OYO Rooms has in a very short time emerged as India’s leading branded network of hotels offering standardized stay experiences at a competitive price. Millions of web and mobile visitors every month turn to OYO to book a room at more than 7000 hotels in 200+ cities. OYO has raised over $180mn from Softbank, Sequoia, and Lightspeed. The company has grown rapidly beating several challenges. Vishal Jain – VP of Growth & Marketing at OYO tells Dataquest how the company plans to go ahead and what types of strategies it has adopted to increase reach. Excerpts:
Q1. What is OYO’s strategy to drive sales both in the online and offline channels?
OYO has been using a full 360-degree view of guest-interactions to drive sales in both online and offline channels. For this, OYO has deployed Blueshift, with its advanced ability to ingest and process many data sources from online and offline activity, quickly segment specific audiences and operate in real-time across multiple channels. This has helped us build a better user experience spanning mobile and email. Offline and call centre bookings can now be coupled with each customer’s online behaviour to deliver relevant recommendations as well as price-drop alerts that are customised for the individual.
Q2. How does OYO deploy its digital marketing across multiple channels?
We are focused on driving growth and engagement via digital marketing across multiple channels anchored on a unified and personalized customer experience.
The strategy encompasses four key pillars:
● Data Unification: Historical online and offline data is unified with up-to-the-moment behavioural data.
● 360-degree Customer View: A unified view of each customer is created and updated in real time.
● Cross-channel Engagement: Multiple cross-channel triggered campaigns that operate across the customer lifecycle are built.
● Campaign Reporting: Campaigns are executed quickly with single dashboard reporting.
Blueshift has helped us scale these ambitions and execute our plans effectively and efficiently.
Q3. How do you analyse data and use it to design campaigns for better customer engagement?
This is done by ensuring the real-time, 360-degree, multi-channel customer profiles are updated with every user interaction, location and channel preferences. We use online, email and offline sources as the foundation to deliver a cross-channel customer experience – from email to mobile push to SMS. Campaigns are built on up-to-the-moment customer behaviour, instead of attributes, which creates more relevant customer experiences and drives performance. Real-time data naturally drives better customer experience.
Q4. How do you ensure customer-loyalty and repeat?
For customer loyalty and retention, superior service delivery is imperative as it increases trust and reliability. We track our Net Promoter Score metric very closely.
Our data science capabilities help us understand the demand patterns and customer behaviours. These have helped us identify and introduce new features to cater to emerging customer needs. Recently we launched a first-of-its kind feature of early Sunrise check-in across our network becoming the first hotel chain in the world to offer confirmed early check-in. We also introduced a concierge-like service called OYO Captains to create a local assistance network that can take care of on-stay concerns or issues.
Following this renewed focus on service and engagement, our TripAdvisor score increased to 4.3, the highest in the category. Further, over a 100 OYOs are listed in the top ten rankings (for their city) on TripAdvisor including big markets like Noida and Bangalore. Our customer repeat rate is among the highest in the industry.
Q5. What has been the impact of your digital marketing strategies?
Following our tie-up with Blueshift, OYO was able to rapidly launch campaigns delivering more than 50 million personalized messages per month, across various channels such as email, mobile notifications and SMS. Additionally, our teams quickly defined hundreds of scalable precise segments that enabled automated personalized content and product recommendations for each segment separately. Dedicated CRM (customer relationship management) has helped us drive effective 1:1 customer engagement across all marketing channels. With Blueshift’s precise recommendations and targeted triggers, our bookings from email and mobile channels grew by 5x as travellers responded better to a personalized engagement.
Q6. What are the technologies you think can drive change in businesses?
Almost every industry is undergoing technology-driven transformation, and we were the first to usher this in the hospitality industry in India. In the near term, we expect machine learning and natural language processing to influence the ways businesses and customers interact.