888.Net.Apps (638.2777) | 703.299.1580 info@netlinkrg.com

As our economy climbed its way out of the “great recession” of 2008, companies like Groupon and LivingSocial quickly emerged by providing much needed daily deals to consumers.

For a period, these types of companies performed well, but since they were built on only providing short-term loyalty to brands, they did not translate into long-term revenue opportunities. The consumer took advantage of one discount opportunity, them moved onto other things – without remaining loyal to the business that offered them the “latest deal.”

Fast-forward to today, and Travelzoo, a newsletter-focused daily travel deals, is finding itself in a similar situation. According to this recent Skift article, many of the company’s challenges come down to “daily deal mania” declining due to a stronger economy where consumers are no longer seeking short-term travel deals. In other words, consumer confidence is high right now, and seeking deals is not a priority when many have extra money for leisure travel.

For hoteliers, perhaps this could be a lesson in how to best maximize their loyalty programs?

Rather than focusing on providing last-minute deals, it might be a good time to shift the strategy to target the buyer with the goal of helping them to plan a trip out in the future – based on their previous purchasing patterns and personas.

As we have highlighted before, this approach looks not only at the persona, behaviors and experience ratings of the guest, but also takes into consideration the same data points gathered from guests with similar personas. It can also create an intelligent query for the guest’s persona that can be triggered on demand.

It’s not a huge surprise that companies like Travelzoo are experiencing some challenges right now, which could certainly turn around when/if the economy takes a downturn.

The key right now is to take these business lessons learned and develop loyalty programs that are specialized, leverage data, and are designed to create lasting guest loyalty.