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Tim Peter Thinks

Tim Peter

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April 24, 2018

Great Marketing Technology Won’t Save You From a Bad Hotel Marketing Strategy

April 24, 2018 | By | No Comments

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Great hotel marketing tech won't save you from a bad hotel marketing strategy: Team planning hotel marketing strategy

I don’t know about you, but I’m so done hearing about the tech that will save the day for hoteliers. Another topic enters our lexicon of trending terms that will undoubtedly “…break the backs of intermediaries and upstarts” virtually every single day. You could call them the ABC’s of disappointment: AI, blockchain, chatbots and a host of other technological marvels that claim they’ll completely upend the status quo and return hotel marketers to their rightful place at the top of the mountain. Just recently, Airbnb announced it will now accept — for a modest fee — hotel listings alongside your nephew’s spare air mattress and those undersold condos down the block.

Whoop-dee-doo.

Now, don’t let my snark suggest that these are all bad ideas. I believe most of these platforms and technologies offer opportunities to improve how we connect with guests. AI already plays an enormous role in shaping how we find, attract, and convert customers not just in the future, but today. Blockchain represents an exciting foundational technology that may disrupt business every bit as much as the internet has. Chatbots offer the potential for guests to access information they need in simple spoken language while reducing the heavy overhead associated with contact centers (though, admittedly, not without introducing some substantial overhead of its own). Even the Airbnb announcement likely represents an effective, low-cost distribution channel for your unused hotel inventory.

Those all are positive developments, ones you should put to work for your property. But only when and where appropriate.

The reality is that we’ve got to stop pretending that some mythical, magical event exists — can exist — that will disrupt OTA’s, restore sanity to inventory and yield management, and return hotel owners and operators to their rightful place atop the distribution landscape. There’s no silver bullet here. As stated so eloquently in a recent television commercial, “That’s not how it works. That’s not how any of this works.”

The only way you regain control of your distribution and marketing is to, y’know, take control of your distribution and marketing. It’s to take the time to understand the changing needs and behaviors of guests, to uncover the best sources of revenue and profitability for your property, to focus on providing guests differentiated service, and to develop a comprehensive hotel marketing strategy that connects those with effective processes for finding, attracting and converting customers to loyal, repeat business for your hotel.

You’ll see any number of sources out there selling FUD — Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt — around whatever the sexy tech du jour happens to be. “You’re not using [insert their propriety platform or process]?!?” they’ll say, aghast at your lack of knowledge (or, more likely, aghast at the fact you’ve yet to cut them a check). “Oh, no. Well, I guess you can survive in this environment without it, but, I’d hate to see where you end up if not.”

That’s not helpful. It increases confusion, decreases understanding, and only really helps those selling services that way. More importantly, it diverts you from building and following an effective plan. Don’t listen to that. Instead, listen to your guests. Learn what matters to them throughout their journey. Then use only the technologies that help you improve their overall experience.

Yes, it can be fun to play with new tech. And your plan should accommodate testing new ideas, new channels, and new opportunities. But if you’re constantly chasing the, quote-unquote, latest and greatest, without integrating those into a thoughtful, holistic hotel marketing strategy, you’re really just chasing your own tail.

So, sure, listen to what’s happening with technology. Understand how it affects guests throughout their journey and how it can help you create a positive experience for your guests. But keep your carts and horses in the right order; use technology to support your overall strategy, not in place of that strategy. After all, when you take care of your guests, helping them throughout their journey, meeting their needs, that’s where the real magic happens.

If you’re looking to learn even more about how changing customer behavior will shape your marketing going forward, be sure an register to receive a special report I’ve produced in conjunction with hotel marketing firm Vizergy, “Digital Hotel Marketing in a Multiscreen World.” While it’s targeted specifically at hotel and resort marketers, the lessons apply to just about any business. You can get your free copy of the report here.

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:

Note: A version of this post originally appeared on Hotel News Now, where Tim Peter writes a regular column for the magazine’s Digital Tech Impact Report.

Tim Peter

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April 20, 2018

9 Necessary Insights for Hotel Marketers and Revenue Managers from the Past Week: Hospitality Marketing Link Digest

April 20, 2018 | By | No Comments

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9 Necessary Insights for Hotel Marketers and Revenue Managers from the Past Week

Howdy, Big Thinkers! It’s a crazy, crazy week here at Thinks Central, so hope you don’t mind if we skip any setup and just jump straight into this amazing list of 9 necessary insights for hotel marketers and revenue managers from the past week. Enjoy:

  1. Let’s lead off with these 7 social media marketing tips to promote your hotel from the fine folks at Revfine.com, which makes an outstanding companion piece to this look at whether social media is a waste of time for hotel marketers.
  2. Speaking of some fine folks in travel marketing, don’t miss these top 10 ways to drive direct bookings in 2018 from the equally fine folks — and friends of Thinks — over at Fuel Travel.
  3. Google offers a look at how the travel industry is shifting to assistance as part of its “Think With Google” series. They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so we’re fairly flattered by the name of that Google series.
  4. Sabre released its annual “Emerging Tech in Travel” report for 2018, which you definitely will want to download and digest.
  5. Artificial intelligence is one big trend Sabre calls out and that we’re watching closely here at Thinks Central. In fact, it’s well worth your time to take a long at why AI will change hospitality marketing forever.
  6. Another major hotel marketing trend you’ll want to watch is the increasing integration of digital marketing and revenue management. That’s just one reason why Duetto says revenue management requires a team, not a hierarchy. Great stuff, not to be missed.
  7. This is from a few weeks ago, but you absolutely want to check out this Hotel News NowQ&A on what hoteliers must know about digital marketing with our own Tim Peter.
  8. You’ll also want to spend some time with these 10 tremendous insights into the trends driving hotel digital marketing in 2018 from the Hospitality Marketing Link Digest series here on Thinks.
  9. Obviously, it can be overwhelming for hoteliers to keep up with all these trends and changes in the industry. And it’s fair for marketers, revenue managers and distribution folks to ask“is it time to give up?” Clearly, we’re confident the answer is “no.” But take a look at the full post to see just why that is — and how you can make digital marketing work for you in 2018 and beyond.

Have a great weekend, Big Thinkers. See you next time!

If you’re looking to learn even more about how changing customer behavior will shape your marketing going forward, be sure an register to receive a special report I’ve produced in conjunction with hotel marketing firm Vizergy, “Digital Hotel Marketing in a Multiscreen World.” While it’s targeted specifically at hotel and resort marketers, the lessons apply to just about any business. You can get your free copy of the report here.

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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April 13, 2018

11 Extraordinary Insights Into AI and E-commerce from the Past Week: E-commerce Link Digest

April 13, 2018 | By | No Comments

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11 Extraordinary Insights Into AI and E-commerce from the Past Week: Woman using AI to connect with customers

Hey, Big Thinkers! We’re finally getting some spring weather here at Thinks Central, so hope you don’t mind if we skip the setup this week and jump straight into this list of 11 extraordinary insights into AI and e-commerce from the past week. Enjoy:

  1. So, don’t know if you saw, but our old friend Mark Zuckerberg spent a couple of days explaining Facebook and privacy to a group of clueless old men Congress this past week. Clearly, the markets don’t seem to think the, ahem, brain trust on Capitol Hill has any chance of successfully reining in the social media giant, leading the company’s stock price to rise 4% in the last week. And, as TechCrunch points out, regulation could ultimately protect Facebook, not punish it. Obviously, we’ll keep watching this one for a bit, but until customers or a more technically-competent Congress acts decisively, Facebook’s probably going to weather this storm.
  2. That said, the role of data, tracking, and privacy clearly are getting a lot more play in the media than they were just a few months back. Which is why maybe Facebook's data problem will end up as your data problem. And that’s definitely something worth thinking about for your brand/business.
  3. All of this has much larger implications for your business than may appear at first glance. For instance, we’ve long talked about the fact that AI makes big data little. And Harvard Business Review rightfully explains that if your data is bad, your machine learning tools are useless. Expect a lot more talk around this topic over the next few months.
  4. While we’re on the topic of AI, you won’t want to miss these 8 exceptional insights into voice and AI and their effects on digital marketing from the E-commerce Link Digest series.
  5. Business Insider has a great look atAI in marketing and how brands can “leverage artificial intelligence to improve personalization, enhance ad targeting, and make marketing teams more agile.” Wow, that’s quite a mouthful. But it’s also quite true.
  6. Want to know more about the effect of AI on marketing? Well, check out these recent episodes of Thinks Out Loud, our e-commerce and digital strategy podcast. The first looked at where AI will affect sales and marketing first, and most while the second outlined 7 ways you can use AI in B2B sales and marketing. Good stuff all around.
  7. For one real-world example, Digiday put together a great case study of how Tumi is using AI in marketing campaigns, online and in stores that’s well worth checking out.
  8. That Tumi story is a great example of what marketing at the speed of digital looks like in practice.
  9. It’s fair to ask, of course, whether with the rise of the machine: “Will your job become obsolete?” as Rita Shapiro-Das does over on The Future of Commerce blog. And, given that reality, R. Edward Freeman and James R. Freeland argue over at MIT Sloan Management Review argue that the time for retraining is now.
  10. You don’t need to wait for your company to make that a priority (in fact, we’d argue that it’s probably a mistake to wait around for that to happen). We’d recommend you check out our quick and dirty guide for how to keep up with technology as a marketer instead.
  11. Finally, let’s wrap-up this week’s look at 11 extraordinary insights into AI and e-commerce from the past week — and bring all these stories together – with this set of 6 quick content marketing and AI insights and these 6 proven digital marketing trends.

Have a fantastic weekend, Big Thinkers. Catch you back here next week!

If you’re looking to learn even more about how changing customer behavior will shape your marketing going forward, be sure an register to receive a special report I’ve produced in conjunction with hotel marketing firm Vizergy, “Digital Hotel Marketing in a Multiscreen World.” While it’s targeted specifically at hotel and resort marketers, the lessons apply to just about any business. You can get your free copy of the report here.

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

April 6, 2018

Disruption? 5 Digital Trends Show Why You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet (Thinks Out Loud Episode 216)

April 6, 2018 | By | No Comments

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Disruption? 5 Digital Trends Show Why You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet

Disruption? 5 Digital Trends Show Why You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet (Thinks Out Loud Episode 216) – 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: 15m 55s

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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March 30, 2018

6 Quick Content Marketing And AI Insights: E-commerce Link Digest

March 30, 2018 | By | No Comments

Looking to drive results for your business? Click here to learn more.


6 Quick Content Marketing And AI Insights: E-commerce Link Digest

Howdy, Big Thinkers! No setup today. Just a list of 6 quick content marketing and AI insights to carry you through to next week. Enjoy:

  1. Mark Schaefer asks ”is social media marketing still a thing?” And provides a great answer to the question, too.
  2. CMO.com offers up a walk into the future of content with The Mill’s Boo Wong that’s well worth your time.
  3. Our own Tim Peter interviewed Mike Moran on the future of content marketing, search, and digital.
  4. We also rounded up a great set of 8 exceptional insights into voice and AI and their effects on digital marketing for the E-commerce Link Digest series.
  5. Speaking of AI, the Forbes Technology Council says to decide if your company is ready for AI, ask yourself these nine questions
  6. You also will want to check out these 6 proven digital marketing trends (the best of Thinks Out Loud and this great post that asks, how can you succeed at digital marketing next year? 17 great posts offer answers

Have a fantastic weekend, Big Thinkers. Catch you back here next week!

If you’re looking to learn even more about how changing customer behavior will shape your marketing going forward, be sure an register to receive a special report I’ve produced in conjunction with hotel marketing firm Vizergy, “Digital Hotel Marketing in a Multiscreen World.” While it’s targeted specifically at hotel and resort marketers, the lessons apply to just about any business. You can get your free copy of the report here.

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: