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Tim Peter

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August 21, 2016

5 Must-See Hotel Marketing Missives: Hospitality Marketing Link Digest

August 21, 2016 | By | No Comments

Want to drive more direct bookings to your hotel? Click here to learn more


5 must-see hotel marketing missives: Man shopping for hotel onlineHope you’ve had a great weekend, Big Thinkers. To get you ready for a big week ahead, we’ve collected this set of 5 must-see hotel marketing missives from the past week. Enjoy:

  1. Leading off, Julie Sickel from Business Travel News warns us that “Hotel Occupancy Flattens Across Global Regions.” We’ve been living in “the good old days” for the last year or two. Looks like that’s coming to an end as the business cycle softens.
  2. Given that reality, you might want to see EyeForTravel’s piece that looked at “OTAs vs Hotels: Why ‘An Old and Tired Story’ Keeps Running” as well as these “10 Great Hotel Direct and OTA Distribution Posts” from the Hospitality Marketing Link Digest series.
  3. These “5 Helpful Hospitality Marketing Stories for You” and this set of “10 Terrific Travel Marketing Posts from the Past Week” from the Hospitality Marketing Link Digest series also offer terrific insights into improving your direct business.
  4. Of course, if you want more direct business, you should avoid the “Hotel Website Design and Usability: Top 10 Mistakes” that Vikram Singh outlined over on Hospitality Net.
  5. Finally, this round-up of “8 Outstanding Insights: the Top Travel Marketing Posts of Summer, 2016” and these “21 Can’t Miss Travel Marketing Insights: The Top Posts of 2016 (So Far)” will help you get ready to drive more direct business, regardless of what happens to demand overall. Great stuff, well worth your time.

If you’re looking for even more hospitality marketing goodness, you might also want to take a moment to review the slides from my recent seminar, “Digital Marketing Directions 2016: The Key Trends Driving Your Hotel Marketing Next Year” here:

Finally, you will definitely want to check out some of our past coverage of the mobile, local, social web and how to make it work for your hotel, including:

Tim Peter

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August 16, 2016

What Business Is Airbnb In? Hotels? Or Hospitality?

August 16, 2016 | By | No Comments

Want to drive more direct bookings to your hotel? Click here to learn more


Hotel business or hospitality business: Millennial woman helping guest check-inJoe Gebbia, co-founder and chief product officer of Airbnb, claims they’re not in the hotel business. Instead, the company sells “trust,” mostly in the form of customer experience. Here’s co-founder and chief product officer Joe Gebbia in Skift:

“We didn’t come up with anything new: Hospitality has been around forever, and there were many websites like ours. Why did ours eventually take off? Luck and timing aside, what I’ve learned is we can understand the components of trust and design for that. Trust is still, and will always be, the foundation of our company, and one of my main objectives has been to find new ways to understand and innovate all aspects of trust in our service, our company and our community.”

Now, undermining that argument, they’ve built a hotel in Yoshino, Japan. While Airbnb insists the property isn’t a hotel, Business Insider nails it:

“It’s a commercial property, staffed by locals, and tourists visiting the area pay to rent rooms. A hotel is exactly what it is.”

Gebbia tries to brush this away, telling Skift, “The Yoshino Cedar House is owned by the town of Yoshino, just as all Airbnb listings are owned by the hosts.”

Um… okay. Marriott doesn’t own the property I’m sitting in either. That doesn’t mean it’s not a hotel. I worked for Wyndham Hotel Group and The Leading Hotels of the World for over a decade. Neither owned a single property. They each were — and remain — “hotel companies” (I believe Wyndham now owns two properties; when compared with their roughly 7,700 franchised hotels, that really won’t undermine my point).

But here’s the thing. Gebbia’s telling the truth.

We’re seeing lots of change in the industry, largely driven by technology — or more appropriately, by consumer adoption of technology. You’re feeling the effects of that change every day, whether in operations, marketing, distribution, revenue management, what-have-you. Change happens. Get over it.

What hasn’t changed is what your guest needs. Now, I don’t mean “what guests need” in terms of amenities or destinations. Like any fashion, those change all the time. But guests will always require:

  • Hospitality
  • Service
  • Experience
  • Trust

Where’s Airbnb placing its focus? Hospitality. Service. Experience. Trust. As Gebbia said, “We didn’t come up with anything new: Hospitality has been around forever…”

The problem we often have in this industry comes down to verbiage. Airbnb may not be a hotel company, but they’re certainly a hospitality company.

