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Tim Peter Thinks

Tim Peter

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July 29, 2014

5 Mind-Blowing Stats About Mobile’s Growth You Must Know (Travel Tuesday)

July 29, 2014 | By | No Comments

Mind-blowing mobile growth

Curious about the growth of mobile and what it means for travel distribution? Well, Tnooz reports on research from Nucleus that offering the following remarkable stats:

  • 43% of all travel website traffic in June came from mobile
  • 55% of all luxury travel traffic came from mobile
  • 200% YOY growth in mobile travel bookings and 17% growth in tablet travel bookings
  • 19% of all travel bookings coming from mobile and tablet

Data from L2 Think Tank, also reported by Tnooz, adds the following:

  • 70% of guests choose to book via mobile web vs. apps (Note: This might be due to fewer companies offer effective mobile booking apps; time will tell)

These are huge numbers. We’re now looking at a world where 1 in 5 bookings occur via mobile devices and significantly more than half will be influenced by mobile. Which is why you’re seeing a number of companies going all-in on mobile.

For instance, Hilton is going to start offering room selection and room keys directly on guests’ smartphones.

OTA’s and metasearch aren’t standing still, either. During Travolution’s interview with Joost Schreve, the TripAdvisor executive noted:

“On average TripAdvisor is seeing 100 million unique users on mobile, accounting for not quite half of the site’s total traffic but this is growing at around 100% annually… Mobile opens up a whole area of opportunity for us to offer travellers new experiences which we were not able to offer before.”

He continues:

“I see people with their phones in their hands all the time. People on the move use their mobile constantly. Frequency of use is more intense. They may open their app 20, 30, 40 times a day to look at direction or look at all the things you want to know. We definitely see mobile as an opportunity to provide a ton of user content.”

In addition to TripAdvisor, Priceline has made a number of mobile moves and Expedia’s been very active in the mobile space. Each of these market leaders recognizes that it’s past time to take mobile seriously.

My question is, are you doing the same?

Interested in learning even more about the future of e-commerce and marketing via the social, local, mobile web? Register to receive a special report I’ve produced in conjunction with hotel marketing firm Vizergy, “Digital Hotel Marketing in a Multiscreen World.” You can get your free copy of the report here.

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

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

Tim Peter

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July 23, 2014

Mobile and E-commerce Go Hand-in-Hand – Thinks Out Loud Episode 82

July 23, 2014 | By | No Comments

Mobile and ecommerce go hand-in-hand

Mobile and E-commerce Go Hand-in-Hand Headlines and Show Notes

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

Contact information for the podcast: podcast@timpeter.com

Technical details: Recorded using an Audio-Technica AT2035 studio condenser microphone through a Mackie Onyx Blackjack USB recording interface into Logic Express 9 for the Mac.

Running time: 18m 47s

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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July 16, 2014

Where Your Customers Are Taking Marketing – Thinks Out Loud Episode 81

July 16, 2014 | By | No Comments

Follow the leader

Where Your Customers Are Taking Marketing Headlines and Show Notes

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

Contact information for the podcast: podcast@timpeter.com

Technical details: Recorded using an Audio-Technica AT2035 studio condenser microphone through a Mackie Onyx Blackjack USB recording interface into Logic Express 9 for the Mac.

Running time: 14m 37s

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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July 14, 2014

The 2014 E-commerce and Internet Marketing All-Stars: The Top 9 Blogs

July 14, 2014 | By | No Comments

2014 Internet Marketing and E-commerce Blogging all starsEvery year for the last few years, I’ve been rounding up the blogs and bloggers who help me get better at e-commerce and Internet marketing and who force me to think about our industry in new and often unexpected ways every day. Without further ado, here’s this year’s list:

  1. Leading off are the fine folks at Get Elastic, ably led by Linda Bustos (@Roxyyo on Twitter). Get Elastic claims to be the #1 most subscribed e-commerce blog and it’s easy to see why.
  2. Clearly, there’s a huge shift towards mobile in both e-commerce and digital marketing. Which is why I rely on my old friend Karen McGrane to help make sense of it all. While Karen blogs about more than just business, she’s funny, insightful, and always a good read. (I also couldn’t keep up without the news I get from Mobile Commerce Daily, um… daily).
  3. The team of bloggers at Biznology offer tons of great content and context every day, under the guidance of the legendary Mike Moran (Full disclosure: I’ve written a monthly post for the blog there since 2010, but I’m really recognizing the other bloggers there. I’m not that self-serving).
  4. Another source I couldn’t live without is Benedict Evans’ eponymous blog. Ben talks more about technology and investing than marketing or e-commerce. But his understanding of the shifts occurring every day in the digital space are “must-read.”
  5. Search still comprises one of the primary digital channels. And that’s why I check out Search Engine Land every day.
  6. For all my Travel Tuesday fans, you owe it to yourself to check out Vikram Singh’s Words of Vikram blog. Somehow, Vikram and I have never met, but I look forward to trading ideas with a very smart, very capable fellow fan of the travel space sometime in the near future.
  7. Mitch Joel’s Six Pixels of Separation offers spectacular insights about the state of digital that you really need to read.
  8. If social’s part of your game plan, make sure you visit Mack Collier’s blog. Mack hosts the weekly #blogchat on Twitter that’s well-worth checking out too.
  9. Finally, no list of e-commerce and digital marketing blogging all-stars is complete without Seth’s Blog, by the incomparable Seth Godin. Such a smart guy. I learn something new every time I check him out. You probably will too.

There you have them, Big Thinkers. Your 2014 E-commerce and Internet Marketing All-Stars. Read ‘em. Listen to ‘em. Love ‘em. And for more great tips, tools, and techniques, take some time to review the 2013, 2012, and 2011 editions of the list, too.

Interested in learning even more about the future of e-commerce and marketing via the social, local, mobile web? Register to receive a special report I’ve produced in conjunction with hotel marketing firm Vizergy, “Digital Hotel Marketing in a Multiscreen World.” While it’s targeted specifically at hotel and resort marketers, the lessons apply to just about any business. You can get your free copy of the report here.

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

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

Tim Peter

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July 9, 2014

Marketing’s Future Has Arrived – Thinks Out Loud Episode 80

July 9, 2014 | By | No Comments

Mobile phone street

Marketing’s Future Has Arrived Headlines and Show Notes

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

Contact information for the podcast: podcast@timpeter.com

Technical details: Recorded using an Audio-Technica AT2035 studio condenser microphone through a Mackie Onyx Blackjack USB recording interface into Logic Express 9 for the Mac.

Running time: 14m 27s

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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July 8, 2014

6 Key Secrets Every Hotel Marketer Should Know (Travel Tuesday)

July 8, 2014 | By | No Comments

Hotel marketing secrets to drive bookingsWant to know what separates the best hotel marketers from the also-rans? While there’s no one single thing, a few trends have emerged that contribute to success. Here are the 6 key secrets you ought to know for your hotel marketing efforts:

