In November 2017, we won a Dutch Search Awards for a self-developed algorithm (hereinafter referred to the Hotel Score) which makes it possible for us to automate our bid management. A big step forward for us as a company – it saves our Digital Marketing department a lot of time and it limits the risk of unnecessary overbidding. In the past year, we have been optimizing the Hotel Score and other departments started actively working with it as well. And it turns out: the Hotel Score is not only beneficial for us but also for our property partners.
What is the so-called Hotel Score?
Before we start explaining how we work with the Hotel Score in practice, I want to give you a short summary on what the Hotel Score exactly is. The Hotel Score is a Specials Performance Indicator. It gives each hotel or holiday park a score that is based on their availability, their prices and the current search behavior of our customers. For example, one of the aspects the algorithm takes into account are the most popular arrival dates on our website. If a lot of our website visitors look for arrivals on a specific date (i.e. next week Friday), our system considers this a popular search date. And if a hotel or holiday park does not have available rooms or accommodations on this date, their score drops. The Hotel Score score goes from 0 to 10 – the higher the score, the more likely a hotel or holiday park will be a match for our customers.
From a bid management point of view the Hotel Score allows us to base our bids on future/expected data instead of historical data. The score indicates the chances of conversion and we have figured out that the Hotel Score is a lot more precise than historical data. When the Hotel Score for a hotel or holiday park is low, our system stops bidding on these properties and vice versa. Beforehand, we based our biddings on historical data meaning that we looked at which properties customers booked in the past. By introducing the Hotel Score, we are able to give the customer the best possible match that fits their needs right now. That means that we have been able to increase our conversion rates and that we are able to save costs.
An atomization method for our bid management was the first ignition for creating the Hotel Score. However, throughout the first year of implementation we found out that the Hotel Score is so much more and that a lot of other teams could benefit from this data.
That is how our sales teams can now, for example, see which hotel or holiday park need to pay more attention to their available dates or prices in order to match the customers’ needs. This not only means our employees have a handy tool that tells them what they can improve, it also makes it possible to give out a more grounded advice towards the hotels and holiday parks we work with. That means we can determine what aspect should be optimized when a hotel or holiday park is not booking well. But it also makes it possible to give them a heads up when we see chances where it might be smart to lower the price or check the availability for certain arrival dates.
Additionally, it also makes it easier for our Content & Marketing department to decide which deals from our wide array of offers to push within our marketing channels. For example, if they see that a certain travel destination is popular among our customers at the moment, they use the Hotel Score in order to match the interest with the best available properties.
How can the Hotel Score help you as a hotel or holiday park?
Especially if your hotel or holiday park is small and you do not have a wide range of tools to determine market trends, our Hotel Score can be a very helpful tool. Together with your account manager, you can work on the optimization of your conversion. Offering the right prices and enough availability for the right arrival dates is key. And basing everything on expected data instead of historical data increases the chances of being the perfect match to what customers are looking for.