5 Key Metrics Hospitality Business Owners Should Be Tracking
As a business owner, you should always have an idea of what makes your business’ marketing campaigns successful. Are you able to identify which of your marketing campaigns are effective, ineffective, need more improvement, or need further testing? What are your considerations in categorizing your marketing campaigns as such? What are the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) or metrics that you use? Do these metrics connect to your business goals? Analyzing the performance of marketing campaigns alone entails lots of questions and it usually overwhelms busy business owners like you. But being the persistent entrepreneur that you are, you know that processes get better with practice. It will get easier as you learn more so let us start today with some basics that you need to know about metrics that you should be tracking in your hospitality business.
Key Performance Indicators are the performance measurement tools that can guide your business decisions. They allow you to measure and evaluate your practices and processes, as well as set objectives.
According to Bernard Marr, a company which specializes in intelligent business performance: “KPIs provide a way to measure how well companies, business units, projects, or individuals are performing in relation to their strategic goals and objectives.”
Some examples of KPIs, specifically for marketing, would be:
- Number of new customers acquired
- Return on Investment for ad-spend
- Social media/brand awareness rates
- Blogs published in a month
- Monthly Website Traffic
You want to make sure that your KPIs match your business goals. There are a multitude of marketing KPIs, but not all of them will directly impact your business decisions, so it’s best to analyze and to focus only on the most relevant ones that will contribute in attaining your goals. It is best to be careful in setting your KPIs – do not get lost in making a long list for this will only cause you time, money, and might even cause confusion.
What Are Metrics?
Metrics, or for this article, marketing metrics, are measurable values used by marketers to determine the effectiveness of their campaigns. These quantifiable measurements are used to track the status of your business processes, which is more specific as compared to KPIs, which tracks whether you’ve accomplished your business objectives.
Each field of business maintains performance metrics that should be monitored. For example, marketers track marketing metrics, which also includes website, email marketing and social media.
Here are some metrics as examples:
- Email marketing: delivery rate, open rate, click-through rate, unsubscribe rate
- Social media: reach, engagement, conversion, demographics
- Website: traffic, bounce rate, interactions, page loading times, search trends
With the examples above, remember that marketing metrics operate across several different channels, so you need to be sure which appropriate marketing metric is used for each respective channel.
Do you need to prepare your marketing staff for marketing analytics? Read about it here.
Choosing What's Applicable
You’ll be using a lot of different metrics for your hospitality business, but it will depend on the size of your business and which ones suit your channels. Although you’ll probably have most of your metrics that deal with profit and revenue, there are other aspects of marketing that you should consider.
You should always track your marketing campaigns. Read more about it here.
Here are 5 key metrics that you should be tracking:
- Customer Satisfaction Rate
This metric is not easily measurable but is very significant for hospitality businesses. In this industry, customers’ experiences are considered more intensively. From your products and services, down to how your staff serve or relay them to your customers, minute details can often define a positive or negative reaction.
You can measure Customer Satisfaction Rate (CSAT rate) through the use of surveys or feedback forms. This is to determine customer satisfaction. Should you get customer reviews, consider these as precious guides on what aspects of your business needs improvement. Both surveys and reviews are not mandatory from your customers, so you may need to motivate them by providing incentives. Utilizing online or mobile platforms which they can use to do so, will make it easier for them to give you their feedback.
You can read more about customer satisfaction for your hospitality business here.
- Seasonal Visits
Seasonality is another key metric. Off-seasons are equally just as important as booked seasons. During these times, you can assemble your teams to re-strategize and evaluate your marketing initiatives.
You can plan out your entire year, taking note of when you collect your data:
- Assess your processes.
- Check how your brand is searched online
- Note what keywords were used.
- What pages did customers access on your website?
- When are your busiest seasons?
- Do you need to put in extra marketing effort for any weak seasons?
- Update your content calendar.
- Look into upgrading your staff’s skillsets.
Whatever you’re able to plan during the off-seasons, at least you’ll now be ready for the busy seasonal months.
