By Jeff Brunings
3 Ways to Gather Data from Non-Planning Team Stakeholders

Understanding your competitive position requires understanding your market first. Sure, it seems obvious, but how well do you really understand your market and your customers within it? Is it subjective? Or, is it quantitative, defensible, and grounded by data and fact?

Think of it this way. You’re quarterbacking a team. To move past the opposition and advance the ball down the field you need to know all the players. Who are they, where do they come from, what are their strengths and weaknesses?

In a lot of ways it’s similar to what OnStrategy did for the Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitor’s Authority (RSCVA.) Recently, the RSCVA approved a new set of initiatives to steer the organization forward for the next five years.

Core to RSCVA’s plan, and its subsequent approval, was hardcore data collection, analysis, and interpretation of various, major hotel and casino players in the Reno–Tahoe market. What the RSCVA needed to know to understand its position was where people occupying room nights really originated.

OnStrategy worked with hotels to benchmark the region’s visitor origination during all of 2015. Even the Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority provided detailed passenger flight information to help uncover where hotel guests originated.

“This level of collaboration for the agency is historic,” said RSCVA Chair Bob Lucey. “Today represented a seismic shift for the RSCVA. Everyone came together with a long-term focused perspective, and we had an unprecedented level of support from our stakeholders.”

So, what did OnStrategy learn about working with stakeholders that held vital data, but weren’t directly part of the strategic planning process? Here are just a few of them:

  • Create an incentive: To help secure participation, OnStrategy provided each participating hotel property with the opportunity to receive an analysis of their property’s individual results with the aggregate results of all hotels.
  • Be efficient: Don’t’ waste stakeholder’s time, especially when they’re not directly tied to the project. Be specific with what you’re looking for, why it’s important, and how it impacts them.
  • Deliver what you promise: Since getting data from all the players is often voluntary, be sure to commit to delivering against every expectation set. Your reputation as someone directing strategic planning is on the line.

So, how well do you know your market and all the players in it? Can you defend your current position based on a deep appreciation of your market based on data and facts? What would you want to know that you currently don’t? It might just make a big difference in what you do and how you go about executing against your strategy.

Jeff Brunings

With over 20 years management experience in multi-industry environments, Jeff drives customer experience by advancing the effectiveness of OnStrategy’s cloud-based platform and services.