How to get started with Total Revenue Analysis

16 August 2022
There are only two ways to grow revenue in a hotel. One is to attract more guests/customers, and the other is to sell more to each guest/customer. Attracting guests that spend the most is compelling, but it is easier said than done. Hotels seem to take the easy way out and put the rooms for sale on an OTA and hope to attract guests to fill the hotel rooms. The lazy approach means hotels leave a lot of money on the table for someone else to grab.
It will take a lifetime to reach perfection in growing revenue and maximize the profit, but there are also significant quick wins that do not demand much effort. Just a little bit of analysis and creativity. Here are some questions and answers on increasing the average spend per guest to grow revenue.

Who?

Who is the guest staying in the hotel? Hotel accommodation is a necessary add-on to the real reason for visiting the destination. The hotel guest does not have the choice to go home for the night and therefore needs to stay in a hotel. A straightforward way of understanding the guest is to find out why they traveled to the destination. That information could also capture the guest's interest, opening revenue opportunities. A second insight is to know where the guest lives. A third aspect is to understand a little bit more about the guest's behavior, such as someone planning or a last-minute. Data reveals a lot about the guest. Once you know the guest, you can use target marketing to attract more guests of the same kind.

What?

What are guests buying? Which are the popular room types, packages, and rates? Are guests purchasing food & beverage, spa treatments, and other products and services? What is the average guest spend per stay? By looking at what the guests buy, hotels can develop attractive packages to draw attention to the hotel. It is also possible to sell additional products and services from booking to arrival, upon arrival, and during the stay. Start by analyzing what guests buy and then apply the insights in the creative process of inventing new products and services.

When?

When is the guest booking, and when is the guest staying? When are the high spenders staying, and how far in advance are they making the reservation? These insights are vital for a revenue manager to set the correct rates far out to keep low spenders from booking. Conversely, analyzing stay and booking patterns is critical to understanding opportunities to capture the high spenders. In addition, hotels should measure and compare the booking value with the actual stay value, which includes upsells and consumption during the stay. When you know more about the booking and stay patterns, you can use these insights to capture the most profitable guests.
 
Hotels can refine the analysis to gain additional insights, but the bigger the project gets, the less likely the hotel will get started. Start with who, what, and when and take action. When the hotel attracts more guests and sells more to each guest, the hotel can start to refine the analysis.

Take action

Every hotel can create an action plan to understand their guests' behavior to attract more guests and sell more to each guest.

Collect all data into one place

The first action is to get the data that the hotel needs. Then, collect all data into one system easily accessible for all roles in the commercial team. One data set will give the team one truth instead of each person having its own data sets and opinions based on those. With one truth, the team can focus on finding the right insights and start the creative process to attract more guests and sell more to each guest.

Data quality

Hotels will quickly discover the importance of high data quality. Data is better than no data, so hotels can start with the information they have on hand. High data quality is better than low data quality. Improving data quality is a long-term commitment. There are no quick fixes, even if there are data cleansing services that could improve the quality. Cleansing the data is like a bandaid on a bleeding wound, which does not solve the problem's root causes, in this case, bad data quality. The first action to improve data quality is a policy and a guideline for all team members. Data quality projects will take time and effort but pay off by better decisions to grow revenue and profits faster.

Analysis

The data collected in hotels is overwhelming, and it is not easy to see the total picture if confused by details. Therefore, hotels need to start analyzing from the top perspective. The overview comes first, and only if needed for a deep analysis should the hotel look at the details. Rational brains love to dig into the details but can easily overdo it by focusing on less insignificant details that have no real impact on the hotel business. It is essential to find opportunities that significantly impact revenue growth and profits and then take action.

Set goals

The hotel can set goals for future periods based on the analysis showing the current situation. For example, a hotel with many different revenue sources should focus on increasing the average guest spend to grow revenue, while a B&B should focus on occupancy, ADR, and RevPAR. Once the hotel has goals in place, the creative work starts to attract more guests and sell more to each guest to reach the goals as fast as possible.

The easy way to get things moving

Demand Calendar's benefits are saving time by automatically collecting data into one system and pre-analyzing and visualizing data to help the commercial team make more accurate decisions. Get started with an overview of your guests and what and when they buy. Then drill down to details to get more insights. When the hotel is ready, Demand Calendar can help the hotel to refine the analysis of the hotel performance by additional functions. Examples are total revenue forecasting, automatic calculations of customer acquisition costs, and over 100+ special functions for marketing, sales, revenue management, and top management. As a result, Demand Calendar helps the commercial team to become more productive and reach its goals faster.