or regenerate. A sign of a sick or weak hotel website is one with poor conversion. This weakness can relate to the entire site and booking engine, or it can be very specific parts of the booking funnel. To determine the magnitude of the poor conversion, direct channel benchmarking is necessary to reveal if this performance is specific to the hotel or to the entire local area. Once the level of conversion is understood, it’s a matter of providing the hotel’s website and booking engine with a series of tools that will increase conversion. These tools can help stop users from leaving the hotel website to check the hotel’s reputation on social media, reassure them that they won’t find a better price for the hotel on an online travel agency (OTA), or convince them that this property is the right choice for them by displaying hyper relevant content.
- Telekinesis: With this power, users can interact and manipulate matter through non-physical means. For hotel websites, this can be achieved through the “set it and forget it” messages. When a hotel implements conversion and personalization technical solutions, the messaging is tied to targeting rules that are set up during the first month of implementation, determining how the hotel wants messages to appear by device, location on the page, as well as based on the user’s navigating actions. Once the targeting rules are activated, the corresponding preset message will be displayed whenever the targeting criteria are true, whether it’s the day after setup or three years later. It is automatic and does not require ongoing monitoring.
- Energy Blasts: With this power, the user has the ability to release significant energy on a specific target area. Hotels can use an energy blast like power when they are launching a flash sale with countdown messaging to create a sense of urgency. It is a specific message at a calculated moment to a particular business segment, on pages set for a precise display frequency. It is a hyper-focused message that can be delivered and seen just once and is highly effective at generating a peak of direct revenue when needed.
- Super Strength: With this power, the user can exert force beyond what is physically possible for an ordinary human being. For a hotel, this takes the limitation of the energy blast power of a specific message and unleashes the messaging capability everywhere on the hotel’s website. In theory, the range of messages can be visible everywhere on the hotel’s website. Guests will see it when they arrive, when they exit a page, and they will get retargeted. This is a series of optimized messages that are relentless and a site that continues to message the website visitor no matter where they go or what they do.
- Super Speed: With this power, it allows a person to move faster than humanly possible. For hotels, it’s about delivering the right message, at the right time, on the right page. Hotel website visitors don’t need to look and search for the content they want. The website will anticipate their needs and quickly serve up the appropriate message to them.
- Flight: With this power, the user can fly through the air. Hotel websites cannot actually directly help people fly but they can stimulate actual flight. This is by being influenced to book a hotel that is too far away to drive to, the person who was just persuaded to book the hotel will have to get on an airplane and fly to the hotel.
It is evident that hotel websites and booking engines can be instantly transformed through the injection of technology to make their ordinary hotel website extraordinary. As Peter Parker’s uncle said, “With great power comes great responsibility.” With the transformation of your ordinary hotel website into an extraordinarily powerful hotel website, be careful with how you wield this power. Always think about the guest’s website experience and your digital goals. Though you can leverage every power above, you don’t want to overwhelm guests with your messaging. It’s important to be strategic with your tactics. When you do, you will increase your website’s visitor engagement and ultimately drive much more revenue and bookings.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Michael J. Goldrich, THN's Chief Experience Officer. After spending nearly two decades in digital marketing and project leadership for multimillion-dollar brands and startups, Michael knows what truly drives website engagement and conversions – and it’s not by leveraging the marketing trend of the month. It’s how well you connect with the potential guests you’re trying to help and communicate your understanding back to them.
Connect with Michael on Twitter & LinkedIn.