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Tim Peter

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September 10, 2014

The Game Changer for Mobile Commerce – Thinks Out Loud Episode 89

September 10, 2014 | By | No Comments

Mobile commerce game changer

The Game Changer for Mobile Commerce Headlines and Show Notes

As a reminder, you can participate in my next webinar, called Digital Marketing Directions: Key Trends Driving Your Marketing Next Year, on Tuesday, September 16, 2014. You can read all the details here. And you can view the slides from my most recent talk here:


(And, yes… you can hire me to speak at your next event, too).

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: 15m 43s

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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September 9, 2014

How to Allocate for Hotel Digital Marketing in 2015 – HSMAI Webinar (Travel Tuesday)

September 9, 2014 | By | No Comments

How to allocate for digital marketingIf you’re like most hotel marketers, you’re spending your time right now trying to figure out how to allocate for hotel digital marketing activities next year. It’s almost a rite of passage each August and September to see hotel marketers scrambling to pin down where and how they expect to spend their money in the coming twelve months.

This year the job has taken on increased importance, given the rising costs of marketing and distribution many hoteliers face today, with increased pressures from OTA’s and metasearch, in particular. According to data from Hospitality Asset Managers Association:

“…between 2009 and 2012, retail commissions rose 34 percent while room revenue rose 23 percent… Brand-level acquisition costs rose even more—37 percent. That meant local sales and marketing budgets took a hit, rising only 7 percent during the four-year period” (Source: MeetingsNet)

These rising costs have focused owners and asset managers’ attention on profitability, as well as RevPAR, and put more pressure on hotel marketers to find effective, highly profitable sources of revenue for their properties. And, it many cases, to achieve improved results without increasing spend. I know, fun, right?

So, given this reality, where’s the best place for you to spend your limited marketing budget?

Well, in partnership with HSMAI, I’ve got a great resource for you. I’ll be moderating a webinar this Monday, September 15, called New Year, New Budget: How to Allocate for Digital Marketing in 2015. The webinar will look at key issues as part of the budgeting process, and includes real-world case studies you can apply to your hotel or resort. It features an outstanding panel of hospitality and digital marketing experts, Matthew Clyde, Owner, Ideas Collide, Inc.; Stephen Fitzgerald, Senior Vice President, Sales, Milestone Internet Marketing; and Michael Bennett, VP of Marketing for KSL Resorts.

Among the topics we’ll discuss are:

  • Measuring the effectiveness of your existing efforts and the breakout trends from 2014
  • The continued evolution of key digital marketing trends
  • What’s new on the horizon for 2015
  • Where the smart money is being allocated in 2015 budgets

And because we know your schedule is busy, we’ll cover all this in just about an hour. The webinar is open to both HSMAI members and non-members, and you can register here. It will also be recorded so you can review the information afterwards. But try to attend the live event, where the panel and I will field questions from the audience, including yours.

Understanding how to allocate for hotel digital marketing in 2015 is a really big deal, and key to your success next year. So block an hour on Monday and register today.

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

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September 8, 2014

Dream Big

September 8, 2014 | By | No Comments

Dream bigI had a long conversation recently with a close friend who’s going through some tough times. His career has hit a couple of roadblocks — including losing a major client — and, making matters significantly worse, he’s been troubled by some health issues (Full disclosure: He gave me permission to write about this; any and all identifying details have been changed).

During our talk, though, I was struck by one thing: His intense optimism. “It’s going to get better,” he said more than once. “Good days ahead.”

At one point, I told him how impressed I was by his confidence and his good spirits.

His response was perfect:

“You’ve got to dream big. What’s the use of dreaming small?”

He went on to say:

“Don’t get me wrong. There’s a lot of work I need to do. Hard work. I don’t want my dreams just to end up as silly fantasies or wasted ambition; I’ve got to get up tomorrow and start taking care of the things that will move me towards what I’m dreaming about. But, it’s the dream that keeps me going. Why get out of bed if there’s nothing worth working towards?”

What cool advice, right? I love how he acknowledged both the need for a big dream, and the need for hard work. But I think he’s right that it all starts with a dream of something better, for you, for your loved ones, for your customers.

One of the reasons I think everyone gets so excited about companies like Apple (who’s set to announce its new phones and, potentially, wearable device(s) tomorrow), is that they articulate a big dream for their customers. They paint a vision of the world as a better place, a place that many want to get to. Other companies do this, too, of course, not just Apple. But I wonder whether enough companies do.

Many businesses continue to face struggles from the soft economy. And some of those struggles have nothing to do with a lack of effort. I don’t know anyone who isn’t working hard these days.

Maybe the problem isn’t with the effort; maybe it’s with the dream. Instead of just thinking about “How do we make it through this month/quarter/year?” you need to start thinking about your big dreams. What does the world look like when it all comes together?

And, more important, how can you make the world a better place for your family, your children, your customers, and their children? As my friend said, “What’s the use of dreaming small?”

Yes, do the work. You’ve got to get up every day and make it happen. But dream big to give yourself a reason “to get out of bed.” A big reason. A big dream. And, then, just like my friend, you’ll be just fine.

As a reminder, I’m presenting a webinar called Digital Marketing Directions: Key Trends Driving Your Marketing Next Year on Tuesday, September 16, 2014. You can read all the details here.

You may also enjoy this look at growing your email list and its importance as an e-commerce best practice as well as reviewing the slides from a talk I gave all about email marketing in an age of mobile:


(And, yes… you can hire me to speak at your next event, too).

And, if you’re interested in learning even more about how customers changing behavior shapes e-commerce and marketing, 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.

Finally, you might also enjoy 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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September 2, 2014

6 Crucial Hotel Marketing Posts for August (Travel Tuesday)

September 2, 2014 | By | No Comments

Crucial hotel marketing postsWelcome to the second edition of our top hotel marketing post round-up, this time reviewing the very best from August. As with last month’s list (itself among the top 10 posts on the blog overall), these crucial hotel marketing posts weren’t just the top hotel marketing posts on the blog; the first three were in the top 5 last month, and 5 of the 6 were in the top 10 overall (and given that the 6th was published on the Saturday of Labor Day weekend, we can probably cut it some slack I think). Pretty cool, eh? Anyway, with no further ado, let’s get to the list:

  1. The most popular post on the blog last month, by far, asked “Marriott Partners with Booking.com. Should You?” Since the relationship between hotels and OTA’s continues to be, as Facebook would list it, “complicated,” that’s not a shock. Marriott probably made a good decision here, for its business. The question remains whether it would be an equally good decision for you. Check out the post when you get a chance and see for yourself.
  2. Speaking of the complicated relationship between hotel and OTA’s, this look at “How Intermediaries Drive Up Your Costs and 5 Ways to Protect Yourself” rocketed to the #2 spot last month. Given its popularity among your fellow hospitality marketers, it’s well-worth taking a look.
  3. Mobile remains one of the key drivers for hotel occupancy and revenue growth this year. And these “5 Mind-Blowing Stats About Mobile’s Growth You Must Know” explain why that trend is not going to slow down anytime soon.
  4. I’d already mentioned last month’s “5 Essential Travel Marketing Posts for July,” but wanted to make sure you didn’t miss it in the list.
  5. I’ve started collecting a weekly link digest for hotel marketers. While this look at “8 Key Posts Hotel Marketers Must Read This Week” went live before starting the new link digest series, the popularity of this post at #5 shows how much you and your fellow hotel marketers value this kind of information.
  6. Finally, let’s finish this list by highlighting the Hospitality Marketing Link Digest post I just mentioned, featuring this collection of the “5 Exceptional Hospitality Marketing Posts” from last week. Building on the success of our regular E-commerce Link Digests, this series will explore top hospitality marketing posts each week. Be sure and stay tuned for more.

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

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August 28, 2014

What Mobile E-commerce Data Isn’t Telling You

August 28, 2014 | By | No Comments

Mobile ecommerce dataWith all the talk about the rise of mobile and its effect on online and offline sales, it’s easy to get confused by the disparate definitions of mobile and e-commerce. And you really need to be aware of what that mobile e-commerce data isn’t telling you.

Here’s what I mean.

Marketing Charts offers the following details about mobile share of e-commerce spending from Q2 of 2010 through Q2 of 2014:

“With desktop-based e-commerce growing by a more modest 10%, mobile accounted for 11.1% share of total e-commerce spend during the second quarter, up from 8.6% during the year-earlier period”

The same article goes on to note:

“Separately, an Internet Retailer report predicts that the 500 leading retailers in mobile commerce will see smartphone and tablet sales grow by 80% this year to represent 21% share of their e-commerce sales”

Further muddying the waters, eMarketer highlights
back-to-school mobile shopping habits among mothers with children

“A July 2014 study by PunchTab found that the majority (63%) of US mothers with children under the age of 18 planned to use their smartphones while back-to-school shopping. This deal-seeking group was most likely to turn to smartphones for assistance with price-related queries. Nearly half of respondents said they intended to use their phones to find coupons or sales, while 30% wanted to compare prices across different stores.”

Again, eMarketer notes:

“Even after stepping foot in a store, mothers indicated that smartphones—and especially deals found on those smartphones—would still play a role in what they bought for their kids. Among the 59% of respondents who planned to use their smartphones while back-to-school shopping in brick-and-mortars, 46% said they would look for mobile coupons. No other response came close”

So, let’s see. That’s 11% of total e-commerce, 21% of Internet Retailer 500 members, and 63% of back-to-school shoppers, mixed in with a bunch of other numbers about consumer use and/or retail results.

What isn’t this data telling you? Where mobile should be in your overall mix.

The simple reality is that customers use mobile regularly during their discovery, browsing, and shopping experience (less so for buying, though that may be more an attribution problem than an actual conversion problem). The question is whether they’re finding you during that same process.

Instead of getting too hung up on all these different data points, here’s a simpler notion: Observe your customers. Now, my experience suggests that “it’s all e-commerce,” because of what I see across my client base (using both analytics and direct observation of customers), as what I see when watching other people in stores, airports, restaurants, hotels, and attending events. I suspect you’re seeing the same thing, too.

What you really want to watch for is customers using mobile in your retail outlets (or restaurant, hotel, etc.), without corresponding growth in mobile traffic to your website. Because that’s a likely sign that they’re using mobile to check out your competitors while shopping your aisles… and not doing the same thing with you in return. If that’s the case, start working on improving your customers’ mobile experience.

Right. Now.

And, if it isn’t the case, start anyway, because it will be soon enough.

As an FYI, I’m presenting a webinar called Digital Marketing Directions: Key Trends Driving Your Marketing Next Year on Tuesday, September 16, 2014. You can read all the details here.

You may also enjoy this look at growing your email list and its importance as an e-commerce best practice as well as reviewing the slides from a talk I gave all about email marketing in an age of mobile:


(And, yes… you can hire me to speak at your next event, too).

And, if you’re interested in learning even more about how customers changing behavior shapes e-commerce and marketing, 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.

Finally, you might also enjoy 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 27, 2014

What Do Customers Do? Thinks Out Loud Episode 87

August 27, 2014 | By | No Comments

What do customers do

What Do Customers Do? Headlines and Show Notes

As a reminder, you can participate in my next webinar, called Digital Marketing Directions: Key Trends Driving Your Marketing Next Year, on Tuesday, September 16, 2014. You can read all the details here. And you can view the slides from my most recent talk here:


(And, yes… you can hire me to speak at your next event, too).

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 20s

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 25, 2014

Why Millennials Buy

August 25, 2014 | By | No Comments

Why millennials buyWant to know why millennials buy? For that matter, want to know why any demographic cohort buys? New research from eMarketer and Harris Interactive might point the way.

Now, I’ve mentioned this research before (notably in last week’s e-commerce link digest), but it’s worth digging into in some detail. Essentially, Harris Interactive asked consumers what they would do if they won $100,000. Because of the size and growing importance of the Millennial segment, eMarketer chose to focus on that cohort, noting:

“…June 2014 research also by Harris Interactive confirmed that millennials were savers—or at least wanted to be. Fully 64% of US internet users ages 18 to 36 planned to save or invest more money in the next six months—the most popular spending change among respondents in that group.”

What’s really notable in the poll, though, is how strikingly similar the responses were regardless of age. “Pay off existing debt/loans,” “Save for a rainy day fund/unexpected expenses,” and “Invest towards my retirement” represented the top three responses among Millennials, Gen X, and Baby Boomers. (To be fair, saving for retirement just barely beat out “Buy a car” among millennials, but the basic point remains).

Anyone familiar with Keynes’ “paradox of thrift” will recognize the inherent problem if everyone saves at the same time[*], and may be a contributing factor to the continued slow economy in many industries.

Economics aside, the fact remains that you won’t help millennials buy your products or services — or any other segment for that matter — if you don’t offer real value for their money. Just don’t confuse “value” with “low prices.”

Running the “Race to Zero”

Many businesses respond to tough times by simply lowering prices, trying to convince their customers that they’re the right choice because their products and services aren’t very expensive. Let me be clear: This is a terrible idea. This approach, which I call “the race to zero,” represents a race you simply can’t win. With the radical transparency offered by the Internet and mobile — where most of your customers now know more about your products, services, and prices than your employees do — you simply can’t outrun your competition that way. Too many industries have spent the last few years teaching customers that if they just keep looking, they’ll find a better deal. And that’s exactly what customers have done.

Why would you want to play that game?

Focus on Value

Instead, focus on showing your customers the value you offer. Value represents a key component of a compelling brand story, and helps customers understand why they would want to spend their money with you. Things like the P’s & Q’s model helps customers see what they get in exchange for their hard-earned money, and helps them decide whether or not you’re the right option for them, regardless of where you price your products. No one balks at the prices offered by Southwest Airlines, Procter & Gamble, or Zappos. Even premium products like iPhones and Mercedes are seen as good values by their target customers.

And, as a result, those companies have thrived during the last few years.

More importantly, this focus on demonstrating value works no matter what the economy does. Even as the economy has started to improve, many of the businesses who lowered prices during the downturn (and still somehow managed to stay in business), now face customer resistance to raising their prices. Whereas those who focused on value throughout the latest recession don’t need to raise their prices, further improving the value proposition to their customers. How’s that for a neat trick?

Conclusion

No matter what your customers are willing to spend, running the race to zero is a losing strategy. Offering value from your products and services remains the best way to convince customers that you’re right for them. And that’s true whether you sell to Millennials, Baby Boomers, Gen X, or all of the above. The Internet and the rise of mobile have given your customers the ability to find the right product for their needs anytime, anywhere. Develop your marketing around demonstrating value, and you’ll go a long way towards making sure customers choose you.

As a reminder, you can participate in my next webinar, called Digital Marketing Directions: Key Trends Driving Your Marketing Next Year, on Tuesday, September 16, 2014. You can read all the details here. You can also check out the slides from a talk I gave on price transparency a while back. While the talk is from a few years ago, the basic points remain true:

If you’re interested in learning even more about how customers changing behavior shapes e-commerce and marketing, 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.

As an FYI, I’m presenting a webinar called Digital Marketing Directions: Key Trends Driving Your Marketing Next Year on Tuesday, September 16, 2014. You can read all the details here.

Finally, you might also enjoy some of our past coverage of the mobile, local, social web and how to make it work for your business, including:

Note about Keynes: Some criticisms to Keynes’ paradox of thrift point out that when people save money, it provides banks additional capital for lending, and that lending keeps the economy humming along. That may well be true in many circumstances. I’m certainly not trying to incite economics/religious debates on this topic. However, it’s also worth noting that, in the case of the last few years, many banks haven’t been lending that much money, probably because — as the Harris data cited by eMarketer suggests — most people were more interested in paying off debt than taking on new debt. So, whether Keynes was ultimately right or not isn’t particularly relevant to the current discussion. What matters more is whether your customers feel like they can/should spend money. And offering them appropriate value remains the best way to do that.
Tim Peter

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August 22, 2014

7 Marketing Must-Reads : E-commerce Link Digest

August 22, 2014 | By | No Comments

E-commerce and marketing must reads Well, that was a good idea. Last week, I resurrected my long-dormant “E-commerce Link Digest” series, only to see it rocket to one of the top posts for the month. Clearly, you like this sort of thing. Well, you don’t have to tell me twice. This week, I’m continuing the series, looking at 7 marketing “must-read” articles from around the web (with a handful more hidden within the list to provide additional context or commentary). That ought to get you through the weekend. Enjoy:

  1. eMarketer tells us what millennials would do if they won $100,000. The fact that the top 2 items, by far, among Millennials, Baby Boomers, and Gen X are “pay off debt” and “save for a rainy day” goes a long way towards explaining the current state of the economy.
  2. The current economy helps explain, at least in part, the rise of companies like Uber and Airbnb. Expect that growth to continue. Jeremiah Owyang has a great look at how collaborative companies opening up APIs will change commerce. For instance, Mobile Commerce Daily has a story about Hyatt integrating Uber into its reservations process, illustrating precisely the kind of collaboration between service providers Jeremiah Owyang is talking about.
  3. TechCrunch has data showing that the majority of digital media consumption happens comes from mobile apps.
  4. Speaking of apps, Quartz lists the top mobile 25 apps by unique users. No real surprises. Facebook, YouTube, Google Play, and Google Search represent the biggest, with music, search, social/messages, email, video, and maps representing the largest categories. Also from Quartz, it looks like the vast majority of smartphone users download precisely zero apps every month.
  5. Fortune has a cool, in-depth look at what Google’s new research lab headed by a former DARPA director means to you. Well worth the read.
  6. On a far more tactical level, Search Engine Land tells us to say farewell ‘pure’ exact match; AdWords will soon require all campaigns to use close variants. While it’s not a big deal for most companies, it’s going to suck for those who’ve done the research to figure out exactly what works — and what doesn’t — in their search marketing campaigns.
  7. Finally, check out last week’s list of 10 key posts about Millennials and mobile and this look at whether Millennials will use email when you get a chance. Good stuff all around.

Speaking of Millennials and email, I recently took a look at growing your email list and its importance as an e-commerce best practice. I also gave a talk to a fantastic audience all about email marketing in an age of mobile and featured the topic as part of my weekly podcast. If you’re interested, you can view the slides from the talk below:


(And, yes… you can hire me to speak at your next event, too).

If you’re interested in learning even more about how customers changing behavior shapes e-commerce and marketing, 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.

As an FYI, I’m presenting a webinar called Digital Marketing Directions: Key Trends Driving Your Marketing Next Year on Tuesday, September 16, 2014. You can read all the details here.

Finally, you might also enjoy 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 20, 2014

Tim Peter

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August 19, 2014

Marriott Partners with Booking.com. Should You? (Travel Tuesday)

August 19, 2014 | By | No Comments

Marriott partners with booking.com. Should you?Tnooz reports today on Marriott.com using Booking.com’s white label services to power its Italian website. Here’s what Booking.com offers:

“Alongside providing intermediaries with a search and booking system, Booking.com was also now offering hotels the chance to take a similar service. It is essentially an extension of the intermediary white label, but instead is tailored for a particular hotel brand, like a customized widget that has been supersized. Each solution is made specifically for an individual chain and takes up an entire web domain owned by that chain.”

Apparently, Marriott is the first to test this system, running it on its Italian and Brazilian web domains (marriott.it and marriot.com.br). Rates, images and descriptions appear to mirror Marriott, while the booking interface looks very much like Booking.com. As Tnooz notes:

“How deep a hotel chain wants to get in with Booking.com is a key question in all this – hotels have a delicate balancing act to tackle, as they look to increase direct bookings but also know that the Booking.com is a large distribution network (frenemies in action, perhaps).”

The knee-jerk reaction among commenters on the Tnooz post — one I initially shared — is that this is a terrible idea. As one commenter stated:

“Clever. Making hoteliers more and more dependent on booking.com since 1996.”

But, here’s a question: Is this such a terrible idea? I’m not so sure. At least not for Marriott.

Clearly a number of risks exist. First, it’s clear OTA’s and other intermediaries continue to drive up the cost of customer acquisition. Letting the OTA’s take further control of the booking process is not a recommended way to protect yourself from rising costs.

And, as mentioned in “6 Key Secrets Every Hotel Marketer Should Know,” you need to own your customer data. Marriott is potentially making a huge mistake if they’re providing Booking.com with even more data about guests and their behavior.

Most importantly, I worry the message this sends to Marriott’s franchisees. Is the company unwittingly telling its hotel owners and operators that Booking.com can offer many of the same benefits the brand does? That would be a huge mistake in the longer term.

That said, Marriott isn’t most hotel companies (full disclosure: I know quite a few people in Marriott’s e-commerce, distribution, and marketing teams; they’re all smart folks and, I have little doubt, they thought about this long and hard). They’ve got to serve the needs of almost 4,000 properties in 70 countries. In a prior post, I cautioned hotel marketers against thinking about OTA’s as the enemy, noting,

“…think about your overall web presence and, for that matter, market presence, and how you can reach guests most effectively and efficiently.”

It’s possible — and I’d think, highly likely — that Marriott asked itself, “what’s the best way to serve our hotel franchisees and guests in markets where we don’t have a strong presence?” and determined that Booking.com gives it market presence for a more reasonable cost while the company builds out its own in-market capabilities.

I’ve talked before about why best practices aren’t always best for your brand or business. This may be one of those times. While this may be a good deal for Marriott, I can’t imagine that being true for many hotels, particularly independents. For Marriott, assuming they’ve thought through the long-term implications of this deal for their franchisees and their future, this probably makes sense — particularly if it’s a short-term play. For anyone else, I’d stick with my knee-jerk reaction, and tell Booking.com to find another partner.

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.

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: