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Tim Peter

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July 1, 2014

14 Killer Resources for Hotel Marketers: Travel Tuesday’s Best of 2014

July 1, 2014 | By | No Comments

Travel guests mobileHow is it possible that 2014′s half-over? For most hotel marketers, you’re already looking towards your 2015 budgeting and planning. As you prep for next year, now’s a good time to look back at the trends driving your guests’ behaviors — and how you can use those in your digital marketing, distribution, and e-commerce going forward. With that in mind, I’ve pulled together the 14 most popular posts of 2014 so far for you to review. Here’s what we’ve got:

  1. It’s no secret how important mobile is for hotel guests making travel plans, as this post, “Holy Crap! Mobile’s Even Bigger Than You Thought,” clearly illustrates.
  2. While coming in at #2, this look at “How to Use Emotion and Storytelling in Digital Marketing” was wildly popular among your fellow hotel and travel marketers.
  3. When asked why he robbed banks, Willie Sutton famously said, “That’s where the money is.” The same could be said about affluent travelers, which likely explains the popularity of this next post, “4 Lessons You Need to Know from Google’s Affluent Traveler Report.”
  4. Few hotel marketing techniques work as effectively as improving your online review situation. This post, “What’s the State of Hotel Reputation Management?” clearly demonstrates why.
  5. Don’t worry if you didn’t get a chance to go to HSMAI’s Digital Marketing Strategy Conference. This round-up of the “10 Essential Lessons Learned From HSMAI’s Digital Marketing Strategy Conference” will let you know what you missed.
  6. It looks increasingly like two major intermediaries want to dominate the online travel space. Check out “What in the World are Priceline and TripAdvisor Up To?” to understand what that means for your hotel.
  7. Another major post that highlights mobile’s importance is “It’s Time You Take Mobile Seriously. Here’s Why.”
  8. Sure, Priceline and TripAdvisor are making some major moves in the travel space. But I wouldn’t count out Expedia. In fact, this look at “What Expedia’s Leaders Can Teach You About Digital Strategy” might just represent required reading for today’s hospitality markers.
  9. Interested in making the most of social for your hotel marketing? Then check out “The 4 Rules of Social Marketing for Hotel Marketers.”
  10. It seems the OTA landscape is getting more and more complicated every day. This post, “Search? Metasearch? What’s the Difference?” should help eliminate some of the confusion for you.
  11. Looking for a set of simple rules as you develop your strategy for 2015? Check out “How to Take Charge of Your Travel Marketing” for some tips and tools that can help you.
  12. Yet another look at mobile’s growing importance, “This Week’s Sign That Mobile Rules,” offers still more ideas on how to incorporate mobile into your digital strategy — and why you should.
  13. I’m not opposed to OTA’s. They often can help you reach guests you might not reach on your own. But, that doesn’t mean everything they offer is good for your hotel. For instance, this post, “Warning: OTA’s Want to Own Your Guest Every Step of the Way,” uncovers recent changes that could cost you guests and revenue down the road.
  14. Finally, “A Fair and Balanced Look at Balancing Direct and OTA Business” explores how to make the most of OTA’s in your overall travel distribution and marketing and is well worth the read.

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.

Given the overall popularity of the Travel Tuesday series, 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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June 30, 2014

What You Need This Month: The Top 10 Digital Marketing and E-commerce Posts in June

June 30, 2014 | By | No Comments

E-commerce and marketing executives reviewing content on a tabletCurious about the top 10 posts from June? Thought you might be. Without further ado, here’s what we’ve got:

  1. Your favorite post this past month was this Travel Tuesday entry, “What in the World are Priceline and TripAdvisor Up To?”
  2. Coming in at a very close second was this look at search engine marketing, which explained “What Google Won’t Tell You About Search Engine Marketing.”
  3. You all really enjoyed another Travel Tuesday post, “Warning: OTA’s Want to Own Your Guest Every Step of the Way.”
  4. My weekly podcast, Thinks Out Loud, covers all manner of e-commerce and digital marketing strategy questions. Episode 76, “Why Mobile Commerce Will Be Even Bigger Than You Think,” was your fourth most popular post in June.
  5. “Wickedly Effective Laws for E-commerce Websites,” a look at best practices for e-commerce websites was the next most popular item last month.
  6. Another podcast episode, ‘What Does “It’s All E-commerce” Really Mean?’ comes in at #6.
  7. Your next top item comes from the Travel Tuesday series, and uncovers “The Little-Known Factor That Will Kill Your Hotel Marketing.”
  8. The 75th episode of Thinks Out Loud must have been a good one, because this look at “What’s Wrong With Mobile and E-commerce Best Practices?” was your 8th favorite topic this past month.
  9. Another Travel Tuesday post comes in at #9, “Industry Leaders Show Why Guests’ Changing Behaviors Matter.”
  10. Finally, this look at “How to Reach Top Decision Makers in 5 Minutes” closes out your top 10 favorite e-commerce and digital marketing posts for June.

You also might want to check out last month’s round-up, “10 Things You’ve Got to Know Now: The Top 10 Digital Marketing and E-commerce Posts in May.” As ever, I reserve the main spots for original content, so it’s not included in the main list despite its popularity, (it actually represented the fourth most popular post overall). And you might want to check out April’s list, too, if you have a moment.

Interested in learning even more about the future of 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.” 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.

Given the popularity of the Travel Tuesday series, you may also want to review the tips in my recent presentation Digital Marketing Directions: Three Trends Shaping 2014 Hospitality Internet Marketing. Again, it was built for a travel audience, but its lessons apply across industries. The full deck is here:

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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June 25, 2014

Surprising Facts: Mobile & E-commerce Round-up – Thinks Out Loud Episode 78

June 25, 2014 | By | No Comments

Mobile e-commerce tips

Surprising Facts: Mobile & E-commerce Round-up Headlines and Show Notes

You might also enjoy this look at what your customers expect from e-commerce in 2014 and my slides from the “Digital Marketing Directions – Exploit the Trends that Shape Travel Marketing” talk I gave recently:

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 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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June 25, 2014

The Little-Known Factor That Will Kill Your Hotel Marketing (Travel Tuesday)

June 25, 2014 | By | No Comments

Millennial woman traveler on mobileWant to know what’s going to kill your hotel marketing in the future? Even better, want to know what’s going to kill your hotel marketing today? Believe it or not, it’s the same thing. It’s ignoring the reality of today’s traveler. In all likelihood, your customer isn’t who you think it is.

First up, let’s look at research from MMGY Global (highlighted by Tnooz), showing that millennials will spend more on trips this year than Gen X, up almost 20% from last year:

“Roughly one out of four millennials are planning more overnight trips for leisure in 2014 compared with the previous year. But because 14% are planning fewer trips, the net positive difference is 10%… It works out to an average of $887 gain on a previous-year base of $4,499 — for a total of $5,386.”

It’s worth pointing out that millennials also outstrip Boomers in terms of sheer numbers (the total number of Boomers born was greater, but as the cohort has aged, sadly some are no longer with us). Millennials now represent the single biggest demographic and are either number 1 or a close number 2 in terms of overall travel spend (depending on whose numbers you use).

Secondly, according to Skift, “…nearly a third” of millennial travelers “…used their smartphones for travel-related purposes in March of this year.” Which would be great, if only more travel companies focused attention on their mobile offering. But, as Hotel Marketing notes in their coverage of a recent Boston Consulting Group/Facebook report:

“…although it was one of the first industries to be disrupted by digital commerce, travel and tourism has been slow to embrace the opportunities offered by mobile technology.”

The Hotel Marketing article suggests this prescriptive:

“…the biggest opportunity for travel companies is to cement relationships with customers — especially a company’s best, high-value customers — by offering them truly personalized service and experience. Mobile apps generate information related to usage, searching, time of use, location of use, spending, preferences, friends and followers, and countless other kinds of data. The more a travel company engages customers through mobile devices, the more information it can synthesize to personalize messages and the in-app customer experience. This information can also be used to segment the company’s best customers on the basis of frequency of use and expenditure, among other criteria, including their current location, time of day, and status”

I’ve said for a while that if you own the data, you own the customer, which aligns closely with the BCG report. Who is doing a good job there? Not surprisingly, intermediaries generally, and 3/5ths of the AGFAM group specifically. Here’s what BCG has to say:

“The top three [in mobile apps] — Facebook, Google, and Apple — currently account for half of total app usage.”

Again, this isn’t tomorrow’s customer. This is happening, right now. Think about it. Who’s spending the most on travel? Millennials. Who’s using mobile the most to shop and buy travel? Millennials. Who’s going to be your customer both today and for the next couple of decades? Millennials. Which makes this the real question: Who’s helping millennials shop and buy travel using mobile? And why isn’t it you?

If you’re interested in learning even more about the future of 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.” 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.

And, if you’re curious about other trends shaping travel marketing, take a look at my recent presentation, called, aptly enough, “Digital Marketing Directions – Exploit the Trends that Shape Travel Marketing”:

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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June 23, 2014

Wickedly Effective Laws for E-commerce Websites

June 23, 2014 | By | No Comments

Young couple using e-commerce website to buy onlineE-commerce is a tricky beast, encompassing a variety of disciplines and approaches for finding, engaging, and assisting customers with their purchase decisions. You’ve got to know at least a bit about search and social and marketing and merchandising and a whole host of other skills ranging from the top of the funnel to user experience design to post-conversion customer service. And that’s before dealing with all the changes wrought customers’ shifting behaviors towards tablets and mobile and wearables.

I often find it’s helpful to start small. Instead of trying to do everything at once, focus on a few, critical elements of your plan and then execute against those elements.

Where should you begin? What are those “few, critical elements?” Well, happily, that’s the topic of my latest Biznology post, “The 5 Laws of Effective E-Commerce Websites.” Among the elements I recommend:

  • Solve Your Customers’ Problems First. Your customers are busy people, with busy lives. It’s not that they don’t care about you; they’ve just got lots of other things to worry about. Help your customers accomplish their goals and they’ll help you reach yours.
  • Focus on Key Metrics. Your sales represent the lifeblood of your organization, generating cash-flow and profit to sustain and grow your operations. Metrics serve as the “pulse” of your business, helping you measure your company’s health and directing you towards the right remedies when things aren’t going as well. Develop a data-driven culture that helps you identify what is and isn’t working so you can keep your business healthy. Utlimately, analytics and data aren’t about web metrics; they’re about business metrics.
  • Improve Your Images. “A picture is worth a thousand words,” may be one of the oldest clichés around. It’s also true. Plenty of evidence exists to show you can measure what a picture’s worth in dollars as well as words. Customers rely on what they can see online at least as much as what they can read. Create clear, crisp, attractive imagery that highlights the benefits your customers will receive from your products and services to drive increased engagement and interest.

Of course, these three items are just the beginning. You can check out all 5 laws of effective e-commerce websites, as well as how you can apply them to your business over on Biznology

If you’re interested in learning even more about the future of e-commerce and marketing via the social, local, mobile web, register here to receive a special report I’ve produced in conjunction with hotel marketing firm Vizergy, “Digital Hotel Marketing in a Multiscreen World.” While it was originally written with hotel and resort marketers in mind, the lessons apply to just about any business. 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. Again, though presented to a travel marketing audience, the talk covers many essential laws of e-commerce and digital marketing across industries:

Finally, you might also enjoy some of our past coverage of how the social, local, mobile web continues to shape e-commerce and business generally, including:

Tim Peter

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June 18, 2014

What Does “It’s All E-commerce” Really Mean? Thinks Out Loud Episode 77

June 18, 2014 | By | No Comments

What does I'ts All E-commerce Really Mean

What Does “It’s All E-commerce” Really Mean? Headlines and Show Notes

You might also enjoy this look at what your customers expect from e-commerce in 2014 and my slides from the “Digital Marketing Directions – Exploit the Trends that Shape Travel Marketing” talk I gave recently:

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 40s

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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June 17, 2014

What in the World are Priceline and TripAdvisor Up To? (Travel Tuesday)

June 17, 2014 | By | No Comments

Booking com mobileMan, we’re entering a weird, wild, wooly environment for hotel marketing and distribution, aren’t we? I talked last week about how OTA’s want to own your guest every step of the way. But a bunch of things have happened the past week or so — primarily driven by Priceline — that are beginning to reshape the travel distribution market in a big, big way.

The first is the news (mentioned last week), that Priceline bought hotel website/booking engine vendor buuteeq. The second, announced last Friday morning, was Priceline’s purchase of OpenTable. And the last — even though it actually occurred a couple of weeks ago (the news didn’t get publicized until recently) — is Priceline’s purchase of cloud-based property management system vendor HotelNinjas.

Here’s a question: What’s Priceline up to? Why are they making all these purchases? (OK, so two questions).

A few possibilities emerge:

  1. Diversification. Priceline is looking to decouple its revenues from the OTA side. Rarely a bad idea, of course. Though, as The Motley Fool notes, “Priceline has reported seven straight years of rising profit. Plus, in the last-reported quarter, Priceline’s overall bookings showed a 34.2% year-over-year increase.” That doesn’t make diversification a bad strategic move. Certainly given their market penetration among the chain brands, it’s a good idea to look for new growth opportunities. But it’s not exactly a smoking gun.
  2. Response to the competition. As many of the articles point out, these responses mirror moves made by TripAdvisor, which bought VacationHomeRentals.com, Niumba, and restaurant booking site La Fourchette (and then replaced OpenTable with La Fourchette), plus launched Instant Bookings and TripConnect to (effectively) offer reservations services to OTA’s and chains, and independent hotels, respectively. This idea has some potential… but I don’t think its TripAdvisor that Priceline’s afraid of. In fact, I think the same facts are driving both Priceline and TripAdvisor’s recent activity.
  3. It’s a data play. This one I like a lot. I suspect Priceline and TripAdvisor desperately want to get deeper into the customer value chain, gaining increasingly valuable insights into where, when, and why your guests browse, find, book, and stay. I’ve mentioned many times before that when you own the data, you own the customer. Each of these moves offers Priceline and TripAdvisor a broader look at guest behavior before, during, and post-stay. And that will only help them market to those customers far more effectively. While this is one of my favorite theories, it’s not the last on our list. That would be…
  4. The 800-lb. gorilla: Google. Technically, this could be any of the so-called meta-mediaries in travel, including Apple, Facebook, and Microsoft along with Google (I call ‘em “AGFAM”). But it’s pretty clear Google owns all the necessary pieces to be a real threat to existing intermediaries. It’s a real short walk from powering advertising clicks to powering websites (through services like Appetas) to powering booking engines — and easier still when you consider Google’s existing partnerships that use Google Wallet for travel reservations. I’ve argued for some time that Google has most if not all of the pieces in place and I believe Priceline and TripAdvisor are losing some sleep over this notion. If I were them, I’d be shoring up a robust tool set to broaden my appeal to hoteliers, too.

Of course, it’s entirely possible that it’s a combination of these factors and not just one. But I’d still expect #4 to be an important component of that combination.

You may be thinking, “Great. This is all well and good for Priceline and TripAdvisor. But why should I care?”

I’m glad you asked.

You should care for a few reasons. One is that the deeper intermediaries get into the overall value chain for guests, the better the products and services they’re able to offer those guests. If you’re a hotel marketer or manager, you need to ensure guests continue to value your offering, expertise, and local market knowledge as part of their consideration set, lest you become a commodity room product. Hotels that fail to differentiate themselves from the crowd risk becoming the lodging equivalent of an airline seat. Many guests value a clear value proposition and something a little different from the norm. Do you want to offer that? Or do you plan to let an intermediary offer your guest alternatives?

Second, the more guests intermediaries serve, the more they’re able to function as gatekeepers and, potentially, drive up your cost of distribution. Many hotel groups negotiated less-than-favorable deals with OTA’s during the last couple of economic downturns because they needed “feets in sheets” and the OTA’s were able to deliver traffic and reservations. I’m not suggesting any specific intermediary is a bad actor; far from it. In fact, I’ve long argued OTA’s and other intermediaries benefit you when they’re used in balance with direct business. At the same time, I am suggesting you not cede any more power than is absolutely necessary.

Finally, you can act now to benefit your hotel regardless of how the distribution landscape evolves. Continue to build up your hotel’s direct business by offering a high-quality, mobile-aware website. Build your email list to engage directly with guests. And focus on your ratings and reviews to highlight your hotel’s strengths.

Priceline, TripAdvisor, and Google have shaken up the distribution landscape in the last few weeks and months. I doubt they’re done. I also doubt that Expedia, Yelp, Sabre, Pegasus, and others will stand idly by without providing their own response. What you need to know is that you don’t have to stand idly by either. You control your own fate here and can make a difference, right now (and, if you need help, you can always give me a call).

If you’re interested in learning even more about the future of 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.” 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.

And, if you’re curious about other trends shaping travel marketing, take a look at my recent presentation, called, aptly enough, “Digital Marketing Directions – Exploit the Trends that Shape Travel Marketing”:

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

June 13, 2014

The Hotel Mobile App Environment: HotelNewsNow Talks with Tim Peter

June 13, 2014 | By | No Comments

HEDNA on stage

Hotel News Now looks at the current state of mobile apps and discovers that hotel brand apps, by and large, are on par with OTAs. However, it’s not all good news:

“Tim Peter, consultant and founder of Tim Peter & Associates, said lower demand numbers for hotel brand apps can be partially attributed to the myriad ways guests can book a branded hotel room.

‘One key point worth mentioning is that many brands and hotels are seeing significant upticks in their voice reservations as a result of mobile traffic,’ he said. ‘Guests are, after all, holding a phone in their hands. … The problem arises when guests get more accustomed to booking on mobile and, as OTAs improve the mobile booking experience, hoteliers may once again find themselves trailing OTAs for reservations.’ “

The primary area where OTA’s have an advantage with mobile is their commitment to the platform. OTA’s depend on the web for their overall traffic and revenues. As guests migrate to mobile in large numbers, OTA’s have invested heavily in providing outstanding mobile experiences to offset the loss of “traditional,” desktop traffic. Their very business model requires continual, strategic investment in a way that hoteliers, who aren’t as reliant on online for their overall business, typically don’t make. Expedia’s Adam Anderson noted something similar in the Hotel News Now article:

“…the slight OTA outperformance can be explained by the fact that OTAs are focused on technology while hotel brands are focused on serving the guest.

“Speaking for Expedia, we are a technology company. Brands are not,” Anderson said via email. “We spent more than $500 million on technology in 2013, and a large portion of that is dedicated to innovating on mobile.””

Currently, revenues lag traffic for most OTA’s, with numbers in the high single digits to low double digits, despite traffic now approaching 30-50% for many OTA’s.

I’m seeing similar traffic numbers for brands, with independent hotels somewhat lower. For instance, Starwood reported that mobile represents 40+ percent of its traffic in its most recent earnings call, as well as in the Hotel News Now article, and it’s very rare to find a hotel getting less than 10%-15% of its traffic from mobile now. So, it’s not as though hotels aren’t seeing plenty of mobile traffic.

This behavior — along with the uptick in voice reservations — may suggest to hotels that “everything’s fine” with their mobile experience. I’d still recommend hotel marketers and brands look closely at integrating those experiences more effectively or risk losing business.

You can check out the whole article here.

And if you’re interested in learning more about digital marketing and e-commerce strategy on 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.” 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 like these slides that list three key digital marketing trends shaping your customers’ behavior right now:

And, finally, you might want to check out 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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June 11, 2014

Why Mobile Commerce Will Be Even Bigger Than You Think – Thinks Out Loud Episode 76

June 11, 2014 | By | No Comments

Woman shopping mobile customer

Why Mobile Commerce Will Be Even Bigger Than You Think Headlines and Show Notes

You might also enjoy my slides from the “Digital Marketing Directions – Exploit the Trends that Shape Travel Marketing” presentation for further examples of companies following — and breaking — best practices to great effect:

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 22s

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

By

June 10, 2014

Warning: OTA’s Want to Own Your Guest Every Step of the Way (Travel Tuesday)

June 10, 2014 | By | No Comments

Booking com property photoSkift recently highlighted a speech by Priceline and Booking.com CEO Darren Huston that every hotel marketer ought to hear. The key quote:

“…in the longer term [mobile] is increasing our value to the customer that would be very difficult for an independent hotel to do.”

What does Huston mean? Check this out:

“Much more importantly than a source of transactions, mobile is a chance to plumb the end-to-end user experience… Say you are looking for an accommodation on an iPad but then you book on a PC. But, then you show up at the hotel with your iPhone. All of that is plumbed to an account [a Booking.com user profile].”

In other words, Booking.com (and its parent, Priceline), expects to know everything about a guest’s reservations and stay behavior.

“It has also increased the value proposition and the exchange we have with the customer.”

Huston went on to highlight his vision of the overall guest experience:

“If you show up at the train station in Brussels, you pull up your electronic booking, you punch the map. It says here’s how you walk to your hotel, or do you want to drive or do you want to take public transit?

“Once you get to the hotel, now there are new features that automatically connect you to the Wi-Fi and allow you in your room to get concierge service.”

Which brings us right back to where we started:

“So I think of mobile in the short term as a positive to drive some bookings, but really in the longer term it is increasing our value to the customer that would be very difficult for an independent hotel to do.”

It’s not just Huston. Expedia’s digital leaders said much the same thing recently. Many hotels are responding, as evidenced by Accor’s deputy CEO’s comments.

In either case, mobile will affect your guests’ on-property experience — whether you provide that experience or not. It will be the glue that binds guests to a particular business — or to a particular booking channel. In fact, mobile now represents the “mortar” in “bricks and mortar” guest experiences. In fact, Priceline just bought buuteeq to get even deeper into the hotel experience game. Now “independent hotels” won’t have to do it. Instead, Priceline and Booking.com will be happy to do it for them.

The key for you going forward is whether you’ll provide a digital and mobile experience that binds guests to you, to your hotel, to your brand. Or whether OTA’s and meta-mediaries such as Apple, Google, Facebook and others beat you to it.

If you’re interested in learning even more about the future of 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.” 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.

And, if you’re curious about other trends shaping travel marketing, take a look at my recent presentation, called, aptly enough, “Digital Marketing Directions – Exploit the Trends that Shape Travel Marketing”:

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