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Tim Peter Thinks

Tim Peter

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April 24, 2018

Great Marketing Technology Won’t Save You From a Bad Hotel Marketing Strategy

April 24, 2018 | By | No Comments

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Great hotel marketing tech won't save you from a bad hotel marketing strategy: Team planning hotel marketing strategy

I don’t know about you, but I’m so done hearing about the tech that will save the day for hoteliers. Another topic enters our lexicon of trending terms that will undoubtedly “…break the backs of intermediaries and upstarts” virtually every single day. You could call them the ABC’s of disappointment: AI, blockchain, chatbots and a host of other technological marvels that claim they’ll completely upend the status quo and return hotel marketers to their rightful place at the top of the mountain. Just recently, Airbnb announced it will now accept — for a modest fee — hotel listings alongside your nephew’s spare air mattress and those undersold condos down the block.

Whoop-dee-doo.

Now, don’t let my snark suggest that these are all bad ideas. I believe most of these platforms and technologies offer opportunities to improve how we connect with guests. AI already plays an enormous role in shaping how we find, attract, and convert customers not just in the future, but today. Blockchain represents an exciting foundational technology that may disrupt business every bit as much as the internet has. Chatbots offer the potential for guests to access information they need in simple spoken language while reducing the heavy overhead associated with contact centers (though, admittedly, not without introducing some substantial overhead of its own). Even the Airbnb announcement likely represents an effective, low-cost distribution channel for your unused hotel inventory.

Those all are positive developments, ones you should put to work for your property. But only when and where appropriate.

The reality is that we’ve got to stop pretending that some mythical, magical event exists — can exist — that will disrupt OTA’s, restore sanity to inventory and yield management, and return hotel owners and operators to their rightful place atop the distribution landscape. There’s no silver bullet here. As stated so eloquently in a recent television commercial, “That’s not how it works. That’s not how any of this works.”

The only way you regain control of your distribution and marketing is to, y’know, take control of your distribution and marketing. It’s to take the time to understand the changing needs and behaviors of guests, to uncover the best sources of revenue and profitability for your property, to focus on providing guests differentiated service, and to develop a comprehensive hotel marketing strategy that connects those with effective processes for finding, attracting and converting customers to loyal, repeat business for your hotel.

You’ll see any number of sources out there selling FUD — Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt — around whatever the sexy tech du jour happens to be. “You’re not using [insert their propriety platform or process]?!?” they’ll say, aghast at your lack of knowledge (or, more likely, aghast at the fact you’ve yet to cut them a check). “Oh, no. Well, I guess you can survive in this environment without it, but, I’d hate to see where you end up if not.”

That’s not helpful. It increases confusion, decreases understanding, and only really helps those selling services that way. More importantly, it diverts you from building and following an effective plan. Don’t listen to that. Instead, listen to your guests. Learn what matters to them throughout their journey. Then use only the technologies that help you improve their overall experience.

Yes, it can be fun to play with new tech. And your plan should accommodate testing new ideas, new channels, and new opportunities. But if you’re constantly chasing the, quote-unquote, latest and greatest, without integrating those into a thoughtful, holistic hotel marketing strategy, you’re really just chasing your own tail.

So, sure, listen to what’s happening with technology. Understand how it affects guests throughout their journey and how it can help you create a positive experience for your guests. But keep your carts and horses in the right order; use technology to support your overall strategy, not in place of that strategy. After all, when you take care of your guests, helping them throughout their journey, meeting their needs, that’s where the real magic happens.

If you’re looking to learn even more about how changing customer behavior will shape your marketing going forward, 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 check out these slides I had the pleasure of presenting recently about the key trends shaping marketing in the next year. Here are the slides for your reference:

Finally, you might enjoy some of these past posts from Thinks to help you build your e-commerce strategy and your digital success:

Note: A version of this post originally appeared on Hotel News Now, where Tim Peter writes a regular column for the magazine’s Digital Tech Impact Report.

Tim Peter

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April 20, 2018

9 Necessary Insights for Hotel Marketers and Revenue Managers from the Past Week: Hospitality Marketing Link Digest

April 20, 2018 | By | No Comments

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9 Necessary Insights for Hotel Marketers and Revenue Managers from the Past Week

Howdy, Big Thinkers! It’s a crazy, crazy week here at Thinks Central, so hope you don’t mind if we skip any setup and just jump straight into this amazing list of 9 necessary insights for hotel marketers and revenue managers from the past week. Enjoy:

  1. Let’s lead off with these 7 social media marketing tips to promote your hotel from the fine folks at Revfine.com, which makes an outstanding companion piece to this look at whether social media is a waste of time for hotel marketers.
  2. Speaking of some fine folks in travel marketing, don’t miss these top 10 ways to drive direct bookings in 2018 from the equally fine folks — and friends of Thinks — over at Fuel Travel.
  3. Google offers a look at how the travel industry is shifting to assistance as part of its “Think With Google” series. They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so we’re fairly flattered by the name of that Google series.
  4. Sabre released its annual “Emerging Tech in Travel” report for 2018, which you definitely will want to download and digest.
  5. Artificial intelligence is one big trend Sabre calls out and that we’re watching closely here at Thinks Central. In fact, it’s well worth your time to take a long at why AI will change hospitality marketing forever.
  6. Another major hotel marketing trend you’ll want to watch is the increasing integration of digital marketing and revenue management. That’s just one reason why Duetto says revenue management requires a team, not a hierarchy. Great stuff, not to be missed.
  7. This is from a few weeks ago, but you absolutely want to check out this Hotel News NowQ&A on what hoteliers must know about digital marketing with our own Tim Peter.
  8. You’ll also want to spend some time with these 10 tremendous insights into the trends driving hotel digital marketing in 2018 from the Hospitality Marketing Link Digest series here on Thinks.
  9. Obviously, it can be overwhelming for hoteliers to keep up with all these trends and changes in the industry. And it’s fair for marketers, revenue managers and distribution folks to ask“is it time to give up?” Clearly, we’re confident the answer is “no.” But take a look at the full post to see just why that is — and how you can make digital marketing work for you in 2018 and beyond.

Have a great weekend, Big Thinkers. See you next time!

If you’re looking to learn even more about how changing customer behavior will shape your marketing going forward, 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 check out these slides I had the pleasure of presenting recently about the key trends shaping marketing in the next year. Here are the slides for your reference:

Finally, you might enjoy some of these past posts from Thinks to help you build your e-commerce strategy and your digital success:

Tim Peter

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March 13, 2018

8 Excellent Answers to the Question, How Important is Technology to Hospitality Marketing? Hospitality Marketing Link Digest

March 13, 2018 | By | No Comments

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8 Excellent Answers to the Question, How Important is Technology to Hospitality Marketing? Hospitality Marketing Link Digest: Couple entering roomHey, Big Thinkers! Hope you’re having an amazing week so far. People ask us all the time, “How important is technology to hospitality marketing?” While it’s abundantly clear that we think the answer is “very important,” you’ve also got to balance your dependence on technology with the right strategy and a clear focus on execution. And to help you do that, we’ve rounded up this great list of 8 excellent insights that can help you understand exactly how important a role technology plays in your hospitality marketing strategy so you can develop the right strategy, reach the right guests, and execute on your vision. Enjoy:

  1. A recent Hotel News Now column from our own Tim Peter explains why digital isn’t about technology. And it really isn’t.
  2. Mitul Makadia, the founder of Maruti Techlabs, has a thought-provoking piece on MediaPost about how the adoption of AI in hotels will affect operational dynamics that you won’t want to miss. While it’s tough to agree with all of Mitul’s assessments, he likely gets more right than wrong.
  3. On a highly-related note, we took a look at why AI will change hospitality marketing forever. Believe me, you’re not going to want to miss this one.
  4. We also rounded up a set of 9 Airbnb, AI, and additional insights into travel marketing trends this week for a recent edition of the Hospitality Marketing Link Digest that you’ll want to review.
  5. Ed Watkins wrote a great recap for Duetto’s blog all about how Marriott leads the battle to reign in acquisition costs, which is a might important topic.
  6. Hotel News Now talked with Tim Peter in a detailed Q&A about what hoteliers must know about digital marketing. Truly great stuff there.
  7. And in a recent guest editorial for Hotel Executive, Tim argues it's not “mobile first,” it's guest first. Be sure to check out the whole column to see why.
  8. Finally, you’ll absolutely want to round out your review of these |???| with this collection of 10 tremendous insights into the trends driving hotel digital marketing in 2018, also from the Hospitality Marketing Link Digest series. Great stuff.

If you’re looking to learn even more about how changing customer behavior will shape your marketing going forward, 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 check out these slides I had the pleasure of presenting recently about the key trends shaping marketing in the next year. Here are the slides for your reference:

Finally, you might enjoy some of these past posts from Thinks to help you build your e-commerce strategy and your digital success:

Tim Peter

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March 6, 2018

9 Airbnb, AI, and Additional Insights into Travel Marketing Trends This Week: Hospitality Marketing Link Digest

March 6, 2018 | By | No Comments

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9 Airbnb, AI, and Additional Insights into Travel Marketing Trends This Week: Traveler booking on his mobile phone

Hey, Big Thinkers! Welcome to another edition of the Hospitality Marketing Link Digest. We’ve got an amazing round-up of 9 Airbnb, AI, and additional insights into travel marketing trends this week for you in this edition. Enjoy:

  1. Skift has a great article about Airbnb Plus in their look at Airbnb Plus and everything CEO Brian Chesky announced the other day.
  2. Derek Thompson at The Atlantic also offers up a thought-provoking article that explores Airbnb and the unintended consequences of disruption that’s really worth reading. Thompson’s piece goes deeper than just a look at Airbnb and instead questions, well, everything related to startup culture and how businesses often disrupt in ways we may never be able to foresee.
  3. Mario Gavira wrote a great piece over on Linked about Airbnb vs. Booking.com: who will win the online accomodation battle the next decade? and, though I can’t believe he misspelled “accommodation,” it’s still a very worthwhile read. (Just kidding, Mario. Great stuff!)
  4. Of course, we’ve put together our share of Airbnb coverage over the years, including this post that asks, ”What Business is Airbnb In? Hotels? Or Hospitality?” and its follow up that look at ”Why Airbnb Keeps Winning at Hospitality.” Both are well-worth your time as you seek to market your hotel more effectively.
  5. Shifting gears a bit, Marisa Garcia wrote a great breakdown of how the rise of “bleisure” among Millennials is shaping travel technology for Tnooz. While we’re no fans of the term “bleisure,” it’s clearly a trend worth watching as we go forward – and as Millennials begin to play a larger role in travel sales overall.
  6. Speaking of “trends worth watching,” you won’t want to miss these 10 tremendous insights into the trends driving hotel digital marketing in 2018 from the Hospitality Marketing Link Digest series.
  7. Another great post, this one from Hotel Online, also looked at marketing trends in hospitality, from technology to niches that’s worth your time.
  8. Ever since our founder and president Tim Peter was named among HSMAI’s 2017 Top 25 Extraordinary Minds, he’s been making the rounds. First there was this amazing Q&A about what hoteliers must know about digital marketing from Hotel News Now. And he followed it up with a great guest editorial for Hotel Executive that explained why it's not mobile first, it's guest first. All good stuff that you won’t want to miss.
  9. And let’s round-out our look at Airbnb, AI, and additional insights into travel marketing trends with a collection of 8 amazing posts that explore how AI will affect the travel industry and these 9 posts featuring chatbots, AI and all the hospitality digital marketing trends of 2018 for you.

If you’re looking to learn even more about how changing customer behavior will shape your marketing going forward, 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 check out these slides I had the pleasure of presenting recently about the key trends shaping marketing in the next year. Here are the slides for your reference:

Finally, you might enjoy some of these past posts from Thinks to help you build your e-commerce strategy and your digital success:

Tim Peter

By

February 18, 2018

8 Extraordinary Insights into Hospitality Marketing and Distribution: Hospitality Marketing Link Digest

February 18, 2018 | By | No Comments

Looking to drive results for your business? Click here to learn more.


8 Extraordinary Insights into Hospitality Marketing and Distribution: Image of couple checking into hotel¡Hola, Big Thinkers! No setup this week. Instead, we’re going to jump straight to this amazing list of 8 extraordinary insights into hospitality marketing and distribution. Enjoy:

  1. Phocuswire has a great look at Google, Airbnb and the evolving distribution landscape that you’ll definitely want to check out. I’d also recommend you review our past posts that explored why Airbnb keeps winning at hospitality and asked whether Airbnb is in the hospitality industry.
  2. While we’re on the topic of Airbnb, don’t miss this article from Deanna Ting at Skift that explains Airbnb’s upcoming launch of a new tier of select properties. Clearly, the company is getting involved more deeply into the overall travel marketing landscape, a topic we’ll talk about more in the next couple weeks here on Thinks.
  3. Shifting gears a bit, Hotel Online has an outstanding piece from  Dr. Meng-Mei Maggie Chen that breaks downmarketing trends in hospitality: from technology to niches and this look at 10 tremendous insights into the trends driving hotel digital marketing in 2018 from the Hospitality Marketing Link Digest series. Lots of good stuff there, not to be missed.
  4. Speaking of technological changes affecting hospitality marketing, you’ll definitely want to read Tim Peter’s guest editorial at Hotel Executive that explains why, when it comes to technology, it’s not mobile first, it’s guest first. That editorial also represents an excellent companion piece to Hotel News Now’s Q&A with Tim all about what hoteliers must know about digital marketing. Really good read.
  5. AI clearly represents one of the biggest tech trends affecting hospitality marketing in 2018. No, seriously. Don’t miss this look at why AI will change hospitality marketing forever or this recent episode of the Thinks Out Loud podcast that asks, and answers, will this be the year of AI in digital marketing?
  6. Since we’re discussing AI, you might find these 9 posts featuring chatbots, AI and all the hospitality digital marketing trends of 2018 interesting.
  7. If all these changes scare you, we’d advise you to understand why that’s part of the new reality and that you can deal with it: digital makes marketing easier for everyone, which makes marketing harder for everyone. You might also appreciate this quick and dirty guide on how to keep up with technology as a marketer.
  8. Finally, let’s round-out this week’s look at 8 extraordinary insights into hospitality marketing and distribution with some personal news. You may have heard by now, but we’re thrilled to report that our founder and president Tim Peter has been named among HSMAI’s Top 25 Extraordinary Minds for 2017 and will receive the honor at this year’s Adrian Awards in just a few days. There’s still time to attend the ceremony if you’re interested. But look forward to a full report in the coming weeks.

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: