What is OYO?
While traveling to a lot of places and searching for accommodations and food, Ritesh Aggarwal felt the need for budget living spaces and discovered the idea of OYO rooms. With the launch of single property in May 2013, the journey of Oyo rooms began and it has now partnered with 6500 hotels across the nation. They made their international debut in 2016 and 2017, in Malaysia and Nepal respectively. OYO offers clean rooms, quality and standardized services like free Wi-Fi connectivity, breakfast, AC, flat-screen TVs, spotless white bed linen of a certain thread count, branded toiletries, 6-inch shower heads, a beverage tray and so on. They provide hotel rooms to customers and keep a percentage of profits with them.
The brand is valued at over 600 crores. The quality checks and standards are audited every few days to deliver the assured quality experience. They provide budgeted hotels which range from Rs. 999 – Rs.4000. With fast listing services, a hotel property can be added to their list within 5-6 days after signing the agreement. The hospitality start-up is backed by the SoftBank Group, Greenoaks Capital, Sequoia Capital, and Lightspeed India.
OYO Business Model
The main aim of the hotel aggregator is to simply provide the customers with a listing of hotels on their website and take a commission as revenue. The OYO Rooms operate differently as they focus on co-branding.
OYO decided to associate with travel aggregators like Make My Trip, Clear Trip and GoIbibo.com for listing since the agreement OYO’s market cover has increased. This industry mainly targets small business travellers and budget tourists.
Following is the business operational model adopted by OYO:
- Rent a part of the Hotel’s inventory beforehand.
- Organize those hotel rooms under the brand name – OYO Rooms
- Standardize them according to the terms and conditions mentioned in the contract.
- Make the booking experience hassle-free for customers through website and mobile applications.
The main objective behind OYO’s inception was to provide standard rooms at very affordable prices, which has now become the mantra of their success, with proper implementation of the following characteristics:
- Standardization: Promise to provide the same facilities and amenities at all places shown on mobile application or website while booking the property.
- Affordability: Promise to provide high-quality experience at pocket-friendly prices.
- Technology: Enjoy hassle-free booking experiences through the OYO app within a few clicks.
- Variety: Customers can book spaces according to their preferences like budget, type of stay, and many other factors.
The Gurgaon-based company has shifted its business model from hotel aggregator to fastest-growing chain of franchises offering OYO hotels (OYO flagships, townhouses, studio stays collection O, Premium), living spaces (OYO Life) and workspaces (OYO Workspaces).
Marketing Approach Adopted by OYO Rooms
With the rise in prices in the real estate sector providing the best spaces to people for living at an affordable price with all amenities is not an easy task but Ritesh managed well. In today’s digital and connected world, it is important to stay ahead in the competition of online hotel booking which is increasing day-by-day. OYO made use of a 360-degree marketing strategy which included online and traditional media. In the world of digital media, it is necessary to retain and attract customers. The OYO leveraged the power of social media well to retain its ranking and perform well and stay ahead of the competitors.
Search Engine Optimization For OYO Rooms
OYO optimized their Search Engine to ensure maximum traffic on their website. They used targeted keywords that have the highest searches from their target customers. The most popular and suggested keywords online hotel booking, hotel booking online, hotel booking offers, book hotels, best hotel deals, book hotels online, hotel deals, hotel rooms, best hotels, best hotel prices and hotels nearby. This ensured that whenever someone searches for the above terms, they will be bound to encounter with OYO’s website.
Social Media Marketing Strategy
Oyo leveraged the power of Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest for their social media marketing. OYO used Facebook to share location-based posts, promotional posts, and posts related to the detailed progress of the organization. These posts helped people to browse destinations to travel, regular promotional posts provided customers with offers and discounts, encouraging them to book OYO.
On Instagram, they used all facebook strategies and reposted pictures taken by travelers and users of OYO. This lead to an increase in engagement rate by encouraging their followers to tag OYO in their posts.
On Pinterest and Twitter, they shared campaign-related posts, trend-related posts, and posts covering various award wins and events or any brand’s CSR posts.
The hospitality company built a strong social media presence with over 8 lakh plus facebook followers and 1 lakh plus followers on Instagram, with the help of posts that cater to the latest trends. The application has been downloaded over 5 million times with a good number of active users.
The brand organized various campaigns on social media campaigns:
#AurKyaChahiye videos on YouTube
Father’s Day celebration campaign
Jai Hind campaign featuring
As it was the time for being digital for every company, Oyo utilized the full potential of digital marketing. They organized various brand campaigns:
Showcase commercials in which a guy finds no place for a comfortable sleep in his own home and is suggested to use the Oyo app for booking budget hotels in 5 seconds. In the second video, the sick father is admitted to a hospital but the family is more worried about arranging their stay near the hospital. The humorous twist is that the father gets up from bed and suggests OYO rooms to his family. These comic situations resulted in to create some impact because of which app downloads showed an increase in number. Witness the humorous TVCs of the campaign here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KyGYgolCl3I
The campaign consisted of eight short films showcasing their different behavior of people behave once they check-in at a hotel. The campaign commercials delivered a wide range of expectations Indian travellers can have from their hotel experience. The main aim of this campaign was to trigger the preference of the audience for Oyo rooms while traveling or planning the vacation. Witness the humorous TVCs of the campaign here: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=one+for+everyone+oyo
The campaign consisted of a contest in which social media followers can submit their story and if selected, the winner will get a sponsored trip by the OYO. They wanted the winner to use Instagram for their promotion by putting 15 stories, 4 posts and 1 video with hash tags #OYONAUTS and #OYOTotalHolidays added to their content of the posts.
Oyo conducted several influencer campaigns in which it provided all-expenses-paid trips to different kinds of influencers. Example: A female influencer could visit the Oyo rooms alone and share her experience on social media. It can showcase that it is safer for women to travel alone with OYO.
Father’s Day Campaign
On Father’s Day, Oyo focused on the special bond between dads and sons. They showcased that they both were shy from sharing their love verbally. Starring actors Piyush Mishra and Zeeshan Ayyub, the 3-minute long video tells you how to express your love and value the relationship. The emotional digital films and short funny commercials have been a mass trend which is followed by many brands. Witness the TVCs of the campaign here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LZf3sekxQio
On Independence Day, the OYO rooms delivered a different picture in their independence video. The 6-minute video featured actors Manoj Bajpai and Raveena Tandon. The video paid tribute to Independent India and the freedom fighters of the country in a different way that it incited shock and then relief and a lingering respect for freedom fighters. The video fetched over 1 million views. Witness the short film here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AhUApcBAbZA
Key Learnings from the Journey of OYO Rooms
No entrepreneur is successful if he did not take risks and big decisions. Here we are talking about the CEO of OYO Rooms, Ritesh Aggarwal, who decided to turn the model of OYO rooms. He has set a perfect example for and a guiding light to build up their dream ventures for the young minds. Here are some learnings that an entrepreneur can learn from the journey of OYO rooms:
- Create a Good Working Environment
It is essential to create a good working environment for your employees, as it leads to an increase in the productivity of start-ups. Oyo created a good working environment for the employees. Oyo provided the environment which helped in boosting the environment of the start-up positively.
- Invest in Best Resources
Whether it would be working staff or strategies, invest in the best. Investing in the best resources such as skilled people, the latest technology, best strategies will lead to a fruitful result. Ritesh invested
- Consistently putting Efforts
The main mantra to be successful is to be productive. Rushing after completing tasks can be dangerous for the company. Believe in building the perfect product or service rather than building it rapidly. Invest in building perfect strategies and processes that matter.
- Invest in Change
It is the human tendency to get bored or tired using one thing for a long time. All successful people are advised to bring innovation that attracts people. The change should be worth waiting for and should affect people’s lives positively. The change that Oyo brought to its services is that it expanded its offering to launch various types of hotels that cater to different people to different needs. For example, Oyo Townhouses for millennial travelers, Silverkeys for corporate executives, Oyo flagship, collection O for best-in-class staying experience, Oyo Life for people who want living spaces for long-term on monthly basis and Oyo work spaces for working environment. Oyo also invested in digital marketing strategies and listing its properties on other platforms which boosted their sales.
5. Stay Tough
There will be times when you have to make big decisions that will decide the future of the company. Make a decision based on your inner guts. Stand strong when many hurdles will force you to push you down. Be positive and solve these hurdles happily.
Tushar Menghani is working as the content creator at The Marcom Avenue. He is very passionate and hardcore content creator who loves exceeding limits.