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As a native of Northern Ireland living in Edinburgh with a Scottish wife and 2 very Scottish children I can only say that since coming here for university, I have never looked back. As the CEO and co-founder of  For-Sight Guest CRM myself and the team have grown the product from an agency project for a single resort hotel, to a fully-fledged SaaS product working with hundreds of hotels across independents, resorts, groups and third party management companies.   My role has also been about identifying and managing relationships with key vendors for integrations, both at the front and back end of the product.

About For-Sight 

Our vision is to own the guest relationship and give control back to the hotels.    We want to be the brain of the digital guest experience.

Myself and my co-founder Richard are very proud of For-Sight, we think it’s a great product. It has evolved into a secure, online data management tool taking direct feeds from the hotel’s Property Management System and various other sources (including events, leisure & contact lists), cleansing it to create a Single Customer View.  The hotel marketer can then query the data, report on it and push it out to best of breed marketing platforms to deploy & measure the content.   

We now have a fantastic team made up of clever product technicians, client service managers and developers.    They make the product as seamless and easy to navigate as possible, as well as integrating with key partners & vendors in the industry.   They help put the hotel data on a plate for the marketer to allow them to do great things with that information.

2018 was a busy year for For-Sight. We welcomed a number of new clients, 7 new members of the team and established our Data Science department.  We had a record year for email broadcasting, sending 217 million emails, despite the arrival of GDPR which has impacted email volumes in many industries.  With For-Sight our clients were able to not only manage their guests contact preferences but use their data to target their guests properly with highly personalised resulting in little impact on their ROI.   We also rolled out some key integrations including Opera’s OXI and Premier Spa with many more to come in 2019.   Finally, we announced our partnership with Great National Hotels and look forward to building on that over the coming months.

What next?

We are very excited about 2019 as the team continues to grow in volume and in spirit and we already have many more great partnerships & integrations in the pipeline.  New clients continue to come on board and we have some major development releases planned.

Challenges in our industry remain. Technical & commercial barriers to new start-ups entering the hotel tech ecosystem and data in silos continue.   The PMS market is changing too thanks to open APIs becoming more prevalent through forward-thinking start-ups like Mews and Apaleo, with more established providers like Guestline moving in that direction too.

Recent data breaches in the hotel industry continue to dominate the headlines, adding to the well-documented challenges for Facebook and other large tech companies in terms of how they handle consumer data.   This has led to widespread public mistrust as to how consumers’ personal data is handled.  Do businesses just care about getting their hands on ‘valuable’ data at any cost or do they wish to do the right thing by the customer?

If a brand gets the relationship right, then a consumer will trust them with their data and it becomes a long term two-way conversation, not only is this how For-Sight is engaging with potential new and existing clients, but it is at the core of what For-Sight can help hoteliers achieve.

I can’t wait to let more people know about For-Sight. As I said to my team, be happy and keep driving us forward, buckle up!

 

 

 

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SEGMENTATION: WHO YOU GONNA EMAIL?

Segmentation of your audience can be a spooky prospect. Though, you should imagine segmentation as scary a prospect as Slimer, while the real Gozer in your email marketing strategy is the potential saturation of your audience.

But how do you catch Slimer? How do you successfully segment your audience for the needs of your campaign? Well, where better to start than with the five little W’s? If they’re good enough for the rhetoricians of Ancient Greece, it’s good enough for your campaign.

 

WHAT

What is the purpose of your email campaign? What are you promoting? One of the most pertinent reasons for large unsubscribe rates is that the content is of no interest to the recipient. Make sure you have worked out exactly what you are saying and what your success of the campaign rides on. A spooky, roller coaster ride.

 

WHO

Who is this campaign going to? What are the prerequisites for receiving this campaign? Picking your target audience is not just guessing work, it’s half of the battle in a successful campaign. Work out your demographic, ensure you can justify each and every recipient being sent this particular email.

 

WHERE

Where is the hotel in question-based? And where is the campaign recipient based? Imagine living in Shetland, and receiving a half price code for a lovely boutique independent in central London for tomorrow night. Receiving that email serves absolutely no purpose for anyone and will inevitably lead to your recipient seeing your brand as a nuisance or cutting the marketing tie altogether. Now THAT’S scary.

 

WHEN

When was the last time you heard from your recipient? And what was the nature of the exchange? Similarly to the location of a guest, when a guest last transacted with you is just as important as how far away they are. With GDPR being chucked into the cauldron of guest data regulations, it’s important to have engagement tiers and a clear point of exit for your (ex)guest from your databases.

 

WHY

Why should any person, in particular, be avoided? And why does this campaign not apply to them? This is one of the most important questions you can ask yourself when deciding who receives a campaign. And it encapsulates the above 4 W’s. What in the message really applies to the person it’s going to? Are they the actually the correct person to receive this campaign? Are they even in the correct location to be enticed by your campaign? Have they shown any recent engagement or interest in your brand’s services? If you don’t have substantial evidence to lay to rest the above questions, then you have the answer to whether you should avoid this recipient.

 

And that’s it. Whoever you have left is, therefore, a fangtastic recipient for your campaign.

Oh, and Happy Halloween. Oooooooooh.

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ABOUT

Within their many offerings, Oracle Hospitality’s OPERA is a leading global provider of Property Management System (PMS) solutions to the hotel industry, allowing hotels to manage their guests across single or multiple properties.

 

HOW WE WORK

For many years For-Sight Guest CRM has integrated with Oracle’s OPERA PMS and we are now Oracle Gold-level Partners.

For-Sight bridges the gap between a guest’s details entering your hotel PMS, and their ensured second stay down the line through direct retention.

Currently, over half of our For-Sight users run OPERA PMS and have sent a combined 100,000,000+ emails this year.

 

HOW WE HELP YOU

With For-Sight ready to move your guest out of your PMS and into our CRM, we give you the freedom to up-sell and cross-sell your services, gather post-stay feedback, and entice them to come back for another stay.

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SOMETHING’S CHANGED…

 

We know we probably look a little bit different since last time you visited. Actually, a lot. That’s because we have launched our new website and we couldn’t be happier!  For all our For-Sight customers, we hope you love it. For our new visitors, welcome!

However, don’t let our new site fool you. Born under the umbrella of Forth Communication – who have 25 years expertise in software and data management – For-Sight has been around since 2009. So whilst our look may be new, our expertise in guest communications is unrivalled, and this is what makes us excel at providing a great CRM to benefit you and your guests.