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January 14, 2015

The Power of “And” in E-commerce – Thinks Out Loud Episode 106

January 14, 2015 | By | No Comments

Young couple using e-commerce on mobile

The Power of “And” in E-commerce – Headlines and Show Notes

You might also enjoy the slides from my recent webinar, Digital Marketing Directions: Key Trends Driving Your Marketing Next Year,:

Contact information for the podcast: podcast@timpeter.com

Technical details: Recorded using an Audio-Technica AT2035 studio condenser microphone through a Mackie Onyx Blackjack USB recording interface into Logic Express 9 for the Mac.

Running time: 11m 51s

You can subscribe to Thinks Out Loud in iTunes [iTunes link], subscribe via our dedicated podcast RSS feed (or better yet, given that Google has now killed Reader, sign up for our free newsletter). You can also download/listen to the podcast here on Thinks using the player below:

Tim Peter

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January 13, 2015

3 Mobile Milestones for Travel Marketing (Travel Tuesday)

January 13, 2015 | By | No Comments

Mobile milestoneOver the last week, several fascinating stories highlighted the state of mobile activity among travelers and hotel guests that signal 3 mobile milestones for travel marketing. Check this out.

eMarketer uncovers that 40% of all travel research occurs on mobile devices and tablets. While the report emphasizes that 60% of browsing and research activities still happens on PC’s, the data shows some 26% occurs on smartphones, with tablets kicking in another 13% of this critical activity. Equally interesting? The importance of mobile to your guests’ sharing activities:

“…51% of travel content social shares by US internet users took place through a smartphone or tablet. Smartphones were particularly important for sharing, accounting for 41% of the total pie.”

To put that plainly: the folks most likely to share your hotel’s content are those 1 in 4 already using their smartphones to research. You may as well add that to the 4 signs that hotel marketing’s future is mobile.

Next up, HotelMarketing.com looks at guests using mobile for hotel check-in and as their room keys:

“…according to hetras’ managing director Philip von Ditfurth, ‘the best technology is the kind that guests don’t even notice is there and just does its job.’ However, von Ditfurth also believes that mobile hotel check-in and room entry systems are generally going to move more and more center stage in 2015.”

And, finally, AdAge examines the partnership between American Express and Uber:

“American Express’ new partnership with Uber, for instance, represents a huge milestone for mobile commerce. It’s powerful and yet so simple. Under the program, participants pay with AmEx when they ride Uber, earn two times the rewards points and can use those points to pay for future Uber rides.

That’s it. If you’re the customer, all you need to do is what you’re already doing — riding Uber across town and loving it. You get “paid” with loyalty points when you do.”

So, let’s see. That’s guests using mobile to research, share information, check-in, unlock the door, and collect their loyalty rewards. Seems like a pretty complete purchase path to me. How about you?

Somewhat troubling, the Amex/Uber deal offers a blueprint for how OTA’s could bypass hotels’ own loyalty programs. An OTA could partner with a credit card company to reward a guest for booking via the OTA’s mobile channel and paying with a given credit card (or mobile wallet). Priceline already has a relationship with ApplePay that could, in theory, underpin that very operation today.

Quite simply, mobile now represents the centerpiece of your guests’ everyday life. Some folks—I’m looking at you, Priceline, TripAdvisor, Google—understand that and are using that to their advantage. New entrants we haven’t even thought about yet will likely do the same.

The real question becomes, what are you doing to help your guests and to make sure your hotel is also represented at the centerpiece of their lives, too?

If you’d like to learn more about these topics, check out this list of The Top 14 Hotel Marketing Posts of 2014 .

Interested in learning even more about the future of hospitality e-commerce and marketing via the social, local, mobile web? You should register to receive a special report I’ve produced in conjunction with hotel marketing firm Vizergy, “Digital Hotel Marketing in a Multiscreen World.” Developed specifically for hotel and resort marketers, the lessons can help your business adapt to the changing guest environment. You can get your free copy of the report here.

And take a moment to review the slides from my recent webinar, “Digital Marketing Directions 2015: Three Key Trends Driving Your Hotel Marketing Next Year” here:


(And, yes… you can hire me to speak at your next event, too).

Finally, you might also enjoy some of our past coverage of the social, local, mobile web and what it means for your business, including:

Tim Peter

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January 10, 2015

5 Hotel Marketing Trends for 2015: Tim Peter in Hotel News Now

January 10, 2015 | By | No Comments

Tim Peter in Hotel News NowHotel News Now recently covered Tim’s webinar about 5 hotel marketing trends for 2015. Tons of great takeaways in the piece. For instance, here are Tim’s thoughts on the state of the industry overall:

We’re in the good old days. Right now is as good as we’ve seen in quite a while and probably as good as we’re going to see for quite a while,” he said. “Hopefully things will be a little better in 2015, but you never know when the economy is going to turn again, so we really want to take advantage of when things are actually going really well.”

On mobile in the research and booking process:

“In reality, your hotels typically house more devices every night than guests. And that has a real impact on what your guests’ expectations are all along their find, browse, shop and buy process,” [Peter] said.

He said context is important to the connectivity conversation. For instance, hotel marketers need to think about where their guests are when they access information, what is most important to guests within those contexts and how marketers can use that information to drive consumers to book.

On content marketing:

“Peter said marketers need to cut through the clutter and create content that is:

  • snackable: simple text, easy to read and easily scanned;
  • shareable: use imagery to convey your brand because images sell; and
  • sharp: content should be large, bold, clear and should answer customers’ questions quickly.”

On big data and enabling customer insights:

“Guests are leaving digital footprints. That data is the crown jewels because it gives access to deep customer insights into what your customers really care about,” he said…

Peter said marketers should be willing to start small. “This isn’t about big data; it’s about big questions. What are the things that matter to your guests? What are the questions that they have? And how can you use the data that is created to help them answer those questions and help them make a booking decision?”

There’s lots more terrific stuff, too, about understanding context and helping guests throughout the browsing, booking, and stay. Make sure to check out the whole article here.

If you’d like to learn more about these topics, check out this list of The Top 14 Hotel Marketing Posts of 2014 .

Interested in learning even more about the future of hospitality e-commerce and marketing via the social, local, mobile web? You should register to receive a special report I’ve produced in conjunction with hotel marketing firm Vizergy, “Digital Hotel Marketing in a Multiscreen World.” Developed specifically for hotel and resort marketers, the lessons can help your business adapt to the changing guest environment. You can get your free copy of the report here.

And take a moment to review the slides from my recent webinar, “Digital Marketing Directions 2015: Three Key Trends Driving Your Hotel Marketing Next Year” here:


(And, yes… you can hire me to speak at your next event, too).

Finally, you might also enjoy some of our past coverage of the social, local, mobile web and what it means for your business, including:

Tim Peter

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January 9, 2015

7 Magical Mobile Marketing and E-commerce Picks: E-commerce Link Digest

January 9, 2015 | By | No Comments

Magic mobile marketing and e-commerce linksIt’s going to be a cold, cold weekend ’round these parts, Big Thinkers. I dunno about you, but it seems like a good time to curl up in front of a warm fire with a nice glass of pinot and some fine reading material. Why not start with these 7 magical mobile marketing and e-commerce picks? On with the links:

  1. eMarketer notes that retailers shifted holiday mobile promo dollars while Mobile Marketer and Mobile Commerce Daily add context, saying location-based marketing is an overripe low-hanging fruit and that 96% of consumers will search for mobile coupons in 2015.
  2. Continuing this thread, Mobile Commerce Daily highlights 5 mobile commerce developments that mattered in 2014.
  3. Thinks offered proof that mobile drives purchases and asked “How Big Will E-commerce Be in 2015?” Spoiler alert: Really, really big.
  4. While on the topic of e-commerce generally, Business Insider offers a fascinating Look At How Apple And Google Can Cut Off Amazon. With competition heating up among these three AGFAM giants, expect to see more of this going forward.
  5. eMarketer also explains why unsophisticated attribution models hurt retargeting.
  6. In net neutrality news, (and, believe me, net neutrality is a topic you really want to pay attention to), Boy Genius Report details the Google Fiber vs. Comcast battle and says Google’s FCC filing is Comcast’s worst nightmare. Good for Google, because it’s good for you, too.
  7. Finally, it wouldn’t be a New Year without plenty of year-end recaps. The folks at GetElastic offer their Best of Get Elastic 2014, we summarized the best of our Thinks Out Loud podcast with 15 Key Mobile and E-commerce Trends to Prep You for 2015 – Thinks Out Loud Episode 104, and rounded-up these 14 Key Concepts for Next Year: The Top Posts of 2014 from the blog overall. Great stuff all around and well worth your time.

Want more? Check out these 5 Key E-commerce Ideas to Kick Off the New Year Right and 14+ Fantastic Reads for a Long Holiday Weekend

as well as the rest of our E-commerce Link Digest series here.

If you want to learn even more about how customers changing behavior shapes e-commerce and marketing, 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 can also check out these slides and video from my recent webinar, “Digital Marketing Directions: Three Key Trends Driving Your Marketing Next Year”:

And, finally, you might want to take a look at some of our past coverage of the e-commerce, mobile commerce, and digital marketing overall, including:

Tim Peter

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January 8, 2015

Are You Still Making This Major Email Marketing Mistake?

January 8, 2015 | By | No Comments

How to avoid this major email marketing mistakeInteresting research highlighted by eMarketer this week, stating the email open rate on mobile impresses in the UK. Key quote:

“…the percentage share of email opens in the country across mobile, desktop and webmail platforms was heavily weighted in favor of mobile, with 62% of Return Path UK client emails opened that way.”

While the numbers for the US weren’t quite as strong — with “only” 48% of opens coming on mobile — they’re still mighty impressive. Data I’ve looked at in the past puts those numbers a bit above 50% and other data suggests that 50% of email users only read email on mobile. But why quibble over a couple of percentage points? If your customers can’t easily read your message on mobile, you’re still making a major email marketing mistake. As eMarketer rightly notes, “…mobile should now be considered a central part of any email marketing strategy.” [Emphasis mine.]

Need more proof? Well, for starters, consider millennials. According to Aweber’s Generation Media Explorer, more than 40% of millennials use email to stay connected with their favorite stores. Those are better numbers than Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat — or any other channel.

Now, it’s not all sunny news. Unfortunately, while opens on mobile are huge, and growing, click-through rates could be better. According to Marketing Charts, most clicks occur on PC’s and tablets, well above mobile rates. I suspect that’s related to the mobile email experience more than any specific limitation of the medium.

My advice? Develop a responsive email template for your brand or business. Test it against your existing template and see what it does for your results. And while you’re at it, check out these past posts about email marketing for more tips on improving your business’s email marketing results:

Email has long been many brands’ “forgotten” social network, less shiny and sexy than the Pinterests, Facebooks, Instagrams, and whatever other marketing flavors of the month come down the pike. But it shouldn’t be forgotten. Email remains a key component of a healthy, effective marketing plan. And ignoring mobile remains a major email marketing mistake. Not that you shouldn’t also seek new opportunities when they make sense. But pay attention to making email work on mobile and enjoy sexy, shiny results too.

If you want to learn even more about how customers changing behavior shapes e-commerce and marketing, 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 can also check out these slides and video from my recent webinar, “Digital Marketing Directions: Three Key Trends Driving Your Marketing Next Year”:

And, finally, you might want to take a look at some of our past coverage of the e-commerce, mobile commerce, and digital marketing overall, including:

Tim Peter

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January 7, 2015

The Future of Mobile Commerce Starts Now – Thinks Out Loud Episode 105

January 7, 2015 | By | No Comments

Mobile commerce starts now

The Future of Mobile Commerce Starts Now – Headlines and Show Notes

And here’s a copy of the IBM RFID commercial: “The Future Market” from YouTube that I mentioned in the podcast:

You might also enjoy the slides from my recent webinar, Digital Marketing Directions: Key Trends Driving Your Marketing Next Year,:

Contact information for the podcast: podcast@timpeter.com

Technical details: Recorded using an Audio-Technica AT2035 studio condenser microphone through a Mackie Onyx Blackjack USB recording interface into Logic Express 9 for the Mac.

Running time: 15m 25s

You can subscribe to Thinks Out Loud in iTunes [iTunes link], subscribe via our dedicated podcast RSS feed (or better yet, given that Google has now killed Reader, sign up for our free newsletter). You can also download/listen to the podcast here on Thinks using the player below:

Tim Peter

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January 6, 2015

The Top 14 Hotel Marketing Posts of 2014 (Travel Tuesday)

January 6, 2015 | By | No Comments

Top hotel marketing posts of 2014Welcome, Big Thinkers, to a whole New Year! To get you ready for the best possible 2015, let’s take a quick moment to review the top 14 hotel marketing posts of 2014, as chosen by Thinks readers just like you.

The big themes, by far, revolved around third-party intermediaries/OTA’s and the fast rise of mobile in the travel booking experience. But there’s plenty of detail within those. So, without any further ado, enjoy the top hotel marketing posts of 2014:

  1. Leading off was this post that explains “What Expedia’s Leaders Can Teach You About Digital Strategy.” Excellent insights from a a great group of industry leaders.
  2. Next, we’ve got this exploration of how “Marriott Partners with Booking.com. Should You?”
  3. Continuing the trend of examining third-party distribution partners is this post that asks “What in the World are Priceline and TripAdvisor Up To?” Well worth the read.
  4. I don’t know about you, but I’m sensing a theme here. The #4 post on this list asks “What Are Google’s Plans for Hotel Distribution?” I’m planning to update this one within the next few weeks, so stay tuned for more on this topic.
  5. Even more hotel distribution goodness in this next post, which uncovers “The Big Myth About Hotel Metasearch.” You might also enjoy this post that asks “Search? Metasearch? What’s the Difference?”. Spoiler alert for the pair of posts: Hotel metasearch is not the “white knight,” riding in to save you from “evil” third-parties. But read the whole post to find out why.
  6. Shifting to the ways in which your guests and travelers are changing their behavior, don’t miss “Holy Crap! Mobile’s Even Bigger Than You Thought.” And be aware that those numbers are only going to grow in 2015.
  7. Your fellow Big Thinkers paid lots of attention to this look at “How Intermediaries Drive Up Your Costs: 5 Ways to Protect Yourself.” You probably should too.
  8. The 8th most popular post last year detailed “6 Key Secrets Every Hotel Marketer Should Know.” Good stuff.
  9. Going way back to January of last year, we find these “4 Lessons You Need to Know from Google’s Affluent Traveler Report.” Recent research suggests that these lessons will continue to hold true this year, so check them out when you get a chance.
  10. Still more mobile madness, this time featuring a round-up of “5 Mind-Blowing Stats About Mobile’s Growth You Must Know.”
  11. Make sure you don’t miss these “10 Essential Lessons Learned From HSMAI’s Digital Marketing Strategy Conference.” If I do say, it’s a fantastic round-up of an even better event.
  12. Many of your fellow readers really liked this demonstration of “Why Attribution Modeling Matters in 2015.” Well worth the read.
  13. You all liked this glimpse into mobile’s role in the hotel sales and marketing that explains “Mobile Marketing Matters for Hotels in 2015.”
  14. Finally, many hotels worry about the outsized role intermediaries play in their distribution and channel strategy. If you’re one of them, you’ll really appreciate “A Fair and Balanced Look at Balancing Direct and OTA Business.” Good stuff.

If you’re interested in learning even more about the future of hospitality e-commerce and marketing via the social, local, mobile web, register to receive a special report I’ve produced in conjunction with hotel marketing firm Vizergy, “Digital Hotel Marketing in a Multiscreen World.” Developed specifically at hotel and resort marketers, the lessons can help your business adapt to the changing guest environment. You can get your free copy of the report here.

You may also want to review the slides and video from my recent webinar, “Digital Marketing Directions 2015: Three Key Trends Driving Your Hotel Marketing Next Year”:


(And, yes… you can hire me to speak at your next event, too).

Finally, don’t miss our past coverage of the social, local, mobile web and what it means for your business, including:

Tim Peter

By

January 5, 2015

How Big Will E-commerce Be in 2015?

January 5, 2015 | By | No Comments

How big will e-commerce be in 2015?Saw some crazy stats from Marketing Charts about how big e-commerce will be in 2015:

  • E-commerce grew to 5.9% of retail sales in 2014
  • E-commerce will grow almost 21% and comprise 6.7% of retail sales in 2015
  • E-commerce will reach almost 9% of retail sales by 2018

To which I say, “Horse crap.”

My issue of course, is not with these numbers; I’m sure they’re fine. It’s with how they’ve defined “e-commerce.”

E-commerce isn’t when a customer pulls out their credit card, types in their information, and clicks “Buy.” Instead, it’s the whole process by which your customers research and discover and browse and buy today.

When your customer uses her mobile phone to search for nearby stores while picking up her daughter from soccer practice, that’s e-commerce. When a potential diner reads reviews about your restaurant (and your competitors) on Yelp while standing on a busy city street, that’s e-commerce. And, yes, when she checks prices while standing in your store aisles, that’s e-commerce too.

I highlighted this research from eMarketer a couple weeks ago:

“In a March 2014 survey conducted by Nielsen for xAd and Telmetrics, between 70% and 80% of US smartphone or tablet users said they had completed or would soon complete a purchase related to their smartphone search. The study also found that more than 40% of consumers considered a smartphone or tablet their most important media resource for a purchase decision.”

“70% to 80% of US smartphone/tablet users said they had completed or would soon complete a purchase related to their smartphone research.” By the way, those numbers are from March of last year. Anyone think they’ve gotten smaller in the last nine months? And it seems they’re slightly larger than the 5% to 9% often reported.

It’s 2015 Big Thinkers. How big will e-commerce be? As this data shows, it’s all e-commerce.

If you want to learn even more about how customers changing behavior shapes e-commerce and marketing, 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 can also check out these slides and video from my recent webinar, “Digital Marketing Directions: Three Key Trends Driving Your Marketing Next Year”:

And, finally, you might want to take a look at some of our past coverage of the e-commerce, mobile commerce, and digital marketing overall, including:

Tim Peter

By

January 4, 2015

5 First-Rate Travel Marketing Posts for the First Of The Year: Hospitality Marketing Link Digest

January 4, 2015 | By | No Comments

First-rate travel marketingWelcome to 2015, everyone! I’m looking forward to a spectacular year featuring full rooms, big bumps in room rates and RevPAR, and plenty of profits. To get you started, here’s a great look at 5 first-rate travel marketing posts for the first of the year. Now let’s get on with the links:

  1. While not specific to the hospitality industry, pay attention to this Search Engine Land article about Google’s launch of “store visits” metric in AdWords to help prove online-to-offline impact. This is really going to shake up the way we all measure mobile attribution in the coming months. So, stay tuned.
  2. Speaking of mobile, check out this post that details the 4 signs that hotel marketing’s future is mobile.
  3. A big reason behind my focus on mobile relates to things like this pivotal moments in 2014: when mobile overtook desktop. Tnooz outlines the what, where, when and how that you need to know. Check it out when you get a chance.
  4. Re/code explains that Google and the wireless industry not down with Marriott’s Wi-Fi blocking plan. I couldn’t agree more. While I’m a big fan of Marriott overall and completely understand the revenue opportunities and impacts, they’re on the wrong side of this one, from a marketing and customer service perspective. Finding ways to stop your customers from doing what they’re going to do anyway (instead of helping them accomplish what they want), is a losing proposition. Look at the music industry’s failure to compete with illegal downloads; it wasn’t until iTunes came around and made buying music simple, inexpensive, and user-friendly that customers preferred to buy music. The hospitality industry would do better to follow iTunes’ example, not the failed model.
  5. Finally, for another example of how shifting tech will change guest behavior, make sure to review this 2015 travel e-commerce trend worth watching: digital wallets when you get a chance. Good stuff.

If you’re looking for more link goodness, take a look at these past Hospitality Marketing Link Digests offering “7 Brilliant Insights into Mobile Travel E-commerce,” “6 Great Posts About 2015′s Top Travel Marketing Trends,” “How Hotel Distribution Is Heating Up”and the the entire E-commerce Link Digest series. Well worth your time.

If you’re interested in learning even more about the future of hospitality e-commerce and marketing via the social, local, mobile web, register to receive a special report I’ve produced in conjunction with hotel marketing firm Vizergy, “Digital Hotel Marketing in a Multiscreen World.” Developed specifically at hotel and resort marketers, the lessons can help your business adapt to the changing guest environment. You can get your free copy of the report here.

You may also want to review the slides and video from my recent webinar, “Digital Marketing Directions 2015: Three Key Trends Driving Your Hotel Marketing Next Year”:


(And, yes… you can hire me to speak at your next event, too).

Finally, don’t miss our past coverage of the social, local, mobile web and what it means for your business, including:

Tim Peter

By

January 2, 2015

5 Key E-commerce Ideas to Kick Off the New Year Right: E-commerce Link Digest

January 2, 2015 | By | No Comments

Young couple using e-commerce on mobileWelcome to 2015, Big Thinkers! I don’t know about you, but I’m really excited for what’s ahead.

Before things really get started next week, take this time to sit back, relax, and enjoy these 5 key e-commerce ideas to kick off the New Year right. On with the links:

  1. eMarketer projects that 2014 retail sales worldwide will top $22 trillion and will reach almost $30 trillion in 2015. Considering that some 40%-50% of that of that is e-commerce influenced, that’s some impressive stuff, no?
  2. To help understand exactly how much digital — and, in particular, mobile — contributes to retail sales, Google has launched a new “store visits” metric in AdWords. Very cool.
  3. Speaking of AdWords (and search, generally), you’re going to want to read my review of the new edition of Search Engine Marketing, Inc. by Bill Hunt and Mike Moran, part of my semi-regular “Book Review of the Week-ish” series. Hunt and Moran offer amazing insights into search overall. If you rely on search for any part of your business, you should definitely check out the review — and the book.
  4. Another post from eMarketer looks at mobile’s role in the omnichannel experience. I also rounded-up a number of ways to prove that mobile drives purchases. Both are well worth the read when you get a chance.
  5. I hope you didn’t miss this collection of “14 Key Concepts for Next Year: The Top Posts of 2014″ from last week. All were selected based on what you and your fellow Big Thinkers read and shared widely over the last year. And, if you prefer to listen, check out 2014′s top episodes from our marketing and e-commerce podcast, Thinks Out Loud, in this list of 15 Key Mobile and E-commerce Trends to Prep You for 2015. Better yet, take a moment to review both lists. You’ll be glad you did.

And if you want to learn even more about how customers changing behavior shapes e-commerce and marketing, 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 “9 Shocking E-Commerce Directions for 2015″ and these “5 Must-See Black Friday and Cyber Monday Trends” from our regular E-commerce Link Digest series.

While you’re at it, take a look at the slides and video from my recent webinar, “Digital Marketing Directions: Three Key Trends Driving Your Marketing Next Year”:

And, finally, you won’t want to miss our past coverage of the e-commerce, mobile commerce, and digital marketing overall, including: