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Tim Peter Thinks

Tim Peter

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February 16, 2018

8 Excellent Insights Into AI and the Changing Customer Journey: E-commerce Link Digest

February 16, 2018 | By | No Comments

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8 Excellent Insights Into Ai and the Changing Customer Journey: Customer using VR goggles to explore a virtual worldHey, Big Thinkers. We’re going to skip all the setup today and simply show you this list of 8 excellent insights into AI and the changing customer journey. Enjoy:

  1. It’s clear that technology plays a crucial role in shaping customer behavior. And that’s why MarketingProfs leads us off with a great infographic that asks what new technologies do consumers really want? Good stuff.
  2. While we’re looking at technologies that will change customer behaviors and expectations, don’t miss this recent episode of our e-commerce and digital strategy podcast, Thinks Out Loud, that asked will this be the year of AI in digital marketing? Spoiler alert: The answer is yes. But give a listen to the whole thing to find out why that matters for your business.
  3. Marketing Insider Group adds their voice to the chorus singing AI’s praises with this explanation of how AI will make marketing more personalized in 2018 . Well worth your time.
  4. @MarTechExec said on Twitter, "Here’s the irony: as much as the hype has overstated what AI might do for marketing in the next 12-24 months, the reality of how AI is already working in marketing today is often under-recognized" while linking to a fantastic article at Chiefmartec.com about artificial intelligence as one of the 5 disruptions to marketing this year.
  5. Meanwhile, MarTech Advisor outline four use cases of machine learning in marketing that you’ll probably want to know about.
  6. On a similar note, we’d rounded up 11 outstanding insights into AI and digital marketing along with a list of 7 ways you can use AI in B2B sales and marketing that are definitely worth your time.
  7. Of course, with all these changes brought about by major shifts in technology and customer behaviors, you might wonder how you can keep up. Fortunately, Mark Schaefer and Tom Webster’s near-perfect podcast recently tackled the new marketing career and asked, “What do you need to do to remain relevant?” Our own podcast looked at the problem not long ago and produced an episode titled, “How to Keep Up With Technology as a Marketer: The Quick and Dirty Guide.” 
  8. Finally, let’s round out our list of 8 excellent insights into AI and the changing customer journey with two recent podcast episodes that explore 6 proven digital marketing trends and offer the following advice, deal with it: digital makes marketing easier for everyone, which makes marketing harder for everyone

Have a great weekend, everyone. We’ll catch you back here next week!

If you’re looking to learn even more about how changing customer behavior will shape your marketing going forward, be sure an register to receive a special report I’ve produced in conjunction with hotel marketing firm Vizergy, “Digital Hotel Marketing in a Multiscreen World.” While it’s targeted specifically at hotel and resort marketers, the lessons apply to just about any business. You can get your free copy of the report here.

You might also want to check out these slides I had the pleasure of presenting recently about the key trends shaping marketing in the next year. Here are the slides for your reference:

Finally, you might enjoy some of these past posts from Thinks to help you build your e-commerce strategy and your digital success:

Tim Peter

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February 9, 2018

10 Posts Connecting AI and Customer Experience: E-commerce Link Digest

February 9, 2018 | By | No Comments

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10 Posts Connecting AI and Customer Experience: Using a mobile phone to understand products in store

Hey, Big Thinkers! Crazy week, so I hope you don’t mind if we skip the setup and get right to this list of 10 posts connecting AI and customer experience. Enjoy:

  1. Kicking things off, Scott Monty wrote a fantastic piece for Brand Quarterly all about reclaiming humanity in business. Really good stuff.
  2. Scott’s piece was part of the inspiration behind a recent episode of Thinks Out Loud, our e-commerce and digital strategy podcast, called “Want to Beat the Machines? Don’t Be a Machine.” Be sure to give it a listen when you get a moment.
  3. Marketing Insider Group takes a great look at how AI will make marketing more personalized in 2018.
  4. Digital Trends adds to the discussions saying, don't be fooled by sci-fi stories — AI for good is on the rise.
  5. Search Engine Watch looks at artificial intelligence and machine learning and asks, “What are the opportunities for search marketers?”
  6. We’ve also rounded-up a set of 11 outstanding insights into AI and digital marketing in the E-commerce Link Digest series and asked ”Will This Be The Year of AI in Digital Marketing?” in a recent episode of Thinks Out Loud.
  7. Retail Dive explains why Amazon Go is more like Amazon 'Uh oh' for other retailers. More importantly, it raises the bar for what customers will expect from everyone over time.
  8. On a highly-related note, Mark de Bruijn has an amazing piece all about providing a seamless customer experience titled, “I want it all, I want it now” that you must see.
  9. Another great Retail Dive joint shows how Amazon's Alexa mobile app has finally found its voice, adding full Alexa capabilities to your mobile phone. Cool.
  10. And, finally, let’s wrap up this look at 10 posts connecting AI and customer experience with a set of 6 Proven Digital Marketing Trends (The Best of Thinks Out Loud). Give it a listen when you get a chance.

Have a great weekend, Big Thinkers. Catch you back here next week!

You might also want to check out these slides I had the pleasure of presenting recently about the key trends shaping marketing in the next year. Here are the slides for your reference:

Finally, you might enjoy some of these past posts from Thinks to help you build your e-commerce strategy and your digital success:

Tim Peter

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February 8, 2018

Want to Beat the Machines? Don’t Be a Machine (Thinks Out Loud Episode 212)

February 8, 2018 | By | No Comments

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To beat the machines, don't be a machine: Team collaborating to create customer experiences

Want to Beat the Machines? Don’t Be a Machine (Thinks Out Loud Episode 212) – Headlines and Show Notes

Subscribe to Thinks Out Loud

Contact information for the podcast: podcast@timpeter.com

Past Insights from Tim Peter Thinks

You might also want to check out these slides I had the pleasure of presenting recently about the key trends shaping marketing in the next year. Here are the slides for your reference:

Technical Details for Thinks Out Loud

Recorded using a Heil Sound PR 30 Large Diaphragm Multipurpose Dynamic Microphone through a Cloud Microphones CL-1 Cloudlifter Mic Activator and a Mackie Onyx Blackjack USB recording interface into Logic Express 9 for the Mac.

Running time: 13m 46s

You can subscribe to Thinks Out Loud in iTunes [iTunes link], the Google Play Store, via our dedicated podcast RSS feed )(or sign up for our free newsletter). You can also download/listen to the podcast here on Thinks using the player at the top of this page.

Tim Peter

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January 30, 2018

9 Posts Featuring Chatbots, AI and all the Hospitality Digital Marketing Trends of 2018: Hospitality Marketing Link Digest

January 30, 2018 | By | No Comments

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Chatbots, AI and all the hospitality digital marketing trends: Man using tablet in hotel lobby

Howdy, Big Thinkers! Hope you’re having an amazing week so far. Let’s make it even better with a look at 9 posts featuring chatbots, AI and all the hospitality digital marketing trends of 2018 for you. Enjoy:

  1. Tnooz has a wonderful piece that shares 11 thoughts on the future of technology in travel and hospitality from CES 2018. Given how much consumer tech shapes what our guests expect, you can’t afford to miss this one.
  2. The fine folks at Fuel Travel (hi, guys!) had an amazing podcast episode that outlined the hotel industry's New Year wish list for 2018. Be sure to give it a listen.
  3. Clare Hutchison of Triptease has a great article that looks at what's in store for hotels in 2018 that you’ll want to check out.
  4. Continuing the theme of 2018 hospitality digital marketing trends, Hotel News Now put together a fantastic Q&A with our own Tim Peter all about what hoteliers must know about digital marketing in 2018. Great stuff that’s well worth your time.
  5. And on a highly-related note, Hotel Management listed its view of the top 6 hotel tech trends for 2018. Their views on AI, voice, and blockchain seem very much in line with our’s here at Tim Peter & Associates, so give them a look when you get a moment.
  6. Speaking of AI, you’ll absolutely want to review Tim Peter’s thoughts on why AI will change hospitality marketing forever.
  7. Curious what AI, voice, and chatbots look like in action? Hotel Marketing highlighted a TTG Asia post that saysBooking.com’s service and support chatbot will become more sophisticated. No doubt. The question is how are you preparing to compete?
  8. Along those lines, Skift suggests (rightly, I might add) that brands must rethink engagement with the new digitally connected traveler . Or, put more simply by Tim in a guest editorial for Hotel Executive, it's not “mobile first” – it's “guest first.”
  9. Finally, let’s round out our list of 9 posts featuring chatbots, AI and all the hospitality digital marketing trends with a complementary set of 10 tremendous insights into the trends driving hotel digital marketing in 2018 and these 8 amazing posts that explore how AI will affect the travel industry from the the Hospitality Marketing Link Digest series.

If you’re looking for even more hospitality marketing goodness, you might also want to take a moment to review the slides from Tim’s recent seminar, “Digital Marketing Directions: 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, 2018

11 Outstanding Insights Into AI and Digital Marketing: E-commerce Link Digest

January 26, 2018 | By | No Comments

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11 outstanding insights into AI and digital marketing: AI-powered VR in store

Howdy, Big Thinkers! Not a lot of setup this week. But don’t miss these 11 outstanding insights into AI and digital marketing we’ve rounded up for you. Enjoy:

    1. Miro Walker has a great piece on CMO.com that suggests, because of the rise of AI, personalization, improved CX and other reasons, 2018 is the year to abandon your comfort zone for good.
    2. Walker’s advice makes an excellent companion to this look at the 5 top digital trends for 2018 that we highlighted on our e-commerce and digital strategy podcast, Thinks Out Loud, just recently.
    3. While we’re on the topic of AI, Marketing Insider Group explores how AI will make marketing more personalized in 2018.
    4. Really cool thing here. According to Quartz, Google wants to make building an AI algorithm as easy as drag and drop. Quite an accomplishment if they can pull it off.
    5. The Harvard Business Review askshow AI will change work and offers 5 schools of thought on what that will look like.
    6. Similarly, The Future of Commerce says that the future of customer service = the best of man and machine. I couldn’t agree more.
    7. On a related note, don’t forget that AI won’t steal your job. Smart people who put AI to work will.
    8. You might also want to check out these 7 ways you can use AI in B2B sales and marketing and this examination of where AI will affect sales and marketing first… and most.
    9. One area that’s going to change a ton thanks to AI is search. That’s why Search Engine Land outlines the technology behind AI in PPC.
    10. All of this makes it understandable that you’d ask, whether voice, VR, AR, and AI represent hype or hope for marketers.
    11. Finally, let’s round out this list of 11 outstanding insights into AI and digital marketing with a set of 9 amazing posts connecting AI and marketing.

    Have a fantastic weekend, Big Thinkers. Catch you back here next week!

    You might also want to check out these slides I had the pleasure of presenting recently about the key trends shaping marketing in the next year. Here are the slides for your reference:

    Finally, you might enjoy some of these past posts from Thinks to help you build your e-commerce strategy and your digital success:

Tim Peter

By

January 25, 2018

Where AI Will Affect Sales and Marketing First. And Most (Thinks Out Loud Episode 211)

January 25, 2018 | By | No Comments

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Where AI will affect sales and marketing first: Woman using AI to analyze data quickly

Where AI Will Affect Sales and Marketing First. And Most (Thinks Out Loud Episode 211) – Headlines and Show Notes

Subscribe to Thinks Out Loud

Contact information for the podcast: podcast@timpeter.com

Past Insights from Tim Peter Thinks

You might also want to check out these slides I had the pleasure of presenting recently about the key trends shaping marketing in the next year. Here are the slides for your reference:

Technical Details for Thinks Out Loud

Recorded using a Heil Sound PR 30 Large Diaphragm Multipurpose Dynamic Microphone through a Cloud Microphones CL-1 Cloudlifter Mic Activator and a Mackie Onyx Blackjack USB recording interface into Logic Express 9 for the Mac.

Running time: 15m 23s

You can subscribe to Thinks Out Loud in iTunes [iTunes link], the Google Play Store, via our dedicated podcast RSS feed )(or sign up for our free newsletter). You can also download/listen to the podcast here on Thinks using the player at the top of this page.

Tim Peter

By

January 18, 2018

5 Top Digital Trends for 2018 (Thinks Out Loud Episode 210)

January 18, 2018 | By | No Comments

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5 Top Digital Trends for 2018 (Thinks Out Loud Episode 210): Company employees reviewing top digital trends

5 Top Digital Trends for 2018 (Thinks Out Loud Episode 210) – Headlines and Show Notes

Subscribe to Thinks Out Loud

Contact information for the podcast: podcast@timpeter.com

Past Insights from Tim Peter Thinks

You might also want to check out these slides I had the pleasure of presenting recently about the key trends shaping marketing in the next year. Here are the slides for your reference:

You might also enjoy these past posts:

Technical Details for Thinks Out Loud

Recorded using a Heil Sound PR 30 Large Diaphragm Multipurpose Dynamic Microphone through a Cloud Microphones CL-1 Cloudlifter Mic Activator and a Mackie Onyx Blackjack USB recording interface into Logic Express 9 for the Mac.

Running time: 15m 38s

You can subscribe to Thinks Out Loud in iTunes [iTunes link], the Google Play Store, via our dedicated podcast RSS feed )(or sign up for our free newsletter). You can also download/listen to the podcast here on Thinks using the player at the top of this page.

Tim Peter

By

January 11, 2018

7 Ways You Can Use AI in B2B Sales and Marketing (Thinks Out Loud Episode 209)

January 11, 2018 | By | No Comments

Looking to drive results for your business? Click here to learn more.


7 Ways You Can Use AI in B2B Sales and Marketing: AI in use

7 Ways You Can Use AI in B2B Sales and Marketing (Thinks Out Loud Episode 209) – Headlines and Show Notes

Subscribe to Thinks Out Loud

Contact information for the podcast: podcast@timpeter.com

Past Insights from Tim Peter Thinks

You might also want to check out these slides I had the pleasure of presenting recently about the key trends shaping marketing in the next year. Here are the slides for your reference:

Technical Details for Thinks Out Loud

Recorded using a Heil Sound PR 30 Large Diaphragm Multipurpose Dynamic Microphone through a Cloud Microphones CL-1 Cloudlifter Mic Activator and a Mackie Onyx Blackjack USB recording interface into Logic Express 9 for the Mac.

Running time: 12m 32s

You can subscribe to Thinks Out Loud in iTunes [iTunes link], the Google Play Store, via our dedicated podcast RSS feed )(or sign up for our free newsletter). You can also download/listen to the podcast here on Thinks using the player at the top of this page.

Tim Peter

By

January 9, 2018

Why AI Will Change Hospitality Marketing Forever

January 9, 2018 | By | One Comment

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Why AI Will Change Hospitality Marketing Forever: Representative image of AI

Bill Gates once wrote, “We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next ten.” And when it comes to new technologies, many folks ignore both sides of Gates’ statement, only to end up looking silly later. Having said that, let me be clear: artificial intelligence — AI — is going to radically reshape hospitality marketing and our industry at large. Forever. And the companies that use AI effectively are closer to two years away from success than ten.

But to understand why AI will change hospitality marketing forever, we need a bit of context in more detail.

For many of us, our first exposure to AI in the real-world came when IBM’s Watson won “Jeopardy.” That was all the way back in 2011 and the Watson-powered travel startup WayBlazer followed in 2014. That puts us at least three to six years along Bill Gates’ 2 to 10-year curve. And, as with most technology, things speed up the longer they’ve been around. AI isn’t the future. It’s happening all around you right now.

For example, an insurance-industry startup called Lemonade just used AI to set a record for customer service, resolving and paying a claim mere seconds after their customer submitted that claim for consideration. According to Airnguru, Singapore Airlines is already applying AI to its marketing and customer service campaigns to improve profitability and performance. And like Singapore Air, Priceline and Expedia have both announced they’re testing AI-driven solutions to improve their customer service offerings too.

None of this is science fiction. I’m not talking about the “Star Trek” computer or the ship’s android, Data, answering every possible question and solving every possible problem. Those types of AI are called “artificial general intelligence” (AGI), and are probably quite a long ways away, if they’re even possible at all. I’m talking about AI used to solve very specific problems, called “narrow” or “weak” AI. Narrow AI is real. It exists today. In addition to Lemonade and Singapore Airlines, Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa represent real-world examples of narrow AI in practice.

More importantly, narrow AI represents to businesses today what the Internet represented in the late 1990’s: A green field of opportunity to reinvent how business works and how you’ll interact with customers in the coming years. As I see it, there are at least four categories where AI will impact your property in the next few years that you must watch:

  1. Search. Google has begun to use AI to determine the highest-quality pages within its search results and will increasingly depend on AI when choosing “the best page” to answer customer questions, especially on voice-driven searches where the search giant can only offer one or two responses.
  2. Analytics and measurement. Data is what makes artificial intelligence, um, intelligent. Machines can’t learn without a healthy diet of data to help them understand how to answer the questions their users pose. But AI’s natural affinity for data also makes it a powerful tool to interpret that information. As I once heard Ed St.Onge from Flip.to remark, “AI makes big data little.” Sophisticated technology players are using AI to comb through massive amounts of data and gain understanding about customers and their journeys that once simply would have been impossible to discover.
  3. Guest experience/personalization. Of course, that measurement then enables better, more personalized experiences to customers. That’s what WayBlazer is working to do, using AI to simplify complicated itineraries for guests. Priceline and Expedia have each announced they’re looking to use AI to improve customer experience. And since better customer experience usually drives greater revenues, that’s something we all should care about.
  4. Pricing. Finally, pricing information represents a very particular form of data that must account for seasonality, competitive pressures, macroeconomic effects, and guest preferences, among others. Today, ill-fitting algorithms may leave money on the table or sacrifice lifetime customer value in favor of a short-term perceived “win.” Over time, AI will enable smarter algorithms that account for all the variables – as well as those we don’t even recognize as factors today – and will present improved pricing alternatives to increase property revenues in both the short and longer-term.

Of course, most hoteliers aren’t going to run right out and start building their very own version of HAL. Instead, here’s what you can do to put AI to work for your property in the near-term:

  • Ensure you’re continuing to develop quality content for your property. One of the most common places you’ll encounter AI over the next few years is within search results on Google and others. As mentioned previously, Google is slowly introducing AI into its algorithm to determine the best answers in search. Over time, its AI won’t have to rely on links and keywords to determine the right answer to searchers’ questions; it will simply know. And, in this case, “the right answer” means a page with high-quality, highly-relevant content that answers guest questions effectively. Imagine asking Siri or Alexa where you should stay tonight, knowing it can only provide a single answer. Does your content help present you in the best possible light? Or does it leave your customers wanting more? If people can’t agree on the best possible answer, no machine ever will. Help make that machine’s job easier by providing all the information necessary to answer guest questions. Even better, this will help with how you perform in search today while also setting you up for the future.
  • Ask your vendors about their plans for using AI. Airbnb, Expedia, Priceline and others are already looking at how to use AI to improve customer experience and drive more business. Your vendors need to help you compete with those experiences and deliver on guest needs. While your vendors don’t need to have fully-baked solutions today, they must prepare for the future. If AI isn’t on their radar at all they’re creating problems for their business down the road – and for yours.
  • Stay on the lookout for potential threats from new entrants. Most hotel companies failed to recognize how new players would leverage the Internet fifteen years ago to attract, convert, and retain guests, an oversight whose effects we continue to feel today. AI represents a similar situation. While it’s far too soon to predict who will emerge as the dominant players – in the Internet era, Travelocity and Yahoo predated Expedia and Google for instance – it’s not too soon to keep an eye for who’s shaping the dialogue and direction AI will take. Pay attention to how AI continues to evolve to protect your property’s position in the longer-term.

Again, it’s easy to overestimate how much change we’ll see in the next two years here. But it’s far more dangerous for your business to underestimate changes over the next ten. AI isn’t science-fiction or fantasy. It’s reality. Companies have started to use AI to connect with customers and create memorable experiences. And, ultimately, isn’t that what we’re supposed to do as hoteliers? The machines won’t win. But the people who use those machines most effectively will. And that’s a prediction that’s always been true.

If you’re looking for even more hospitality marketing goodness, you might also want to take a moment to review the slides from Tim’s recent seminar, “Digital Marketing Directions: 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:

Note: A version of this post originally appeared on Hotel News Now, where Tim Peter writes a regular column for the magazine’s Digital Tech Impact Report.

Tim Peter

By

January 7, 2018

8 Amazing Posts That Explore How AI Will Affect the Travel Industry: Hospitality Marketing Link Digest

January 7, 2018 | By | No Comments

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How AI will affect the travel industry: Woman in self-driving car

Hey, Big Thinkers! So, with all the buzz around artificial intelligence in sales and marketing, you’re probably wondering AI will affect the travel industry this year — and beyond. To help you get your arms around the topic, we’ve put together this great list of 8 amazing posts that explore how AI will affect the travel industry for you. Enjoy:

  1. The Washington Post makes its Hospitality Marketing Link Digest debut with a list of travel industry trends in 2018 that you’ll want to know about.
  2. One of the biggest trends we’ll see this year is AI. And the fine folks at Koddi takes a good look at how AI is changing the travel industry. Don’t miss it.
  3. Datafloq also looks explores artificial intelligence in travel and has a great look at how AI will affect the travel industry that’s worth your time.
  4. Worried about how these changes will affect your team — or your job? A recent Skift post argues that the modern concierge is too skilled to be made redundant by technology. Maybe. But as our own Tim Peter talked about on our Thinks Out Loud podcast recently, AI won’t steal your job: smart people who put AI to work will. Make sure to give the whole episode a listen.
  5. Case in point, Tnooz reports that Air Canada is working to improve customer relationships via artificial intelligence. Expect a lot more of this to come.
  6. And if you’re worried that it’s too early — or too late — to get on-board, first, just remember that AI makes big data little and that we could all use more help there. Second, whether it’s AI, or whatever the next big thing may be, you really don’t want to wait to use emerging tech to market your hotel.
  7. Similarly, putting AI to work for your property is both critical for your long-term success and isn’t as hard as you might thing. As Tim points out in a recent Hotel News Now column, with preparation and foresight, the machines won’t win.
  8. Finally, it isn’t just AI that’s affecting the travel industry. That’s why you owe it to yourself to check out these 7 must-see posts highlighting how to market your hotel in the future. You’ll be glad you did.

If you’re looking for even more hospitality marketing goodness, you might also want to take a moment to review the slides from Tim’s recent seminar, “Digital Marketing Directions: 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: