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August 11, 2017

7 Great Digital Transformation, AI, and Strategy Posts You Won’t Want to Miss: E-commerce Link Digest

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7 Great Digital Transformation, AI, and Strategy Posts You Won't Want to Miss: E-commerce Link Digest

Hiya, Big Thinkers! Hope you’ve had another brilliant week, filled to the brim with success and fun. This week’s edition of the E-commerce Link Digest Series rounds-up 7 great digital transformation, AI, and strategy posts you won’t want to miss. Enjoy:

  1. My friend Mark Schaefer outlines a series of “Strategies To Deal With Losing Readers Through The Newsfeed Evolution” that you won’t want to miss.
  2. Vala Afshar has a fantastic piece in The Huffington Post all about how “AI-Powered Companies Combine Machine Intelligence And Human Ingenuity” that I know you’ll just love.
  3. While we’re on that topic, you’ll also want to check out this look at “Voice, VR, AR, and AI: Hype or Hope for Marketers?” from our e-commerce and digital strategy podcast, Thinks Out Loud.
  4. eMarketer has new data that takes a look at why “Digital Transformation Projects Rank High in Importance to Marketing Leaders” that’s well worth your time.
  5. And our past post collecting “9 Great Posts Focused on Digital Transformation, Strategy, and AI” makes a worthwhile companion piece.
  6. If you’re interested in “How Can You Succeed at Digital Marketing Next Year? These 17 Great Posts Offer Answers.”
  7. And finally, you won’t want to miss these “6 Proven Digital Marketing Trends” highlighted in the landmark 200th episode of Thinks Out Loud earlier this week.

You might also want to check out these slides I had the pleasure of presenting recently about the key trends shaping marketing in the next year. Here are the slides for your reference:

Finally, you might enjoy some of these past posts from Thinks to help you build your e-commerce strategy and your digital success:

Tim Peter

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August 11, 2017

6 Proven Digital Marketing Trends (The Best of Thinks Out Loud – Episode 200)

August 11, 2017 | By | No Comments

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6 Proven Digital Marketing Trends (The Best of Thinks Out Loud)

6 Proven Digital Marketing Trends (The Best of Thinks Out Loud – Episode 200) – Headlines and Show Notes

Digital Transformation

Mobile

Content

Customer Experience

Future Trends

You Can Do It

Subscribe to Thinks Out Loud

Contact information for the podcast: podcast@timpeter.com

Past Insights from Tim Peter Thinks

You might also want to check out these slides I had the pleasure of presenting recently about the key trends shaping marketing in the next year. Here are the slides for your reference:

Technical Details for Thinks Out Loud

Recorded using a Heil Sound PR 30 Large Diaphragm Multipurpose Dynamic Microphone through a Cloud Microphones CL-1 Cloudlifter Mic Activator and a Mackie Onyx Blackjack USB recording interface into Logic Express 9 for the Mac.

Running time: 13m 44s

You can subscribe to Thinks Out Loud in iTunes [iTunes link], the Google Play Store, via our dedicated podcast RSS feed )(or sign up for our free newsletter). You can also download/listen to the podcast here on Thinks using the player at the top of this page.

Tim Peter

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August 4, 2017

5 High-Impact E-commerce, Digital and Social Strategy Posts You Won’t Want to Miss: E-commerce Link Digest

August 4, 2017 | By | No Comments

5 High-Impact E-commerce, Digital and Social Strategy Posts You Won't Want to Miss: E-commerce Link DigestLooking to drive results for your business? Click here to learn more.


Howdy, Big Thinkers, and welcome to this week’s edition of the E-commerce Link Digest Series. Hope this week was amazing for you. I thought you might want to round out a really successful week with these 5 high-impact e-commerce, digital and social strategy posts you won’t want to miss. Enjoy:

  1. Kicking things off, Ross Quintana at CMO.com wrote this amazing post promoting this mantra, “Say It With Me: Your Customer Is Your Business.” All I can say is, “Hell, yeah!”
  2. I know I shared this with you a couple of weeks ago, but it’s worth taking another look at We Are Social’s explanation of “How Brands Can Make Social Commerce Work.” Truly terrific insights there.
  3. While we’re talking about digital and commerce, why not take another look at this popular post that asks, “Will E-commerce Kill Retail?”
  4. And, continuing that theme, don’t miss these “9 Great Posts Focused on Digital Transformation, Strategy, and AI” from E-commerce Link Digest Series. Good stuff, not to be missed.
  5. Finally, let’s finish out this list of 5 high-impact e-commerce, digital and social strategy posts you won’t want to miss by taking another look at “How Can You Succeed at Digital Marketing Next Year? 17 Great Posts Offer Answers.” Bet you’ll be glad you did.

You might also want to check out these slides I had the pleasure of presenting recently about the key trends shaping marketing in the next year. Here are the slides for your reference:

Finally, you might enjoy some of these past posts from Thinks to help you build your e-commerce strategy and your digital success:

Tim Peter

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August 3, 2017

Mobile Payments, Millennials and Voice Computing Make Mobile Commerce Matter More (Thinks Out Loud Episode 199)

August 3, 2017 | By | No Comments

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Mobile Payments, Millennials and Voice Computing Make Mobile Commerce Matter More (Thinks Out Loud Episode 199)

Mobile Payments, Millennials and Voice Computing Make Mobile Commerce Matter More (Thinks Out Loud Episode 199) – Headlines and Show Notes

Subscribe to Thinks Out Loud

Contact information for the podcast: podcast@timpeter.com

Past Insights from Tim Peter Thinks

You might also want to check out these slides I had the pleasure of presenting recently about the key trends shaping marketing in the next year. Here are the slides for your reference:

Technical Details for Thinks Out Loud

Recorded using a Heil Sound PR 30 Large Diaphragm Multipurpose Dynamic Microphone through a Cloud Microphones CL-1 Cloudlifter Mic Activator and a Mackie Onyx Blackjack USB recording interface into Logic Express 9 for the Mac.

Running time: 14m 26s

You can subscribe to Thinks Out Loud in iTunes [iTunes link], the Google Play Store, via our dedicated podcast RSS feed )(or sign up for our free newsletter). You can also download/listen to the podcast here on Thinks using the player at the top of this page.

Tim Peter

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August 1, 2017

8 Insights into OTA’s, Personalization and Your Overall Digital Strategy: Hospitality Marketing Link Digest

August 1, 2017 | By | No Comments

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8 insights into OTA's, personalization and your overall digital strategy: Man reading the latest OTA and hospitality digital strategy insightsHey, Big Thinkers! Hope you’re having a fantastic day. Don’t miss these 8 insights into OTA’s, personalization and your overall digital strategy as you gear up for the rest of the week, OK? Enjoy:

  1. There’s been a lot of discussion the last couple of weeks around the current OTA vs. hotel brand dust-ups. First, Hotel Marketing published a pair of pieces that claim “New Research Shows OTA Consolidation Harms Consumers” and “OTA Bookings Linked to Lower Guest Satisfaction.”
  2. Tnooz followed that up with “OTA Or Hotel Direct – Putting The OTAs View.” (Full disclosure: That Tnooz headlines continues to bug me. I thought about rewriting it a few times, but it’s general incoherence mirrors the incoherence of the OTA’s argument on this so it felt appropriate to leave it as is.)
  3. Speaking of the incoherence of the OTA’s argument, I took a long look at OTA claims in detail in this post, “OTA’s vs. Brands: OTA’s Say Hotel Companies Are Just As Bad for Consumers as… OTA’s?” This kind of griping and sniping between OTA’s and brands is nothing new—see OTA’s vs. Chain Brands: Expedia Comes Out Swinging and Expedia’s Accelerator Program: A Wolf in Wolf’s Clothing for just two examples—and aren’t likely to end anytime soon. But I still argue in favor of a “fair and balanced approach” to managing your OTA relationships—and expect I’ll continue to do that until someone gives me a good reason to switch. The only thing I would argue is that you should approach OTA’s the way male black widow spiders approach their potential mates: carefully.
  4. All that said, there’s a lot you can learn from OTA’s, as BookAssist points out in “Learning from the Giants: How Booking and Expedia Build Their Traffic Online.”
  5. Shifting gears a bit, eConsultancy has a fantastic piece that explains “How Six Travel & Hospitality Brands Use Personalization to Enhance the Customer Experience.”
  6. Personalization for hotels remains near and dear to my heart, as you can read all about in “6 Stellar Insights into Personalization for Hotel Marketing” from the Hospitality Marketing Link Digest series and in
    “Why Hotel Marketing Depends on Personalization.”
  7. With all the changes hotel marketers have to cope with every day, it’s fair to ask “Hospitality Digital Marketing and Distribution: Is it Time to Give Up?” As you might expect, I’d argue “no.” Be sure to read the whole article though to see why.
  8. And, finally, since you’re not likely to give up (and good for you!), check out these 7 Must-See Posts Highlighting How to Market Your Hotel in the Future also from the Hospitality Marketing Link Digest series as a way to round out your knowledge of OTA’s, personalization and your overall digital strategy. You’ll be glad you did.

If you’re looking for even more hospitality marketing goodness, you might also want to take a moment to review the slides from Tim’s recent seminar, “Digital Marketing Directions 2016: The Key Trends Driving Your Hotel Marketing Next Year” here:

Finally, you will definitely want to check out some of our past coverage of the mobile, local, social web and how to make it work for your hotel, including:

Tim Peter

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July 28, 2017

7 Quick E-commerce and Digital Strategy Insights You Won’t Want to Miss: E-commerce Link Digest

July 28, 2017 | By | No Comments

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7 quick e-commerce and digital strategy insights you won't want to miss: Customers using digitalHey, Big Thinkers! We’ve got another killer edition of the E-commerce Link Digest Series for you featuring this amazing list of 7 quick e-commerce and digital strategy insights you won’t want to miss. Enjoy:

  1. As one quick follow-up to last week’s list of “8 Exceptional E-commerce and AI Posts,” eConsultancy listed “The Mind-Blowing Stats and Facts about Amazon Prime Day 2017”—and they were in fact mind-blowing: A 60% increase in sales year-on-year, a 50% year-on-year increase in purchases by Prime members, a massive increase in Echo device sales with “thousands of Echo devices per minute at one point during Prime Day… [the company] doubled and tripled the total number of Echo devices it sold in the U.S. and globally, respectively, compared to Prime Day last year.” Geez. I’ll have more on this on the podcast later this week, but, again, geez. (By the way, Brian Roemmele on Twitter is someone you really need to follow on this topic; top-notch).
  2. Also worth pointing out that you might want to review “Voice, VR, AR, and AI: Hype or Hope for Marketers?” and “AI For Marketers: AI Makes Big Data Little” again when you get a moment.
  3. The Wall Street Journal noted that “P&G Cuts More Than $100 Million in ‘Largely Ineffective’ Digital Ads” and folks on Twitter are losing their damn minds about it. My thought? People are putting too much emphasis on the ‘digital’ of the quote and not enough on the ‘ineffective’ part. Why should P&G keep throwing money into any ineffective marketing tactic, digital or otherwise? Here’s the key quote, from my perspective, in the article:

    “The company about a year ago said that it would move away from ads on Facebook that target specific consumers, after finding that ultra-niche targeting compromises reach and has limited effectiveness. P&G indicated it wouldn’t pull back on overall Facebook spending.”

    Again, for emphasis: “P&G indicated it wouldn’t pull back on overall Facebook spending.” Today’s news doesn’t say what they’re doing with the $100 million. It could be repurposed towards digital that is effective, towards another form or media, or towards their bottom line. Any of those makes sense. Some time back, I’d written a piece called “What Can Proctor & Gamble Teach You About the State of Digital Marketing?” in which I argued that the shift to digital was a bellwether for marketers. Their shifting money away from any ineffective media—digital, print, broadcast, what-have-you—is the true bellwether. And that’s what you should learn from today’s news.

  4. On a somewhat related note, “The 21st Century Brand Meter” looks at possible ways to review the effectiveness of your marketing efforts, in digital and otherwise.
  5. I’d be remiss if I didn’t point you to my friend Dr. Augustine Fou’s look at the P&G situation where he states “The Promise of Digital Has Not Yet Been Fulfilled.” Augustine is a brilliant guy and well-worth your time on this topic.
  6. Content marketing plays a powerful role in connecting with customers in this new environment, of course, but as argued in “Content Marketing is a Powerful Hammer But Not Everything’s a Nail” that doesn’t mean it’s the right solution to every problem. And given the theme of today’s link digest, it seemed apropos.
  7. Finally, regardless of tactic, let’s round-out our list of 7 quick e-commerce and digital strategy insights you won’t want to miss with this post that asks—and answers—“How Can You Succeed at Digital Marketing This Year? 17 Great Posts Offer Answers.”

You might also want to check out these slides I had the pleasure of presenting recently about the key trends shaping marketing in the next year. Here are the slides for your reference:

Finally, you might enjoy some of these past posts from Thinks to help you build your e-commerce strategy and your digital success:

Tim Peter

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July 21, 2017

8 Exceptional E-commerce and AI Posts: E-commerce Link Digest

July 21, 2017 | By | No Comments

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8 exceptional e-commerce and AI posts: Woman checking out using mobile paymentsHowdy, Big Thinkers! Welcome to another Friday evening edition of the E-commerce Link Digest Series. Hope you had a killer week. I’m heading out on vacation for the next week, but wanted to leave you with this amazing set of 8 exceptional e-commerce and AI posts to keep you occupied in my absence. Enjoy:

  1. According to Business Insider, “Amazon Got a Huge Spike in Echo Sales on Prime Day.” And the rich keep getting richer. As I said in our Thinks Out Loud podcast episode, “Amazon Goes Grocery Shopping,” Amazon is really knitting together an entire voice-activated, always-on shopping ecosystem that’s going to be hard for their competitors (hello, Google, Facebook, others) to overcome.
  2. While we’re on the topic of Amazon, The Drum reports that “Amazon Appears to Be Readying the Launch of Its Own Messaging App.” The Drum has some solid thoughts on what this might all be about, but personally I suspect it will also enable peer-to-peer payments through Amazon’s ecosystem and provide one more reason “Why I’m Bullish on Mobile Payments and Messaging.”
  3. Given all these changes in Amazon’s world, it seems like a good time to revisit this post that asks, “Will E-commerce Kill Retail?” The short answer? No. The longer answer? Well, that’s what the post is for. Check it out when you have a moment.
  4. Shifting gears ever so slightly, Brand Quarterly examines “Getting Full Value From Your Data: Why Marketers Need To Think Big And Act Now.” Why is this only a slight shift? Well, because data leads directly to AI. Or as we pointed out recently, “AI For Marketers: AI Makes Big Data Little.”
  5. And, since we’re on the topic, don’t miss Brand Quarterly’s look at how “Artificial Intelligence Ushers In A New Age Of Cognitive Content Marketing.” Good stuff.
  6. Tying all these themes up into a nice shiny package, you’ll definitely want to check out “Voice, VR, AR, and AI: Hype or Hope for Marketers?” from Thinks Out Loud and “9 Great Posts Focused on Digital Transformation, Strategy, and AI: E-commerce Link Digest” from the E-commerce Link Digest series. Both are well worth your time.
  7. Switching to the social side of the shop, We Are Social over in the UK uncovers “How Brands Can Make Social Commerce Work,” which is a really worthwhile read.
  8. And, finally, let’s wrap up this week’s outstanding list of 8 exceptional e-commerce and AI posts with these “8 Killer Posts Connecting Content, E-commerce, and Customer Experience.”

See you all soon.

You might also want to check out these slides I had the pleasure of presenting recently about the key trends shaping marketing in the next year. Here are the slides for your reference:

Finally, you might enjoy some of these past posts from Thinks to help you build your e-commerce strategy and your digital success:

Tim Peter

By

July 20, 2017

OTA’s vs. Brands: OTA’s Say Hotel Companies Are Just As Bad for Consumers as… OTA’s?

July 20, 2017 | By | No Comments

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OTA's vs. Brands: Booking.com and Expedia So the battle of OTA’s vs. brands just keeps getting weirder. The Travel Trade Association (TTA), which represents Expedia, Priceline, and TripAdvisor (as well as Sabre, Amadeus, Travelport and others[1]) responded to the recent AHLA report claiming OTA’s harm consumers by suggesting—and, honest to God, I’m not making this up—that hotel companies are just as bad as they are.

The AHLA report claims that Expedia and Priceline control about 95% of “the online travel market” and that these travel search giants mislead consumers about pricing, availability and a host of other relevant information. The biggest problem from AHLA’s point of view is that most guests don’t realize how much consolidation has limited the actual number of options available to guests when booking hotels online. The TTA’s Stephen Shur acknowledges the point when he tells Tnooz,

“The Federal Trade Commission in a hearing last year testified to Congress that they have no records of consumer complaints on these issues. We checked with the major consumer groups here in the United States, such as Consumers Union, National Consumers League and others, and these issues don’t even fall on their radar. The only place you’re hearing about hotel booking scams is from the hotel lobby.”

Tough to complain about something you don’t know exists, though, amirite? (Also, Is it just me or do you love the “hotel lobby” double entendre there? Just me? OK. Moving on…)

Odder still was Shur’s choice to highlight the number of brands held by six major hotel chains in the US (Choice, Hilton, Hyatt, IHG, Marriott, and Wyndham) noting that they own 10 or more brands each, with Marriott carrying a whopping 31 brands in its portfolio. Except, here’s the thing. They’re comparing apples to orangutans. Brands does not equal market share.

So, yes, those 6 chains do each own a whole bunch of brands. But their collective share of global room inventory is less than 30%. Even with consolidation, Marriott’s marriage to Starwood granted the combined hotel powerhouse only 8.3% of global room supply. Big, sure. But not outrageously so. And if you add in major players like Accor, Best Western, and Carlson Rezidor to the Big 6 named by Shur, total combined share of rooms climbs all the way up to… 34.8%. Again, that’s hardly an anticompetitive distribution when spread across nine separate companies. This data shows the full story:

Chain Room Count Room Share Property Count Property Share Owned Properties % of Properties Owned
Marriott 1,200,000 8.3% 6,161 3.9% 22 0.36%
Hilton 812,000 5.6% 5,400 3.5% 141 2.61%
IHG 767,000 5.3% 5,028 3.2% 8 0.16%
Wyndham 697,607 4.8% 7,923 5.1% 2 0.03%
Choice 516,122 3.6% 6,514 4.2% 0 0.00%
Hyatt 171,000 1.2% 657 0.4% 43 6.54%
STR Hotel Industry Totals 14,500,000 100.0% 156,000 100% N/A N/A
Source: All data retrieved from their respective company’s 2016 annual report or, when not available, from publicly-stated information. STR data retrieved from STR Hotel Census Database. All data as of July 19, 2017.

Now let’s not forget that the two major OTAs also sell pretty much all of these companies’ inventory, as well as a hefty chunk of the remaining 65% too. So I don’t think they’re making the argument they claim to be when criticizing the hotel companies.

The OTA’s make a much stronger argument by the way when they cite Phocuswright data showing they outsell hotel brands by only a few billion dollars, controlling 54% of the market compared to suppliers’ 46%. Except if two companies really do control 95% of that 54% (or, more simply, 51% of the total), as AHLA claims, that’s a big frickin’ deal. Here’s why.

The vast majority of the hotels within each of these chains are franchised. They don’t have to stick with the chain if they don’t want to.[2] If you’re a hotel owner carrying a flag from one of those 6 large hotel chains and aren’t happy with the value you receive from said chain, you have a ton of options available to you. You could dump your current flag and instead:

  1. Switch to your original chains’ soft brand(s)
  2. Go to one of the other 5 chains the TTA calls out, either carrying one of their flags or using one of their soft brands
  3. Go to another chain outside that original set of six (Accor, BW, Carlson Rezidor, Magnuson, etc.)
  4. Go to one of their soft brands, or, finally,
  5. Skip the whole thing and fly independent (potentially affiliating with still other soft brands like The Leading Hotels of the World, Preferred, Small Luxury, etc.—or not—as you see fit)

I don’t know about you, but that feels like a pretty good set of options for today’s hotelier.

On the other hand, if you’re unhappy with Expedia, you could sell your inventory on Travelocity instead. Oh… wait. Expedia owns them. OK, how about Orbitz? Nope, Expedia owns them too. Hotels.com? Also Expedia. And so on. The landscape on the Priceline side isn’t any better, with Booking.com, Agoda, Kayak, Momondo, and the company’s flagship Priceline brand among its guest-facing presence. And these two represent probably 51% of all reservations made online if AHLA’s numbers are right.

Hmm… remind me again who’s better positioned to harm consumers and hotel operators?

Does any of this automatically prove that the OTA’s are evil? Of course not. As I’ve argued repeatedly, OTA’s can represent a reasonable option for reaching guests you’re not able to reach on your own.

What it does prove is that the OTA’s aren’t so great at making an argument about who’s the big bad wolf here. Just like your mom probably told you as a kid, the OTA’s may find that when they’re pointing a finger at the evils of industry consolidation, the rest of their fingers end up pointing right back at themselves.


  1. I’d be curious to know how Sabre and Amadeus feel about this approach, given the amount of effort they’re putting into wooing major hotel chains as clients for their CRS products. ^Back to article
  2. To be fair, this ignores the challenge of getting out of any existing franchise agreement, which can be onerous. ^Back to article

If you’re looking for even more hospitality marketing goodness, you might also want to take a moment to review the slides from Tim’s recent seminar, “Digital Marketing Directions: The Key Trends Driving Your Hotel Marketing Next Year” here:

Finally, you will definitely want to check out some of our past coverage of the mobile, local, social web and how to make it work for your hotel, including:

Tim Peter

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July 16, 2017

A Dozen Hospitality Digital Marketing, Revenue Management and Distribution Insights: Hospitality Marketing Link Digest

July 16, 2017 | By | No Comments

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A dozen hospitality digital marketing, revenue management and distribution insights: Guests entering hotelHey, everyone! Hope you’ve enjoyed an amazing summer weekend. Now let’s start the week off right with these dozen hospitality digital marketing, revenue management and distribution insights. Enjoy:

  1. Leading off, Ellis Kennedy from Rainmaker breaks down “The Convergence of Hotel Marketing and Revenue Management.” This represents one of the most critical trends within hospitality marketing and it’s great to see others beating this drum.
  2. The convergence of hotel marketing and revenue management of course is just one huge trend. This collection of “7 Must-See Posts Highlighting How to Market Your Hotel in the Future” from the Hospitality Marketing Link Digest series helps outline others you’ll want to watch.
  3. Brand Quarterly “How Hospitality And Travel Brands Can Top Review Charts,” which you know we’re in favor of, seeing as how managing your ratings and reviews well represents “The Single Most Effective Way to Improve Your Brand’s Digital Marketing.”
  4. While you’re looking for effective ways to improve your brand’s marketing, don’t miss these “6 Quick Hotel Distribution and Digital Marketing Insights” too.
  5. On a related note, Econsultancy looked at “How Six Travel &Amp; Hospitality Brands Use Personalization to Enhance the Customer Experience.”
  6. In fact, we’ve outlined “Why Hotel Marketing Depends on Personalization” and rounded-up “6 Stellar Insights into Personalization for Hotel Marketing” for you as well to add to that story.
  7. Digging into the archives a bit, we’ve got a post that calls out “OTA’s vs. Chain Brands: Expedia Comes Out Swinging”—and why it’s still relevant today.
  8. Taking a peek into the corner office, Skift reports on why “Hotel CEOs Love Direct Booking and 4 Other Hospitality Trends” that you won’t want to miss.
  9. Meanwhile, according to CIO Dive, TravelClick CIO’s Joseph Eng says that “Changing User Experience Requires Companies to Go Digital and Employ Data.” Good advice.
  10. Coming somewhat full circle this week, Kiran Sunny writes over on Hospitality Net about “Distribution vs Profitability—The Future of Hotel Revenue Management.”
  11. Alicia Hoisington has an excellent piece on Hotel Management featuring “3 Tips to Increase ROI with Digital Marketing” that includes a number of quotes from our own Tim Peter. Well worth a look when you have a moment.
  12. Finally, let’s wrap-up this list of a dozen hospitality digital marketing, revenue management and distribution insights with this collection of “9 Necessary Hotel Marketing Posts You Can’t Miss.”

If you’re looking for even more hospitality marketing goodness, you might also want to take a moment to review the slides from Tim’s recent seminar, “Digital Marketing Directions: The Key Trends Driving Your Hotel Marketing Next Year” here:

Finally, you will definitely want to check out some of our past coverage of the mobile, local, social web and how to make it work for your hotel, including:

Tim Peter

By

July 14, 2017

8 Killer Posts Connecting Content, E-commerce, and Customer Experience: E-commerce Link Digest

July 14, 2017 | By | No Comments

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Customers checking out 8 killer posts connecting content, e-commerce, and customer experienceHey, Big Thinkers! Hope you’ve had an amazing week and are ready for a great weekend ahead. We’ve rounded-up an amazing set of 8 killer posts connecting content, e-commerce, and customer experience. And I hope you do too. Enjoy:

  1. Leading off, we’ve got “A Dozen Don’t-Miss Digital Strategy Posts” from the E-commerce Link Digest series for you to explore.
  2. A key part of that digital strategy? Connecting content and customer experience. That’s why we say, “Content is King, Customer Experience is Queen.”
  3. We also asked the key question, “Customer Experience is Queen? What Does That Mean?” so you don’t have to. Check it out to see what it’s all about.
  4. Of course, it’s not just us. Brand Quarterly reports on “Generation UX,” and explains why customers now expect great experience everywhere they go.
  5. McKinsey & Company also offers a near-perfect primer on how to connect customer experience and digital with “The CEO Guide to Customer Experience.” Great stuff. I highlighted this link once before in our round-up of “10 Posts Showing How the C-Suite Views Customer Experience,” but it’s well-worth another look.
  6. Building on that theme, We Are Social looks at “How Brands Can Make Social Commerce Work.” The key quote highlights how “Photo-centric platforms like Instagram and Pinterest offer attractive options here, allowing brands to showcase a lifestyle and build up their brand story.” In other words, selling the entire customer experience in a manner consistent with your customer’s expectations on his or her favorite platform.
  7. Given this shift, it’s fair to ask, “Is There a Future for Marketing?” as the fine folks over at Marketing Tech News. They also claim, “The change will come quicker than we think.” I agree, but would argue it’s already here, further emphasizing why we’ve got to create great experiences everywhere our customer connect with our brands.
  8. Finally, a past post asked, “Will E-commerce Kill Retail?” In a word: No. At least not if you do it right. So be sure to check out the whole post to see how to do just that.

You might also want to check out these slides I had the pleasure of presenting recently about the key trends shaping marketing in the next year. Here are the slides for your reference:

Finally, you might enjoy some of these past posts from Thinks to help you build your e-commerce strategy and your digital success:

  • 7 Must-See Posts Highlighting How to Market Your Hotel in the Future: Hospitality Marketing Link Digest
  • 6 Stellar Insights into Personalization for Hotel Marketing: Hospitality Marketing Link Digest
  • In a mobile-only world will airlines charge for web bookings?
  • Hospitality Digital Marketing and Distribution: Is it Time to Give Up?