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Hey, Big Thinkers! Hope you’re having a great week and that you won’t mind if we skip any setup this week in favor of taking you straight to this round-up of 6 crucial insights into the future of travel marketing. Enjoy:
- Duetto’s Ed Watkins talked with Cindy Estis Green, CEO and co-founder of Kalibri Labs, about “The Rise of Hotel Metasearch and Its Effect on Distribution.” I agree with a number of Cindy’s conclusions (though I think the focus on “metasearch” as it’s commonly defined is overblown). But in particular think this is the key quote that many hospitality marketers must listen to: “A lot of it has to do with consumer demand. Everybody wants things on their mobile devices.” As Bill Hunt has said, “Customers are the ultimate disruptors.”
- You can see one clear example of customers as the ultimate disruptors in the rise of Airbnb. As a new report from the Ted Rogers School of Hospitality and Tourism Management at Ryerson University shows, “Airbnb Guests Tend to Be Motivated by Low Cost and Use It as a Hotel Substitute.” That’s not driven by a specific Airbnb technology. It’s driven by customer behavior. And Airbnb gets it, “Rolling Out a New Homepage, Focused On Experiences” as All About Airbnb reports. I’ve mentioned before that independent hotels are safe from Airbnb but only as long as they compete on their terms, not Airbnb’s. Airbnb is undoubtedly entering the hospitality business. As long as hotel owners and operators continue to focus on experience, on trust, on hospitality, they’ll do just fine. Which makes this next news item particularly disturbing…
- Want to know how to lose in the coming world? Create “Hotels Without Humans,” which are coming. But as writer Arnie Weissmann notes, “…wouldn’t a key benefit of technology — consistency — commoditize service standards and erode loyalty?” Yep. Totally. The companies that win in the future will be those that best manage the integration of technology and human service.
- Does all this sound like science fiction to you? Well, according to Expedia, “The Future Of Travel Looks Like Science Fiction” with tools like bots, AI, augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and wearables playing increasing roles in the overall travel experience. And it’s not over yet.
- All of these changes can certainly make you ask, “Is Travel Marketing More Frustrating Than Ever?” I strongly believe that the answer should be “no,” but fully understand at the same time why it’s not “absolutely not.” Two tips: One, remember that your mantra for digital should always be “we can figure this out;” and, two, plenty of resources exist to help you keep up with technology as a marketer — including our blog and newsletter.
- With that in mind, be sure to check out these “8 Outstanding Lessons from the 2016 HSMAI Digital Marketing Strategy Conference” and this set of “6 Quick Hotel Distribution and Digital Marketing Insights” from the Hospitality Marketing Link Digest series that demonstrate exactly what I’m talking about.
If you’re looking for even more hospitality marketing goodness, 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:
- Is Social a Waste of Time for Hotel Marketers?
- 5 Fantastic Insights Into 2016 Travel Marketing Trends: Hospitality Marketing Link Digest
- 6 Key Hotel E-commerce Tips: A Cheat Sheet to Drive Direct Business
- 5 Hospitality Marketing Trends You’ll Want to Keep in Mind: Hospitality Marketing Link Digest
- Expedia’s Accelerator Program: A Wolf in Wolf’s Clothing
- For Travel Marketers, Content is Still King
- Trends in Hospitality Digital Marketing for 2016
- 8 Great Posts About 2016’s Top Trends: Hospitality Marketing Link Digest
- 5 Key Facts About Mobile, Millennials, and Hotel Marketing
- How Safe Are Independent Hotels from Airbnb?