The Consumer Trends Guiding Choice Hotels With CMO Noha Abdalla

Learn how Choice Hotels uses customer insights to expand its portfolio

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In a soon-to-be post-cookie world, marketers realize the power of first-party data to guide their marketing strategies. Those who relied on third-party data are now wondering how to catch up with competitors and build their customer profiles.

One company already ahead of the game is Choice Hotels, and on the latest episode of The Speed of Culture Podcast, we spoke to chief marketing officer Noha Abdalla to learn more about how to effectively obtain and use consumer insights.

Tune into the latest episode and check out the key takeaways below.

13:33 – 17:04 Build on customer insights to expand your portfolio — For 80 years, Choice Hotels has focused on franchisees, hospitality and technology. Recently, there’s been a shift toward the consumer, excelling in guest strategy, loyalty and experiences. Abdalla, with her career centered on leveraging customer insights to elevate companies, eagerly contributed to this shift. Choice Hotels is expanding into upscale and extended stay, alongside its well-known economy hotels. Abdalla utilizes diverse consumer insights to ensure the brand caters to guests’ specific needs for various occasions.

17:31 – 18:25 Shifting marketing strategies with current trends — Since the pandemic began to wane, there has been a surge in travel as people recognize the value of pre-pandemic opportunities and try to make up for lost time. Simultaneously, economic challenges such as inflation and job losses have made travel difficult for many. Choice Hotels, catering to every budget, positions itself as an economical option. By staying attuned to industry trends, Abdalla adapts her marketing strategies to keep the brand relevant.

18:25 – 21:03 Build relationships with customers — Phasing out third-party cookies has only made first-party data more important. For Abdalla, this is an opportunity for brands to build even deeper customer relationships. Choice Hotels uses data from its 63 million member loyalty program, Choice Privileges, to understand its customers better and identify signals indicating potential travel plans. Leveraging these insights, Abdalla and her team can make timely and personalized offers to meet consumer needs.

24:01 – 27:27 The five Rs of hospitality — Choice Hotels has identified five long-term consumer trends impacting the travel and hospitality industry, termed the five Rs.

  • Rising wages: With the average American’s income increasing by 6% since 2020, that allows for more spending on priorities like travel.
  • Remote work: As the flexibility of working from anywhere post-Covid extends hotel stays, people are blending leisure and work.
  • Reshoring and rebuilding America: Increased manufacturing is bringing more industrial workers to hotels.
  • Road trips: Roadside hotels have seen a rise in bookings as people opt for car travel post-pandemic.
  • Retirement: The growing number of retirees is driving diverse hotel stays.

By identifying these trends early, Choice Hotels has adapted its strategy to capitalize on these opportunities.