It’s always good to keep an eye on your competition. When you discover where their weaknesses lie, you find gaps in the market where your business can succeed. But there’s more to monitoring the competition than checking their Twitter feed every so often. From comparing pricing strategies to setting up Google alerts, there are a number of smart ways to keep track of your competitors – and give your business a head start.
But first, why monitor your competition?
Of course, your primary focus should always be on your own property. But knowing what your competitors are working on – and what they’re missing out on – helps you to put your business in perspective, giving you the opportunity to outperform the rest of the market.
Here are five reasons to keep track of your competition:
1. It’ll make sure your rates are aligned
When you understand your competitors’ rates, you can set the right prices for your business. That way, you’ll avoid missing out on bookings because your rooms are overpriced, and you won’t miss out on hotel revenue due to underpriced rooms.
2. You can see how your business compares
By knowing what amenities, discounts and unique services your competition offers, you can determine the differences and similarities they have with your business and find out where there might be room for improvement.
3. It can help shape your future plans
If you notice an area of business your competitors haven’t made the most of – you can make informed plans to take advantage of this gap in the market in the future.
4. You can find out what kind of guests they’re trying to attract
Is your competitor advertising spa packages for couples? Then you could see this as a good opportunity to focus your advertising on families – or offer an even better package for couples at your property.
5. You’ll be able to identify what sort of message your comp set is trying to get across
Pay attention to what kind of phrasing and language they use on their website and in their communications to get a good indication of where they’re trying to position themselves in the market.
How can you monitor your competition?
Now you know why it’s worth keeping track of your competitors, here are seven great ways to do it:
1. Network at local events
Chatting to other people in the industry at local events is a great way to gather intel on how business is going for your competitors and discover what plans they have for the future.
2. Read their guest reviews
Do their guests consistently complain about the cleanliness of your competitor’s rooms? This presents an opportunity. Firstly, you should ensure all your rooms maintain the highest standards of cleanliness. Then you can advertise how clean your rooms are in your marketing communications – perhaps even highlighting reviews where guests have complimented the cleanliness of your property. This is a great way to win over more travellers.
3. Sign up to your competitor’s promotional emails
By knowing what promotions your competitors are running, you can plan your own marketing strategies accordingly. For example, if the holiday season is coming up and your competitor is offering deals during this period, this may be something you also want to consider doing to make sure you stay ahead of the competition.
4. Take a look at their direct website content
By paying attention to what kind of language and content your comp set uses, you can understand how they’re trying to brand themselves and what type of guest they’re trying to appeal to. For example, if their website has an informal approach and focuses on cheap prices, you’ll know they’re trying to appear as budget-friendly accommodation.
5. Set up Google alerts
This way you’ll be the first to know about any updates from your comp set and won’t miss out on any opportunities to counter their moves.
6. ‘Like’ and ‘follow’ them on social media
Social media is a great way to see how your competitors are engaging with their guests. How does it compare to your social efforts? Optimising your social media presence is a great way to connect with more guests and make your brand seem approachable.
7. Use RateIntelligence
This free tool allows you to see the aggregate rates of competitors’ properties in your area, allowing you to optimise your rates and availability faster, and with more confidence. Learn more about this free tool here.
Ultimately, keeping an eye on your competition is a great way to understand the market you’re operating in. It can help you find gaps in the market to succeed, and it’ll help you discover where your hotel can maximise its revenue. By using these seven methods, you’ll give your property a better chance of staying ahead of the competition and at the forefront of the hospitality industry.