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Tim Peter

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June 19, 2017

6 Stellar Insights into Personalization for Hotel Marketing: Hospitality Marketing Link Digest

June 19, 2017 | By | No Comments

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6 Stellar Insights into Personalization for Hotel Marketing: Hospitality Marketing Link Digest

Hey, everyone! Hope you had a wonderful weekend and are looking forward to an amazing week ahead. To get thing started on the right foot, we’ve put together a quick round-up of 6 stellar insights into personalization for hotel marketing for your reading and learning pleasure. Enjoy:

  1. Our first post this week breaks down “Why Hotel Marketing Depends on Personalization” and is well worth your time.
  2. Continuing with the hotel personalization theme, Duetto asks, “How Personalized is Your Hotel’s Digital Marketing Strategy?”
  3. GuestRevu put together an amazing trend digest that looked at “Guest Personalization in the Hotel Industry” that you’ll want to check out.
  4. Another great post here on Thinks talks about why “Personalization Starts With a Person.”
  5. Since this is a topic near and dear to my heart here at Thinks, we’ve also got this fantastic presentation for you, all about Using Data to Put Personalization to Work for Your Property called
    “Data—The Crown Jewels: Maximizing Data to Put Personalization to Work for Your Property.” Be sure to take a look and let me know what you think:
  6. Finally, we can’t talk about data without thinking about how to protect that data for our guests. Which is what makes “How Travel Brands Can Use and Safeguard Customer Data” from Adobe such an essential read.

If you’re looking for even more hospitality marketing goodness, you might also want to take a moment to review the slides from Tim’s 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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June 4, 2017

7 Can’t Miss Hospitality Marketing Insights: Hospitality Marketing Link Digest

June 4, 2017 | By | No Comments

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7 can't miss hospitality marketing insights

Hey, everyone! Hope you’ve had a wonderful weekend. What do you say we close it out with these 7 can’t miss hospitality marketing insights. Enjoy:

  1. Tony Loeb writing at The Blog of Experience Hotel asks “Is Guest Experience the Future of Hotel Marketing?” The answer, as you might imagine, is “yes.” But you should read the whole post for Tony’s great insights. It makes a great companion piece to this recent episode of Thinks Out Loud, our e-commerce and digital strategy podcast that explained why “Content is King, Customer Experience is Queen.”
  2. Tnooz explores the “What, When and Why of Downloading an App for Travel.”
  3. Net Affinity looks at “Attribution Models: The Secret Ways Guests Discover Your Hotel.”
  4. Skift has a great episode of their Backstage Podcast that’s all about “Travel Search, Bargain Hunting and the Future of Booking” that’s worth a listen.
  5. Koddi says that “Google is Testing A New Mobile Experience for Hotel Ads” that you’ll definitely want to know about.
  6. With all the changes going on in digital for hospitality marketers, it’s reasonable to ask, when it comes to “Hospitality Digital Marketing and Distribution: Is it Time to Give Up?” I’d argue “no.” But be sure to read the whole post to see why.
  7. Finally, you won’t want to miss these “7 Sensational Posts for Hospitality Marketers” and this set of “5 Must-See Hospitality Marketing Hot Topics” from the Hospitality Marketing Link Digest series.

If you’re looking for even more hospitality marketing goodness, you might also want to take a moment to review the slides from Tim’s 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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May 14, 2017

7 Hospitality Marketing Strategy Insights from the Past Week: Hospitality Marketing Link Digest

May 14, 2017 | By | No Comments

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7 Hospitality Marketing Strategy Insights from the Past Week: Hospitality Marketing Link Digest

Howdy, Big Thinkers! Hope you’ve had a delightful Mother’s Day weekend. Let’s close out the weekend with a great set of 7 hospitality marketing strategy insights from the past week. Enjoy:

  1. Skift talks about “Why Travel Brands Need To Go Deeper On Content Strategy.”
  2. As you might imagine, I completely agree, having noted not long ago that “For Travel Marketers, Content is Still King.”
  3. Two important forms of content: Ratings and reviews. While this one’s from the archives, they remain “The Single Most Effective Way to Improve Your Brand’s Digital Marketing.”
  4. eMarketer takes a good look at “Marriott’s Take on Digital Marketing: Always Look Ahead.”
  5. Hotel Management looks ahead with its explanation of “How To Use The Internet of Things To Elevate the Customer Experience.”
  6. Of course, with all these changes, it’s understandable if you find yourself asking “Hospitality Digital Marketing and Distribution: Is it Time to Give Up?” The answer, of course, is no. But check out the post to understand why — and how you can both survive and thrive despite the pace of change.
  7. Finally, why not finish out this week’s list with these “7 Must-See Posts Highlighting How to Market Your Hotel in the Future” from the Hospitality Marketing Link Digest series.

If you’re looking for even more hospitality marketing goodness, you might also want to take a moment to review the slides from Tim’s 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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May 7, 2017

7 Must-See Posts Highlighting How to Market Your Hotel in the Future: Hospitality Marketing Link Digest

May 7, 2017 | By | No Comments

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7 Must-See Posts Highlighting How to Market Your Hotel in the Future: Hospitality Marketing Link Digest

Hey, Big Thinkers! Are you feeling overwhelmed? Struggling with the various changes going ’round the hospitality space? Then you’ll definitely want to check out these 7 must-see posts highlighting how to market your hotel in the future. Enjoy:

  1. There’s lots of change going on within the industry these days, so it seems reasonable to ask, when it comes to “Hospitality Digital Marketing and Distribution: Is it Time to Give Up?” No. But read on to see why.
  2. What sorts of changes are we seeing? Well, for starters, Tnooz reports that “EU Regulators Have Found That Two-Thirds of Travel Websites Are Misleading Consumers.” Seems like a big deal, no?
  3. In other news, Hotel Management shows “How To Use The Internet of Things to Elevate the Customer Experience” while “Adobe Identifies AR, IR and Wearables As Travel Trends to Watch.” That’s almost too much ‘
  4. Another Tnooz article highlights “Travel Content Strategies for a Mobile World,” which is a great idea, since, “For Travel Marketers, Content is Still King.”
  5. On the business travel front, Bloomberg is reporting that “Airbnb Goes After Business Travelers With New Booking Tool.” while “Facebook Begins Retargeting Potential Travelers With Ads Featuring Flight Info.”
  6. Happily, our own Tim Peter appeared on a panel at the Hospitality Law Conference/HotelROI event in Houston to explain “What Hoteliers Can Do to Maximize Their Revenue.” Some of the article details don’t exactly cover what was said, but we’ll have our own report later this week.
  7. Finally, no matter how much things might change, one tactic still remains “The Single Most Effective Way to Improve Your Brand’s Digital Marketing.” Be sure to check it out to see what… and how it can work for you.

If you’re looking for even more hospitality marketing goodness, you might also want to take a moment to review the slides from Tim’s 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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April 30, 2017

5 Must-See Hospitality Marketing Hot Topics: Hospitality Marketing Link Digest

April 30, 2017 | By | No Comments

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5 must-see hospitality marketing hot topics

Howdy, Big Thinkers! No big setup today. Instead, let’s just jump right into these 5 must-see hospitality marketing hot topics. Enjoy:

  1. CNBC says that “Airbnb Doubles Down It Its Efforts to Fight Hotel ‘Price-Gouging’.” Price-gouging? Pardon me while I Airbn-barf.
  2. Given how the “sharing” economy affects hospitality, we’ve looked at Airbnb in detail a number of times in the past, including this round-up of “5 Airbnb, Distribution, and Digital Dispatches,” and these posts that ask “What Business Is Airbnb In? Hotels? Or Hospitality?” and “How Safe Are Independent Hotels from Airbnb?”
  3. Skift reports on “Travel Habits of Americans and Finds 87 Percent Haven’t Yet Messaged With a Travel Brand.” OK. But that also means that about 1 in 8 have. Not too bad for a growing category, really.
  4. These “9 Posts Highlighting Hospitality Digital Marketing Trends,” this set of “7 Sensational Posts for Hospitality Marketers,” and these “8 Outstanding Hospitality Marketing Posts Focused on Guest Experience” all from the Hospitality Marketing Link Digest have gotten plenty of play on social media the past month. Check ’em out to see why.
  5. Finally, don’t miss this important post that asks marketers, when it comes to “Hospitality Digital Marketing and Distribution: Is it Time to Give Up?”

