In any business situation, it is always best to know your audience. Whether it is speaking at a conference or developing a new innovation for the marketplace, if what you offer does not resonate with your target audience, it could spell problems down the road.

In the hotel sector, we are experiencing an innovation boom – where robotic butlers to in-room entertainment amenities are seeking to become the norm. While these technologies are certainly exciting, it remains unclear if guests (i.e., the target audience) actually want to use these innovations.

A recent example of this are the new in-room sensors that monitor ambient noise levels. Essentially, hotel managers will be notified if a guest is experiencing a broken night of sleep. On the surface, this seems like a worthy innovation. However, it is difficult to see how guests would want this in their rooms, especially when it comes to privacy concerns.

In terms of the bigger picture, this new innovation points to a larger issue happening in the hospitality arena – the need to focus on innovations that truly enhance the guest experience. This all comes down to being able to put yourselves in the “guests’ shoes.”

Chasing new innovations for their PR value can help generate headlines, but hoteliers may want to consider leveraging market research for gaining insights into true guest preferences.

The right knowledge can help hoteliers build solutions that truly resonate with their core audience, which will always be guests.