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How Analytics Shape Marketing Strategy for Luxury Resort NIZUC

When Darrick Eman stepped into the role of Director of Sales and Marketing for NIZUC Resort & Spa in Cancun, there was surely no “adjustment period.”

It was 2014 and, just a year after its grand opening, the standout, luxurious resort had just been named one of Condé Nast Traveler’s “Best New Hotels in the World.” Still, ownership wanted more brand awareness in the US and internationally and looked to attract high-end group business from major feeder markets.

Fortunately, it was not Eman’s first rodeo. Prior to joining NIZUC, he worked with some of the best luxury properties in the world – One & Only Mauritius, the Dunas Beach Hotel in Spain and several Orient-Express hotels across Latin America – and had built a vast understanding and knowledge of the luxury hotel sector.  

Four years later, the standout Cancun resort is still winning awards. In May, it was named “Hotel of the Year” for Latin America/Caribbean by Preferred Hotels & Resorts. Just this month, NIZUC was named as one of the "Top 10 Resort Hotels in Mexico" (No. 6) & "Top 100 Hotels in the World" (No. 69) by Travel & Leisure, and the resort earned the AAA Five Diamond Award.

We caught up with Eman to discuss how his team is embracing Revenue Strategy to make data-driven marketing decisions and boost profitability.

DarrickEmanQ: How is the team at NIZUC using data to better understand upcoming demand?

Eman: We analyze historic data by segment. It shows us the possible demand for the future and gives us the opportunity to decide our rates and revenue strategies.

Q: How are you embracing Revenue Strategy, or the idea of aligning sales/marketing/operations around the same revenue goals? 

Eman: First, we determine the revenue that the hotel needs. Based on this we define the sales and marketing strategies. Finally, we need to have guest satisfaction, which is the result of a good hotel operation. Without guest satisfaction, there is not loyalty, and lack of guest loyalty affects our revenue.

Q: What’s the online distribution landscape look like in Mexico? How much of the resort’s demand comes from OTAs?

Eman: Online distribution in Mexico is increasing. Seven out of every 10 Mexicans use online booking tools, according to 2017 statistics. Eighteen percent of our hotel demand comes from OTAs.

Q: Who is the NIZUC customer? And how do you profile and segment them from a marketing and pricing perspective?

Eman: Our customers are 80% international. We analyze our geographical reports and Google analytics to decide the marketing strategies.

Q: In terms of guest personalization, how do you bring the online and on property experience together? 

Eman: Social media has become a powerful tool to determine a guest’s preferences, which is why we have a dedicated team integrated into our marketing strategy. Our website is another valuable tool where we showcase the experiences guest can encounter while at our resort, rather than just images of rooms, areas, etc. We connect with them through the eyes of our cameras so they can see what they can expect to experience while staying at NIZUC.

Q: What technology constraints still exist and what innovations do you hope to see in the near future?   

Eman: We have found that some analytics tools offered in the market are still not 100% accurate, and this is what we would like to improve. 

Q: What does the future of the guest experience look like?

Eman: I believe that the future is determined by technological advances, where guests will more and more use their mobile devices to connect with our staff and management to request services, bookings, and express their opinions. This is the reason we have to be prepared when every guest arrives, and anticipate their desires and preferences.

Q: NIZUC doesn’t offer all-inclusive plans but competes with resorts that do. How does your Revenue Strategy differ from revenue management at an all-inclusive?

Eman: All-inclusive properties are focused in generating more room nights. Their rates include room, F&B, taxes and service fee and their cost structure is different than European Plan hotels. The strategy is very similar: They have to analyze historical data and the comp set and determine the revenue and profit for rooms and F&B.

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Duetto Content Team

The Duetto Content Team is made up of some of the brightest minds in the hospitality space. Through a mix of blogs, videos, whitepapers, social media posts, email campaigns and more, we focus on developing brand and product awareness, lead generation, engagement and more.

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