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April 15, 2016

6 Awesome Insights About Mobile Payments, E-commerce and Even More: E-commerce Link Digest

April 15, 2016 | By | No Comments

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6 Awesome Insights About Mobile Payments, E-commerce and Even More: Customer paying with mobile device at store

Hello, Big Thinkers and Happy Tax Day! (I hope, anyway…) Let’s skip any big setup this week and instead get you right into this set of 6 digital insights about mobile payments, e-commerce, and even more from the past week. Enjoy:

  1. Leading off, Bryan Kramer over on The Future of Commerce blog looks at why so many companies fail at creating value. Excellent read and well-worth your time. While you’re at it, you might want to review this look at building a brand story and check out the two most important questions you must answer to put your marketing to work.
  2. Business Insider reports that Amazon’s new video feature should make YouTube extremely nervous. Very interesting. Amazon’s making a lot of noise in the digital space overall. For instance, according to CNBC, Amazon is also expanding payments to take on PayPal. More on that in just a moment.
  3. So, since we’re talking about payments, there’s a ton of information out this past week that you should know. First, Marketing Charts says that mobile banking and payments use continues to grow. Meanwhile, Fortune talks with OpenTable’s new CEO about digital payments and the company’s plans for premium reservations. And adding color to the story, Mobile Commerce Daily rounds-up a list of the top 10 mobile payments developments of Q1, many of which you should watch closely. And, finally, TechCrunch says that Facebook is pushing businesses to Messenger with new tools for Pages including Snapchat-like scannable codes. All of these trends help illustrate why I’m bullish on mobile payments and messaging.
  4. The Facebook development just mentioned is particularly interesting for a number of reasons. Facebook held its annual F8 Conference this week and announced one of the most compelling visions we’ve seen for how the world will work in a few years’ time. Considering it altogether, it seems like it’s Facebook’s world and we’re all living in it. You can also watch video of the Thinks Out Loud podcast episode about Facebook’s vision on our Facebook page (where else, really?) or take a look at it right here:
  5. Speaking of the future, the Future of Commerce blog also has a thought-provoking piece by Dean Afzal explaining why it’s time to embrace modern mobile literacy. Good read. You might also want to review these 6 mobile commerce and strategy insights from the ongoing E-commerce Link Digest series.
  6. And, finally, as you do things like build your brand story and create value for your customers, don’t forget Content Marketing and the idea that we’re all publishers now.

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”:

  • Missing that connectionWhy so many companies fail at creating value?
  • Driving Seamless Experiences in 2016 (Thinks Out Loud Episode 149)
  • Adobe Summit: IoT Moves Into ‘Systems’ Phase
  • US Execs Look for the Next Silver Bullet Innovation – eMarketer
  • Trends for 2016: Is Execution the New Innovation? (Thinks Out Loud Episode 145)
  • Stop Chasing the Next Big Thing in Digital (Thinks Out Loud Episode 150)
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    April 13, 2016

    It’s Facebook’s World and We’re All Living In It (Thinks Out Loud Episode 160)

    April 13, 2016 | By | No Comments

    It's Facebook's World and We're All Living In It (Thinks Out Loud): Woman using social media on mobile phone

    It’s Facebook’s World and We’re All Living In It (Thinks Out Loud Episode 160) – Headlines and Show Notes

    Tim Peter

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    April 12, 2016

    Four Key Elements of Modern Hospitality Marketing [Travel Tuesday]

    April 12, 2016 | By | No Comments

    Four Key Elements of Modern Hopsitality Marketing

    Luxury Daily discussed a new report from L2 recently that looked at the challenges facing the hotel industry over the next couple of years. And while it focused on luxury hotels specifically, the report highlights challenges every hotel marketer is dealing with today. Here’s one key takeaway:

    “To wrangle the young affluents of 2019 and beyond, luxury brands must offer content that will drive consumers to brand sites and apps rather than to OTAs. The fee imposed by online travel agencies, an average of 20 percent according to L2, has eroded the margins of luxury hotels while also offering consumers a one-stop-shop for online booking, making bookings through a brand platform particularly important.”

    No doubt.

    The simple fact is that four key elements of modern hospitality marketing play a significant role in building that continued connection with guests. These include:

    1. Content Marketing
    2. Personalization
    3. Ratings and Reviews
    4. Overall Guest Experience

    Content Marketing

    There’s no two ways about it. Just like Coneheads, guests “consume masse quantities” of content prior to making their booking decision. That’s what led us to state that, for travel marketers, content is king:

    “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.”

    Snackable, Shareable, Sharp Content Framework

    And, of course, you must have effective content to make social media channels work for your hotel.

    Personalization

    Now, if you want to make that content work even harder for your hotel, you’ve got to look at the benefits of personalization. For instance, a recent post here on Thinks explained the importance of personalization:

    “Put your data to work; use you hotel’s guest data to provide a more personalized experience to guests at every opportunity throughout their journey, pre-stay, on property, and post-stay.

    OTA’s and intermediaries have embraced this approach in a huge way. The Wall Street Journal recently quoted Priceline CEO Darren Huston as saying, ‘…younger travelers don’t want to be bombarded with choices but prefer hotel searches closely tailored to their profiles.'”

    And personalization is about much more than just data. As we’ve noted in the past, personalization starts with a person:

    “In the ongoing fight with OTA’s, you simply have many more opportunities to take care of your guests than the OTA’s. For one thing, they’re usually standing in your lobby, talking with your staff, when faced with a challenge during their stay. Deploying guest-focused personalization technology — and training your staff on how to use it — can only help enhance your guests’ stays, which in turn should drive greater loyalty and increased revenue from repeat stays.

    So, when you get down to it, this really isn’t about technology or personalization or fancy toys. Instead, as I’ve mentioned before, ‘…it’s about hospitality.’

    Ratings and Reviews

    We’ve long called managing your ratings and reviews the single most effective way to improve your brand’s digital marketing. Here’s one key quote from the original post on the topic:

    “Studies from Chris Anderson at the Cornell University Center for Hospitality Research and Michael Luca at Harvard Business School [PDF link] show revenue gains of around 5% to 11% for each increase in star rating across popular review sites like TripAdvisor and Yelp (this data supports the findings from my own research behind the P’s & Q’s model I talked about a couple of weeks ago).” [Editor’s note: We updated and followed up that research with this look at the key revenue levers driving profitability just a few months ago]

    Overall Guest Experience

    Of course, it’s tough to expect great reviews if your guests have a poor experience before, during, or even after their stay. That’s why the guest’s overall experience, the overall value proposition matters so much. As we’ve noted before:

    “…Priceline CEO Darren Huston recently explained, highlighting your brand value matters. This is the guy responsible for Booking.com stating outright that there’s more to capturing guests than simply taking responsibility for the booking.”

    That underscores just how much OTA’s want to own the guest every step of their journey, including on mobile. Hell, they’re using mobile as their key tool to provide an outstanding guest experience every step of the way.

    But, shouldn’t that be your job?

    Conclusion

    The simple fact remains that helping guests throughout their journey depends on a number of players, both direct and indirect. It’s unlikely that OTA’s are going anywhere anytime soon, and the growth of players like AirBnB further complicate the picture.

    At the same time, successful hotel marketers know that guests need their questions answered throughout their journey, guests expect personalized attention, guests will share their thoughts with friends and family when they’ve had a great experience… and even more so when they’ve had a poor one, and that their overall experience plays a huge role in whether they’ll stay with you again. Period. Which is why successful hotel marketers focus their efforts around their content marketing activities, personalizing content to meet guest needs, driving positive ratings and reviews, and ensuring a positive overall guest experience. It takes effort and attention to detail. But isn’t that what hospitality is all about?

    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 seminar, “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:

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    April 11, 2016

    Tim Peter

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    April 10, 2016

    6 Spectacular Resources for Hotel Marketers from the Past Week: Hospitality Marketing Link Digest

    April 10, 2016 | By | No Comments

    6 Spectacular Resources for Hotel Marketers from the Past Week: Hospitality Marketing Link Digest: Traveler sitting in hotel lobby.Hey, Big Thinkers, hope this weekend was everything you needed before gearing up for another big week. Before you get that week started, be sure to check-out this collection of 6 spectacular resources for hotel marketers from the past week, part of the Hospitality Marketing Link Digest series. Enjoy:

    1. A couple of interesting stories from The Next Web this week that affect hotel marketers. The first reports that Facebook Messenger now lets you check-in to KLM flights. While the second says Uber’s app will now let you check in to your hotel room en route. Two excellent examples for why i’m bullish on mobile payments and messaging (this week’s E-commerce Link Digest offers some additional examples you might want to check out).
    2. Duetto Research interviewed our own Tim Peter on the promise of digital marketing for hotels that you’ll definitely want to see.
    3. A couple of recent posts here on Thinks explain why hotel marketing depends on personalization and state that personalization starts with a person.
    4. You owe it to yourself to read through these 6 travel marketing insights you need to see from the Hospitality Marketing Link Digest series.
    5. And, finally, don’t miss this round-up of five more amazing travel marketing posts: the top posts of March, 2016.

    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 seminar, “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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    April 8, 2016

    6 Mobile Commerce and Strategy Insights: E-commerce Link Digest

    April 8, 2016 | By | No Comments

    6 Mobile Commerce and Strategy Insights: E-commerce Link Digest

    Happy Friday, Big Thinkers. Hope you don’t mind if we skip the setup this week and instead get you straight into the set of 6 mobile commerce and strategy insights to kick off the weekend. Enjoy:

    1. Leading off, we’ve got a whole bunch of mobile payments news. First up, Business Insider says that Starbucks is trying to create its own digital currency to keep customers coming back. Loyalty programs may play a huge role in driving digital currencies, so I’d recommend you watch what Starbucks does here closely.
    2. On a highly related note, eMarketer has data that shows mobile bill pay continues to climb among consumers. One thing to keep in mind when we talk about mobile, including the mobile web, apps, payments, messaging, what-have-you — is that we’re still in the early days. Consumer behavior will change a fair bit over the coming year. And then it will change more next year. The key is to stay nimble and watch where things are headed. But all of these underscore why mobile payments will rule. It may just take a little bit longer.
    3. Speaking of messaging, Mobile Marketer’s week in review reports that messaging is resurging. For instance, Mobile Commerce Daily notes that Taco Bell has introduced mobile ordering with chatbot commerce on Slack. This is a huge deal, and, combined with the payments insights offered earlier, helps explain why I’m bullish on mobile payments and messaging.
    4. Sticking with mobile for a moment, a recent Mobile Commerce Daily post explores research from Forrester outlining why mobile is still not fully integrated in marketers’ approach. That reality baffles me, especially when you consider that mobile won’t just change marketing; mobile will change the world.
    5. Switching gears, Chief Marketer looks at how a CMO can Rise to CEO. The companies succeeding with mobile — like Starbucks and Taco Bell above — are focusing on what their customers need, then using mobile to help deliver that. They’re not saying “We should build an app!” or “What do our competitors’ apps do?” They’re instead showing that it’s not “mobile first.” it’s “customer first.”
    6. Wrapping this all up for this week, it’s important to remember that there’s a clear connection between success no matter whether you’re looking for success in mobile, your app, your website, your business, or your career. And this recent post about the digital strategy myth can help you connect the dots. Be sure to check it out.

    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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    April 6, 2016

    The Lesson Every Marketer Must Learn from Batman v. Superman (Thinks Out Loud Episode 159)

    April 6, 2016 | By | No Comments

    The Lesson Every Marketer Must Learn from Superman v. Batman (Thinks Out Loud Episode 159)

    The Lesson Every Marketer Must Learn from Batman v. Superman (Thinks Out Loud Episode 159) – 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: 13m 49s

    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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    April 5, 2016

    Five More Amazing Travel Marketing Posts: the Top Posts of March, 2016

    April 5, 2016 | By | No Comments

    Five More Amazing Travel Marketing Posts: International business  traveler in airport

    Hey, Big Thinkers! Can you believe we’ve made it to April and already have the whole first quarter behind us? Crazy, right? As we do each month, it’s time to take a quick look back at what your fellow Thinks readers thought were the very best travel marketing posts of the past month (you can find the full e-commerce and digital strategy set published yesterday here). And now, prepare to dig in to these five more amazing travel marketing posts: the top posts of March, 2016. Enjoy:

    1. Leading off, we’ve got a collection of three highly-related posts all about the power of personalization in hotel marketing. The first explains the critical topic of “Why Hotel Marketing Depends on Personalization” while the second reminds hotel marketers that “Personalization Starts With a Person.” The final post in the series (though, actually the first published last month), is this presentation that outline “Using Data to Put Personalization to Work for Your Property:”
    2. The weekly Hospitality Link Digest — part of the ongoing E-commerce Link Digest series — remains popular among your fellow Big Thinkers, including these “7 Spectacular Hotel Marketing Posts This Week” and this collection of “7 Sensational Hotel Marketing Insights” from the past month.
    3. Another popular hotel distribution item in March looked at Expedia’s Accelerator Program and called it “A Wolf in Wolf’s Clothing.” Be sure to check out the whole post to see why.
    4. Next up, we’ve got this group of “7 Sensational Marketing and Distribution Insights: the Top Posts of February, 2016,” which makes a fantastic companion to this month’s list.
    5. And, to round out this month’s list, we’ve got a pair of Hospitality Marketing Link Digest entries for you. The first gathered up a great set of “6 Travel Marketing Insights You Need to See” while the second collected “5 Fine Hospitality Marketing Posts for Your Reading Pleasure.” And both are well-worth your time.

    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 seminar, “Digital Marketing Directions 2016: The Key Trends Driving Your Hotel Marketing Next Year” here:

    And here are the slides from the “Maximizing Data to Put Personalization to Work for Your Property” presentation listed above for your review too:

    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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    April 4, 2016

    10 Amazing Digital Marketing Messages: The Top Posts of March, 2016

    April 4, 2016 | By | No Comments

    <Amazing digital marketing messages: Young professionals using mobile devices to conduct businessp>Good morning, Big Thinkers. Hope you all had an amazing weekend—and an amazing first quarter of 2016. Now that we’ve reached April, it’s time once again to round-up your most liked and linked, saved and shared, engaged and emailed posts from the past month. And it looks like we’ve got an awesome collection of fantastic posts for you. So, without further ado, here are 10 amazing digital marketing messages: the top posts of March, 2016 for you. Enjoy:

    1. The top post for the past month came from our ongoing E-commerce Link Digest series, and highlighted “10 Terrific Items Featuring The Week’s Top Trends.” Good stuff all around.
    2. A recent episode of Thinks Out Loud, our weekly e-commerce and digital strategy podcast, rocketed up the list of your favorite posts from last month by exploring why “Mobile Won’t Just Change Marketing; Mobile Will Change the World.”
    3. Since we’re talking about Thinks Out Loud, it seems appropriate that this look at “Why Digital Demands Personalization and Customer Focus” from a recent episode is next on the list of the most popular posts from the past month. Check it out to see why for yourself.
    4. This list of “Five Reasons Marketers Need to Get Ready for Mobile Messaging” slides into the number four slot on this month’s list. And a follow-up podcast episode that explained “Why I’m Bullish on Mobile Payments and Messaging” is well worth your time, too.
    5. The next most popular post looked at “The Digital Strategy Myth” in detail and explained how that myth can create serious risks for your business. What’s the myth? Well, read the post to find out.
    6. These collections of “11 Excellent Digital Marketing Insights to Drive Success This Year” and “7 Super Posts About Mobile Commerce and Customer Experience,” both from the E-commerce Link Digest series enter the list at number 6.
    7. The next post on the this month’s list explores a significant truth about marketing today. It’s called “Content Marketing: We’re All Publishers Now” and highlights exactly why that matters for your business.
    8. One last episode of the Thinks Out Loud podcast sneaks onto the list this month, this one exploring why and how “Digital Drives Disruption.”
    9. You and your fellow Big Thinkers also loved this round-up of “7 Special Digital Strategy Insights: The Top Posts of February, 2016.” Give it a look to see why.
    10. And, finally, let’s round-out this look at the top posts of March 2016 with this item, “Opportunity (The Leap Day Edition).” While, technically, it was published on February 29, you’ll soon see why that lesson applies every day of the year.

    And there you have it Big Thinkers. The top posts of March, 2016 to keep you tuned into what matters to your friends here at Thinks.

    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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    April 3, 2016

    8 Excellent Stories About Hospitality Digital Marketing: Hospitality Marketing Link Digest

    April 3, 2016 | By | No Comments

    8 Excellent Stories About Hospitality Digital Marketing: Hospitality Marketing Link DigestHowdy, Big Thinkers! Hope you’re enjoying a restful and productive weekend (is that a contradiction in terms? Let’s hope not). Before you head into next week, be sure to review this round-up of 8 excellent stories about hospitality digital marketing, part of the Hospitality Marketing Link Digest series. Enjoy:

    1. Duetto Research interviewed our own Tim Peter on the promise of digital marketing for hotels.
    2. Ryan Solutions offered up a powerful, visual case for email segmentation in hospitality marketing, which helps illustrate why hotel marketing depends on personalization.
    3. On a highly related note, this recent Travel Tuesday post argues personalization starts with a person.
    4. There’s tremendous value in watching what industry leaders talk about in public, which makes this Tnooz article, “Booking.com’s BookingSuite chief talks RateManager and hotel strategy” required reading. So is this look at CEO Darren Huston from Priceline explaining why driving brand value matters.
    5. Building on that, Skift wrote that a Priceline acquisition of TripAdvisor makes sense in a year of transition.
    6. WordStream put together a look at 4 travel marketing trends you need to act on. You’ll probably also enjoy this set of 8 outstanding lessons from the 2016 HSMAI Digital Marketing Strategy Conference.
    7. A recent Travel Tuesday post here on Thinks looked at Expedia’s Accelerator Program and found a wolf in wolf’s clothing. Be sure to read the whole post to see why.
    8. And, finally, you won’t want to miss these 6 travel marketing insights you need to see from last week.

    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: