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April 14, 2015

The Big Myth About Digital Strategy (Travel Tuesday)

April 14, 2015 | By | No Comments

Big myth about digital strategyIn my columns for Hotel News Now over the last year or so, I’ve looked at 3 ways to compete with OTA’s, how to use your data to drive growth for your hotel and minimize the cost of using intermediaries. But this month, it seemed worthwhile to question the whole underpinning of your digital marketing, e-commerce, and distribution strategy. In particular, I wanted to explore a big myth about digital strategy:

“One of the biggest myths surrounding digital strategy is its overarching emphasis on the digital component. Sure, digital is important, but it’s not the whole enchilada. I realize that might sound weird to many of you—particularly coming from a digital strategy consultant—but so much of what makes digital work is more about your organization’s culture and leadership than anything to do with distribution dominance, paid search prowess or social marketing mastery.

When you hear people around you talk about companies that have “digital in their DNA,” what they mean is the company succeeds despite the rapid changes we’re seeing in the marketplace—they don’t depend on any specific channel or tactic to achieve their goals and aren’t caught off-guard when the market suddenly shifts from search to social or from online travel agency to meta. Digital winners don’t divide their world solely into OTA or direct, search or social, media or mobile to drive reservations and revenue.”

Curious about the rest? Be sure to read the whole column at Hotel News Now.

And if you want to learn even more about how 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 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 might also 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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April 6, 2015

9 Amazing Millennial, Mobile and Digital Marketing Columns: the Top Posts from March

April 6, 2015 | By | No Comments

Millennials snapping a selfie: amazing Millennial, mobile, and digital marketing columnsAnother month, Big Thinkers, another chance to review the posts you most enjoyed. Without further ado, here are 9 amazing millennial, mobile and digital marketing columns: the top posts from March. Enjoy:

  1. First up is this entry from the E-commerce Link Digest series, which lays out “10 Hugely Important Digital, Mobile, and E-Commerce Observations from the Past Week.” As the title suggests, really good stuff.
  2. Many of you enjoyed the slides from my recent presentation, “Putting Digital to Work: 4 Key Actions to Drive Digital Transformation.” And for those of you who haven’t taken a look yet, now’s your chance.
  3. Another E-commerce Link Digest enters the list at #3, this one a round-up of “6 Quick E-Commerce and Digital Marketing Winners.”
  4. Millennials and mobile remain two of the most compelling trends driving marketing and e-commerce today. That probably explains the popularity of this post, “No, Millennials Never Put Down Their Phones.”
  5. This piece, “4 Keys to Executing On Digital,” makes an outstanding companion to the presentation listed at #2.
  6. More Millennial marketing magic appears in Episode 116 of our Thinks Out Loud podcast, “Why Millennials Matter.”
  7. Big month for presentations among your fellow Tim Peter Thinks readers. The next entry on our list comes from a presentation called “Social Media Integration: All Marketing is Social.” Check it out when you get a chance.
  8. Another E-commerce Link Digest, another look at mobile and Millennials. These “8 Amazing Social, Mobile, Millennial Marketing and E-Commerce Posts” were very popular among your fellow Big Thinkers this past month, as were these “8 Must-Read Posts Connecting Content, Search and Mobile Commerce.”
  9. Finally, be sure to check out Thinks Out Loud Episode 114, “Why Data Always Wins,” just like many of your fellow readers here on the blog.

Did you like these 9 amazing millennial, mobile and digital marketing columns? Then be sure to check out these collections of prior top posts including our round-up of the top posts from 2014, these “10 Can’t Miss Mobile Commerce and Marketing Columns: The Top Posts from February 2015″ and these “10 Must-Read Marketing and E-Commerce Missives: The Top Posts from January,” as well as the ongoing the E-commerce Link Digest series. They’re all worth your time and will help you improve your overall e-commerce and digital marketing results next year.

And if you want to learn even more about how 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.

Plus, don’t miss 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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April 2, 2015

Wow! Digital Influenced $1.2 Trillion In-Store Last Year

April 2, 2015 | By | No Comments

Digital influenced $1.2 trillion in-store last yearWe’ve been talking a fair bit the last few days about how digital works. Supporting that idea, new research from L2 suggests that digital influenced over $1.2 trillion of in-store sales in 2014. As recapped in a Luxury Daily article on the study,

“Digital channels effect 50 percent of in-store sales, despite direct-to-consumer ecommerce only accounting for 4 percent of sales.”

Another amazing finding states:

“Prior to interaction with a sales associate, 80 percent of United States consumers know what they want and how much they plan to spend.”

Call me crazy, but I might suggest that it’s all e-commerce now. Your customers have high expectations of how you can use digital and mobile to support their needs regardless of the channel they choose to buy through. Industry leaders are making serious moves in this space, whether it’s The Gap integrating mobile in-store or Amazon launching its new Dash tool. But the fact remains, it’s time to put digital to work for your business too.

Looking to learn still 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 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:

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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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April 1, 2015

No Fooling: Digital Works – Thinks Out Loud Episode 117

April 1, 2015 | By | No Comments

Digital works. This week's podcast explains how to make it work for you.

No Fooling: Digital Works – Headlines and Show Notes

And since I talked about it during the show, 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: 14m 38s

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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March 30, 2015

What The Gap Can Teach Us About Mobile E-commerce

March 30, 2015 | By | No Comments

Mobile e-commerce in action

Fast Company explores “…Gap’s plan to get back into your drawers.” (you can insert your own Michael Scott joke here). Given their struggles in recent years, what can The Gap teach us about mobile e-commerce? A lot, actually. Buried in the profile is a great quote from Gap’s EVP of digital and customer experience, where he quotes the company’s CEO,

“…choosing convenient and transactional versus emotional and engaging is a false dichotomy.”

Exactly.

Emotion plays a huge role in your customers’ purchase decisions. In fact, I’d argue that emotions drive most purchase decisions
(and have; see slides 137-141 in my presentation “The Truth: How the Social, Local, Mobile Web Affects Sales Online and Offline”). For instance, even the most hardened business executive considers how pulling the trigger on a major technology investment will help or harm her career. Your digital channels must consider any emotional concerns your customers have in addition to providing a clear, usable experience. And, to their credit, many businesses do a reasonable job of this with their websites.

But…

Later, the article concludes with this statement,

“[The Gap's] fall 2015 collection will arrive in August. Many customers will see it first—and shop from it—on their phones. “

And this is where far too many businesses fall short today (not that everyone’s perfect on desktop, of course). Your customers are moving to mobile in a big, big way. Millennials live on mobile, all day, every day, and have begun to outnumber every other demographic segment. It’s not enough, though, to simply provide a mobile website or app. You’ve also got to engage your customers in a way that makes them feel good about their purchase decisions when they buy from you. Or watch as your competition wins the sale. Now, how would that make you feel?

Looking to learn still 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 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:

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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March 27, 2015

8 Amazing Social, Mobile, Millennial Marketing and E-Commerce Posts

March 27, 2015 | By | No Comments

Social, mobile, Millennial marketing and e-commerceAnother busy week, Big Thinkers, so we’re going to get right to the list with this round-up of 8 amazing social, mobile, Millennial marketing and e-commerce posts. Enjoy:

  1. Leading off, eMarketer tells us that mobile will account for 72% of US digital ad spend by 2019. Um… that’s a lot. Of course, when you consider that, no, Millennials never put down their phones and that the path to purchase starts and ends on smartphones for UK Millennials (and probably most others, too), it’s not terribly surprising.
  2. All of the above highlights why I believe mobile will disrupt your industry and offer 3 ways to protect your business. With the number of mobile and Millennial milestones we keep reaching, it’s happening incredibly fast, too.
  3. One of the biggest disruptions ahead is coming in the form of Google’s new “mobile-friendly” algorithm. As Search Engine Land notes, Google’s mobile-friendly algorithm is bigger than Panda or Penguin and the company has also clarified that the mobile-friendly algorithm will roll out over a week, be a yes/no response & more.
  4. GetElastic also helps you get ready for your mobile-heavy customers, with a look at mobile content in context: rules of responsive experience and these 7 tips for targeting the mobile-only shopper. Outstanding stuff there.
  5. Further underscoring the importance of mobile, TechCrunch notes that Yelp hooks up with startups to offer a larger selection of e-commerce bookings. That also underscores my “predication” about why Apple might choose Yelp as its go-to search engine.
  6. And this boom in mobile e-commerce is the reason eMarketer advises you to make way for the digital, deal-seeking Millennial mother. Good read.
  7. Shifting to social, Marketing Charts asks, “Why Do Millennials Use Facebook and Twitter?” and BuzzFeed News says that Facebook is eating the Internet. What you really want to do, of course, it tie Millennials, mobile, marketing, social and e-commerce together, which is the point of my recent presentation, “Social Media Integration: All Marketing is Social.”
  8. And while we’re on the topic of “putting it all together,” take a few minutes to review another recent presentation, “Putting Digital to Work: 4 Key Actions to Drive Digital Transformation,”, read the 4 keys to executing on digital or listen to a recent podcast that explains why, in in digital marketing, the money is in the list.

Hope you enjoyed this look at 8 amazing social, mobile, Millennial marketing and e-commerce posts. If you’re looking for even more good stuff, don’t miss this “Baker’s Dozen of the Best Mobile, E-Commerce, and Digital Marketing Writings This Week,” these “10 Hugely Important Digital, Mobile, and E-Commerce Observations from the Past Week”, the “8 Must-Read Posts Connecting Content, Search and Mobile Commerce”, our monthly best of round-up “10 Can’t Miss Mobile Commerce and Marketing Columns: The Top Posts from February 2015″ or the rest of our E-commerce Link Digest series.

And if you want to learn even more about how 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:

Travel

  1. Why Apple Might Choose Yelp as Its Go-To Search Engine (Travel Tuesday)
  2. Among America’s millennials who travel, half have spouses and children – Tnooz
  3. Huge List of Lessons Learned at HSMAI’s Digital Marketing Strategy Conference – Travel Tuesday
  4. Expedia extends mobile dominance
  5. 7 Hot Hotel Marketing Insights: Hospitality Marketing Link Digest
  6. 5 Top Mobile Marketing Tips from Travel and Hospitality Industry Leaders | Adobe
  7. Huge List of Lessons Learned at HSMAI’s Digital Marketing Strategy Conference – Travel Tuesday
Tim Peter

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March 26, 2015

Social Media Integration: All Marketing is Social [Presentation]

March 26, 2015 | By | No Comments

Social media integration: All marketing is social

Developing an effective digital marketing strategy is critically important for businesses today. But, equally important, you’ve got to be able to execute that strategy, put it in practice, make it work. Lately, I’ve been doing more and more speaking engagements where the topic has focused not just on strategy but also on real-world examples and case studies that demonstrate how leading companies have put digital to work in their organizations (including many of my own clients’ stories).

I shared the slides from my “Putting Digital to Work” talk the other day to provide insights into how many companies have succeeded in making digital work for their organizations. Today, I thought you might enjoy these slides from a talk I’ve just given called “Social Media Integration: All Marketing is Social,” which looks at how you can build social into your overall customer experience. This isn’t just about gaining friends and fans and followers; it’s about listening to and learning from your customers, and making your marketing work most effectively by getting your customers to tell your brand story for you. In short, it’s about results.

Here are the slides for your reference:

If you want to learn even more about how 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.

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

March 18, 2015

Digital Marketing: The Money Is In The List – Thinks Out Loud Episode 115

March 18, 2015 | By | No Comments

The money is in the list

Digital Marketing: The Money Is In The List – Headlines and Show Notes

And, as promised, you can also 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: 15m 13s

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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March 17, 2015

Why Apple Might Choose Yelp as Its Go-To Search Engine (Travel Tuesday)

March 17, 2015 | By | No Comments

Why Apple might choose Yelp

I mentioned in this week’s hospitality marketing link digest Search Engine Land’s prediction that Apple will not renew Google as Safari’s default search engine. And I ventured a guess, nothing more, that Apple might choose Yelp as an alternative search offering.

Here’s why and, more importantly, why you ought to care.

What the Apple, Yelp, Google Discussion is Really About

Fundamentally, search is becoming a local offering. Proximity has long represented a key driver of why guests choose hotels. With the growth of map search and the rise of mobile, proximity is taking on a similar role for almost every other kind of business, too. Popular services such as Uber, Lyft, OpenTable, Yik Yak, and, yes, Yelp depend on local information to support their customers’ needs. And that reliance on local information only seems to be accelerating.

For instance, check out Google’s recent moves that highlight the importance of local information:

Obviously, this list is hardly conclusive. But it is suggestive of the search giant’s direction, driven by the content its users seem to seek.

As it happens, Yelp provides some of these tools already, particularly in the way of photos, to say nothing of its review content. And Apple already includes Yelp as a key component of Apple Maps and Siri.

Of course, it’s worth watching this rumor that some investors think Priceline might be looking to acquire Yelp outright, which when combined with its existing hotel inventory, OpenTable integration and other recent moves, would make Priceline a formidable competitor to Google in its own right.

Me? I think Apple will re-sign with Google, at least this time around. There isn’t another credible alternative that’s ready. Yet. But I think Apple is undoubtedly looking to decrease its dependence on Google. Yelp provides one potential alternative. And Apple’s recent acquisition of Spotsetter and acqui-hire of the BroadMaps team suggest this space is heating up in a big, big way. I suspect even Apple’s rumored self-driving car is as much about collecting map data right now (just like Google once did) as anything else.

Why Hotels Should Care

Today, major chunks of your marketing spend depend on a few key players: Priceline, Expedia, and TripAdvisor for OTA/metasearch (which, really, are the same thing), and Google for search/metasearch (which, again, its recent moves suggest are also coming together). Sure, I know there are plenty of others. But the 80/20 rule suggests you’re getting most of your online bookings from this relatively limited group.

Any shake-up in the overall pecking order, whether by Google taking a bigger role in travel transactions or the emergence of a serious new player—an Apple or Priceline-backed Yelp, for instance—could seriously affect your overall distribution plans.

My advice for now? Continue to beef up your mobile presence. Build and optimize your customer database to market directly to guests. And keep an eye on the continually-evolving market. Because even if we can’t predict exactly what will happen, we can predict it’s going to be a fascinating journey.

Interested in learning even more about the future of hospitality e-commerce and marketing via the social, local, mobile web? You should 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 for 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.

And 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 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

March 16, 2015

No, Millennials Never Put Down Their Phones

March 16, 2015 | By | No Comments

Millennials never put down their phones

eMarketer highlights new research from My.com that shows Millennials are more attached to their phones than you already think they are. Key quote:

“45% of smartphone- and tablet-using 13-to-18-year-olds in the US spent 4 hours or more using the mobile internet each weekday, with 28% logging on for over 5 hours on average. Nearly half of 19- to 22-year-olds spent at least 4 hours with the mobile internet every weekday. Here, too, just less than one in three logged on for over 5 hours on average.”

Now apart from My.com’s weird definition of Millennials (capping the demographic segment at 24, instead of the more common 30-ish), the study still found plenty of useful tidbits about market trends driven by this influential and important segment. For starters, there’s this gem:

“US millennial smartphone users ranked having mobile-friendly websites and apps No. 1, at 55%.”

It’s a given that mobile will underscore your industry and that you need to take steps now to protect your business, but this reliance on mobile among emerging customer groups underscores the trend’s significance.

There’s an old joke that says insanity is hereditary; you get it from your kids. As it happens, technology adoption works the same way. Sure, Boomers and Gen X like to pretend that they taught their kids how to use technology.

But look around.

Are 20-somethings experiencing life the same way you have for years? Or, are you starting to live your life the way they do? If you’re texting, watching YouTube or other videos on your phone, keeping in contact with friends and family via Facebook and Instagram, snapping selfies everywhere you go, and enjoying lots of other activities that Millennials take for granted every day, chances are you got it from them, not the other way ’round.

And the trend is growing. Note this point from eMarketer:

“Among 18- to 24-year-olds, mobile phone penetration will come in at 96.5%—the highest out of all age brackets—and 91.4% of these consumers will log on to the internet via their phones at least once per month.”

Mobile is bigger than you think. And, as eMarketer’s data suggests, is going to get even bigger. No, Millennials never put down their phones. And if you’re not able to meet their needs on mobile, they’ll put down you instead.

Looking to learn still 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 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:

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: