Revenue Management

Revenue Management is a buzzword that’s been reverberating through the
halls of businesses large and small, but what exactly is it? Is it just a fancy
term for setting prices? Or is there more to the story? Let’s unpack this
concept and see why it’s not just a buzzword, but a critical strategy for
businesses looking to thrive in today’s competitive marketplace.

What is Revenue Management?

In its simplest form, revenue management is the art and science of
predicting consumer behaviour to sell the right product to the right
customer at the right time for the right price. It’s about understanding and
anticipating demand, and then strategically adjusting prices and availability
to maximize revenue and optimise business outcomes. Revenue
Management is often referred to as Yield Management or Dynamic

Think of it as a high-tech crystal ball, one that gives businesses the power
to peek into the future and make sure they’re not leaving money on the
table. But it’s not all about intuition and guesswork; revenue management
relies heavily on data analysis, market segmentation, and forecasting
techniques to make informed decisions.

The History of Revenue Management

The concept of revenue management isn’t new. It’s widely believed to have
taken flight (quite literally) with the airline industry in the 1970s. After the
U.S. airline industry was deregulated, carriers needed a way to compete
that wasn’t solely based on cutting costs or adding flights. Enter revenue
management, which allowed airlines to dynamically adjust prices based on
demand. This was a game-changer, allowing for filled seats at the most
profitable price points.

Since then, revenue management has spread its wings across various
industries, from hospitality to entertainment, and even to healthcare. The
evolution of technology has also played a significant role, with sophisticated
software now enabling businesses of all sizes to dive into revenue
management strategies that were once the preserve of data scientists.

What Industries Use Revenue Management Today?

While its roots may be in the airline industry, revenue management has
taken off and found a home in a diverse range of sectors. Today, you’ll find
it being used in the hospitality industry where hotels and resorts refine
their room pricing based on expected occupancy, seasonality, and booking
patterns. In the car rental business, firms adjust their rates daily or even
hourly, depending on the fleet utilization and time-sensitive demand.
The retail sector is another prime example, where dynamic pricing is often
used to adjust the cost of items based on inventory levels, consumer
demand, and competitor pricing. Even the entertainment industry has
embraced revenue management, with theatres and event venues
optimizing ticket prices based on seat location, show popularity, and sales

You might be surprised to learn that revenue management is also making
waves in the energy sector, where it helps in forecasting demand and
setting dynamic pricing for electricity. Healthcare providers are using it to
manage the pricing of their services and optimize the use of medical
equipment and facilities.

But it doesn’t stop there. We’re seeing the rise of revenue management in
digital spaces too. Online advertising platforms use it to adjust the pricing
of ad space, and in the software-as-a-service (SaaS) industry,
subscription models are finely tuned using revenue management principles
to retain customers and maximize lifetime value.

Even public transportation and parking services are getting on board,
using revenue management to control the availability of fares and parking
spaces to balance demand and profitability. And now Price Wizard has
found a home for Revenue Management in the Build to Rent Industry.

The bottom line is that any industry with variable demand, perishable
inventory, and the capability to segment the market is a ripe field for the
fruitful application of revenue management strategies. It’s a testament to
the versatility and vital importance of this approach in our modern

How does Revenue Management work?

In a nutshell, Revenue Management involves constant incremental
changes to price every time supply and/or demand change.

In the above chart, the business has a fixed inventory.  This could apply to a hotel, airline or theatre running at capacity.  The Quantity never changes.  After all, you can’t build another hotel room just because demand Is high.  Good revenue management would ensure that the price adjusts every day, with the hotel booking its last room a few hours before check-in closes for the night.  If the rooms book out earlier then the hotel charged too little; if the rooms didn’t book out then the hotel may have charged too much.

The approach is similar, albeit the mathematics and charts are slightly different, for other industries such as Build to Rent and Ride Share (Uber).

Why Revenue Management is Important

In the fast-paced world we live in, the one-size-fits-all pricing strategy is as outdated as flip phones. Here’s why revenue management is critical for businesses looking to stay ahead:

  • Maximizes Revenue: This is the bread and butter of revenue management. By understanding demand and customer behaviour, businesses can adjust prices to ensure they’re making the most out of their inventory or services
  • Increases Efficiency: Revenue management helps businesses forecast demand, leading to better inventory control and operational efficiency. This means less waste and more profit.
  • Gives Competitive Advantage: In a world where prices can be compared in a click, having a dynamic pricing strategy helps businesses stand out and offer value that aligns with customer expectations.
  • Improves Decision Making: With the insights gained from revenue management, businesses can make informed decisions on everything from marketing strategies to expansion plans.
  • Enhances Customer Satisfaction: It’s not just about increasing prices. Revenue management also leads to better deals for customers who can plan ahead or purchase during off-peak times.


In conclusion, revenue management is a powerful tool that allows businesses to strategically price their products or services, anticipate market demand, optimize inventory and resources, and ultimately, increase their bottom line. It’s not just for the big players either; with the advent of affordable technology, even small businesses can now harness the power of revenue management.

Remember, it’s not about simply charging more—it’s about charging smarter. And in today’s world, where every penny counts, understanding the whys and hows of revenue management can be the difference between thriving and merely surviving. So, whether you’re running a boutique hotel, a bustling airline, a Build to Rent operation or a start-up with big dreams, it’s time to get acquainted with revenue management. Your bottom line will thank you.