- Website Traffic
This basically pertains to people who visit your website. Measured by visits, or “sessions”, it proves how effective your online presence is in getting attention from an audience. It has gone a long way from just being a popularity contest, though, with the addition of more elaborate and more meaningful performance numbers. You should be able to determine your business’ online visibility and brand strength, too.
Website traffic should easily answer the following questions:
- How many visitors did you get?
- How long did visitors stay?
- How many made a purchase?
There are also other gauge points that can be associated with this metric, such as:
- Visitors: The number of people that visited your website within a certain period (i.e. today, this week, last month). You should also refer to them as the number of unique visitors, referring to people who visited regardless of the number of times that they have been to your website. For example, if a visitor A has been to your website once, and visitor B has been to it three times, you will then have 2 unique visitors as well as 4 total visits.
- Referrals: If you find an increasing number of visitors, you’ll need to know where they’re coming from. This tracks if they were brought to your site via search engine results, other websites, social media channels, and even from other blogs. Knowing where your traffic originates from will also help you to determine if your efforts are paying off.
- Average Time On Site: This offers a good idea if you are effectively engaging the visitors on your website. You’ll be able to see if you need to improve on any elements on your website such as the website interface, navigation, or content.
- Bounce Rate: A “bounce” is defined as a visitor who goes to your website and either clicks on the “back” button or closes their tab or browser. Maybe they’ve decided to leave because they did not find the content they were looking for, or perhaps have just landed on your website by accident. Either way, it is vital to reduce this rate, as losing visitors also means missing out on opportunities.
- Exit Page: Not to be confused with Bounce Rate, Exit Page numbers refer to visitors who have viewed multiple pages on your website and then decides to leave. While some of your pages may be naturally designed to have a high rate of exit (such as a receipt page, for example), if you have content pages that aren’t getting you the traffic you want, then they may have problems and should be investigated and fixed immediately.
You can go into more detail by using website analytics tools such as Google Analytics. This can help you to identify strategies to successfully increase your website traffic.
- Conversion Rates
This rate measures the proportion of visitors that make a purchase in your store. For example, say that 100 people enter your store in a day, and only 10 of them make a purchase, then your conversion rate is at 10%. The formula for that is:
Conversion Rate = Number of Visitors / Number of Purchases x 100
However, this is not just about measuring the number of your store visitors, but you’ll also have to gain an understanding to be able to analyze your data. If you’re able to discern this, you can evaluate the effectiveness of your marketing efforts more accurately. You’ll then be able to decide on whether you should push specific promotions, or hold more events or sales. These can also affect operational aspects such as getting additional stocks, redesigning your store, or even adding more manpower.
- Marketing Originated Customer Percentage
This may be a not-so-usual, but nonetheless, very useful metric. This measures how much of your new business came directly from your marketing efforts or campaigns. Get a clear insight as to how effective your online marketing efforts have been, by knowing the increased percentage of new customers.
This is especially useful if you’ve invested in knowledge, techniques, and tools that are focused on customer and business growth. An example of this is in paid ads: find out how many people have gained an interest in your products and services when they have clicked on your ads (redirected from other websites).
To calculate this percentage, get a specific time period:
Marketing Originated Customer Percentage
= Number of customers that started as marketing leads / Total Number of New Customers
Of course, conversion rates are not the sole metrics you should strive to increase all the time. But then, again it depends on how broadly or how varied you define your conversion criteria. The conversion rates above are simple percentages of visitors who performed an action inside your store or on your website (made a purchase, signed up for your newsletter, answered a survey, etc.). Each visitor has their own intention when they visit your business; maybe they just need to look through your menu of products and services for now, or to get your contact information. Their actions could lead to more of their total spend down the line.
All of these metrics, or any other metrics that can prove to be more useful and more relevant to your business, should also contribute to your single, most important metric, which is your return on investment (ROI). The hospitality industry is so data-sensitive that for your business to succeed, you should be able to know what needs improvement and when it should be done. Whether you’re a small business or a large company, it’s critical for you to use accurate and fresh data as the basis for your strategies. Always aim to be able to determine the levels of engagement and customer satisfaction metrics that will allow your business to prepare, respond, and innovate when marketing in the hospitality industry.