Uncovering needs of SMEs in hospitality for a digital business management tool
Our client, a digital business management tool provider, faced the challenge of better understanding SMEs in the hospitality sector. The aim was to improve their product offerings and enhance their marketing strategies, based on a more comprehensive understanding of their customers. The client required a deeper understanding of the customer journey for business tools and solutions, the different touchpoints that influence SMEs' choices, and the role of accountants and financial advisors in the decision-making process.
To gain a better understanding of the SMEs in the hospitality sector, we conducted in-depth, one-on-one interviews (IDIs) with managing directors and business owners of different hospitality businesses in the UK and Australia. We designed the interviews to uncover the pain points and frustrations associated with running a business in the sector. In addition, we explored how different business tools were identified, selected, and used in their businesses. We made use of an extended lifelogging by respondents on an online bulletin board as it allowed them to be actively engaged in the research by capturing their thoughts and observations in real time rather than relying on recollections. This approach helped us to gain a better understanding of the context in which businesses operated and the role of business tools in their daily operations.
The insights gained from the interviews and lifelogging process gave an authentic account of the lived experiences of business owners. One of the key insights uncovered were the challenges faced by SMEs in the sector, which enabled the client to map their communication to target the pain points. This ensured that the new materials resonated with their target audience. The findings also provided the client with a clear roadmap for future innovations of their software platform by identifying new opportunities to address issues of accounts, banking, and HR for the sector. Ultimately, this research enabled the client to improve their product offerings and marketing strategies, resulting in increased sales and revenue.