So the question is, which business are you in? The “hotel” business? Or the “hospitality” business? Getting the answer to that question matters. Because as Airbnb keeps proving every day, only one of them has a future.

If you’re looking for even more hospitality marketing goodness, you might also want to take a moment to review the slides from my recent seminar, “Digital Marketing Directions 2016: The Key Trends Driving Your Hotel Marketing Next Year” here:

Finally, you will definitely want to check out some of our past coverage of the mobile, local, social web and how to make it work for your hotel, including:

Tim Peter

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August 14, 2016

10 Great Hotel Direct and OTA Distribution Posts: Hospitality Marketing Link Digest

August 14, 2016 | By | No Comments

Want to drive more direct bookings to your hotel? Click here to learn more


10 Great Hotel Direct and OTA Distribution Posts: Hospitality Marketing Link DigestHowdy, Big Thinkers! Super hot here in the wilds of New Jersey today, so I’m going to skip the setup and get you straight to this collection of these 10 great hotel direct and OTA distribution posts from the past week. Enjoy:

  1. Leading off, we’ve got these “3 Myths About Hotel Direct Revenue You Must Stop Believing” for you. Great stuff.
  2. You also won’t want to miss these “8 Outstanding Insights: the Top Travel Marketing Posts of Summer, 2016.” Definitely worth your time.
  3. One of the reasons you’ll want to pay attention to the tips outlined above comes from Business Travel News, who report that “Hotel Occupancy Flattens Across Global Regions.” It seems like the good ol’ days are starting to come to an end. Most of the RevPAR growth in the past year has come more from rate than occupancy. While that’s a good way to gain growth, it’s also a sign that demand for rooms is beginning to fall, the supply of rooms is increasing, or, most likely, a bit of both. Definitely time to get ready for a tougher market ahead.
  4. Inc. Magazine looks at “3 Travel Hacks Millennials Use and You Should Too.” Interesting insight into how millennials — and many consumers, really — actually shop for travel and well worth your time.
  5. In other less-welcome news, HotelMarketing says that “In Search of Hotels, More Travelers Turn To OTAs Than Hotel Websites.” That’s not great, really.
  6. EyeForTravel looks at “OTAs vs Hotels: Why ‘An Old and Tired Story’ Keeps Running.” Well, for starters, there’s things like this: “OTA’s vs. Chain Brands: Expedia Comes Out Swinging.” Though, I suppose, we also ought to consider “A Fair and Balanced Look at Balancing Direct and OTA Business” too. OTA’s have their role to play in your distribution strategy. It’s your job to ensure you use them correctly.
  7. Before moving on, Director in the UK explains how “Booking.com Envisions the Future of Travel.” Absolutely something you should check out, if for no other reason than “know your competition.”
  8. And on a highly related note, TheStreet says “Here’s Why TripAdvisor Is Becoming the Facebook of Online Travel” that you should take a look at too.
  9. If you’re looking to grow your direct business, these “5 Helpful Hospitality Marketing Stories for You” from our Hospitality Marketing Link Digest are worth a look.
  10. And, finally, pay attention to these “Four Key Elements of Modern Hospitality Marketing” to help you reach and attract more guests to your hotel. You’ll be glad you did.

If you’re looking for even more travel marketing goodness, you might also want to take a moment to review the slides from my recent seminar, “Digital Marketing Directions 2016: The Key Trends Driving Your Hotel Marketing Next Year” here:

Finally, you will definitely want to check out some of our past coverage of the mobile, local, social web and how to make it work for your hotel, including:

Tim Peter

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August 2, 2016

8 Outstanding Insights: the Top Travel Marketing Posts of Summer, 2016 (Travel Tuesday)

August 2, 2016 | By | No Comments

Want to drive more direct bookings to your hotel? Click here to learn more


8 Outstanding Insights: the Top Travel Marketing Posts of Summer, 2016Hey, Big Thinkers! As with yesterday’s post, we’re rounding up the top posts from summer, this time putting our usual Travel Tuesday focus on the very best travel and hospitality marketing posts here on the blog. So, without further ado, spend a few minutes revisiting these 8 outstanding insights: the top travel marketing posts of summer, 2016. Enjoy:

  1. Leading off, we’ve got a round-up of “3 Myths of Hotel Direct Revenue You Must Stop Believing” for you. Great stuff.
  2. Another hugely popular post here on Thinks was our recap of “21 Can’t Miss Travel Marketing Insights: The Top Posts of 2016 (So Far).”
  3. Up next, we come to a broad run of entries from the Hospitality Marketing Link Digest, starting with these “6 Super Summer Hotel Marketing and Distribution Tips” that your fellow Big Thinkers loved.
  4. Like that one? Well, then you’ll probably love this set of “10 Terrific Travel Marketing Posts from the Past Week.”
  5. Want even more? How about a collection of “7 Special Hotel Marketing Insights” from early in July for you.
  6. One last Hospitality Marketing Link Digest that got lots of traction this summer gathered up “5 Fantastic Travel Marketing Posts You’ll Want to See.” Really good stuff all around.
  7. Our own Tim Peter talked about how to “Cut Through the SEO Clutter: 5 Myths Explained” and “How Digital Marketers Deal With the Shifting Landscape” in two separate interviews with Hotel News Now.
  8. Finally, we’ll leave you with this video of the “This Week In Hospitality Digital Marketing HITEC Recap” where Tim hung out with a group of industry thought leaders to talk about what worked — and what didn’t — at the recent HITEC conference HFTP put on in New Orleans. Really worth a few minutes of your time.

If you’re looking for even more travel marketing goodness, you might also want to take a moment to review the slides from my recent seminar, “Digital Marketing Directions 2016: The Key Trends Driving Your Hotel Marketing Next Year” here:

Finally, you will definitely want to check out some of our past coverage of the mobile, local, social web and how to make it work for your hotel, including:

Tim Peter

By

July 31, 2016

6 Spectacular Hospitality Marketing Insights: Hospitality Marketing Link Digest

July 31, 2016 | By | No Comments

Want to drive more direct bookings to your hotel? Click here to learn more


6 Spectacular Hospitality Marketing Insights: Hospitality Marketing Link DigestHey, Big Thinkers. No big setup this week as we’re off enjoying the fantastic summer Sunday. But to kick off your week, don’t miss these 6 spectacular hospitality marketing insights. Enjoy:

  1. Tnooz outlined “Eight Tech Trends for the Travel Chief’s Watchlist” that you’ll really want to review.
  2. Meanwhile, Marketing Charts provided this “Sharing Economy: Travel and Finance Update” that’s important to pay attention to, especially if you find yourself asking “How Safe Are Independent Hotels from Airbnb?”
  3. Along with the other members of the This Week in Hospitality Marketing, we put together “This Week in Hospitality Marketing’s HITEC Round-Up and Recap” for you to watch. Good stuff.
  4. Adweek looked at “How Travel Writing Evolved Into Travel Blogging, and What Brands Get From Both” that also illustrates why, “For Travel Marketers, Content is Still King.”
  5. You also might want to remember that, when it comes to “OTA’s vs. Chain Brands: Expedia Comes Out Swinging.”
  6. And, finally, don’t miss these “5 Fantastic Travel Marketing Insights” from the Hospitality Marketing Link Digest series to round out this collection of 6 spectacular hospitality marketing insights.

If you’re looking for even more travel marketing goodness, you might also want to take a moment to review the slides from my recent seminar, “Digital Marketing Directions 2016: The Key Trends Driving Your Hotel Marketing Next Year” here:

Finally, you will definitely want to check out some of our past coverage of the mobile, local, social web and how to make it work for your hotel, including:

Tim Peter

By

July 26, 2016

3 Myths About Hotel Direct Revenue You Must Stop Believing (Travel Tuesday)

July 26, 2016 | By | No Comments

Want to drive more direct bookings to your hotel? Click here to learn more


3 myths about hotel direct revenue that you must stop believingMy latest column for Hotel News Now, “The Most Capable Revenue Generator Is You,” looks at 3 myths about hotel direct revenue you must stop believing.

I’ve talked about one of the myths,

“OTA’s are evil,”

a number of times.

But I haven’t talked as much about the other two. As the column points out,

“…competing on price is a losing proposition. Full stop. Lowering rates should be your last resort. It hurts your ability to provide a better experience for guests and, in most cases, doesn’t work at actually driving demand.

For a 150-room property selling at $200 per night, every 5% discount — just $10 a night — away from your target ADR represents a topline loss of around $300,000 per year. And if you’re offering that $10 discount through OTA channels, you’re leaving even more money on the table once you’ve accounted for commissions and net rates. Which then makes it that much harder to surprise and delight guests with an amazing experience when you’re leaving yourself a few hundred thousand dollars less to work with.”

Additionally,

“…there are no “white knights” waiting to ride in and save the day. At least not the way most people think about it. Not metasearch (many of whom are owned by OTAs anyway), nor Google, nor Facebook, nor Apple, nor anyone else is going to solve your problem. They may each help solve for a piece of it, mind you. But ultimately, your success depends on doing a number of things well.”

Happily, the piece doesn’t just talk about myths; it also talks about how to win in this environment. These include:

  • Telling a great story about your property and your brand.
  • Focusing on guest experience at every point in the customer journey.
  • Improving your content to convey that story and that experience.
  • And others…

You can read the whole list here — and I hope that you do.

Winning direct revenue for your hotel matters. It’s critical to building your brand and your business for the long haul. It’s not easy, but it’s possible. All you need to do is stop putting your faith in these myths and focus on the needs of your guests for the long-term.

If you’re looking for even more travel marketing goodness, you might also want to take a moment to review the slides from my recent seminar, “Digital Marketing Directions 2016: The Key Trends Driving Your Hotel Marketing Next Year” here:

Finally, you will definitely want to check out some of our past coverage of the mobile, local, social web and how to make it work for your hotel, including:

Tim Peter

By

July 24, 2016

5 Fantastic Travel Marketing Insights: Hospitality Marketing Link Digest

July 24, 2016 | By | No Comments

Want to drive more direct bookings to your hotel? Click here to learn more


5 Fantastic Travel Marketing Insights: Hospitality Marketing Link DigestHey, Big Thinkers! It’s a gorgeous day here in the Garden State. Hope you’re having a fabulous late summer afternoon wherever you are too. As you get ready, why not check out these 5 fantastic travel marketing insights for this week’s Hospitality Marketing Link Digest entry? Enjoy:

  1. Leading off, we rounded-up “21 Can’t Miss Travel Marketing Insights: The Top Posts of 2016 (So Far)” for you.
  2. Building from those top posts, one of the more popular items over the last few months took a look at “OTA’s vs. Chain Brands: Expedia Comes Out Swinging.”
  3. This next post explains why “Personalization Starts With a Person” that you’ll really want to review.
  4. You might also want to check out a couple of entries from the Hospitality Marketing Link Digest series, including these “5 Helpful Hospitality Marketing Stories for You” and these “7 Special Hotel Marketing Insights.”
  5. And, finally, this “New Sabre Study Outlines Key Mega-Trends Shaping Travel Marketing.” You’ll definitely want to give it a look.

If you’re looking for even more travel marketing goodness, you might also want to take a moment to review the slides from my recent seminar, “Digital Marketing Directions 2016: The Key Trends Driving Your Hotel Marketing Next Year” here:

Finally, you will definitely want to check out some of our past coverage of the mobile, local, social web and how to make it work for your hotel, including:

Tim Peter

By

July 17, 2016

10 Terrific Travel Marketing Posts from the Past Week: Hospitality Marketing Link Digest

July 17, 2016 | By | No Comments

Want to drive more direct bookings to your hotel? Click here to learn more


10 Terrific Travel Marketing Posts from the Past Week: Hospitality Marketing Link Digest

Hey, Big Thinkers! Hope you’re having an amazing weekend. And hope you won’t mind if I let you enjoy your weekend a little more by skipping any big setup and simply presenting you these 10 terrific travel marketing posts from the past week as the latest entry into the Hospitality Marketing Link Digest series. Enjoy:

  1. Leading off, you’ll want to check out these “21 Can’t Miss Travel Marketing Insights: The Top Posts of 2016 (So Far)” as selected by your fellow Thinks readers.
  2. Hotel Marketing breaks down “Airbnb vs. Hotels: New Study Reveals Key Consumer Purchase Drivers.”
  3. Fortune takes a good look at “How Restaurants Use Instagram and OpenTable to Gather Data on Diners,” which is a key step towards delivering more personalized and more effective services to your guests (something we looked at in more detail in “The New Digital Strategy Playbook: Part 1”).
  4. Speaking of Instagram, don’t miss this excellent article that asked, “Is Social a Waste of Time for Hotel Marketers?”
  5. According to Tnooz, “Boxever Says Travel Brands Need to Improve Personalization.” No doubt. If you’re interested in actually accomplishing that, you might want to remember that “Personalization Starts With a Person.”
  6. In case you couldn’t make it to HITEC this year, be sure to watch “This Week in Hospitality HITEC Round-Up and Recap” featuring our own Tim Peter, as well as industry thought leaders, Robert Cole, Loren Gray, and Ed St. Onge.
  7. Hetras provides “11 Digital Marketing Tips to Differentiate Your Hotel” that are worth reviewing.
  8. The fine folks at EyeForTravel ask “Talking Technology: Is This What Hotel Guests Really Want?”
  9. While we’re on the topic of technology, Tnooz uncovers “What CMOs Need to Hear About Chatbots.” And while we’re on that topic, you might want to review Five Reasons Marketers Need to Get Ready for Mobile Messaging as well as listen to hear “Why I’m Bullish on Mobile Payments and Messaging.”
  10. Finally, why not round out this week’s list of 10 terrific travel marketing posts from the past week with these “5 Helpful Hospitality Marketing Stories for You” from the Hospitality Marketing Link Digest series for you. Great stuff to start your week off right.

If you’re looking for even more travel marketing goodness, you might also want to take a moment to review the slides from my recent seminar, “Digital Marketing Directions 2016: The Key Trends Driving Your Hotel Marketing Next Year” here:

Finally, you will definitely want to check out some of our past coverage of the mobile, local, social web and how to make it work for your hotel, including:

Tim Peter

By

July 12, 2016

21 Can’t Miss Travel Marketing Insights: The Top Posts of 2016 (So Far)

July 12, 2016 | By | No Comments

21 Can't Miss Travel Marketing Insights: The Top Posts of 2016 (So Far)Want to drive more direct bookings to your hotel? Click here to learn more


Well, Big Thinkers, we’ve made it halfway through the year. And, as we like to do around here, it’s time to round-up everything that you and your fellow readers here at Thinks have read and responded to all year long. As with yesterday’s countdown of e-commerce and digital strategy posts, I’ve broken the list into two sets. The first featuring our regular Travel Tuesday posts, and the second recapping the best of our ongoing Hospitality Marketing Link Digest series. And now, without further ado, I give you these 21 can’t miss travel marketing insights: the top posts of 2016 (so far). Enjoy:

21 Can’t Miss Travel Marketing Insights: The Top Posts of 2016 (So Far)


Part 1 – The Travel Tuesday Series

  1. The biggest post of the year so far, by a wide margin, looked at the current distribution landscape and found that, when it comes to “OTA’s vs. Chain Brands: Expedia Comes Out Swinging.” You’re definitely gonna want to read this one.
  2. Another huge post from the first half of the year (though, technically it was published late last year), asked “Is Social a Waste of Time for Hotel Marketers?” The answer is a clear “no,” but be sure to read the whole thing to find out why.
  3. Digest

  4. You want insights and information? You want to know what’s going on in the world of hospitality digital marketing? You want to fill your rooms and grow your revenues? Then these “8 Outstanding Lessons from the 2016 HSMAI Digital Marketing Strategy Conference” are just what you’re looking for.
  5. I’d mentioned yesterday how important the role content plays has become over the last year. Well, that’s equally true for hospitality marketers too. In fact, as this post highlights, “For Travel Marketers, Content is Still King.”
  6. Following up on the concept of content marketing’s importance, your fellow Big Thinkers really enjoyed this post that explored “Content Marketing For Hotels: 2016’s Must-Watch Trend” in detail. Check it out to see why for yourself.
  7. Man, Expedia has been making some headlines in the distribution space this year — and not for good reasons. A post from just a couple months back calls “Expedia’s Accelerator Program ‘A Wolf in Wolf’s Clothing.'” Sad, but true.
  8. Another hugely popular post broke down the “Four Key Elements of Modern Hospitality Marketing” for you to apply as soon as you’re ready.
  9. One of those four key elements gets a spotlight of its own in this post that explained “Why Hotel Marketing Depends on Personalization.”
  10. Several presentations I’ve given over the past few months made your list of top posts, including this one that explored “2016’s Key Hospitality Marketing Trends.” You won’t want to miss that one.
  11. Some of our monthly “best of Thinks Travel Tuesday” posts were really popular among your fellow readers, including this set of “7 Sensational Marketing and Distribution Insights: the Top Posts of February” and these “8 Top-Notch Travel Marketing Posts from the Past Month: The Top Travel Marketing Posts of January (Plus December’s Too).” Definitely worth a look.
  12. We’re starting to see any number of new entrants into the travel space create both opportunities and threats to hospitality marketers. This next post provided deeper insights into the trends when it explored “How Google, Uber, and Foursquare Plan to Revolutionize Travel.”
  13. While this collection of “16 Key Insights: The Top Travel Marketing Posts of 2015” captured the top posts from last year, many of its lessons apply just as well right now and is definitely worth another look.
  14. We’ll round-out this section of our look back at these 21 can’t miss travel marketing insights: the top posts of 2016 (so far) with another presentation, this one providing insights into “Using Data to Put Personalization to Work for Your Property.”

But don’t worry. We’re not done yet…

21 Can’t Miss Travel Marketing Insights: The Top Posts of 2016 (So Far)


Part 2 – The Hospitality Marketing Link Digest Series

As mentioned above, I’ve gone ahead an broken out our ongoing Hospitality Marketing Link Digest series posts separately, but highlighted the relevant topics in each of their titles for you. You can review the ones most appropriate to your needs, or when you get a moment, check out the entire set. Enjoy:

  1. 5 Fantastic Insights Into 2016 Travel Marketing Trends
  2. 8 Excellent E-Commerce Insights to Round out the Year
  3. 5 Fantastic Posts Featuring Top Travel Marketing Trends
  4. 7 Sensational Social Hospitality Marketing Insights
  5. 6 Important Hotel Marketing Posts from the Past Week
  6. 5 Insightful Travel Marketing Messages
  7. 7 Spectacular Hotel Marketing Posts This Week
  8. 6 Spectacular Resources for Hotel Marketers from the Past Week

If you’re looking for even more travel marketing goodness, you might also want to take a moment to review the slides from my recent seminar, “Digital Marketing Directions 2016: The Key Trends Driving Your Hotel Marketing Next Year” here:

Finally, you will definitely want to check out some of our past coverage of the mobile, local, social web and how to make it work for your hotel, including:

Tim Peter

By

July 10, 2016

5 Helpful Hospitality Marketing Stories for You: Hospitality Marketing Link Digest

July 10, 2016 | By | No Comments

5 Helpful Hospitality Marketing Stories for You: Hospitality Marketing Link Digest

Hope you’re enjoying a wonderful summer’s weekend, Big Thinkers. Here are a handful of 5 helpful hospitality marketing stories for you to set you up right for next week. Enjoy:

  1. Hotel Marketing explores “Airbnb vs. Hotels: New Study Reveals Key Consumer Purchase Drivers.” You’ll definitely want to check that out, as well as this post that asks “How Safe Are Independent Hotels from Airbnb?”
  2. Hetras collected a set of “11 Digital Marketing Tips to Differentiate Your Hotel” that are worth reviewing.
  3. On a similar note, SiteMinder rounded up “3 Great Examples of Hotels That Are Getting It Right on Social Media Marketing.”
  4. We took a look at why “Personalization Starts With a Person” for you.
  5. And, finally, don’t miss “This Week in Hospitality Digital Marketing’s HITEC Round-Up and Recap” from the other day. Really good stuff there.

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 seminar, “Digital Marketing Directions 2016: The Key Trends Driving Your Hotel Marketing Next Year” here:

Finally, you will definitely want to check out some of our past coverage of the mobile, local, social web and how to make it work for your hotel, including: