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Competitive Research & List Building – Can You Afford NOT to Do It?

Business Money2Do you know what groups are having their meetings at destinations or hotels within your competitive set?  This knowledge can assist your DMO or property to draw business your way.   The list of who has been to such-and-such (competitive) hotel could be a very worthwhile one to be prospecting!

Greenfield has executed many projects that combine both online market research and lead generation efforts and we’ve found that, on average, up to 10% more leads can be generated this way.

The first lead generation project was completed for an independent resort property.  We conducted this in two phases – first, we conducted online research on their competitors to see what groups were advertising a meeting/event at these competitive hotels. We located the contact information on the organization’s website, along with the name of the event planner (if readily available).  We then contacted each organization to determine if the hotel we were representing would make sense as an upcoming meeting destination. Results were very positive:
  • We were making a “warm call”.  Because they had met at a competitor’s we knew they were qualified for our hotel client.  They were likely to be resort users, and be able to afford our client’s rates.  Clients were much more responsive when we referenced past events.  We were also able to ask more probing questions: “I was just on your website, and saw that your 2010 conference was held at XYZ hotel, did you find that it was successful?  What made you decide to hold it there?  Have you ever considered our property as a meeting destination?”
  • Proof is in the results:  An investment of $6,500 for this particular project, we generated over 80 new business leads, representing over 28% of the records we gathered and prospected.  These leads represented over 21,000 total potential room nights for total potential revenue of $3,000,000.  Now that’s lots of business for their sales team to pursue!
Another recent competitive research project was city hotel looking to see what their competitors are quoting for Corporate Rates.  The hotel director of sales identified 75 companies for us to represent as mystery shoppers in calls to five of their closest competitors.  We picked specific dates and asked what their availability was, along with the rates and inclusions for each account.   The resulting report enabled our hotel client to make educated decisions about what corporate rates should be proposed for 2012.  They were also able to assess what inclusions should be offered, ensuring they were positioned with the greatest competitive advantage possible.

The type and depth your CVB or hotel requires may vary, but in the end devoting time to online and competitive research will help you gain market share and grow your business!