Adrian Awards 2022
Objective(s): What problems did the sales, marketing & guest satisfaction, or revenue optimization technology aim to solve?
BenchDirect Pro presents hotels with the opportunity to see where their property stands in comparison to their competition, now with the chance to customize their compsets, making it easier for hotels to gauge their direct channel's top to bottom funnel strategies to remain competitive. There is no other tool on the market offering competitive insights specifically around direct channel performance for hotels. These editions were the natural next step to the original tool, BenchDirect, which is completely free for hotels to use, forever. Released this year, BenchDirect Pro Editions offer hoteliers a revolutionary direct channel benchmarking tool with new capabilities and competitive insights, such as custom compsets, analysis by brand or cluster, interactive graphics and filters, and more. Since its unveiling in 2021, BenchDirect is now used by over 14,000 hotels. Hotel benchmarking is essential to every hotel brand's growth strategy, from five star luxury properties to serviced apartments and everything in between. The BenchDirect Pro Editions is the solution for hotels to not only analyze their hotel’s performance compared to the market, but identify areas where they can improve thanks to the 360° understanding of their direct channel they now have access to. Traditional hotel benchmarking focuses on comparing just occupancy and rates, which can pose a problem for hoteliers hoping to see the whole picture. BenchDirect takes a completely new approach providing real-time insights to break down the entire booking funnel and understand the hotel's performance compared to the market and competition. BenchDirect reveals invaluable insights to help hotels execute a robust direct channel strategy. Leveraging data from visits, searches, and bookings, it presents a solution to benchmark the past, the present, and the future while providing hotels with timely actionable insights about the booking channel encompassing demand and conversion to allow optimization.
Innovative use of technology: The extent to which new directions are charted or old challenges are resolved by using the technology in a new way.
The BenchDirect Pro Editions were created in direct response to client needs, with increased efficiency and all of the insights necessary to reach hotel website users and boost conversion rates. What sets this product apart is the access to unique user behavior data from our extensive global network of hotels, which gives hoteliers unparalleled insights with which to form their direct channel strategies. The BenchDirect Pro Editions offer hotels benchmarking data and AI driven recommendations to optimize their website and booking engine against multiple dynamic competitive sets. The analytics cover more than 30 key metrics including bookings/pickup, future demand, rates/disparities, user profile/behavior, and website/booking engine traffic, all of which can be drilled down and filtered by source, travel party, and country. The Hotels Network also introduced a new hotel performance measure called the Direct Booking Index™, an all-encompassing score so that hotels can track over time the evolution of their overall direct channel performance versus the market. This technology provides hotels with an opportunity to benchmark their full direct channel in real-time against the destination and look-alike properties for the previous and current month, and allows them to make the key strategic budget decisions as it relates to acquisition, PPC, SEO and personalization campaigns and opportunities.
Implementation & creativity: How was the technology implemented so that it was easy to use, solved a manpower problem, streamlined a function, or fueled recovery?
The new features provided hoteliers with the ability to create custom compsets, allowing them to benchmark their performance against a hand-picked selection of hotels anywhere around the globe. For hoteliers managing many properties, or different brands, the BenchDirect Pro Editions simplify the process and provide relevant at-a-glance insights by allowing properties to be grouped by brand or similar variables in clusters. To ensure no insight is going unanalyzed, users can view a series of new default charts or even mix and match direct channel metrics to build their own charts. The Calendar view feature provides a clear visual of the daily evolution of a hotel’s metrics, helping hoteliers identify where to take action by pinpointing the exact dates they are under or over performing. With the Pro Editions, visitor behavior data can be specified by region, country, or even city to ensure the correct audiences are being targeted. This innovative launch also offers hoteliers flexibility to connect easily via API to download, treat, and manage all of their newfound data as they choose. By using the insights from BenchDirect to improve their scores, hotels can encourage more people to book direct and reduce the commissions associated with OTAs. Higher revenue from having more direct bookings fuels recovery by allowing the hotel to reinvest in its marketing initiatives to find new and unique ways to bring more people to the hotel website and boost conversion.
Results & Evaluation: How did the technology move the department or business forward to achieve goals, revenue or otherwise?
Key achievements of success are based on the significant increase in conversion and revenue of our clients. There are currently more than 14,000 hotels benefiting from the real-time market insights within the BenchDirect platform. The BenchDirect Pro Editions came at the perfect time to empower hotels to understand how they are actually performing for the month against their competition and take relevant action. With significantly more information than before, hotels can be more strategic and make better-informed decisions. BenchDirect's “Opportunities” section uses machine learning techniques to identify the top 5 areas for each hotel to drive more revenue, bookings, and improve conversion. Hoteliers can then use these insights and recommendations to make changes. Several published case studies reveal that BenchDirect helps hotels identify areas to improve their performance. For example, when the team at Charlottehaven took action based on analysis of the data, the hotel saw overall website conversion rate increase by 71.9%; revenue per Booking Engine (BE) visitor increased by 12.8%; and they were able to track their BE to booking conversion against their compset which increased by 39%. With Ligula Hospitality Group, they looked at Booking Engine Conversion by device and Revenue per BE visitor by device. BenchDirect data indicated that the hotel group had an opportunity to convert more mobile users since their performance was below the average compared to their compset. The brand initiated an exclusive offer for mobile users in their booking engine. For the 10 properties participating, there was an overall uplift of 143.9% in the booking engine conversion while the destination compset decreased 1.5%. There was also a 190.2% increase in revenue per BE visitor. This was higher than the 11% increase of the Destination compset during the same period.
Entry Title
BenchDirect Pro Editions
Digital - Technology
Entry Award: