We Promise This Was Written By Humans! AI & Digital Marketing
The term “artificial intelligence” refers to computer software that continually “learns” as it goes.
Some examples of AI are voice-enabled devices (“Hey Siri”!), and self-driving cars … even Pandora and Netflix have incorporated AI with their use of predictive technology to suggest new music and movies based on our interests. Artificial intelligence mimics the human mind in that it changes responses based on gathered data, and it gets smarter the more it’s used.
Here at Lure Agency, we are enamored by AI and how it will affect marketing for the hospitality industry, so we recently asked our team members, as well as a colleague, how they see artificial intelligence changing the digital landscape for our industry. Here is what they had to say.
How is Artificial Intelligence (AI) Changing the Digital Landscape for the Hospitality Industry?
Cory Falter, CEO Lure Agency
Technology is changing at an alarming pace.
Due to a variety of factors such as sensors, networks, and machine learning, advancements are happening much faster. An are, in particular, is artificial intelligence or AI.
Like it or not, the robot revolution here weather whether are ready for it or not.
Initial analysis for hotel marketers is encouraging. AI could be the most effective form of lead generation for your property ever.
Marketing Profs reports that hotels that implement AI see 59% better close rates for sales, 58% increased revenue, 54% more traffic and engagement, and 52% higher conversion.
To date, humans can deliver a more personalized experience, but robots and AI are quickly catching up.
One of the easiest ways to leverage this new technology is to develop a chatbot for your hotel. Bots can have a tremendous amount of conversations in a short period of time, and each conversation is a piece of data.
If implemented correctly, chatbots can provide a personalized conversation and could become a better salesperson since the hardest part of the process is simply responding in a timely fashion and being available when the prospect needs you.
In the very near future, lead generation will be ruled by AI because the bots have officially become smarter, faster, and better than us.
But don’t be afraid, we can help you every step of the way.
Susan Tucker, Director of Digital Strategy – Lure Agency
I am pretty excited about how AI is changing the digital landscape.
Marketing is constantly changing and incorporating a faster, smarter process using technology frees up creative time. More time spent on big-picture concepts and one-to-one interaction helps the hospitality industry grow.
One key area I think hotel marketers can use AI is to automate a part of content personalization. Allowing your blog visitors to see the most relevant content, notifications, and offers based on their location, demographics, and browsing history, thereby really giving the customer what they want, when they want it.
Another fun use of AI is through chatbots. Customers can even use their Facebook login to chat with your “team member” freeing up time for in-person team members to focus on face-to-face interactions.
Michael Duffy, Director of Brand and Creative
“I think we should be very careful about artificial intelligence. If I had to guess at what our biggest existential threat is, it’s probably that.”
Here’s the crazy thing about that quote,– it’s from Elon Musk, the guy who’s pushing more boundaries (on earth and above) than just about anybody. He voiced it to MIT students at the AeroAstro Centennial Symposium. Shouldn’t be surprising, though.
Elon’s wicked smart, and he has a very balanced perspective on the latest bright shiny object in the technosphere.
Creatively, man, is this a topic that fits into the science + soul cross-check if there ever was one!
On the science side, who’s to argue with embracing a tool that could infinitely magnify our insights through machine learning, freeing us to reap the benefits and explore countless scenarios and stories for our clients? Then again, “infinite” does start to spark the control freak in most of us… Flipping to soul, the pearl in creativity is nonlinear thinking.
More than the logical process of reason and deduction that most of us learned in grade school while making an argument (and past-generation computers mastered), it’s the “A-ha Moment” stuff that seems to spontaneously appear, and yet, when it does, it feels like it was in our consciousness all along.
The best examples of this are comics’ punchlines– you don’t see them coming, but when they hit you, you connect with their meaning, instantaneously. AI has demonstrated some ability in this arena (although most of it has involved some direction/editing by humans).
My net-net? If you believe that the crowd-sourced human soul is by nature good, and AI science patterns after that, by-and-large, hug it out.
But some of the things that don’t seem to make sense are the ones that make the most sense of all. And sometimes logical steps lead to the most senseless acts. AI is a tool. It will be used by some for good, and some for other purposes. But it isn’t us. As natural as it may become, it’s artificial; it doesn’t suffer or benefit from the same physical reactions we do.
At Lure, we’re currently experimenting with several AI methods, but know that at the end of the day, we’ll be the ones who are accountable, not pointing fingers at the machine.
Zoe Freeman, Director of Content Development
With an abundance of hotels and accommodation options, AI is begging to provide opportunities for organizations and brands to stand out.
There is no arguing or slowing the pace of technological progress, and with that in mind, there are three main ways I predict hotels will stand out.
Those who adopt AI elements as they become available, starting immediately, will attract attention, especially from the tech-savviest of travelers. Elements such as travel experience enhancers, automatic data processing, and voice-activated services.
Another group that will stand out are the ones who creatively blend AI without a moment’s loss of the traditional in-person hospitality vibe so many travelers adore. Meanwhile, a third, successful, group may emerge as the “unplugged” variety.
Resorts, retreats, and hotels for those who wish to escape from the pervasiveness of tech and unwind sans screens and distractions. The danger for hospitality lies in falling behind, failing to integrate AI and the human touch, or allowing fancy AI tech to overcompensate for subpar hospitality in general.
Alessandra Roqueta, Content Strategist
In today’s world of travel and hospitality, AI is coming to the forefront by helping companies curate a thoughtful and personalized customer experience.
The idea that you could arrive at a hotel, where your room is already stocked with all your favorite snacks and a suggested itinerary is placed on the table that aligns with your hobbies and interest, has now become a reality.
Hotels are putting more control into the hands of their guests via mobile apps, which can adjust a suite’s temperature and lighting, request room service, and book a taxi, all with the click of a button. Some hotels have even gone as far as to have robotic AI concierge in their lobbies, who act as the “local” in the know.
While AI has certainly made the customer experience more seamless, it’s important to note that nothing can replace the warmth and geniality of a friendly face. It will be interesting to see how far AI goes, whether it will continue to be an exciting quirk offering ease and entertainment to guests, or become so ingrained in hospitality services that it becomes a vital part of hotel logistics.
Joseph Holguin, Co-founder – Recime.io
A simple way artificial intelligence can be used within the hospitality industry is for front-facing customer service and marketing. AI has been shown to be effective when it comes to guests requesting information about the hotel or common concierge services.
For example, AI chatbots and voice bots can be used via social media messaging platforms, SMS, or connected smart speakers (Amazon Alexia, Google Home). A guest can ask for the wifi password, restaurant hours, learn about spa services, or request a pillow.
These bots allow guests to ask questions and get instant responses, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This is valuable to hotels because it provides guests instant service and allows hotel staff to operate more efficiently.
A secondary benefit of creating a direct conversation with hotel guests is that this opens up revenue opportunities for a hotel. A hotel can use a bot to educate and sell their on-property amenities and services as well recommend local attractions.