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January 27, 2016

Stop Chasing the Next Big Thing in Digital (Thinks Out Loud Episode 150)

January 27, 2016 | By | No Comments

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Stop Chasing the Next Big Thing in Digital (Thinks Out Loud Episode 150) – Headlines and Show Notes

You might also want to check out these slides I had the pleasure of presenting recently about how to lead mobile-focused digital transformation within large organizations (a topic we’ve been talking about a fair bit lately). Here are the slides for your reference:

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: 12m 26s

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 26, 2016

How Google, Uber, and Foursquare Plan to Revolutionize Travel (Travel Tuesday)

January 26, 2016 | By | No Comments

How Google, Uber, and Foursquare Plan to Revolutionize Travel (Travel Tuesday)I’ve said for a long time how, when it comes to e-commerce generally and mobile commerce specifically, we’re still living in the cave painting days. You might think that sounds crazy, but it’s true. A group of stories from the past couple days only serves to highlight that point—and to provide travel marketers for a better sense of where we’re heading.

First up, Koddi explains Google’s new Trip Planning capabilities, noting

“Within a few clicks, the user can get destination details on flights, hotels, restaurants, points of interest, weather, and general travel info like popular times to visit. This information has always been available in Google’s ecosystem, but now it exists in an easy to consume format.”

Now this is all “top of funnel” activity, targeting guests early in their travel shopping experience. But it also connects a ton of activities that travelers typically spread across a number of sites and sessions. Time will tell whether your guests accept Google as their go-to source when planning their entire journey, but it’s an early indicator that maybe we’ve used the term “online travel agent” too aggressively, without providing the concierge-style, end-to-end service that travelers actually need when planning their itineraries.

Also looking to accommodate travelers during the planning stage, Foursquare has built a social trip planning tool, says The Next Web:

“…type where your next trip will take place—whether it’s Sonoma, California or Shanghai, China—and Foursquare spits out an easy to manage URL to share with friends and family through every practical communication method. Foursquare promises to tabulate responses into a map to point you towards specific places suggested by friends. The resulting map is then saved to your phone.”

Note how seamlessly this new functionality incorporates mobile and social into the travel shopping experience. Foursquare clearly recognizes how integral a role social and mobile play for travelers—and have made them a key component of the overall travel planning process, not an afterthought.

Not to be outdone, Uber’s getting into the mix with its new “Trip Experiences” offering. Business Insider explains:

“The idea behind Trip Experiences is to make the apps on your phone smarter, or more “magical,” during an Uber ride. That could mean Spotify knows how much time you have in the car and queues up the perfect playlist. Or maybe your favorite news app knows to show you a 10-minute briefing of the day’s headlines.”

Obviously, Uber’s playing to its strengths here, worrying more about the rider’s experience than anything else. But—and this is key—they’re only just beginning to explore where this will go. As the Business Insider article continues:

“Uber’s Saad thinks apps having knowledge of your trips could unlock entirely new use cases, like a hotel app being able to check you into your room as you arrive in an Uber car. Trip Experiences may start off as something simple, like a time-tailored news briefing, but eventually they could make all the apps you use smarter.”

Um… yeah. That would be something, huh? Again, remember we’re still in the cave painting days.

Clearly, we’ll have to see whether travelers will shift towards making Uber, Google, or, for heaven’s sake, Foursquare(!) a core part of their travel planning and stay. But they’ve certainly embraced Booking.com, TripAdvisor, Expedia, and Travelocity over the last decade-plus—and all of those players started with far less mindshare.

The key takeaway from all of this is to note who’s working to improve the overall travel experience—and who isn’t. Hotels and airlines have a role to play here. And generally, could be doing a much better job. While you might welcome new entrants—and probably should—to increase competition with the major travel intermediaries and, ultimately, lower your costs, be conscious of whether you’re merely substituting one gatekeeper between you and your guest for another.

Ultimately, we’re all looking for the right way to provide the best experience all through the traveler’s journey—and to profit from providing that experience. As Marcelo Sapone writes over on PSFK:

“Up until this point, technology’s central design principle was to take humans out of the picture. Yet of course, this is fundamentally at odds with the concept of hospitality, which is wholly concerned with where it can harness the power of human touch… In many ways we simply haven’t gotten around to creating hospitality tech yet. Right now, our apps are focused on services as a transaction and the ways to make them more efficient. However, real service is defined as a relationship, not a one-way transaction.”

There’s no doubt that with these new offerings, Google, Uber, and Foursquare plan to revolutionize travel. So do Expedia, TripAdvisor, and Priceline. And plenty more are waiting in the wings, planning their attack. Plenty of opportunities exist to help guests all through the travel experience. The question is whether you’re ready to get out of the cave.

If you’re looking to learn even more about how changing guest behavior shapes hospitality marketing, e-commerce, and distribution, 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 take a moment to review the slides from my recent webinar, “Digital Marketing Directions 2016: The Key Trends Driving Your Hotel Marketing Next Year” here:

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

Tim Peter

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January 26, 2016

Content is Still the King

January 26, 2016 | By | No Comments

Content is Still the KingLast week, I wrote that for travel marketers, content is still the king. Well, that’s not just true for travel marketers. The simple fact is that we’re all publishers now and that your customers increasingly rely on the information they find on your website, blog, and social media channels while making purchase decisions. Research from Fleishman-Hillard shows customers value a variety of content during their shopping, including information from you.

And using content to develop a relationship with your customers started really matters. According to Adobe:

“Only 23 percent of consumers trust content from companies whose products they don’t buy, but if the source is a company from whom they do purchase products and have a relationship, that number nearly doubles to 43 percent.”

Creating useful content that solves customer needs both attracts potential customers and builds those trusted relationships.

Oh, and consumers aren’t the only ones who rely on that information. Search Engine Land highlights a recent study from Backlinko that shows Google depends on quality content too:

“Basically, top-ranking content had a high estimated authority, and that content that ranked well was likely comprehensive in nature.”

So, what kinds of content should you be looking at? Here are a few options for you:

  • Blog posts
  • Articles
  • White papers/ebooks
  • Case studies
  • Press releases
  • Videos
  • Podcasts
  • Images
  • Community management/message boards
  • Polls/proprietary research
  • Newsletters (Electronic/print)
  • Advertorials
  • Slideware/presentations
  • Product demos

Even better, most of this content can work in a variety of formats, providing you more than just one outlet to attract those customers and start building those relationships. For instance, an interview with a customer or expert within your company can offer multiple uses, first featuring the interview as a video or podcast, then using a transcription or excerpts from the interview for blog posts, then crafting a presentation featuring the case study, and finally writing the case up as a whitepaper. You can change forms to target new audiences, and to extend the content’s reach and lifespan.

Given all the changes in the ways your customers find, shop, and buy products and services, content marketing plays an even greater role in helping you connect with your customers. With few exceptions, you’ll want to look closely at the content you’re offering your customers, determine what’s working and isn’t—from your customer’s point of view—and expand in those areas best suited to help them make a decision. Otherwise, you risk losing your brand story in an increasingly crowded and cluttered content environment.

So, yes, content is, was, and always shall be king. It’s time for you to attend to the king.

And if you want learn even more about how your customers’ changing behavior shapes e-commerce and marketing, be sure and 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”:

Tim Peter

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January 24, 2016

5 Insightful Travel Marketing Messages: Hospitality Marketing Link Digest

January 24, 2016 | By | No Comments

5 Insightful Travel Marketing Messages: Hospitality Marketing Link DigestWe’re still digging out from “Snowpocalypse 2016™” here in the Northeast this weekend, Big Thinkers, so I’m going to skip the setup and take you right into this week’s list of 5 insightful travel marketing messages from the past week. Enjoy:

  1. Leading off, we’ve got a post that explains why, for travel marketers, content is still king. Great advice as you implement your 2016 marketing plans.
  2. On a highly related note is a piece from Contently’s Content Strategist blog outlines 21 content marketing predictions for 2016. While I’d already posted it in this week’s E-commerce Link Digest, it aligns well with the item above. Be sure to check ’em both out.
  3. Luxury Daily rounds up a new Expedia study that shows vacationers see mobile as indispensable throughout their trip. My personal favorite factoid? Most travelers—leisure and business—would rather leave home without deodorant than their phone. How their fellow travelers feel might be another matter.
  4. Lots of big Uber news worth paying attention to. First, according to Reuters, Uber’s pushing into public transit with new app partnership, while Quartz notes that for the first time, you can take an Uber to the Super Bowl. And finally, PSFK discusses how complementary partnerships enhance your brand with Uber executive Ethan Eismann.
  5. And, as we close out this week’s list, don’t miss these 5 fantastic travel marketing posts from the past week, part of our regular Hospitality Marketing Link Digest series.

If you’re looking to learn even more about how changing guest behavior shapes hospitality marketing, e-commerce, and distribution, 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 take a moment to review the slides from my recent webinar, “Digital Marketing Directions 2016: The Key Trends Driving Your Hotel Marketing Next Year” here:

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

Tim Peter

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January 22, 2016

8 Exceptional Essays to Improve Your Digital Innovation: E-Commerce Link Digest

January 22, 2016 | By | No Comments

8 exceptional essays to improve your digital innovationIt’s going to be a frosty, freezing, breezy weekend here on the East Coast, folks. Hope you’re safe, warm, and dry wherever you might be. Me? I plan to curl up in front of a fire, crack open a bottle of Malbec, and hunker down with this list of 8 exceptional essays to improve your digital innovation in 2016. Enjoy:

  1. Chief Marketer collects a must-read list of the 4 things marketers must do better in 2016.
  2. Not to be outdone, the fine folks at Direct Marketing News ask “what should marketers do differently in 2016?” Both are excellent reads, well-worth your time.
  3. The Wall Street Journal reports that Amazon will release a portable version of its Echo Speaker in coming weeks (copy the headline and paste into a Google search if the Journal’s paywall blocks you from the whole article). Really interesting stuff that demonstrates how members of the AGFAM group (Apple, Google, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft) continue to work on driving seamless experiences in 2016, one of the key trends for the year ahead.
  4. Speaking of seamless experiences, Quartz says that for the first time, you can take an Uber to the Super Bowl. This illustrates something PSFK just wrote about Uber and developing complementary partnerships that enhance your brand. Smart stuff all around.
  5. Shifting gears just a bit, Search Engine Land highlights a study that reveals quality backlinks & comprehensive content are still biggest factors in driving Google rankings. Not a huge shock. Just goes to show how important and effective content marketing remains to driving traffic and business.
  6. Speaking of content marketing, many of your fellow Big Thinkers liked and linked to this list of 9 tremendous posts about 2016’s top digital trends, part of our ongoing E-commerce Link Digest series.
  7. On the mobile front, ClickZ offers a terrific look at how to assess the feasibility of your mobile project.
  8. And, finally, if there’s one thing that connects all the links this week it’s the strong focus on execution. Which is why I believe that execution as the new innovation remains among the top trends for 2016.

If you’re interested in learning more about making the social, mobile web work for your customers, be sure to check out these “9 Tremendous Posts About 2016’s Top Digital Trends: E-commerce Link Digest”, this collection of “8 Digital Strategy Posts to Start Your Week Right,” this set of “10 Must-Read Posts About Mobile Commerce and Content Marketing” a fun collection of posts featuring “Google, Mobile, E-commerce. What More Could You Want?” and all the rest of the entries from our E-commerce Link Digest series.

And if you want learn even more about how your customers’ changing behavior shapes e-commerce and marketing, be sure and 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”:

Tim Peter

By

January 20, 2016

Driving Seamless Experiences in 2016 (Thinks Out Loud Episode 149)

January 20, 2016 | By | No Comments

Driving Seamless Experiences in 2016 (Thinks Out Loud Podcast Episode 149)

Driving Seamless Experiences in 2016 (Thinks Out Loud Episode 149) – Headlines and Show Notes

You might also want to check out these slides I had the pleasure of presenting recently about how to lead mobile-focused digital transformation within large organizations (a topic we’ve been talking about a fair bit lately). Here are the slides for your reference:

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 7s

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

January 19, 2016

For Travel Marketers, Content is Still King (Travel Tuesday)

January 19, 2016 | By | No Comments

For Travel Marketers, Content is Still King

Perhaps the greatest cliché in digital remains: “Content is king.” But here’s the thing. It’s cliché for a reason: because it’s true. As I’ve stated many times before, we’re all publishers now, using content to attract both search engines and potential guests. However, as hotel marketers, we’re facing an uphill fight to cut through the increasing clutter and separate our hotels not only from others in the marketplace, but also from OTA’s, TripAdvisor, and (increasingly) Google—all of whom depend on content about our hotels to succeed.

Ugh.

My Rutgers colleague Mark Schaefer refers to this emerging trend of customers drowning in an overwhelming flood of content as “content shock.” And while some evidence suggests it’s not as bad as all that, it’s still a challenge to A.) Help guests find your content, and B.) Convince them you’re the right option for their stay once they do.

The good news is these two activities work hand-in-hand. Quality content attracts search engines (and the links that often tell search engines you’ve got quality content), but also attracts potential guests, and, when done well, likes and shares on social to find even more potential guests. And, when you’ve got quality content, it helps guests better understand whether you’re the right property for their stay, helping close the sale as well.

Admittedly, not the easiest task. But when creating your content, you must hit two targets:

  1. Content quality
  2. Content velocity

Content Quality

Content quality almost goes without saying. If you’ve got poor quality content, nothing else you do will work—or at least won’s work for long. Hang with me for a second, though, and I’ll explain exactly what quality is in this context.

Content Velocity

Content velocity refers to content that “moves,” that’s immediately engaging and inherently shareable. It’s the content that you can’t wait to put in front of your friends and family and fans and followers on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Snapchat and all the rest of the usual suspects.

Content Marketing Framework

Some time ago, I unveiled a framework that lends itself to ensuring both content quality and content velocity as you’re putting together your hotel’s content marketing that looks like this:

Snackable, Shareable, Sharp Content Framework (For Travel Marketers, Content is Still King)
You’re really looking to create content that’s:

  • Snackable. Snackable content is easily digestible. Consumers and customers can easily see what you’re talking about and easily understand it. It requires you to chunk your content into “bite-sized” pieces using lists, headings, images, and (increasingly) videos that your potential guests can review where, when, and how they choose without investing huge chunks of their time.
  • Shareable. Shareable content does exactly what it says: It’s easy to share. This includes concepts such as making your headlines no longer than 140 characters (so they’ll fit in a Tweet); including images well-suited to Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest; and actually placing social sharing buttons on your page near the content you want your potential guests to share.
  • Sharp. Sharp content is content that makes its point. It focuses on one clear objective per paragraph or section, so that guests don’t have to rummage around your page—or, God help you—your site to find what they’re looking for.

By creating “Snackable, Shareable, Sharp” content, you’ll usually end up with content that exhibits both quality and velocity.

What Kinds of Content?

Of course, none of this will help you if you don’t know what kinds of content to create in the first place. And here’s where it’s important to remember the first rule of hospitality marketing: Sell your destination first.

What’s near you or going on in town that would appeal to a broad range of travelers? Events, concerts, museums, festivals, etc. all provide ample opportunity to attract potential guests who fit your ideal profile. Think of things like:

  • Major attractions
  • Parks
  • Professional and semi-professional sports teams
  • Entertainment
  • Theme parks
  • Museums
  • Zoos
  • Universities and colleges
  • Theaters
  • Businesses (particularly major employers, but don’t overlook smaller businesses that “punch above their weight” within their industry)
  • Convention centers
  • And so on…

For events, think of:

  • 4th of July
  • New Year’s Eve
  • NYC/Boston Marathon equivalents
  • Conventions across all segments (MICE, SMERF, etc.)
  • Festivals
  • Concerts

While many hotel marketers typically align these attractions and events with their hotel’s chain scale, economy and midscale marketers shouldn’t forget that even affluent travelers dropping their kids off at college sometimes just need a bed and shower at the end of the day, while luxury marketers may appeal to VIP attendees of “economy-scale” conventions or attractions.

Visual Content

By far, visuals represent some of the greatest examples of Snackable, Shareable, Sharp content in travel marketing. As my friend Robert Cole has said, “pretty pictures sell hotels.” Always. As I’ve mentioned:

“Hotels I work with frequently see fantastic results when they update their websites to include larger, bolder, more engaging imagery. The rise of sites like Instagram and Pinterest, as well as the so-called “Retina-quality” displays on laptops, tablets, and mobile phones highlights how much emphasis your guests place on visual information—and underscores the critical role images play in helping your guests choose to book with you.”

We’re also finally entering the era of mobile video. According to Marketing Charts, “…the forecast calls for mobile to account for a majority 52.7% of online video consumption next year, up from 40.1% last year.” While you may not want to run out and start creating a whole bunch of video, it’s definitely time to start testing any video assets you have both on your own site as well as Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube to see what’s working with your guests.

Conclusion

Creating the right content to attract the attention of guests on search and social depends on both quality and velocity. Use the “Snackable, Shareable, Sharp” Content Framework, to meet those needs, gain guest attention and drive social actions. Ensure you’re regularly updating your photos and start thinking about testing video for your hotel. You may be fighting content shock, but it’s a fight you can win. Guests love exploring and learning more about their future destinations and stay. And because of that, for travel marketers, content is still king. It might be cliché, but it’s true all the same. Long live the king.

If you’re looking to learn even more about how changing guest behavior shapes hospitality marketing, e-commerce, and distribution, 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 take a moment to review the slides from my recent webinar, “Digital Marketing Directions 2016: The Key Trends Driving Your Hotel Marketing Next Year” here:

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

Tim Peter

By

January 18, 2016

Celebrating Martin Luther King Day

January 18, 2016 | By | No Comments

This might seem a little obvious given today’s date, but how’s about we skip the regular blog post today and simply relish in an amazing song celebrating the life of an amazing human being?

Enjoy:

If you’re interested in learning more about making the social, mobile web work for your customers, be sure to check out these “9 Tremendous Posts About 2016’s Top Digital Trends: E-commerce Link Digest”, this collection of “8 Digital Strategy Posts to Start Your Week Right,” this set of “10 Must-Read Posts About Mobile Commerce and Content Marketing” a fun collection of posts featuring “Google, Mobile, E-commerce. What More Could You Want?” and all the rest of the entries from our E-commerce Link Digest series.

And if you want learn even more about how your customers’ changing behavior shapes e-commerce and marketing, be sure and 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”:

Tim Peter

By

January 18, 2016

5 Fantastic Travel Marketing Posts from the Past Week: Hospitality Marketing Link Digest

January 18, 2016 | By | No Comments

5 Fantastic Travel Marketing Posts from the Past Week: Hospitality Marketing Link DigestNot much setup this week, Big Thinkers. Just a quick collection of 5 fantastic travel marketing posts from the past week. Enjoy:

  1. Think there’s some disruption in the travel space? Well, according to the San Francisco Examiner, Yellow Cab is filing for bankruptcy—due primarily to pressure from Uber. So, um, yeah. That’s something, huh? Don’t miss these posts that ask “how safe are independent hotels from Airbnb?” and “are hotel brands doomed?” for some thoughts on avoiding the same fate.
  2. Speaking of Airbnb, PSFK looks at the future of Airbnb’s user interaction journey while Really Good Emails on Medium interview Lucas Chevillard about lessons learned from Airbnb’s email specialist. Hey, if you can’t beat ’em, steal from ’em./li>
  3. HotelMarketing.com is reporting hoteliers have increased marketing budgets in 2016, with heavy emphasis on mobile. Good. It’s time.
  4. Tnooz asks, as Yelp struggles, might a travel giant eat it? Seems possible.
  5. And, finally, we’ve rounded up these 6 travel marketing must-reads to kick off the year and 16 key insights: the top travel marketing posts of 2015 to get you going this year. Make sure you don’t miss ’em.

If you’re looking to learn even more about how changing guest behavior shapes hospitality marketing, e-commerce, and distribution, 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 take a moment to review the slides from my recent webinar, “Digital Marketing Directions 2016: The Key Trends Driving Your Hotel Marketing Next Year” here:

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

Tim Peter

By

January 16, 2016

9-Plus Must-Read Insights Featuring 2016’s Top Digital Trends: E-commerce Link Digest

January 16, 2016 | By | No Comments

9-Plus Must-Read Insights Featuring 2016's Top Digital Trends: E-commerce Link DigestWell, the 2016 World Tour started off in grand style, Big Thinkers, with a quick trip down to the Holy City, Charleston, SC visiting with my fine friends at the Charming Inns of Charleston. It was a great week full of engaging conversations with amazing people. Hope you had a fantastic week, too. As you prep for next week, don’t miss these 9-plus must-read insights featuring 2016’s top digital trends. Enjoy:

  1. Yahoo leads off with a look at 5 of the greatest digital marketing pitfalls. Good list, well worth reading.
  2. Another strong list comes from Top Rank Blog, with their round-up of 5 digital marketing tactics to help your brand stand out in 2016.
  3. Marketing Charts presents a survey about marketing to young city solos. Seems like we’re seeing the return of Yuppies and DINKs, but very useful information all the same.
  4. There were a ton of great links about the growth of mobile video, including eMarketers explanation for why internet users abandon digital videos and ReelSEO’s recap from YouTube’s CES Keynote, including four reasons why digital video will win the decade. USA Today also dug into the the YouTube keynote and highlights that digital video will surpass TV by 2020. Altogether, these underscore that one of 2016’s top trends is to make room for mobile video.
  5. eMarketer returns with this study that shows for many shoppers, mobile is essential when researching and purchasing products. Um… yeah they do. Like, a lot.
  6. The MIT Technology review has a strong piece on reinventing marketing in the digital era that’s worth your time this weekend.
  7. Altogether, the growth of mobile, video, demographic shifts, and social play a role in describing “The State of E-commerce 2016,” which is the subject of this past week’s episode of Thinks Out Loud, our weekly e-commerce and digital strategy podcast.
  8. On the social scene, Mobile Marketer dives into the news about Twitter wants to allow longer tweets and suggests longer Tweets would significantly recast Twitter. Slate takes a firmer stand against the trend, stating that Twitter isn’t raising the 140-character limit. It’s building a wall.
  9. Of course, as you review all the news from the past week, make sure to check these 20 key concepts for the year ahead: the top posts of 2015 and see how they fit into the larger trends shaping digital in 2016.

If you’re interested in learning more about making the social, mobile web work for your customers, be sure to check out these “9 Tremendous Posts About 2016’s Top Digital Trends: E-commerce Link Digest”, this collection of “8 Digital Strategy Posts to Start Your Week Right,” this set of “10 Must-Read Posts About Mobile Commerce and Content Marketing” a fun collection of posts featuring “Google, Mobile, E-commerce. What More Could You Want?” and all the rest of the entries from our E-commerce Link Digest series.

And if you want learn even more about how your customers’ changing behavior shapes e-commerce and marketing, be sure and 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”: