New in 2017, IBC will white-label its CRS for brands, soft brands and management companies looking to take back control from the OTAs and write their own stories
With 2017 underway, IBC (InnDependent Boutique Collection) is proving to be a powerful software technology platform combining digital marketing services, distribution and soft brand benefits for global lodging. This is BIG NEWS, especially now that smaller brands are relying on IBC to power their central reservations, manage their distribution, establish a global loyalty club, boost their meta-channel presence and more, all while maintaining their unique market identity. While the IBC platform was initially created for independent hotels, the company is now white-labeling its Central Reservation System for brands, soft brands and management companies serving hotels, apartments, B&B’s and villas, effective immediately.
“IBC is trending, and we are helping the hospitality owners and operators get a grip on their revenues and guest data through new direct bookings from Google, metasearch channels, optional GDS, International Vacation Hotels distribution and more,” said Pamela Barnhill, IBC chief executive officer. “It’s not enough to just own an asset today; you must also own the personality of the building, the social experience of the guest, the reservations processes and the online marketing. The beauty of the independent market – which represents 300,000 hotels and growing – is that each has a unique story.
“You can own a 59-room tree-hut lodge or a 1,200-room luxury high rise downtown property in Minneapolis,” she said. “It’s not the size of the property; it’s the story the property shares and connects with the world that matters most. The challenge for independent hotels and smaller groups is having the channels to tell that story and to do it efficiently and affordably. That’s where IBC is having the biggest impact.
“We drive consumer demand by connecting more channel managers and more property management systems with more distribution channels than any other independent hotel solution,” she said. “IBC also manages meta CPC (cost-per click) and CPA (cost-per acquisition) within a prescribed ROI that drives more direct business at a higher net rate than any other solution. When a hotel can integrate into a variety of systems to drive net rate by channel and receive full guest information, everyone wins. Among an ala carte of offerings, a lesser known opportunity within IBC is the purchasing platform which lowers operating expenses on average by 11 percent; those are real dollars to the bottom line.”
2016 Milestones Lead to 2017 Growth
Noteworthy milestones achieved in 2016 are bringing new opportunities this year for even small chains looking to compete cost effectively against their bigger-brand competitors. Last year the company:
- Established integrations with 18 new technology partners and added connections to hundreds of property-management systems;
- Expanded its online ordering platform that provides purchasing access to more than 20 operating supplies and equipment (OS&E) suppliers with national account pricing;
- Implemented a patent-pending loyalty program technology;
- Launched a new premium booking engine that increased reservations significantly for its members, including customized emails, cancellation protection, and add-on activities and car rental services;
- Completed beta of a fully-mature, do-it-yourself “Marketplace” whereby hotels can receive distribution, CRS, and soft brand benefits and much more, including revenue management tools and support.
A year ago, IBC was providing for the exclusive digital marketing needs of about 190 hotels; at the end of 2016, that number increased to nearly 1,700 hotels. While rapid growth continues to scale for IBC, Barnhill said her goals for 2017 are focused on cultivating relationships and refining technology rather than growing the company’s portfolio.
“Distribution and social media are revolutionizing hospitality,” Barnhill said. “Today, hoteliers manage hotel software, Google, metasites, GDS/OTA, and more to reach and maintain guest relationships. No wonder they’re pressured to surrender their revenue, guest data, even their independence to OTAs and expensive brands. With IBC, hotels get all the benefits of a collection without the restrictions or cost. Our suite of hotel software and services optimize online demand generation and everyday operations for independent hotels.We give properties the channels they need to tell their stories, and the technology to support their growing customers’ loyalty.”
Original article found here.