If you’re looking for even more hospitality marketing goodness, you might also want to take a moment to review the slides from Tim’s 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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April 23, 2017

9 Posts Highlighting Hospitality Digital Marketing Trends: Hospitality Marketing Link Digest

April 23, 2017 | By | No Comments

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9 Posts Highlighting Hospitality Digital Marketing Trends: Hospitality Marketing Link Digest

Hey, Big Thinkers! We’re skipping any big setup today and just getting you right to these 9 posts highlighting hospitality digital marketing trends. Enjoy:

  1. Sojern and Google collaborated on “3 of the Fastest Rising Hotel Trends.” Really good list.
  2. Siteminder outlined “8 Key Reasons Why the Search Landscape Is Shifting for Hotels.” Don’t miss ’em.
  3. Keeping up with all these changes can be tough. That’s why we asked, when it comes to “Hospitality Digital Marketing and Distribution: Is it Time to Give Up?”
  4. Did you miss these “7 Sensational Posts for Hospitality Marketers” from the Hospitality Marketing Link Digest series? Well, now’s your chance to give them another look.
  5. Another outstanding entry from the Hospitality Marketing Link Digest series rounded-up “8 Posts Highlighting the Growth of Mobile in Travel Marketing” that you won’t want to miss.
  6. Changing gears, Tnooz has a report that shows “EU Regulators Find Two-Thirds of Travel Websites Are Misleading Consumers” when it comes to pricing and availability. seems like a pretty big deal, no?
  7. Another big deal? Airbnb, as you no doubt already know. So be sure to check out these “5 Airbnb, Distribution, and Digital Dispatches” for help on how to manage its influence in your market.
  8. TrustYou collected a bunch of additional “Online Booking Trends: Understanding Traveler Behavior” in a handy infographic for you.
  9. And, finally, we’re going to round-out this week’s look at 9 posts highlighting hospitality digital marketing trends with one last Hospitality Marketing Link Digest for you, this one a collection of “8 Outstanding Hospitality Marketing Posts Focused on Guest Experience.”

If you’re looking for even more hospitality marketing goodness, you might also want to take a moment to review the slides from Tim’s 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

March 28, 2017

7 Sensational Posts for Hospitality Marketers: Hospitality Marketing Link Digest

March 28, 2017 | By | No Comments

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7 Sensational Posts for Hospitality Marketers: Hospitality Marketing Link Digest

Howdy, Big Thinkers! We’re skipping any big setup today and just getting you right to these 7 sensational posts for hospitality marketers. Enjoy:

  1. TechCrunch reports that “Airbnb Pledges Not to Replace Human Community With AI.” Given the importance of people to the overall guest experience, that direction makes a ton of sense.
  2. For more on Airbnb, you’ll probably want to check out these pieces that ask “What Business Is Airbnb In? Hotels? Or Hospitality?” and “How Safe Are Independent Hotels from Airbnb?”
  3. Sojern reports on its blog that they’ve “Teamed Up with Google to Reveal Hotel Guests’ Path to Booking.” Solid information there.
  4. While we looked at this a few weeks ago, it’s worth revising this Hotel News Now report from this year’s HSMAI Digital Marketing Strategy Conference that said, “Digital Marketing Goes Mobile.”
  5. For further evidence of what that means, see Travel Week’s article about “Dressing for Access: Wearable Technology and Travel.”
  6. Keeping up with trends isn’t always easy. And that’s why we produce the Hospitality Marketing Link Digest series for you. Recent entries looked at “8 Outstanding Hospitality Marketing Posts Focused on Guest Experience” and “5 Hospitality Marketing Trend Posts You Won’t Want to Miss.” So, y’know, don’t miss ’em.
  7. Finally, let’s round out the list of these 7 sensational posts for hospitality marketers with a recent post here on the blog that asked “Hospitality Digital Marketing and Distribution: Is it Time to Give Up?” You can probably guess the answer. But why not read the whole thing to find out for sure?

If you’re looking for even more hospitality marketing goodness, you might also want to take a moment to review the slides from Tim’s 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

March 21, 2017

Hospitality Digital Marketing and Distribution: Is it Time to Give Up?

March 21, 2017 | By | No Comments

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Hospitality Digital Marketing and Distribution: Is it Time to Give Up?

I had a discouraging discussion with an outstanding general manager recently who complained that her property’s struggles with rapidly shifting guest preferences, an evolving distribution landscape, and ever-rising distribution costs – particularly in the form of OTA margins and increased search spend – had made it almost impossible to compete. While running her hands through her hair – or possibly pulling it out by the roots – she pleaded, “Why do we even bother? How can we possibly be expected to keep up?”

While its hardly a welcoming thought, maybe it’s worth asking his question: Is it time to give up? Should we just outsource all our marketing activities to OTAs? After all, they are fantastic at marketing and merchandising hotels online, arguably better than many hotels will ever be. Should we simply hand over responsibility for filling our rooms and place our focus elsewhere?

Um… no. In fact, hell no.

Now, let’s be fair. OTA’s are undoubtedly very good at what they do. That’s a fact. But that doesn’t mean for a moment that you can’t drive profitable business on your own. What we need to do is stop behaving like OTAs are our only option. Direct channels and email and search and ratings and reviews and a host of other time-tested tactics and strategies play important roles in delivering strong business results. The key is focusing on those channels that do that most effectively.

First, though, hotels need to be clear about their distribution strategy. To paraphrase NYU professor Clay Shirky, distribution once was a career. Now it’s a button. Online, the distinction between marketing and distribution is essentially non-existent. Once you add a buy button to any marketing message – email, search, display, metasearch, etc. – you’re really just one click away from the sale. And at that point it’s not a marketing channel; it’s a distribution channel. There are certainly some in the industry who will try to confuse you with fancy marketing terms, but the simple fact remains that marketing and distribution are inextricably linked online. You can – and must – measure exactly which channels work best for your business.

The most effective way to ensure that you’re thinking about distribution correctly – and getting the greatest benefit for your property – is to ask three simple questions about your marketing and distribution channels:

  1. Where do your guests find you ?
  2. Where do guests choose to book you?
  3. How much profit do you make from each of those?

Notice I’m not talking about revenue from these channels. It’s time to look past revenue and instead focus on profit. Recent data shows that distribution costs have outpaced rate increases, putting heavy pressure on your properties’ profitability. If you focus solely on revenue, it’s easy to miss the underlying costs impacting your business – and give too much credit to channels that aren’t actually helping you grow.

You may find that for your property, OTAs play an incredibly valuable role in driving profitability particularly during shoulder or slow seasons. That’s OK. As I’ve said before, there’s no need to make OTAs the bad guys here. However, what we don’t want to do is become so dependent upon them – particularly during periods where we can drive more profitable revenue through other channels – that we neglect direct business completely. Understanding which channels work for your property represents the first step in creating a marketing and distribution strategy that actually increases your hotel’s overall profitability.

After spending time digging into the data with my GM friend, we discovered several underutilized tactics driving fantastic returns that simply required greater attention. We also found a few areas that consumed lots of her marketing team’s time for very little benefit. It’s much easier to keep up when you’re only focusing on the areas of greatest return.

Outsourcing your sales and marketing to an OTA is certainly one approach to fill your rooms. And they still will play a role. But realistically many other options exist that can help you grow. The key is focusing on profitable revenue. After looking at the data, I asked the GM, “Is it time to give up?” Her response: “Absolutely not. It’s time to get to work.”

If you’re looking for even more hospitality marketing goodness, you might also want to take a moment to review the slides from Tim’s 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

February 26, 2017

8 Outstanding Hospitality Marketing Posts Focused on Guest Experience: Hospitality Marketing Link Digest

February 26, 2017 | By | No Comments

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8 outstanding hospitality marketing posts focused on guest experience, woman shopping travel on her phone

Hey, Big Thinkers! Hope you’ve had a fantastic week. No big setup this week. Instead, we’re working to provide you a great experience by getting you right into these 8 outstanding hospitality marketing posts focused on guest experience. Enjoy:

  1. Leading off, Skift explains “What Marriott Learned From Starwood’s Loyalty and Digital Expertise.” Key insight:
    “‘Now that people are using mobile at more and more points throughout the travel process, we want to look at those points and figure out which ones we can add value to,’ [senior vice president of digital George] Corbin said. ‘To have relevance, we need to have personalization.’

    Signs of that personalization include changing the screen of the app depending on whether you have an upcoming stay, allowing guests to make service requests before they even arrive at the hotel, and making sure relevant content appears in the mobile app’s feed for guests, depending on where they are during their stay.”

    These insights align heavily with our past assessments of “Why Hotel Marketing Depends on Personalization” and “Today and Tomorrow: Mobile and The Changing Customer Journey,” which you might also want to check out when you have a moment.

  2. SEO Roundtable highlights a fairly significant user experience change as “Google Launches Hotel Rich Cards In Search Results.” These provide guests additional information about your hotel and likely represent a positive way to differentiate your property to guests — to say nothing about providing an additional revenue opportunity for Google in time.
  3. The fine folks at Fuel Travel and Flip.to —long-time friends of the blog — have new research that shows “How Hotels Can Adapt To A Dramatic 88% Drop In The Number Of Sites A Traveler Visits Before Booking.” We plan to look into these numbers in more detail over time, but it definitely signals a massive shift in what we “know” about guest behavior. And it also suggests your marketing will have to adjust to the new reality.
  4. Speaking of new research, Tnooz takes a look at “The Airbnb Effect on Hotels — Experiences, Tech Provision and Convergence.” It’s slightly disappointing that some hotel operators need Airbnb to remind them the importance of guest experience, but better to learn it there than not at all.
  5. While we’re on the topic of Airbnb, you’ll no doubt want to check out these posts that ask “What Business Is Airbnb In? Hotels? Or Hospitality?” and “How Safe Are Independent Hotels from Airbnb?”. They also uncover what the answers mean for your property.
  6. Building on the Airbnb theme, another great Fuel Travel post about “Travel Trends For 2017: Hotels Respond To OTAs & Sharing Economy” is well-worth your time.
  7. Before closing, how about we by recap some of the most popular Hospitality Marketing Link Digests of the recent past, including:
  8. Our annual recap of the HSMAI Digital Marketing Strategy Conference is coming up in just a few days, but let’s round out this week’s collection of 8 outstanding hospitality marketing posts focused on guest experience with this round-up of “8 Outstanding Lessons from the 2016 HSMAI Digital Marketing Strategy Conference” for you. Great stuff that you can put to work for your business today.

Hope you have a great week ahead, Big Thinkers!

If you’re looking for even more hospitality marketing goodness, you might also want to take a moment to review the slides from Tim’s 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

January 29, 2017

5 Hospitality Marketing Trend Posts You Won’t Want to Miss: Hospitality Marketing Link Digest

January 29, 2017 | By | No Comments

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5 Hospitality Marketing Trend Posts You Won't Want to Miss: Hospitality Marketing Link Digest

Hiya, Big Thinkers! We’ve got a great collection of 5 hospitality marketing trend posts you won’t want to miss for you this week. So let’s get straight to it. Enjoy:

  1. A recent post from Snapshot demands “No More Spaghetti: Where Hotel Technology Must Go in 2017” that’s well-worth your time.
  2. CustomerThink outlines “7 Mobile Marketing Techniques for the Travel Industry” that are also worth a look.
  3. While we already mentioned this next post in last week’s collection of “6 Quick Must-Read Hospitality Marketing Posts,” you’ll definitely want to check out TrustYou’s prediction that “2017 Will Be The Year of the Hotel Guest.” There may simply be no more meaningful long-term trend for your hotel.
  4. And since we’re mentioning previously-profiled posts, take a quick peek at these “6 Quick Hotel Distribution and Digital Marketing Insights” and this set of “5 Fast Travel Distribution and Digital Marketing Insights,” both from our ongoing Hospitality Marketing Link Digest series.
  5. Finally, be sure to read Tnooz’s look at “Personalized Inspiration: Empowering Ultimate Travel Search” for insights into why personalization matters in travel. And for further thoughts on that very same topic, we’ve covered the topic as well, explaining “Why Hotel Marketing Depends on Personalization” and declaring “Personalization Starts With a Person.” Good stuff all around.

Hope you have a great week ahead, Big Thinkers!

If you’re looking for even more hospitality marketing goodness, you might also want to take a moment to review the slides from Tim’s 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: