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Tim Peter Thinks

Tim Peter

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October 16, 2014

Will E-commerce Kill Retail?

October 16, 2014 | By | One Comment

Woman shopping phoneeMarketer has new research out that asks how much longer will traditional stores remain shoppers’ favorite, with the underlying premise being that traditional retail is doomed. But is that really true? Will e-commerce kill retail?

Well, with all due respect to my friends at eMarketer, this is a silly question. How long will traditional stores remain shoppers’ favorite channel?

Forever. At least for most purchases. And at least if you do it right.

First, let’s dig into the research. Here’s the good news:

“Among digital shoppers worldwide, 72% said the traditional store experience was important when making a purchase—the highest percentage out of locations and channels studied. The internet landed second, at 67%.”

Customers actually prefer the in-store experience over any other channel when making a purchase.

Even more good news for most retail outlets:

“Despite mobile’s rise and rumors of showrooming, smartphone websites and apps trailed behind in-store tech and even email as important channels for purchases.”

Of course, every silver lining has a cloud, right? Here’s the not-so-good:

“Capgemini noted that physical shops faced a grimmer future: Digital shoppers worldwide planned to order directly from brand manufacturers more in the coming years (65%), up ordering via a manufacturer’s app (53%) or third-party app (50%), spend more money on the internet than in a brick-and-mortar (51%) and turn to stores for showrooming rather than purchases (48%).”

Well, sure. When customers have experiences like those in yesterday’s podcast episode, “When It’s All E-commerce Goes Wrong”, of course customers would rather shop online.

But… it doesn’t have to be this way. I’ve said many times that all marketing is social. And that’s because all people are social. For many, many people, it’s a lot more fun to get out and mill about at the mall (or whatever its future equivalent may be), than it is to sit at home. And it always will be.

Remember, I do digital for a living, love it, and breathe it. That doesn’t change the fact that human beings are social creatures. Digital, mobile, online — whatever you want to call it — is incredibly convenient. It makes it easy to shop and buy the things you want, when you want, where you want, and how you want. I recently needed to get some replacement water filters for my refrigerator. Ordering online offered a fantastic way to accomplish that goal as a.) I didn’t need the product today, and b.) I don’t particularly enjoy shopping for refrigerator filters.

Of course, e-commerce and digital provides customers a convenient way to shop when and where they want for all sorts of products and services, including much more highly considered and personal purchases than water filters. It’s not e-commerce or traditional retail. It’s e-commerce and retail, working together that provides the greatest benefits to both you and your customers.

What will change, though, is what it means to be a “traditional” retailer. Take a look at what Birchbox is doing with its new storefront, Amazon’s new storefront in Manhattan, or Apple’s exceedingly successful retail strategy. Each takes a different approach to solving customers’ retail needs. And, yes, it’s not guaranteed that all three will succeed in the long run (though Apple sure seems to have a bright road ahead).

Marketing in a mobile, social, digital era differs from the past in that your customers can easily find a preferable alternative — especially if you don’t offer them an attractive option today. But that’s a choice you make, every day. Make the right one, and your customers will continue to choose you for a long time to come.

If you’re interested in learning even more about how customers changing behavior shapes e-commerce and marketing, 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.

Plus, don’t miss these slides and video from my recent webinar, “Digital Marketing Directions: Three Key Trends Driving Your Marketing Next Year”:

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

Tim Peter

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October 15, 2014

When It’s All E-commerce Goes Wrong – Thinks Out Loud Episode 94

October 15, 2014 | By | No Comments

Waiting in line

When It’s All E-commerce Goes Wrong 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: 16m 35s

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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October 14, 2014

4 Tips to Build Your 2015 E-commerce and Distribution Plans (Travel Tuesday)

October 14, 2014 | By | No Comments

E-commerce and distribution channelsLike many hotel marketers, I suspect you’re right in the thick of 2015 planning, figuring out where to allocate your precious few dollars and hours to increase revenues, room nights, and, most importantly, profits in the coming year. To help with that process, here are 4 tips to build your 2015 e-commerce and distribution plans, taking from my columns for HotelNewsNow this past year.

First, it’s critical that you balance direct and indirect business. OTA’s aren’t going away, and they can play a truly important role in your e-commerce and distribution. For instance:

“Take a new look at each of your channel partners with a clear eye and ask these questions:

  • Can this OTA reach a guest you can’t? While the answer to this question is often yes, don’t assume OTAs always reach new business. Look for channels that deliver first-time bookers and look for opportunities to convert these to loyal guests.
  • Are the guests they reach the guests you want? One GM I know once told me about his “cooler index.” He could accurately predict which booking channel his guests used by the number of beer coolers they dragged through the lobby at check-in; the more coolers, the lower rated the business—and the greater the effort needed to convert them into longer-term, higher-value customers.
  • How much are you willing to pay to reach those guests? In other words, can the OTA reach those guests at a reasonable cost? Analyze your business to ensure an appropriate return on your cost of acquisition, whether paid as commission or as net rate margin.”

However, just because you will derive some business from OTA’s, you certainly want to look at ways to minimize intermediary costs. One way to do that is:

Learn to say “no.” While you want to give yourself plenty of options, that doesn’t mean you have to be on every shelf. You don’t need to sign every agreement offered you or provide inventory to every last “partner” out there. True partners support one another. Choose those channels that work with you and for you to deliver guests you can’t reach on your own, and ignore those that simply compete with you for the same guests. Remember, without your inventory, the myriad marketing and booking channels have nothing to sell. Use that to your advantage, particularly during this period of relative growth.”

Mobile also plays a key role in acquiring guests. Which is why it’s time to take mobile seriously. As I noted at the time,

“Last year, roughly 90% of all guests researched their travel options online at some point, and half of those conducted some of their research on a mobile device, according to two separate Google studies. According to Pew Internet Research, more than 60% of cellphone owners go online using their phones and almost 21% of adult mobile owners use their phones as their primary way of accessing the Internet. Hoteliers I’m working with have seen mobile traffic increase between 75% and 100% over the last year to approximately 10% to 20% of all web traffic. Overall mobile Internet use grew by almost 75% in the last year and looks to do the same in 2014.

So where are the bookings?

They’re hidden in other channels. Because, most of the time, your guests can’t actually book on mobile. At least not in the real world.

Mobile isn’t a device; it’s a situation. A potential guest sitting on her sofa and checking rates while watching “The Voice” isn’t mobile (not that she’s not important, too). But she can just as easily grab her laptop or tablet and make a booking without too much trouble.”

Finally, it’s critical that you make strong use of your hotel data to drive growth. Your data provides a strategic competitive advantage relative to the OTA’s and shouldn’t be taken for granted. To that end:

“One best practice that has emerged from digital marketing is the use of a “test and learn” approach, where savvy marketers analyze the data from each new initiative to figure out what’s working, then continue to “fish where the fishing’s good,” building on successes and learning from less successful efforts. Apply a similar approach to building your measurements, and increase investments on those efforts demonstrating positive results.”

Obviously, there’s more to building your overall 2015 e-commerce and distribution plan than just these four tips offer. But, if you think about how to balance OTA business, reduce the cost of acquisition from those OTA’s, adapt to the shifting mobile customer, and leverage your data effectively, you’re going to be in great shape for the year ahead.

And don’t forget, there’s always more great content where this list came from. For instance, you might want to check out last month’s list, which featured “6 Crucial Hotel Marketing Posts for August.” And in case you missed it, FitSmall Business interviewed a group of hospitality experts about how to market a hotel. I was thrilled to be asked to participate.

If you want to learn 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 tips in my recent presentation Digital Marketing Directions: Three Trends Shaping 2014 Hospitality Internet Marketing. I’ve presented this talk to a number of hospitality and travel-related organizations and you might find it valuable for your business, 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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October 13, 2014

In Case You Missed It: 10 Posts from the Archives

October 13, 2014 | By | No Comments

CheckmarkSometimes I get asked where people should start with their marketing. In case you’ve missed these, you might want to check out some of our past coverage of the mobile, local, social web and how to make it work for your business, including:

  1. 8 Potentially Game-Changing Trends: E-commerce Link Digest
  2. A Dozen Really Useful E-commerce and Marketing Posts: The Best of Thinks (So Far)
  3. What Your Customers Expect from Mobile and E-commerce in 2014
  4. The Secrets Behind “It’s All E-commerce” for 2014
  5. Should Marketers Really Trust Google in 2014?
  6. The Zen of Digital Marketing Strategy
  7. 7 Steps to E-Commerce Heaven
  8. Today and Tomorrow: Mobile and The Changing Customer Journey
  9. Mobile Makes E-commerce Even More “Frictionless”
  10. Your 2014 Internet Marketing New Year’s Resolutions – Thinks Out Loud Episode 56

Plus, don’t miss these slides and video from my recent webinar, “Digital Marketing Directions: Three Key Trends Driving Your Marketing Next Year”:

And, if you’re interested in learning even more about how customers changing behavior shapes e-commerce and marketing, 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.

Tim Peter

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October 10, 2014

8 Potentially Game-Changing Trends: E-commerce Link Digest

October 10, 2014 | By | No Comments

Mobile ecommerceTons of good stuff this week, Big Thinkers, from around the mobile, e-commerce, and digital marketing sphere that may shape the way you structure your digital strategy in 2015. While reading about what a mobile strategy looks like, provided 7 key tips for more effective email marketing, and uncovered why mobile matters for better email marketing this past week, I didn’t want you to miss the following 8 potentially game-changing trends detailed in the following posts. So, let’s get on with the list:

  1. Leading off, eMarketer releases research showing consumers are bullish on a mobile payments for the future. And in related news, TUAW offers an in-depth look at what’s behind Apple Pay’s secure payment system. These reasons illustrate why I think mobile payments represent the big game changer for mobile commerce.
  2. Sticking with mobile e-commerce for a moment, Forrester encourages retailers to embrace responsive Web design to lure mobile buyers.
  3. Search Engine Land details Google’s upgrades to “Conversational Search” on its mobile apps.
  4. Future Commerce poses the very important question, “Black Friday is fast approaching: Is your e-commerce store ready?
  5. In “I did not see that coming news,” it looks like Amazon is going to test its first retail outlet in the next couple of months. It’s all part of reducing the amount time that exists between customers placing orders and getting their stuff. This is going to get interesting.
  6. Getting your customers to talk about your products and services plays a big role in any successful e-commerce and digital marketing strategy. Fortunately, Marketing Charts details which types of product offers consumers will share on social media.
  7. Linda Bustos and the fine team over at GetElastic offer a terrific infographic showing differences in how men and women shop online.
  8. Finally, even with all the growth in digital, many large businesses continue to use TV as their primary channel for reaching customers. But that tide is starting to turn. Business Insider uncovers the tale of ad agency Omnicom telling its advertisers to shift TV spend to online video. Given that it works with brands like Pepsi, McDonald’s, Apple, and Starbucks, that’s a really big deal.

Looking for even more e-commerce link digest goodness? Take a look at these “6-Plus Incredible E-Commerce, Mobile, and Marketing Posts,” “7 Marketing Tips You Won’t Want to Miss,” and the rest of the E-commerce Link Digest series. You might also want to check out this list of “8 Crucial Marketing and E-commerce Posts: The Top Posts from September,” our regular round-up of the most popular posts from last month.

Plus, don’t miss these slides and video from my recent webinar, “Digital Marketing Directions: Three Key Trends Driving Your Marketing Next Year”:

And, if you’re interested in learning even more about how customers changing behavior shapes e-commerce and marketing, 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.

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

Tim Peter

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October 9, 2014

Want Better Email Marketing Results? Think Mobile

October 9, 2014 | By | No Comments

Consider this a quick follow-up to my look at improving email marketing effectiveness from earlier this week. Litmus Email Analytics has a cool set of information rounding up the email clients used in September, 2014. Check this out:

Email client use

According to Litmus’s data, the iPhone was the most used email client in September, with more than 1 in 4 emails opened (out of 927 million opens), in September. The iPad contributed another 12%. While Android was at #6, with “only” 6% of opens, it’s not clear to me how many of the Gmail opens at #2 with 15% were on mobile devices. I suspect at least some.

I’ve referenced data showing that using responsive design — i.e., designs that work well regardless of the device used — boosts open rates by 20% a few times now. This Litmus data helps explain why. If 45% or more (27% iPhone + 12% iPad + 6% Android) of all opens happen on mobile devices, your customers need responsive emails to even begin to interact with your brand and your business.

Email marketing remains a key contributor to connecting with customers. It’s often among the first sources of information your customers engage every day. According to Yesmail, 50% of users only read email on mobile and tablet devices. Yet, somehow, many marketers have moved away from email, leading to its status as a forgotten social network. Put simply, email marketing works for reaching qualified customers, and for driving meaningful business results.

Or, at least it will, if you help customers use it on the devices they care about most.

Want more? Then you might want to check out these slides called, “Email Marketing: Keys to List Growth,” from a recent talk I gave to a private industry group:


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

And if you’re interested in learning even more about how customers changing behavior shapes e-commerce and marketing, 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.

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

Tim Peter

By

October 8, 2014

What Mobile Strategy Looks Like – Thinks Out Loud Episode 93

October 8, 2014 | By | No Comments

Mobile shopping couple

What Mobile Strategy Looks Like 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: 14m 13s

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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October 7, 2014

7 Top Travel Marketing Posts for September (Travel Tuesday)

October 7, 2014 | By | No Comments

Woman traveler mobile phoneWell, another month’s gone, which means we’ve got another round-up of the top travel marketing posts for the month ahead. Or, more accurately, right here. Let’s get straight to the list:

  1. By far the most popular post this past month asked, “What Are Google’s Plans for Hotel Distribution?” Google’s making a ton of moves in the hospitality space, and has gone from being a significant component of your travel marketing approach to a major industry player in the last couple of years. Stay tuned for what’s coming next.
  2. The Hospitality Marketing Link Digest has proved really popular. This look at “Rising Mobile Bookings, Big Data, and More” cruises into the #3 spot on the list this month. I wasn’t sure if this series was going to fly. Silly me. Want more proof? Then check out…
  3. This round-up of “8 Awesome Hotel Marketing Posts,” which is followed immediately by…
  4. Yet another Hospitality Marketing Link Digest, this one collecting “5 Exceptional Hospitality Marketing Posts” from around the web. Technically, this one launched in late August, but given that it was a holiday weekend, we’re letting it sneak in.
  5. One of the key trends worth watching in 2015 is the rise of Millennials as a meaningful travel market. Some travel marketers argue that the trend is more hype and hope then actually helpful. I take a deep look at the subject in this post, “Are Millennials Buying Travel?” (Spoiler alert: Yes. But it’s a little complicated). Check out the whole post to see why.
  6. The final Hospitality Marketing Link Digest of the month sneaks into this month’s list, with a look at why “Hotel Distribution is Heating Up.” Good stuff.
  7. And, finally, you all know the importance of mobile in your hospitality marketing, right? Well, there’s more to come. One of my recent posts explains why “Mobile Marketing Matters for Hotels in 2015,” and will help you set up your marketing strategy the right way for next year.

Of course, there’s always more great content where this list came from. For instance, you might want to check out last month’s list, which featured “6 Crucial Hotel Marketing Posts for August.” And, In case you missed it, FitSmall Business interviewed a group of hospitality experts about how to market a hotel. I was thrilled to be asked to participate.

And if you want to learn 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 tips in my recent presentation Digital Marketing Directions: Three Trends Shaping 2014 Hospitality Internet Marketing. I’ve presented this talk to a number of hospitality and travel-related organizations and you might find it valuable for your business, 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

By

October 6, 2014

7 Key Tips for More Effective Email Marketing

October 6, 2014 | By | No Comments

7 key tips for more effective email marketingI got an email from Geoff in the UK the other day, who asked,

“You’ve written in the past about how to grow my business’s email list and that Millennials still use email. You’ve sold me. I want to grow my list and reach more customers. But, even with a large list, I don’t know that the results we’re seeing are as effective as they can be. How can I make my email marketing more effective?”

Good question, Geoff. And, happily, I’ve got an answer for you. Well, seven, actually. Here are 7 key tips for more effective email marketing:

  1. Address your email message to your key customer segments. It’s almost impossible to write an email that works for the entire world (or your entire list). It simply doesn’t work as well as targeting a key customer segment and speaking to that group’s needs. Think about who you’re addressing your email to, then build the message around the needs of that customer segment. Personas help, too (see slides 137-141 in my presentation “The Truth: How the Social, Local, Mobile Web Affects Sales Online and Offline” for more on personas). While you can craft a single email message that uses different sections to address different customer needs, work to segment your email list into its component groups over time. A more focused message will perform better, and improve your customers’ experience, too.
  2. Write a clear subject line. Once you know who you’re sending your email message to, draft several subject lines until you find one that resonates for your target customer segment. As these 6 simple subject line tips to boost email open rates suggest, sometimes less is more. A subject that says “Offers and updates from [INSERT YOUR COMPANY NAME HERE]” often works better than “Super Deals! Free Stuff! Amazing Opportunities!” For one thing, you’re setting a more realistic expectation of what’s inside. For another, you’re more likely to get past your customer’s spam filter.
  3. Present a simple, strong call-to-action. You’d be amazed how often I see email messages with multiple, competing calls-to-action, or, worse yet, no call-to-action at all. Make sure that each separate message in your email provides a single, clear call-to-action. Try terms like “Learn more,” “Read on,” or “Browse offers” to clearly indicate what you expect your customers to do. And, if you’re talking about a few different offers in a single email blast, vary the size and placement of those calls-to-action, to make it clear for customers what’s most important, what’s secondary, and what’s less important. You’ll reduce your customer’s confusion, while still providing everything she needs to make a decision.
  4. Images, images, images. Images sell. Period. Give your copywriters a rest, and increase the size, quality, and frequency of images within your email messages. Do you think your customers keep buying high-def screen mobile phones and tablets just to read more text? ‘Fraid not, folks. Customers love images. So put those high-res screens to use. And make your images clickable, too. There’s no reason a well-designed image can’t serve to reinforce your call-to-action — and make it easier for customers to click once they’re ready.
  5. Use responsive design for your emails. As this look at how to improve your email in just 5 minutes mentioned, emails with responsive design enjoyed a 21% higher click-to-open rate than emails using a non-responsive design. So, assuming you’ve got a 20%(-ish) open rate, responsive design will buy you 42 more opens for every 1,000 people on your list (or 420 for every 10,000, or 4,200 for every 100,000…). And, if you provide the right images and calls-to-action, those extra opens will drive increased clicks and increased conversions, too.
  6. Benchmark your results. Where’d I get that “20%(isn) open rate” number? From benchmark data. Most major email providers offer decent benchmarks you can use to measure your effectiveness against others in your segment. Think in terms of your key email marketing metrics — total opens/open rate, unique clicks/effective rate, conversion, unsubscribes — and use those numbers to see when you’ve got room to improve, and when you might be fighting a period of diminishing returns. Develop internal benchmarks, as well, to evaluate your progress over time.
  7. A/B test everything. Finally, making your email marketing more effective depends on conducting regular tests to see what’s working for your customers, then applying those learnings to your ongoing efforts. While I’ve covered A/B testing in detail over the years, email marketing introduces a few wrinkles of its own. For instance, to test subject lines, consider a holdback test. In this test, you test two competing subject lines by sending each to 10%-15% of your total list (split the two different subject lines evenly between the group), measuring which subject line drives the greatest open rate. Once you have a winner, you send the remaining 85%-90% of your list (the holdback group), the winning subject. You can conduct similar tests within your message body, splitting your list to see which headlines, images, copy, and calls-to-action drive greater results before sending the final version to the majority of your list. The more tests you conduct, the more you’ll learn what works for your audience, and what drives the greatest results for your business.

The great thing about these tips is they apply equally well in both B2C and B2B contexts (especially important given that email represents a key way to reach top decision-makers in B2B environments). While the specific messages, headlines, copy, and images, will certainly vary, the general approach works just as well to both types of customer.

Despite sometimes representing a forgotten social network, there’s no doubt that email marketing still works for reaching qualified customers, and driving meaningful business results. Follow the 7 key tips for more effective email marketing just outlined, and you can expect to see those results for your business too.

Want more? Then you might want to check out these slides called, “Email Marketing: Keys to List Growth,” from a recent talk I gave to a private industry group:


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

And if you’re interested in learning even more about how customers changing behavior shapes e-commerce and marketing, 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.

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

Tim Peter

By

October 6, 2014

Hotel Marketing Trends for the Year Ahead: Hospitality Marketing Link Digest

October 6, 2014 | By | No Comments

Incredible growth onlineTime for another Hospitality Marketing Link Digest, Big Thinkers, (part of my regular E-commerce Link Digest series), this time rounding-up notable hotel marketing trends for the year ahead. On with the links:

  1. Tnooz details Google’s 2014 travel study, noting that mobile users’ app use is slowing down. I’ll have more on this in the next week or so, but it’s a trend worth paying serious attention to. It also complements this Tnooz article on how business travelers seek certainty via mobile, particularly now that mobile screen sizes keep getting bigger. And it certainly underscores why mobile marketing matters for hotels in 2015.
  2. Mobile payments represent an increasingly important component for mobile marketing and e-commerce in the hospitality and travel space. And new research detailed by Business Travel News show that half of travelers ‘definitely’ would use mobile payments. Seems like something you might want to pay attention to, no?
  3. Tnooz has 7 wishes from hotels for the coming year by EyeForTravel’s Pamela Whitby. I’ll detail my own predictions and wish list for 2015 next month, but Pamela’s list works as a start. Good reading.
  4. Yet another Tnooz article says that by 2020, guests will book ‘one-click travel via devices that aren’t even invented yet. My gut says we’re looking more like 7-10 years, but given the rapid changes in form factors we’ve seen (Google Glass wasn’t even invented 5 years ago, nor were the Apple Watch or Android Wear platforms), it may be possible.
  5. nSight Research reveals U.S. hotel “search to book” window for October. As you might imagine, it’s still shrinking a bit. Which leads to…
  6. This Yahoo News interview with Hotel Tonight’s Jared Simon about ending the ‘poisonous relationship’ between hotels and online travel sites. Simon believes that, at some point, they might be able to offer hotels a platform for their inventory even as far out as 12 months, without requiring the same commitments as OTA’s. That would be cool. I’d also keep an eye on Google’s plans for hotel distribution. In either case, 12-24 months down the road, I doubt we’re looking at the same distribution environment we see today.

In case you missed it the other day, FitSmall Business interviewed a great group of hospitality experts (I was honored to be among them), about how to market a hotel. And, of course, you might enjoy past Hospitality Marketing Link Digests such as these entries on how hotel distribution is heating up and rising mobile bookings, big data, and more.

You may also want to review the tips in my recent presentation Digital Marketing Directions: Three Trends Shaping 2014 Hospitality Internet Marketing. I’ve presented this talk to a number of hospitality and travel-related organizations and you might find it valuable for your business, 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: