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August 26, 2015

Is Social Media Marketing Dead? Thinks Out Loud Episode 135

August 26, 2015 | By | No Comments

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Is social media marketing dead? Probably not.

Is Social Media Marketing Dead? – 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: 16m 54s

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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August 19, 2015

How to Make the Good Times Last (Travel Tuesday)

August 19, 2015 | By | No Comments

How to make the good times last

We’re in the “good old days.” Every single day it seems like we get another forecast showing that the rest of this year and next year are going to be epic. PKF, STR, Tourism Economics, and PwC all have forecast big numbers for next year — anywhere between 5.5% and 7% growth — and some expect global events like the Olympics to possibly push those numbers even higher. That’s fantastic news. Seriously.

So why am I concerned?

Because, sometimes, every silver lining has a cloud.

To be fair, I’m not a pessimistic guy, not even remotely. Indeed, this massive growth provides tremendous opportunity to set yourself up for long-term success. The key is remembering that this massive growth won’t last forever, so you want to make the most of it while it lasts.

In December 2008, I attended a holiday party at a hotel that was planning to close its doors on January 1 for a massive, year-long renovation, which worked out wonderfully given the steep decline in demand that started in November of that year. They weren’t lucky; they’d planned ahead. No, they had no idea the economy was going to crater late in 2008. Who could? But they had banked the profits they made all through the 2005-2007 mini-boom in anticipation of using it on a rainy day to improve their property and, longer-term, improve their business. When the sky caved in, they simply shut their doors, fixed their property, and waited for business to return.

And that’s what the current boom offers you. Much like my holiday party hosts, I couldn’t possibly tell you when the current run will come to an end (sure, I have some educated guesses; but, they’re really just that: guesses). What I do know is that these good times will end at some point. And now is the time to use them to your long-term advantage.

For just one slightly scary stat, estimates suggest AirBnB has over 1 million listings already, adding 4%-7% room supply in the markets where it operates — and those numbers ignore what other alternative accommodations providers will bring to the table. What do you suppose that’ll do to ADRs in the next few years?

There’s an old quote, attributed to Louis Pasteur (though, personally, I prefer to think it was Edna Mode) that says, “Luck favors the prepared.” If the forecasts are all spot on, we’ve got at least another year plus of runway before things start to get, to use a technical term, icky. It seems like a great opportunity to use that runway and be prepared to soar no matter what happens down the road.

So, what should you be doing? Well, I’m glad you asked.

Build out your direct online brand presence, including investments in content, mobile, and your CRM database. Develop a test and learn culture to build on your successes and avoid repeating mistakes. Continue to explore social and encouraged guests to help tell you more brands story more widely and effectively.

You might also want to see our past guides, including:

At some point, the current growth will come to an end, ADR, occupancy, and RevPAR will decline, and, some hotels will find themselves wondering “What just happened?” Take the time now to invest in your longer-term growth — regardless of what happens in the market — and you’ll find that, sometimes, clouds can also have silver linings too.

If you’re looking to learn even more about how this changing environment 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 2015: Three Key Trends Driving Your Hotel Marketing Next Year” here:


(And, yes… you can hire me to speak at your next event, 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 business, including:

Tim Peter

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August 13, 2015

What Customers Really Want – Thinks Out Loud Episode 133

August 13, 2015 | By | No Comments

What Customers Really Want

What Customers Really Want – 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: 17m 21s

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

August 10, 2015

Why Mobile Payments Will Rule

August 10, 2015 | By | No Comments

Mobile payments will rule

I remain convinced that, before too long, mobile payments will rule mobile commerce (and e-commerce generally). New data from eMarketer and AudienceSCAN helps explain why. Some recent studies show that somewhere between 13% and 14% of US smartphone owners have used digital wallets over the last 6 months. As eMarketer notes,

“…unsurprisingly, this also-small slice of the population is more tech-savvy than average. AudienceSCAN found that US mobile wallet users were more likely than internet users as a whole to report using every social media site the company asked about—in some cases, more than twice as likely.”

eMarketer also rounds-up these mobile/social-friendly customers’ favorite sites,

“Notably for retailers, mobile wallet users were especially likely to overindex on usage of Instagram and Pinterest, both of which are making plays to appeal more to retail advertisers. Yelp was also especially popular among mobile wallet users, and likely helping to send them to local brick-and-mortar businesses like fast-casual restaurants.”

In a separate report, eMarketer said,

“As people grow accustomed to using devices to pay at the point of sale, the mobile wallet will become an important hub that will enable marketers to provide customers with more context as well as greater convenience…”

I completely agree.

In fact, I’ve mentioned the importance of digital wallets to connecting with mobile and social-savvy customers a number of times, along with how much future e-commerce growth we can expect to see thanks to the rise of mobile payments. First off, we now know that mobile drives purchases and that the frequency and value of those purchases continues to climb, representing a true game-changer for mobile commmerce. See if this playbook feels familiar to any of you:

  1. New technology appears.
  2. New technology gains traction among early adopters (i.e., the “cool kids”).
  3. Some backlash occurs because this new technology doesn’t gain as fast as originally predicted.
  4. The cool kids keep using the new technology, ignoring the backlash.
  5. A short while later, everyone’s using the new technology.

Feel familiar? It should. In my career alone, we’ve seen it with the Web, generally; e-commerce, specifically; social media; mobile, generally; and, pretty soon, mobile commerce. When the early adopters stick, the rest of the world follows. Every. Single. Time. And early adopters don’t seem to be running away from mobile payments. Quite the opposite, in fact. So, tf the pattern holds, mobile payments will rule. Just wait a short bit.

And if you’re interested in more insights about mobile payments, you might enjoy my past coverage, including:

Interested in learning 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”:

And, finally, you might want to take a look at some of our past coverage of the e-commerce, mobile commerce, and digital marketing overall, including:

Tim Peter

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August 7, 2015

9 Must-Read Mobile Strategy Posts: E-commerce Link Digest

August 7, 2015 | By | No Comments

9 Must-Read Mobile Strategy PostsZOMG, Big Thinkers! It’s gorgeous outside! No, seriously. I don’t know about where you are, but here in the Northeast, we’re enjoying some of the most beautiful weather of the year. So, do me a favor: Go outside. Soak up a little sun and fun with your friends and family. And once you’ve done that, then c’mon back and check out these 9 must-read mobile strategy posts. Enjoy:

  1. First off, you simply cannot miss this astute analysis from Benedict Evans on why the smartphone is the new sun. Thought-provoking read. Providing just one example of what Benedict is getting at, Mobile Commerce Daily explains how mobile payments will help us become more mobile. I’ve often said we’re still in the early days of digital transformation. These posts help underscore why.
  2. Along those same lines, Brian Solis offers up a great presentation on SlideShare about “The Inevitability of a Mobile-Only Customer Experience” that’s well-worth checking out.
  3. And as yet more evidence of where we’re heading, Marketing Charts points out that mobile is now more than three-quarters of Facebook’s ad revenues. Yep.
  4. Skift, a regular contributor to our Hospitality Marketing Link Digests, makes the Friday list with these 8 charts that show the state of mobile video around the world.
  5. BuzzFeed New reports that Target is rolling out a new pilot program to track customers in stores.
  6. Despite all these changes — or maybe because of them — you really want to check out Andrew Schulkind’s recent Biznology webinar, “Why Your Website Matters and How to Make It Matter More” that I helped host. Great stuff.
  7. Mike Moran highlights the content marketing book you should not miss in his review of Mark Schaefer’s “The Content Code: Six essential strategies to ignite your content, your marketing, and your business.”
    I completely agree with Mike; you simply should not miss this book.
  8. Continuing this week’s theme, I rounded-up the 7 key digital marketing trends this summer, the top posts of July, for you.
  9. And given the massive disruption enabled by digital generally, and mobile specifically, it’s entirely fair to ask, “Is Your Business Screwed?” which is just what I did in a recent episode of Thinks Out Loud, our weekly e-commerce and digital marketing podcast. Definitely worth checking out.

If you’re interested in learning more, make sure to check out these “6 Major Stories About Millennials and Mobile Commerce” these “9 Marvelous Mobile Marketing and E-Commerce Columns: The Top Posts of May” and other entries from our E-commerce Link Digest series, including these “8 Amazing E-Commerce Posts Winning this Week”, these “10 Damn-Good Digital Marketing Posts,” another “10 Spectacular Mobile Marketing and E-Commerce Essays”, and this set of “6 Major Stories About Millennials and Mobile Commerce” too.

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”:

And, finally, you might want to take a look at some of our past coverage of the e-commerce, mobile commerce, and digital marketing overall, including:

Tim Peter

By

August 3, 2015

7 Key Digital Marketing Trends this Summer: The Top Posts of July

August 3, 2015 | By | No Comments

Key digital marketing trends for summer

Every month, we flip through your favorite posts from the past 30 days to see what we showed that you shared, liked, linked, and loved. We cheated a little bit this time ’round by including posts from both June and July due to our round-up of the top 15 posts of 2015 (so far) at the end of last month (and that you’ll find at the #2 spot below). What we noticed while putting together the list, though, is that this month’s collection focuses heavily on key digital marketing trends that you can put to work for your business right now. So, without further ado, let’s get to the list. Enjoy:

  1. Leading off, we’ve got these “9 Killer Posts Featuring This Year’s Key Digital Marketing Trends”, part of our regular E-commerce Link Digest series, which highlights key trends around the visual web, mobile and mobile search, and using reviews to improve your search marketing. Be sure to check out the whole list though for the complete set.
  2. You also want to check out this amazing list containing killer digital marketing ideas, a round-up of the “Top 15 Digital Marketing and E-commerce Posts of 2015 (So Far).” Hugely popular. Hugely helpful.
  3. You can gain a ton of great ideas from this recent episode of Thinks Out Loud, our weekly e-commerce and digital marketing podcast, “Breaking Down the Mary Meeker 2015 Internet Trends Report.” Just like it says in the title, we broke down the key trends and offered insights into how you can apply them to your business this year—and beyond.
  4. Yet another article from the E-commerce Link Digest series, “11 Excellent E-Commerce Entries from the Past Week,” focuses mostly on e-commerce, including ideas around visual search, using social to help customers, and how your customers are likely to use mobile wallets, among others.
  5. Our next entry uncovers “Facebook’s Big Beacon Secret” and how that will impact your marketing going forward.
  6. Of course, if your marketing works, you should expect to see more traffic to your website, in which case you’ll want to check out these “5 Warning Signs That Your Website Sucks.” Because traffic that doesn’t convert is rarely helpful traffic.
  7. Finally, we’re seeing a huge shift towards visuals on the web generally (as noted in the first item in this month’s list), and video specifically. To make the most of this, give a listen to Thinks Out Loud Episode 127, “2015’s Top Digital Trend: Online Video Arrives,” for some great advice on how to make that work for you.

Well, Big Thinkers, I hope you’ve enjoyed these 7 killer digital marketing trends for summer and come away with a few that will work for your business. If you’re interested in learning still more, make sure to check out these “9 Marvelous Mobile Marketing and E-Commerce Columns: The Top Posts of May” and other entries from our E-commerce Link Digest series, including these “8 Amazing E-Commerce Posts Winning this Week”, these “10 Damn-Good Digital Marketing Posts,” another “10 Spectacular Mobile Marketing and E-Commerce Essays”, and this set of “6 Major Stories About Millennials and Mobile Commerce” too.

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”:

And, finally, you might want to take a look at some of our past coverage of the e-commerce, mobile commerce, and digital marketing overall, including:

Tim Peter

By

July 22, 2015

International Traveler, Mobile Citizen: Thinks Out Loud Episode 130

July 22, 2015 | By | No Comments

International traveler, mobile citizen

International Traveler, Mobile Citizen – 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: 16m 33s

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 19, 2015

8 Deep Hotel Distribution Dispatches: Hospitality Marketing Link Digest

July 19, 2015 | By | No Comments

8 Deep Hotel Distribution Dispatches: Hospitality Marketing Link DigestAs I mentioned the other day, Big Thinkers, I’m traveling around France this week, so I don’t have a lot of setup for you. Instead, here’s just a great collection of 8 deep hotel distribution dispatches for you. Enjoy:

  1. Venture Beat has an outstanding article, “Expedia CMO Doctorow: ‘Last touch’ mobile marketing attribution is dead.” I know I talk about this. To. Death. But understanding where your marketing spend works—and doesn’t —represents a key contributor to the success of OTA’s these days. Absolute must read.
  2. Tnooz reports “Google quietly adds instant booking for hotels, copying TripAdvisor.” Um… yeah. This ain’t over.
  3. HotelNewsNow highlights a great “Q&A: Accor’s Vivek Badrinath on distribution.” Thought-provoking.
  4. Here’s something undoubtedly true: HotelMarketing says “OTA consolidation bad news for hotels.” Yep.
  5. Another Tnooz article outlines “Everything you need to know about Demand Generation for hotels.” Very good read, though I much prefer this “cheat sheet to drive direct business” from HotelNewsNow. To be perfectly fair, I might be biased given that I wrote the second piece. Here’s an idea for you: Read ’em both and decide for yourself.
  6. For a couple last distribution focused pieces, be sure to check out this Tnooz article: “TripAdvisor peers into the mouth of the travel transaction funnel;” and these “6 Super Hotel Distribution Strategy Posts” from our Hospitality Marketing Link Digest series.
  7. TechCrunch goes “Hands On With HotelTonight’s New Concierge Service, Aces” and, generally, likes it. Items like this make me ask “How Safe Are Independent Hotels from Airbnb?” and “Are Hotel Brands Doomed?” In both cases, you have room to win, but only if you act now.
  8. Finally, you won’t want to miss these “15 Key Travel Marketing Posts of 2015 (So Far),” a fine way to round out the week.

Want more to get you through the rest of this weekend and the week ahead? Be sure to check out these “5 Amazing Mobile Hotel Marketing Stories,” a great set of “8 Exceptional Hospitality Marketing Posts from the Past Week: Hospitality Marketing Link Digest,” a terrific round-up of “7 Remarkable Posts about Mobile Marketing in Travel” and these “7 Brilliant Insights into Mobile Travel E-commerce” from our hospitality marketing link digests (part of the ongoing E-commerce Link Digest series).

And 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 2015: Three Key Trends Driving Your Hotel Marketing Next Year” here:


(And, yes… you can hire me to speak at your next event, 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 business, including:

Tim Peter

By

July 17, 2015

11 Exceptional E-commerce Entries For You to Enjoy: E-commerce Link Digest

July 17, 2015 | By | No Comments

11 exceptional e-commerce entries for you to enjoyThis summer’s world tour finds me in Paris, the city of lights, this week, Big Thinkers, so I hope you won’t mind if I skip any setup and simply present these 11 exceptional e-commerce entries for you to enjoy. So, um… enjoy:

  1. On the mobile front, WIRED wrote, “Microsoft Thinks the Smartphone Is Over. It’s Wrong.” They’re right.
  2. Mobile Commerce Daily explains “Why a mobile loyalty program is imperative when selling to millennials” and says “Virgin Hotels turns mobile into shoppable Gap closet for guests.” Such a good idea.
  3. The Future of Commerce asks, “Is your brand still stranded on Mobile Island?” Good question.
  4. Thinks rounded up “The Top 15 Digital Marketing and E-commerce Posts of 2015 (So Far),” which is definitely worth checking out.
  5. Marketing Charts asks an incredibly important question, “Which Digital Tools Impact Online Shoppers?”
  6. Mobile Commerce Daily also notes, “Apple Pay’s launch in Britain advances mobile payments in mature market.”
  7. eMarketer asks, and answers, “What Are 2015 High School Grads Glued to This Summer? YouTube.” Very true. We’d looked at this topic a bit in Episode 127 of Thinks Out Loud, which said, “2015’s Top Digital Trend: Online Video Arrives.”
  8. On the visual trends front, Mobile Marketer has an interesting question, asking, “Are Snapchat, Facebook putting too big a focus on brands?” What do you think?
  9. Speaking of trends, Quartz suggests that “Online food delivery ordering is about to overtake phone ordering in the US.”
  10. And while we’re talking about trends, eMarketer states that when it comes to “Apparel Retailers and Ecommerce: Direct Marketers Dominate.” Clearly an opportunity here for retail brands.
  11. Finally, while we’re talking about trends, don’t miss Episode 125 of Thinks Out Loud, “Breaking Down the Mary Meeker 2015 Internet Trends Report” and these “9 Killer Posts Featuring This Year’s Key Digital Marketing Trends” from our ongoing E-commerce Link Digest series. Outstanding stuff.

And, if you like this week’s list, why not check out other entries from our E-commerce Link Digest series, including these “9 Mind-Blowing Mobile and Social Commerce Posts,” these “11 Excellent E-Commerce Entries from the Past Week,” these “10 Damn-Good Digital Marketing Posts,” and this set of “6 Major Stories About Millennials and Mobile Commerce”?

Do you want learn even more about how your customers’ changing behavior shapes e-commerce and marketing? 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 can also check out these slides and video from my recent webinar, “Digital Marketing Directions: Three Key Trends Driving Your Marketing Next Year”:

And, finally, you might want to take a look at some of our past coverage of the e-commerce, mobile commerce, and digital marketing overall, including:

Tim Peter

By

July 16, 2015

Three Quick Business-Building Tips That Don’t Involve Google

July 16, 2015 | By | No Comments

Three tips to grow your business that don't involve GoogleWhat do email, social, and channel partner apps all have in common? They’re among the best ways you can grow your traffic—and your business— without Google, as I point out in my latest Biznology post. Here’s a quick excerpt:

“I debated whether to include channel partners in this list at all. For one thing, you use search, social, and email specifically to avoid using channel partners. And, let’s be fair, not all “partners” always actively work in your best interest.

That said, many channel partners have had great success in driving app adoption amongst customers, and may prove a valuable way to drive revenues and sales for your business. Just be sure that the ones you’re choosing work as a true partner and not in competition with your own direct efforts.

The best way to distribute your products or services via a channel partners’ app is an exceedingly complicated topic, well beyond the scope of this simple post. However, there are a few questions you should consider to help select appropriate partners to work with. Ask yourself:

  1. Can this partner reach a customer I can’t?
  2. Can they do that at a reasonable cost?
  3. Do they provide access to the end-consumer’s data? (So you can continue to build your list and decrease your dependence on partners overall)”

I think you’ll really enjoy the whole post, including entries on email and social—as well as a special bonus tip, too—so be sure to check it out on Biznology today.

And if you want learn even more about how your customers’ changing behavior shapes e-commerce and marketing, 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 can also check out these slides and video from my recent webinar, “Digital Marketing Directions: Three Key Trends Driving Your Marketing Next Year”:

And, finally, you might want to take a look at some of our past coverage of the e-commerce, mobile commerce, and digital marketing overall, including: