Insights from APT's Hospitality & Travel Practice
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APT Chairman Co-Authors Harvard Business Review Article

December 15th, 2014 | Posted by Haley Jackson in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on APT Chairman Co-Authors Harvard Business Review Article)

APT Co-Founder and Chairman, Jim Manzi, recently co-authored a Harvard Business Review article with HBS Professor Stefan Thomke about how experimentation can help companies de-risk new ideas and drive innovation. The article details a “checklist” for running business experiments and identifies how Big Data can dramatically improve the experimentation process.

Click here to download a full copy of the article.

Optimizing Guest Complaint Resolution to Maximize Satisfaction

October 22nd, 2014 | Posted by Haley Jackson in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on Optimizing Guest Complaint Resolution to Maximize Satisfaction)

Recently a colleague described his experience as a guest at a local hotel, where he often stays for business. Upon his arrival at the hotel, he found that he was given a room with a double bed, rather than the king bed he reserved. Unable to switch the room immediately, the hotel offered him free internet for his stay. At check-out, the hotel also offered him 1,000 loyalty points as compensation.

Like any business, hotels will never meet all expectations for 100% of their customers. However, hotels know the importance of resolving 100% of guest complaints, since this process is especially crucial to guest retention and overall satisfaction. Additionally, the increased influence of review websites like Yelp and TripAdvisor gives individuals greater opportunity to share their experiences, thus amplifying the importance of satisfying each guest.

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Can redesigned lobbies drive increased profits?

September 30th, 2014 | Posted by Haley Jackson in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on Can redesigned lobbies drive increased profits?)

Hotel lobbies are no longer simply for checking in. Hotels are encouraging guests to enjoy their morning coffee, midday lunch, or an evening drink through new offerings in the lobby. Increasingly, leading hotels, like Marriott and Sheraton, are transforming their lobbies into multi-functional, revenue-generating spaces. Now commonplace in hotel lobbies, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, and business centers provide a more complete experience for guests and create potential opportunities to increase guest spend during a stay. However, before revamping their lobbies, hotels should consider the possible implications of these expensive changes, such as:

  • Which additions (e.g., coffee shop, bar, business center, etc.) should be added to a particular lobby? How does this vary by hotel and by market?  Is it more effective to operate these establishments internally or to franchise national brands? Which brands are most successful?

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Do “wellness rooms” benefit hotels’ financial health?

September 17th, 2014 | Posted by Haley Jackson in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on Do “wellness rooms” benefit hotels’ financial health?)

Vitamin C infused showers, organic mattresses, and electromagnetic field protection promote the wellness of guests who stay in the recently introduced “Stay Well” rooms at MGM Grand; but are these costly features also promoting the hotel’s financial health? Capitalizing on the growing trend of incorporating more healthy habits into travel, hotels like MGM have added these rooms over the past year in response to consumer demand. While guests pay a premium to stay in these unique rooms, ensuring that patrons receive the complete wellness experience requires significant cost. Beyond the upfront expenditure of transforming the room, additional ongoing costs can include maintaining a heightened level of customer service and an expanded, healthy menu.

The rise in “Wellness Tourism” is potentially beneficial for the hospitality industry and travelers alike. However, hotels should consider a few key issues before rolling out a wellness room concept, such as: (more…)

Joint Economist Intelligence Unit and APT Report: 42% of Executives Are Data-Driven

June 5th, 2014 | Posted by Jatin Atre in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on Joint Economist Intelligence Unit and APT Report: 42% of Executives Are Data-Driven)

Gut feeling and intuition have always been key parts of executive decision-making. But, as data collection becomes easier and data analysis becomes faster, how should executives blend intuition with data analytics?

This morning, the Economist Intelligence Unit and APT released the findings of an authoritative study that analyzes how decision-making is changing across industries and geographies. Direct findings from the report include:

• 57% executives reanalyze the data if it contradicts their gut feeling
• 42% of executives are “data-driven”
• 45% of respondents who agree that their company is growing faster than the competition also say they can predict decision outcomes by analyzing tests and trials
• 19% say decision-makers are not held accountable in their organizations

Click here to see all the actionable findings from this Economist Intelligence Unit study.

The Economist Intelligence Unit: How do Executives Make Decisions?

June 2nd, 2014 | Posted by Dan Schreff in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on The Economist Intelligence Unit: How do Executives Make Decisions?)

To “decide” can be interpreted as “picking one option and killing off all others.” In business, doing this right has large rewards and getting it wrong has severe consequences. While executives have always made decisions, increasing amounts of data, sophisticated consumers, rapidly evolving technology, and disruptive competitors, are fundamentally changing the art and science of decision-making.

APT partnered with the Economist Intelligence Unit to study how decision-making is rapidly evolving across various industries and geographies. The resulting report addresses tough and important questions, such as: (more…)

Should Hotels Offer Tiered Wi-Fi?

May 13th, 2014 | Posted by Ryan Rosario in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on Should Hotels Offer Tiered Wi-Fi?)

In response to increasing consumer demand for basic internet connectivity, many hotels are now opting for a “tiered Wi-Fi” offering, where a basic Wi-Fi package is included in the base room rate and guests can opt to pay extra for a high speed offering. The main goal of the tiered Wi-Fi approach is to drive additional occupancy while also covering the increased IT costs. (more…)

Will Branded Jets Take Off For The Four Seasons?

April 23rd, 2014 | Posted by Dan Schreff in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on Will Branded Jets Take Off For The Four Seasons?)

APT SVP Maryam Wehe was quoted in a recent USA Today article about Four Seasons branded private jets. Wehe commented, “Branding private jets is a new move for hoteliers, although partnerships with private jet operators do exist at several boutique hospitality organizations around the world. This opportunity to seamlessly experience the Four Seasons hotels is likely to keep the brand top-of-mind for luxury travelers looking for inclusive travel planning.” Click here to read the full article.

Should Hotels Offer Tax-Season Promotions?

April 9th, 2014 | Posted by Dan Schreff in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on Should Hotels Offer Tax-Season Promotions?)

APT SVP Maryam Wehe was quoted in a recent USA Today article about hotels offering special tax-season promotions. Wehe commented, “While these tax-themed offers may seem gimmicky, these programs provide another point of differentiation for hotels in the increasingly competitive marketplace. Even small gestures that provide a personal touch may lead guests to appreciate hotels’ recognition of their personal lives.” Click here to read the full article.

Big Data Zeroes in on Ad Inefficiency

February 19th, 2014 | Posted by Casey Corman in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on Big Data Zeroes in on Ad Inefficiency)

“Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted. The trouble is, I don’t know which half,” John Wanamaker famously said. In a recent blog, Alan Mutter discusses how consumer-facing organizations are using APT to isolate the incremental impact of each media investment. An excerpt from his post is below.

“Nowadays, Wanamaker could find out, with considerable precision, by hiring Applied Predictive Technologies (APT), a Virginia-based company that mines all manner of data to determine not only the optimum ways to buy advertising but also where to locate bank branches and which under-performing entrees to nix from restaurant menus…

…With customers like Walmart, Lowe’s, Office Depot, PetSmart, CVS, Target, Walgreen’s and many other global merchants, APT asserts that it captures and crunches 20% of data generated in the “U.S. retail economy.” It bounces this rich transactional data against everything from weather records to Twitter streams to help companies “measure the profit impact of pricing, marketing, merchandising, operations and capital initiatives.”

Click here to read the full blog.