NEW YORK — Sojern, a Big Data marketing company focusing
on travel, has launched Property Solutions, a division targeting independent
hotels and individual brand-affiliated properties.
The company uses data analytics to identify consumers
whose online behavior indicates they’re planning a trip, and then serves ads,
offers and content intended to induce bookings for their industry clientele.
Kurt Weinsheimer, formerly vice president of marketing
and partnerships, was appointed to run the new division. He said that
additional room inventory that has been added in the past three to five years,
combined with the presence of Airbnb, has created a challenge to keep rates up
at individual properties, even in a market as robust as New York.
“We saw a little flattening of rates in 2015, and people
were having a tougher time growing revenue per available room,” he said.
“Before, they may have said, ‘We’re always full.’ Now they may say, ‘We’re
always full on these three days.’
“People were bracing for what 2016 would bring. So I’m
here to talk with [New York hoteliers] this week, asking, ‘Have those
challenges you saw coming, arrived?’”
Stephen Taylor, who moved over from the company’s
international division to run Sojern’s core business, Enterprise Solutions,
said that the program will offer an alternative for hotels that currently turn
inventory over to online travel agencies to increase occupancy on slower days.
“They have told us that more direct business would be better.”