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Tim Peter

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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

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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

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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

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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:

Tim Peter

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January 22, 2017

6 Quick Must-Read Hospitality Marketing Posts: Hospitality Marketing Link Digest

January 22, 2017 | By | No Comments

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6 Quick Must-Read Hospitality Marketing Posts: Hospitality Marketing Link Digest

Howdy, Big Thinkers! We’re skipping the setup this week and just getting you right to these 6 quick must-read hospitality marketing posts from the past couple of weeks. Enjoy:

  1. Let’s start off with these “8 Outstanding Lessons from the 2016 HSMAI Digital Marketing Strategy Conference” as you gear up for this year’s edition.
  2. You might also want to review this post that asks, “What Business Is Airbnb In? Hotels? Or Hospitality?” Even more importantly, you might want to think about the answer to that question for your business, too.
  3. These questions matter, because, as TrustYou notes, “2017 Will Be The Year of the Hotel Guest.” I’d argue that that’s true most years. But it doesn’t change how much control guests now have of the overall journey in ways that simply weren’t as evident just a few years ago.
  4. The Hospitality Marketing Link Digest series took a look at “6 Sensational Hospitality Digital Marketing Insights” a couple weeks ago that you simply can’t miss.
  5. Similarly, we rounded-up these “5 Fast Travel Marketing Posts from the Past Week” a few weeks back that remain as relevant today.
  6. And, finally, you must review these “8 Posts Highlighting the Growth of Mobile in Travel Marketing” when you have a moment. You’ll be glad you did.

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 15, 2017

8 Posts Highlighting the Growth of Mobile in Travel Marketing: Hospitality Marketing Link Digest

January 15, 2017 | By | No Comments

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8 Posts Highlighting the Growth of Mobile in Travel Marketing: Hospitality Marketing Link Digest

Hey, Big Thinkers! Just got back from a big trip, so I’m going to skip the big setup and just get you right into these 8 posts highlighting the growth of mobile in travel marketing to kick off your week in style. Enjoy:

  1. Leading off, a new Phocuswright research report says that “Mobile Fuels Online Dominance in Europe.” The most impressive stat suggests that 2016 will be the last year that guests made more desktop bookings than mobile bookings. And that’s a really big deal.
  2. On a highly-related note, there’s an Expedia report that says “Mobile Travel Booking is Expected to Keep Rising,” as reported by Duetto. So that big deal is just getting bigger.
  3. Now I’ve been talking about the importance of mobile booking for a really, really long time, but the shift to mobile has taken on increased urgency now that Google will be separating mobile content into a mobile-only index later this year. Fortunately, Search Engine Land has a pretty great checklist to hep you get ready for that.
  4. A post here on the blog from last year took a look at what you can do if you’re not seeing mobile bookings for your hotel, by the way.
  5. While we’re on the topic of mobile, we need to talk a bit more about this “Warning: OTA’s Want to Own Your Guest Every Step of the Way” from last year. According to Mobile Commerce Daily, “Hotels.com Has Introduced New Mobile Concierge” that positions them even deeper into the value chain. Seems that warning is taking on some new urgency of its own.
  6. If you needs some help addressing the challenge posed by OTA’s, you might want to check out these tips on “How the Best Hotels Own the Guest” to grow your business this year.
  7. Content plays a crucial role in helping you own your guest’s experience every step of the way, which is just one reason that, “For Travel Marketers, Content is Still King.”
  8. Alright, Big Thinkers, how about we round-out this week’s list of 8 posts highlighting the growth of mobile in travel marketing with these “10 Great Hotel Direct and OTA Distribution Posts,” this collection of “5 Fast Travel Distribution and Digital Marketing Insights,” and these “6 Sensational Hospitality Digital Marketing Insights” all from the Hospitality Marketing Link Digest series for you.

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 8, 2017

6 Sensational Hospitality Digital Marketing Insights: Hospitality Marketing Link Digest

January 8, 2017 | By | No Comments

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6 Sensational Hospitality Digital Marketing Insights: Hospitality Marketing Link Digest

Howdy, Big Thinkers! And Happy New Year! No big setup this week, just 6 sensational hospitality digital marketing insights to kick off your week — and your year — in style. Enjoy:

  1. MediaPost offers up a great look at “Technology Bringing True Efficiency To Travel Marketing” in the coming year that you’ll want to read when you have a moment.
  2. While they’re from a few months back, these “10 Great Hotel Direct and OTA Distribution Posts” picked up a lot of traction on Twitter over the last few weeks. Take a look and see why they matter to you too.
  3. The folks involved in building Booking.com decided to share some fantastic insights into exactly what makes the site work so well in this “Design Critique — The Booking Way.”
  4. What’s most interesting about that design critique? Well, Booking.com parent “Priceline’s CEO Darren Huston Explained Why Driving Brand Value Matters” a few years ago. As the design critique illustrates, Booking continually focuses on providing the best guest experience. And that’s a solid lesson for us all, isn’t it?
  5. These “5 Fast Travel Distribution and Digital Marketing Insights” from the Hospitality Marketing Link Digest series got a lot of attention over the holidays. Give ’em a look to see why.
  6. And, finally, you’ll want to check out these “6 Travel Marketing Posts Highlighting 2017 Trends” as you dive into the year ahead.

Hope you have a great week ahead, Big Thinkers. And a fantastic year, too!

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

December 11, 2016

5 Fast Travel Marketing Posts from the Past Week: Hospitality Marketing Link Digest

December 11, 2016 | By | No Comments

5 Fast Travel Marketing Posts from the Past Week: Hospitality Marketing Link DigestLooking to drive results for your business? Click here to learn more.


Howdy, Big Thinkers! No clever setup this week, I’m afraid. Instead, we’ve just got 5 fast travel marketing posts from the past week to kick off your week in style. Enjoy:

  1. Leading us off, Leonardo outlines “Major Changes From Google in 2016 That Impact Hotel Marketing” that you won’t want to miss.
  2. Speaking of search, Skift has a great article that says “Expedia Turns to Amazon Alexa for Its First Attempt at Voice Search.” Speaking. Search. As the Skift article suggests, you might want to get used to those two words working together in the next year.
  3. The team here at Thinks rounded-up “6 Significant Travel Marketing Posts You Might Have Missed” for you as part of our ongoing Hospitality Marketing Link Digest.
  4. According to AdWeek, “Airbnb’s CMO Wants to Redefine Experiential Marketing With the Company’s New Offering.” As Tim noted in the podcast this week, Amazon’s made a big leap into combining mobile, payments, and machine learning. Expect others — like Airbnb, for instance, but also Expedia, Priceline and Google — to do the same over the coming months.
  5. Finally, we’ll wrap up this collection of 5 fast travel marketing posts from the past week with another great set of “6 Travel Marketing Posts Highlighting 2017 Trends” for you.

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

December 4, 2016

6 Travel Marketing Posts Highlighting 2017 Trends: Hospitality Marketing Link Digest

December 4, 2016 | By | No Comments

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6 travel marketing posts highlighting 2017 trends

Hey, Big Thinkers! Welcome to December and to another amazing week ahead as we work our way to the end of the year. To get your week going in a great direction, don’t miss these 6 travel marketing posts highlighting 2017 trends for you. Enjoy:

  1. Leading off, Eddie McGraw at Brand Quarterly takes a look at “How Hospitality And Travel Brands Can Top Review Charts.” Given that we think managing your hotel’s reputation online represents “The Single Most Effective Way to Improve Your Brand’s Digital Marketing,” you’d be right in guessing we think that’s a critically important post for the past week.
  2. Smart Insights lays out its list of “2017 Travel Marketing Trends” that you’ll definitely want to review. You should also take a look at our “2016 Key Travel Marketing Trends Presentation” and our “Digital Marketing Directions 2016: Key Trends Driving Your Hotel Marketing Next Year” for added insight.
  3. One other key trend you’re going to want to watch? Well, “For Travel Marketers, Content is Still King.”
  4. TodayOnline says that “Airbnb Is out to Be the Wechat of Travel Where You Can Do Everything With One App.” That’s really worth paying attention to. You’ll also want to check out our past coverage of Airbnb, including these posts that ask, “What Business Is Airbnb In? Hotels? Or Hospitality?”; “How Safe Are Independent Hotels from Airbnb?” and “Are Hotel Brands Doomed?” Good stuff all around.
  5. For one last trend in this week’s post, Tnooz reports on “Priceline Group’s Prediction of the Rise of Travel Besties: Smart Tech That Understands Traveller Needs.” That’s probably right.
  6. And, finally, we’ll round out this list of 6 travel marketing posts highlighting 2017 trends with these “6 Significant Travel Marketing Posts You Might Have Missed” and this set of “10 Great Hotel Direct and OTA Distribution Posts” to help you through the coming week.

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

November 27, 2016

8 Must-See Travel Marketing Posts from the Past Week: Hospitality Marketing Link Digest

November 27, 2016 | By | No Comments

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8 Must-See Travel Marketing Posts from the Past Week: Hospitality Marketing Link Digest

Howdy, Big Thinkers! Hope you’ve had a terrific Thanksgiving holiday here in the States (and a great week no matter where you are). To help you get back in the groove and start your week off right, here are 8 must-see travel marketing posts from the past week for you. Enjoy:

  1. Tnooz talks to “Dara Khosrowshahi, Expedia’s CEO, About the Company’s Long-Term Strategy”. Definitely worth your time to check out.
  2. Speaking of Expedia, don’t forget that we’ve entered a new era of “OTA’s vs. Chain Brands: Expedia Comes Out Swinging.”
  3. It’s not all good news for Expedia, by the way. In an interview with Google Travel managing director Rob Torres, Ashley Stewart of the Puget Sound Business Journal highlights “What Google Travel Has That Expedia Doesn’t.”
  4. Skift builds on that concept, noting that “Google Making Gains in Hotel Advertising, Updates Website for Hoteliers.”
  5. Shifting gears to the content marketing side of the house, Hotel Marketing reports that “Booking.com Launches a New Content API” to make it easier for hotels to push their content to the travel booking giant — and maybe hold Google at bay a little longer.
  6. Skift recently rounded-up a great set of research for “Cracking the Travel Booking Code” — meaning improving your bookings — that you won’t want to miss.
  7. And, we’ve done something similar, with this set of “6 Key Mobile Posts for Hotel Marketers,” these “6 Significant Travel Marketing Posts You Might Have Missed,” and this collection of “5 Amazing Travel Marketing Insights from the Past Week” all from the Hospitality Marketing Link Digest series.
  8. Finally, let’s close out this list of 8 must-see travel marketing posts from the past week with this amazing video from Skift, “What We Can All Learn From The Modern Supertraveler,” that you can watch right here:

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: