Red Roof's New Digital Initiatives Create Point of Differentiation in Economy Sector
This summer, Red Roof debuted its newly designed Along-a-Route feature, which uses patent-pending technology on RedRoof.com to suggest to travelers Red Roof properties directly along their route, not including those out of the way or those that the travelers have already passed. The geo-location technology locates where travelers are headed and provides them with info on Red Roof hotels coming up along their route so they don’t have to waste time searching themselves. It’s just one of the bold digital initiatives the company has implemented in the last few months to not only make sure Red Roof is retaining existing customers, but also garnering the attention of potential new guests.
Continuing to develop innovative technologies at the economy level of the lodging value chain is crucial in today’s increasingly competitive hospitality industry. It is truly a point of differentiation in the economy sector. As more and more players in the industry offer advanced product options for mid-scale and luxury brands, we are differentiating and defining ourselves by providing the WOW to our guests while retaining the value rates they expect from us.
Beyond the Along-a-Route feature, we completely revamped our website, RedRoof.com, with the goal of providing a great mobile customer experience because a satisfying mobile purchasing platform is now a must-have. At Red Roof, we designed our new website as an additional front door - apart from a brick and mortar location – a visually enhanced site with dynamic graphics using a full suite of rich media tools that would easily translate in a mobile format. We created “mobile curb appeal” to draw in and keep customers engaged so they can easily go from searching to selecting to booking in seconds, or as we call it: Tap! Tap! Go!
To put it simply, the new RedRoof.com, with fast, easy and intuitive booking features, enables travelers to go from road to pillow quicker than ever. Built on a mobile-first, best-in-class design platform, the site is easy to follow and understand. It includes smart features that store travel preferences and booking habits; it knows everything about the traveler, where they are and the direction that they are headed, allowing travelers to book while on-the-go to secure the best rate. Travelers can now, on RedRoof.com, book a room with just a few taps on their smart phones. In addition to the new features and design, we have drastically increased Google page speed, so a fast and easy process takes even less time, a key expectation of consumers. We boast the fastest website in our segment.
Down the road, Red Roof is also in the process of bringing an artificial intelligence-enabled chatbot to life on our website. The bot will connect and engage with travelers in a spontaneous and textually interactive way at every stage of the travel planning through booking process. In addition, Red Roof hopes to add a “Quickbook” functionality to the site to better serve loyal guests. RediCard members will enjoy rapid mobile booking with personalized benefits and deals, stored travel preferences and personal information as well as a fast and easy checkout process, all dedicated to making a comfortable and affordable stay a click away.
Increased efficiency for customers should always be a top goal and clearly technology drives efficiency. At Red Roof, we’ve always made a significant effort to listen to consumers’ evolving needs and understand what they truly expect and then quickly deliver on those expectations. We know that most companies say they listen to their customers, but we are truly obsessed with listening. Those who listen and respond to consumers quickly and passionately will win in the marketplace.
For Red Roof, there is no doubt that mobile booking will continue to grow and we are continuing to invest in mobile as part of our overall marketing mix. We know that we must stay five steps ahead to meet and exceed the needs of our customers. They provide feedback, we listen and what they want must be implemented fast and accurately. A successful growth strategy for any company in a highly competitive market is to be nimble, smart and to move quickly in this constantly evolving technological landscape.
Brands now have the added challenge of marketing and selling in traditional ways to core consumers who are comfortable with those traditional methods while also expanding to meet the demands of technology and mobile influences. The brands who effectively cover all of the bases will have the edge in today’s competitive, mobile-driven market. Today’s consumers are pressed for time from many angles. We must engage with them and continually provide them with good reasons to interact on our sites – our digital impressions – on computers, tablets or smartphones, by integrating easy navigation and tech innovation on a regular basis.
About Marina MacDonald:
Marina MacDonald serves as Chief Marketing Officer for Red Roof, responsible for helping Red Roof achieve its annual goals and objectives by leading and directing the brand’s Sales and Marketing programs. MacDonald is also actively involved with Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International as a member of the organization’s Executive Committee and is a Certified Hospitality Digital Marketer. She holds an executive MBA in Business Innovation from The Aji Network in San Jose, CA and a Business Administration degree from Bradford Business in Philadelphia, PA.