  1. Mobile is here. Now. I’ve talked — at length — about how big mobile travel really is. And it just keeps getting bigger. Scarcely a day passes without some new bit of data showing how frequently your guests use mobile to search and browse and find and book travel. It’s time to take mobile seriously for your business. OTA’s have invested significant amounts of money, time, and people into improving their mobile experiences for guests. It’s time you do, too.
  2. Millennials have arrived. Ignore them at your own risk. Data shows that millennials will spend more on trips this year than Gen X, increasing their spending almost 20% from last year, and that roughly one out of four millennials are planning more overnight leisure trips for leisure than last year. This doesn’t mean that you abandon Boomers or, if they’re a big part of your mix, Gen X. Not at all. However, as Jeff Bezos of Amazon recently pointed out, “All businesses need to be young forever. If your customer base ages with you, you’re Woolworth’s.” Consider how often senior executives from the big brands — Marriott, Hilton, Airbnb, Expedia — talk about millennials publicly (hint: Often). Boomers are beginning to age out of the marketplace, while millennials are coming on strong. You need to think about your next generation of travelers now.
  3. Search is getting expensive. Now, don’t misunderstand. I’m a huge fan of search marketing. It works well for most hotels to drive traffic and reservations. Unfortunately, for a whole slew of reasons, it’s getting increasingly expensive. More hotels use paid search than ever before. OTA’s increasingly use paid search to dominate the search results. And, guests have shifted to mobile in a big way — brining with it lower conversion rates and higher acquisition costs. As a result, you’re almost certainly seeing increased costs for paid search. A number of approaches exist to improve your booking costs from search. Use these approaches to hold your costs down. And you must also continue to look for additional sources for traffic and reservations beyond search (and you can ask me for help too).
  4. Metasearch will continue to evolve. Sadly, metasearch probably isn’t one of the ways to find traffic and reservations — at least not for long. Metasearch isn’t a product. It’s a feature. Expedia, Booking.com, TripAdvisor, and, yes, Google, can add metasearch features to they’re products anytime they choose (and some already have). Metasearch doesn’t represent the “Holy Grail” that will break the dominance of OTA’s on travel search. Hell, most of the big metasearch companies are owned by the OTA’s. Instead, metasearch as a feature represents just the latest step in the long evolution of price transparency in the hospitality space. Use them accordingly, highlighting why guests can expect to get the best rate and, more importantly, the greatest value when booking direct.
  5. Reviews matter. A lot. On the flip side, reviews offer a great way to reach guests and convey your hotel’s story. In fact, effectively managing your reviews represents the single best way to improve your digital marketing. Check out the current review landscape: Review volumes are way, way up. Guests continue to value reviews. And management (i.e., your competitors) are getting better at responding to reviews. Again, it’s about transparency. Use dedicated review sites such as TripAdvisor, Google+, and Yelp, as well as OTA review management tools to help answer your guest’s questions and drive more engaged guests.
  6. Your customer data is better than anyone else’s. Despite its age, email marketing remains among the most effective ways to engage with guests. Why? Well, you’re talking to a guest who travels, who has stayed with you before, and, as long as you’re following best practices for email collection, has agreed that he or she wants to hear from you. Even better, that guest is someone your competitors can’t reach as easily. Continue to grow your email list. Focus on testing what works in terms of open rate, click-through, effective rate, and conversion. Then apply what you learn from those tests the next time to improve your overall customer acquisition costs.

The simple fact is, whether you’re a single-property owner, management company, or major brand, independent or chain, you can compete with the Big Boys. But only if you’re smart about it. Trying to go toe-to-toe with large brands or OTA’s, trading blows in the center of the ring, is a terrible strategy. They have more money, people and data than you do. But, you can change the rules, and focus on improving your interactions with guests at every step in the process — regardless of marketing or distribution channel — to highlight your value and your values. Guests increasingly appreciate knowing more about their hosts and how they fit into the community (note the rise of Airbnb, for instance). Use that to your advantage. You may not be able to go toe-to-toe with the OTA’s. But the biggest secret of all is that, if you do this well, you won’t need to.

Interested in learning even more about the future of e-commerce and marketing via the social, local, mobile web? Register to receive a special report I’ve produced in conjunction with hotel marketing firm Vizergy, “Digital Hotel Marketing in a Multiscreen World.” While it’s targeted specifically at hotel and resort marketers, the lessons apply to just about any business. You can get your free copy of the report here.

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

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

Tim Peter

By

July 7, 2014

The Shocking Truth About Millennials and Digital Media

July 7, 2014 | By | No Comments

Millennial couple using mobile to shopWow. Talk about burying the lede. Marketing Charts highlights research from Experian that shows how Millennials consume media, and notes the prominence of TV:

“But, Millennials share a common trait with their older counterparts: of the various devices available to them, TV still rules, accounting for the single largest share of their total weekly media time. For Millennials, TV captures about 25 hours of their 67 weekly hours of media time, or about 37% share. “

This data ignores the fact that Millennials consume 32 hours of media weekly using digital technologies. Now, last time I checked 32 hours (digital) is more than 25 hours (TV). Yes, they’re using multiple devices to access digital media, but that’s besides the point. Truly. Whether a consumer chooses their smartphone, tablet, laptop, or desktop to get on the web, use apps, or watch digital video has much more to do with what’s close at hand, not whether they prefer a given device.

And speaking of smartphones:

“Millennials — not surprisingly — are avid smartphone users. On average, Millennial smartphone owners spend roughly 14.5 hours per week using their devices, or more than 2 hours per day. Overall, they account for 41% share of aggregate time that Americans spend with smartphones, despite comprising just 29% of the population.”

Even more impressive:

“Some 43% of Millennials access the internet more through their phone than via a computer…”

I mentioned a story in last week’s podcast about Jeff Bezos talking to the staffers at the Washington Post, where he shared the following wisdom:

“What has been happening over the last few years can’t continue to happen,” [Bezos] insisted. “All businesses need to be young forever. If your customer base ages with you, you’re Woolworth’s.

And, as I noted in the podcast, if you don’t know what Woolworth’s is, that’s the point.

Again, the simple fact is that Millennials spend more time using digital than any other demographic cohort. Millennials spend more time using their smartphones than any other demographic cohort. And Millennials are more likely to use their smartphone as their primary way to access the Internet. We’re witnessing a changing of the guard here, folks. It’s time to recognize that fact and align your efforts with the changing needs of your customers. Or run the risk of becoming Woolworth’s — even if you don’t know what that is.

Interested in learning even more about the future of e-commerce and marketing via the social, local, mobile web? Register to receive a special report I’ve produced in conjunction with hotel marketing firm Vizergy, “Digital Hotel Marketing in a Multiscreen World.” While it’s targeted specifically at hotel and resort marketers, the lessons apply to just about any business. You can get your free copy of the report here.

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

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

Tim Peter

By

July 2, 2014

What Works in Digital Today? Thinks Out Loud Episode 79

July 2, 2014 | By | No Comments

What works in digital today?

What Works in Digital Today? Headlines and Show Notes

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

Contact information for the podcast: podcast@timpeter.com

Technical details: Recorded using an Audio-Technica AT2035 studio condenser microphone through a Mackie Onyx Blackjack USB recording interface into Logic Express 9 for the Mac.

Running time: 18m 24s

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

July 1, 2014

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

July 1, 2014 | By | No Comments

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

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

Interested in learning even more about the future of hospitality e-commerce and marketing via the social, local, mobile web? Register to receive a special report I’ve produced in conjunction with hotel marketing firm Vizergy, “Digital Hotel Marketing in a Multiscreen World.” Developed specifically at hotel and resort marketers, the lessons can help your business adapt to the changing guest environment. You can get your free copy of the report here.

Given the overall popularity of the Travel Tuesday series, you may also want to review the tips in my recent presentation Digital Marketing Directions: Three Trends Shaping 2014 Hospitality Internet Marketing. I’ve presented this talk to a number of hospitality and travel-related organizations and you might find it valuable for your business, too:

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

Tim Peter

By

June 25, 2014

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

June 25, 2014 | By | No Comments

Mobile e-commerce tips

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

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

Contact information for the podcast: podcast@timpeter.com

Technical details: Recorded using an Audio-Technica AT2035 studio condenser microphone through a Mackie Onyx Blackjack USB recording interface into Logic Express 9 for the Mac.

Running time: 14m 35s

You can subscribe to Thinks Out Loud in iTunes [iTunes link], subscribe via our dedicated podcast RSS feed (or better yet, given that Google has now killed Reader, sign up for our free newsletter). You can also download/listen to the podcast here on Thinks using the player below: