What Is Revenue Management? An Explanation of How the Strategy Works

By Thomas Bennett Financial expert at Priceva
Published on May 10, 2023
It's not a secret that any company or business expects an increase in revenue and the success of its product or brand. There are many factors, the combination of which leads a company to success. In this article, we will talk about one of the most important topics: revenue management.

Revenue management has such a big impact because it directly affects the development of your financial strategy and your profit margin.

In this article, we will consider the history of income management, various revenue management tips, features of a profit management system, and much more.

Revenue Management Definition

Revenue management is the ability to sell the right product to the right customer at the right price. In order to do this, analytics data is used, on the basis of which it is possible to predict demand and adjust prices. With this approach, it is necessary to change the terms of the deal depending on the needs of the buyer. It is necessary to adjust the price, quantity of goods, sales channels and time of sales to the needs of the customer. Revenue management is a flexible approach that allows you to extract maximum profit from your business, but you need to constantly analyze information and quickly respond to market changes.

Thanks to various software, this process can be easily automated. However, there are several common factors that will always be taken into account when managing income:

· Predicting demand
· Determining behaviors (such as the times of the year with the highest booking rates)
· Understanding consumer spending habits
· Developing dynamic pricing packages
· Analyzing the competition’s pricing strategy using business intelligence

History of Revenue Management

It is not a secret that any serious business consists not only of calculating the desired profit and performing risk analysis; along with these and other things, rational profit management plays a significant role. Several decades ago, the main solutions were formulated and developed to systematize revenue management. The first solutions were aimed at analyzing tourist flow, but later solutions appeared for other business areas. For example, when BOAC, the predecessor of British Airways, came up with "Early Booking" at a better price, it became one of those solutions and is now ubiquitous.

Further, after its success in the aviation industry, profit management was adapted by hotels. This made it possible not only to increase the occupancy, but also to plan the implementation at more favorable prices for business owners, taking into account supply and demand in different situations, such as public events, seasonality, weekends, etc.

In the following decades, up to the present day, revenue management has been accepted as one of the main tools for analysis and a way to increase companies’ income and reduce the risks of misuse of company budgets, which in turn contributes to stability in development and expansion of businesses in general.

Revenue Management Steps

Revenue management, a crucial aspect of modern business strategies, involves understanding, anticipating, and influencing consumer behavior to maximize revenue from a fixed, perishable resource. Here are the key steps involved in implementing an effective revenue management strategy:

Data Collection and Analysis
The foundation of any robust revenue management system lies in the gathering and analysis of data. Revenue managers begin by collecting historical data, market trends, consumer spending habits, and performance data. This comprehensive data collection allows for an in-depth understanding of customer behavior, market demand, and the factors affecting them. Analyzing this data helps in identifying patterns, predicting future trends, and understanding the right price at the right time for the right customer, thereby maximizing profitability.

Market Segmentation
Once the data is analyzed, the next step involves segmenting the market based on various criteria such as consumer behavior, spending patterns, and demand elasticity. Market segmentation enables revenue managers to tailor pricing strategies to different consumer segments, optimizing revenue across the board. By recognizing and targeting specific segments, businesses can more accurately forecast demand and adjust pricing and availability accordingly.

Pricing Strategy
Developing a dynamic pricing strategy is a critical step in revenue management. This involves using the insights gained from data analysis and market segmentation to set prices that reflect consumer demand and market conditions. Dynamic pricing allows for flexibility in pricing adjustments based on changes in demand, competition, and other external factors. Effective pricing strategies ensure that businesses can maximize revenue during high demand periods and maintain profitability during low demand times.

Distribution Channel Management
Managing distribution channels effectively is crucial for maximizing exposure and accessibility to potential customers. Revenue managers must choose the right distribution channels that align with their target market and business objectives. This involves prioritizing direct bookings through the business's website, managing relationships with online travel agencies, and optimizing other sales channels. The goal is to minimize distribution costs while maximizing room revenue or sales from the available inventory.

Demand Forecasting and Optimization
Forecasting demand accurately is key to successful revenue management. This step involves predicting future consumer demand for the business's services or products. Revenue managers use historical data, market analysis, and current booking trends to forecast demand. Based on these forecasts, businesses can adjust their pricing and availability to optimize revenue. Techniques such as overbooking for airlines or hotels can also be applied cautiously to maximize occupancy rates and revenue.

Performance Monitoring and Adjustment
The final step in the revenue management process is continuous monitoring of performance against set key performance indicators (KPIs) and making necessary adjustments. Revenue managers must track metrics such as revenue per available room (RevPAR), average daily rate (ADR), occupancy rates, and gross operating profit. Regular monitoring helps in identifying areas for improvement and adjusting strategies in real-time to address changing market conditions and consumer behavior.

Implementing these steps allows businesses to develop a successful profit management strategy, enabling them to maximize revenue, optimize pricing, and stay competitive in a dynamic market environment. Effective revenue management is not just about adjusting prices but about understanding market dynamics, consumer behavior, and leveraging data to make informed decisions.

Revenue Management KPIs and Metrics

Revenue management has some common financial key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics, but the most important thing is to find the KPIs that work best for your business and situation.

Average daily rate

This metric is used in the hotel/lodging business to determine the average rental revenue earned for an occupied room per day. It is used to determine the general operating performance of the establishment.

Occupancy rate

This metric is also used in the lodging industry. It is the average occupancy rate at any given time. Thus, it is possible to understand ‌occupancy rates not for a certain period, but in general.

Income from an available room

This is perhaps the most important metric. It includes the income that each room brings, including when it is empty.

ARPA (Average revenue per account)

The ARPA KPI takes a different perspective than the previous metrics: It looks at revenue per customer account rather than per asset. It’s usually calculated as monthly recurring revenue divided by the number of accounts generating that revenue.

PRASM (Passenger revenue per available seat mile)

This metric is used in the transport business, and more often for airlines. The bottom line is that ‌revenue from passengers is taken and divided by the total number of miles traveled by each seat in the airline's fleet. Miles per seat correlate with fuel consumption and time in the air. This indicator decreases when ‌seats are empty.

Customer Lifetime Value (CLTV)

Customer Lifetime Value (CLTV) is a critical metric for revenue managers, encapsulating the total revenue a business can expect from a single customer throughout their entire relationship. CLTV is pivotal for yield management as it helps in determining the long-term value of maintaining customer relationships versus the costs associated with acquisition and retention. By understanding CLTV, businesses can tailor their marketing efforts, prioritize customer experience initiatives, and allocate resources more effectively. This metric not only aids in maximizing profitability from existing customers but also in identifying the most lucrative customer segments for targeted marketing campaigns. High CLTV indicates strong customer loyalty and a successful value proposition, essential components of an effective revenue management strategy.

Average Cost per Acquisition (ACPA)

The Average Cost per Acquisition (ACPA) measures the cost associated with acquiring a new customer, taking into account all marketing and sales expenses over a specified period. This metric is crucial for revenue managers to evaluate the efficiency of their marketing strategies and distribution channels. A lower ACPA signifies a high return on investment for marketing efforts, whereas a higher ACPA may indicate the need for strategy optimization. Revenue managers use ACPA to assess the financial health of their acquisition strategies, ensuring that the cost to acquire new customers does not exceed the revenue they generate, thereby safeguarding profitability and enabling the allocation of resources to more effective channels.

Monthly & Annual Recurring Revenue (MRR/ARR)

Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR) and Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR) are vital metrics for businesses with subscription-based models, providing a clear view of steady income streams over time. These KPIs allow revenue managers to track the health and stability of the business, forecasting future revenue and aiding in cash flow management. MRR and ARR are indicative of the success of the business's pricing strategies and customer retention efforts. Understanding these metrics helps in identifying trends, planning for growth, and making informed decisions regarding investments and budget allocations. They are essential for evaluating the business's ability to generate and maintain predictable revenue streams, a cornerstone of successful revenue management in subscription-driven industries.

Customer & Revenue Churn Rate (CRR/RCR)

Customer Churn Rate (CRR) and Revenue Churn Rate (RCR) measure the rate at which customers discontinue their business with a company and the rate at which revenue is lost due to customer churn, respectively. These metrics are critical for understanding the impact of customer attrition on total revenue and for identifying underlying issues that may be causing customers to leave. A high churn rate can significantly affect the bottom line, indicating problems with customer satisfaction, product-market fit, or competitive positioning. By closely monitoring CRR and RCR, revenue managers can implement strategies to improve customer retention, enhance the customer experience, and ultimately reduce churn. This focus not only helps in maintaining a stable revenue stream but also in optimizing the cost-efficiency of customer acquisition and retention efforts.

Revenue Management Pricing Strategies

There are several effective revenue management strategies in which the price remains unchanged. We will talk about the prices themselves a little later, but for now, we will focus on equally important tools.

Inventory controls

Before making a hotel room, flight, or other service available, study the situation in the micro market at the moment. Maybe some important events are coming soon, and it would be better to reserve seats for large-scale events first, in order to increase profit and not miss out on profitable customers.

Distribution channel controls

Various aggregators take most of the customer base, and with it a percentage of your income. If you place your offers on third-party sites, then think about exactly how much you are ready to offer. How many seats, rooms, or apartments, and for how long.

Duration controls

Selling the middle night for a one-night stay could make it harder to fill that room on the other two nights. One possible way around this problem is by requiring a minimum length of stay, either around a special event or even all the time.

Married segments

This term is used for airlines, but it can also be applied to any other transportation business. The bottom line is that the two routes are combined and are not sold separately. If there is a shortage of seats on some flight because it is crowded, and in a hub city the subsequent flight is empty, it will be more profitable for companies to sell a ticket to the passenger who chooses a long way (for two flights), instead of the passenger who chooses only one flight to the hub city. Thus, some of the passengers from the first crowded flight will be on the second flight and fill the empty seats.

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Revenue Management Tips

Revenue management is a whole science, and reading one article will not be enough to master this skill. But there are some basic tips on how to manage income.

Continuous learning

Your revenue management strategy can constantly change, and the market itself is constantly changing, so like in any other area, you will always have to stay on top of the latest trends in profit management.

Don't be afraid to experiment

Sometimes the only way to find out the reliability of information is to test it in practice. Don't be afraid to make mistakes; they can serve as a further foundation for successful revenue management


Exchange knowledge and information with other companies and business partners who are engaged in income management. Some information may not be publicly available; it will be distributed only in narrow circles. Such inside information can be especially useful and valuable.

Don't forget about the long term

Many people, when they manage income, focus on profit here and now. This is not bad, but do not forget about where your strategy will lead you in a few years.

Revenue Management System Features

Due to the fact that profit management involves the constant collection of information, there are several functions and metrics that you can use to get a clear picture of the market and demand.

KPI tracking

The RMS that you use is important. If it is a good service, then you will be able to track performance indicators for the revenue manager. You need basic indicators of where you are now and where you have been to build a further strategy.

Competitor pricing

At the stage of collecting market data, it is important to get the most reliable and up-to-date information about your competitors. A first-class RMS will track information about your competitors without having to subscribe to their emails.

Restriction management

Sometimes it may be useful to impose some restrictions, more precisely to prescribe them in your RMS so that the program does not allow certain actions, such as contracts with sales channels.

Revenue estimates

With perfect data on what you’re charging, and approximate forecasts for what you think demand will be — which an RMS can help you develop as well — the software will often be able to estimate what your revenue will be going forward. You can use this for “what if” analysis, but remember that ‌predictions are only as good as the data upon which they’re based.

Choosing a Revenue Management System

When choosing an income management system, first of all, it is necessary to take into account your industry and specifically your business. Make sure the system is suitable for your company.

Some people purchase paid software services that they do not use later, precisely because the functionality turned out not to be particularly necessary for their business. For many, a simple approach is enough.

Many users like cloud technologies for data security and easy software updates, while other companies already have data storage and protection solutions and prefer not to deal with software that changes frequently.

There is no one unambiguous solution that is suitable for all companies. The revenue management system will vary depending on the enterprise.

Why Is Revenue Management Important?

Revenue management allows you to extract maximum profit from your business. Thanks to income management, you will be able to make profitable deals with customers, and offer them the products and services that they really need.

Without the management, running a successful business is almost impossible, so it is very important both for developing your business and for increasing your income.

Revenue Management vs. Yield Management

Income management and yield management are two similar concepts. Best practices for yield management can also be applied in revenue management. Here are a couple of things to keep in mind when managing profitability:

1. You must have a fixed amount of "inventory" (goods that you sell).
2. You need to understand how many products have expired. The point is, when the unsold inventory expires, it’s worthless.


In this article, we have analyzed revenue management and its applications in detail. We hope the article was useful for you and you found the necessary information. Building a business strategy is always a lot of work, and profit management takes up a big part of it, so this is a factor that definitely should not be ignored. Price Intelligence Software can be useful in revenue management.


How are pricing and revenue management different?

Price management is primarily concerned with price, whereas revenue management is not concerned with prices. With revenue management, the approach to sales changes, while the prices remain unchanged.

What is the role of a revenue manager?

The revenue manager coordinates all processes regarding the revenue management strategy. This area, like marketing, for example, is quite complicated, and it requires a dedicated person to lead this process.

What is total revenue management?

In total revenue management, businesses take a holistic approach to managing all aspects of revenue, including pricing, demand, and distribution. This comprehensive approach allows businesses to optimize their revenue across all channels and touchpoints.

What are the 4 stages of revenue management?

The four stages of revenue management are data collection, analysis, strategy formulation, and implementation. These stages involve gathering relevant market and internal data, analyzing it to identify trends and opportunities, formulating targeted revenue management strategies based on the analysis, and implementing these strategies while continuously monitoring their effectiveness.

What is revenue management example?

An example of profit management is a hotel adjusting its room prices based on anticipated demand levels. During peak travel seasons, prices may be increased to maximize revenue from high demand, whereas, during off-peak times, prices might be lowered to attract more guests and maintain occupancy rates, utilizing dynamic pricing strategies to optimize total revenue.

What are 7 core principles of revenue management?

The seven core principles of revenue management include understanding market dynamics, segmenting customers based on their value, forecasting demand accurately, optimizing product availability, utilizing dynamic pricing strategies, measuring performance through KPIs, and continuously refining strategies based on market feedback and data analysis to maximize revenue and profitability.

What are the 5 steps of revenue management?

The five steps of income management are data collection, market segmentation, forecasting, optimization, and monitoring. These steps involve collecting comprehensive market and internal data, segmenting the market to target specific customer groups, predicting future demand, optimizing pricing and availability to meet this demand, and continuously monitoring results to adjust strategies as needed.

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Take charge of your pricing strategy with Priceva's powerful price tracking tools.
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