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February 11, 2016

Tying Together Three Key E-commerce Themes (Thinks Out Loud Episode 152)

February 11, 2016 | By | No Comments

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Tying Together Three Key E-commerce Themes (Thinks Out Loud Episode 152)

Tying Together Three Key E-commerce Themes (Thinks Out Loud Episode 152) – Headlines and Show Notes

You might also want to check out these slides I had the pleasure of presenting recently about how to lead mobile-focused digital transformation within large organizations (a topic we’ve been talking about a fair bit lately). Here are the slides for your reference:

Contact information for the podcast: podcast@timpeter.com

Technical details: Recorded using an Audio-Technica AT2035 studio condenser microphone through a Mackie Onyx Blackjack USB recording interface into Logic Express 9 for the Mac.

Running time: 14m 51s

You can subscribe to Thinks Out Loud in iTunes [iTunes link], subscribe via our dedicated podcast RSS feed (or better yet, given that Google has now killed Reader, sign up for our free newsletter). You can also download/listen to the podcast here on Thinks using the player below:

Tim Peter

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February 10, 2016

2016 Key Marketing Trends Presentation (Travel Tuesday)

February 10, 2016 | By | No Comments

I had the privilege of speaking with Washington, DC chapter of HSMAI a few weeks back, offering a key marketing trends presentation to the group. A great time was had by all. Really wonderful group, filled with fascinating insights and challenging questions. Here’s a photo from the event for you:

Digital Marketing Directions for 2016: Key Trends Driving Your Hotel's Marketing This Year

And, of course, the slides for your reference:

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’ll also 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 1, 2016

8 Excellent Digital Delights: The Top Posts of January, 2016 (With Bonus Insights)

February 1, 2016 | By | No Comments

 8 Excellent Digital Delights: The Top Posts of January, 2016 (With Bonus Insights)Welcome to February, Big Thinkers. And you know what that means: time to round up: the very best of the past months here on Thinks for the past month. So without further ado, I give you these 8 excellent digital delights: the top posts of January, 2016 (with bonus insights). Enjoy:

  1. By far the biggest post of the past month was our year-end recap of “20 Key Concepts for the Year Ahead: The Top Posts of 2015.” It’s a hugely popular post each year and, if I do say so, does a nice job of collecting the key insights your fellow Big Thinkers found most useful over the preceding 12 months. Check it out to see what made this year’s list.
  2. Although we only published this next post, “Content is Still the King,” with a few days to go in the month, it rocketed to the top of the list. Which, when you think about the important role content marketing plays in driving your business success, makes a ton of sense, really.
  3. These “8 Exceptional Essays to Improve Your Digital Innovation” from the ongoing E-commerce Link Digest series also gained a lot of ground in just a week. Really good round-up, really. Glad you all enjoyed it.
  4. You all loved this episode of Thinks Out Loud, our weekly e-commerce and digital strategy podcast, that looked at “Driving Seamless Experiences in 2016.” And, frankly, I’m glad you did. Give it a listen again to see why for yourself.
  5. Another E-commerce Link Digest enters the list at #5, this one a cool collection of “9 Tremendous Posts About 2016’s Top Digital Trends.” Tremendous, indeed.
  6. You chose another Thinks Out Loud episode next, which examined “The State of E-commerce in 2016.” Good stuff.
  7. And yet another episode of Thinks Out Loud, “4 Necessary New Year’s Resolutions for Digital Marketing Success” cruises into the #7 position in this month’s list.
  8. Although it’s a little off-topic from what we normally talk about around here, this post that reflected on David Bowie’s passing and the meaning of “Authenticity” really seemed to resonate with your fellow Big Thinkers and closes out this month’s round-up of the top posts of January, 2016.

But, wait. We’re not done yet. See, when I collect the top posts from the prior year each January, I usually skip providing a month-end recap for December. So, as a bonus for you here are…

The Top Posts from December, 2015… too

  1. First, these “10 Must-Read Posts About Mobile Commerce and Content Marketing” from the E-commerce Link Digest series lead us off in style.
  2. Next, this look at “Trends for 2016: Is Execution the New Innovation?” from our Thinks Out Loud podcast provides a nice complement to the list.
  3. Another big trends post that proved popular among your friends here at Thinks was “2016’s Top Trends: Make Room For Mobile Video.”
  4. Many folks seemed to enjoy this Thinks Out Loud episode that examined “Three Trends to Watch in 2016″ in detail.
  5. And, finally, we’ll close with “A Big Round-Up of Marketing Posts Featuring 2016’s Top Trends” from the E-commerce Link Digest series. Give it a look when you get a moment

And there you have it Big Thinkers. The top posts of January, 2016 (and bonus insights from December, 2015) to keep you tuned into what matters to your friends here at Thinks. Miss anything? Feel free to subscribe via email or RSS so you won’t going forward.

And if you want learn even more about how your customers’ changing behavior shapes e-commerce and marketing, be sure and register to receive a special report I’ve produced in conjunction with hotel marketing firm Vizergy, “Digital Hotel Marketing in a Multiscreen World.” While it’s targeted specifically at hotel and resort marketers, the lessons apply to just about any business. You can get your free copy of the report here.

You can also check out these slides and video from my recent webinar, “Digital Marketing Directions: Three Key Trends Driving Your Marketing Next Year”:

Tim Peter

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January 29, 2016

7 Perfect Posts To Drive Content Marketing Success: E-commerce Link Digest

January 29, 2016 | By | No Comments

7 Perfect Posts To Drive Content Marketing Success: E-commerce Link DigestI’m heading out for the next leg of this year’s world tour, Big Thinkers. Hope you have a great weekend ahead. While you’re relaxing, take a moment to review these 7 perfect posts to drive content marketing success. Enjoy:

  1. CMO.com leads us off with their new series on decoding modern marketing. Good stuff, featuring a fair emphasis on content to differentiate and drive your brand.
  2. Marketing Charts notes that marketers and agencies differ on spending changes in 2016. That’s not really “news,” in that that happens every now and again. What is news though are the areas where they differ. Check out the whole thing to see for yourself.
  3. One place where marketers ought to put their dollars, according to Luxury Daily, is on creating consolidated, focused messaging to help fight disruption.
  4. Continuing today’s content marketing theme, Social Media Explorer has put together an excellent guide to help you in making the case for long form content for your organization. Great read.
  5. Luxury Daily explains why dream-based storytelling captures attention of larger demographic. Too true.
  6. Social Media Today collects a set of tips on crafting evergreen content.
  7. Given all this focus on content marketing, you won’t be surprised to find out that here at TPA we remain confident that content is still the king (that’s true for travel marketers, too). You might also want to review a recent podcast episode that asked—and answered—“What’s Stirring This Christmas? Content Marketing.” Consider it a belated present from me to you.

If you’re interested in learning more about making the social, mobile web work for your customers, be sure to check out these “9 Tremendous Posts About 2016’s Top Digital Trends: E-commerce Link Digest”, this collection of “8 Digital Strategy Posts to Start Your Week Right,” this set of “10 Must-Read Posts About Mobile Commerce and Content Marketing” a fun collection of posts featuring “Google, Mobile, E-commerce. What More Could You Want?” and all the rest of the entries from our E-commerce Link Digest series.

And if you want learn even more about how your customers’ changing behavior shapes e-commerce and marketing, be sure and register to receive a special report I’ve produced in conjunction with hotel marketing firm Vizergy, “Digital Hotel Marketing in a Multiscreen World.” While it’s targeted specifically at hotel and resort marketers, the lessons apply to just about any business. You can get your free copy of the report here.

You can also check out these slides and video from my recent webinar, “Digital Marketing Directions: Three Key Trends Driving Your Marketing Next Year”:

Tim Peter

By

January 27, 2016

Stop Chasing the Next Big Thing in Digital (Thinks Out Loud Episode 150)

January 27, 2016 | By | No Comments

Stop Chasing the Next Big Thing in Digital (Thinks Out Loud Episode 150) – Headlines and Show Notes

You might also want to check out these slides I had the pleasure of presenting recently about how to lead mobile-focused digital transformation within large organizations (a topic we’ve been talking about a fair bit lately). Here are the slides for your reference:

Contact information for the podcast: podcast@timpeter.com

Technical details: Recorded using an Audio-Technica AT2035 studio condenser microphone through a Mackie Onyx Blackjack USB recording interface into Logic Express 9 for the Mac.

Running time: 12m 26s

You can subscribe to Thinks Out Loud in iTunes [iTunes link], subscribe via our dedicated podcast RSS feed (or better yet, given that Google has now killed Reader, sign up for our free newsletter). You can also download/listen to the podcast here on Thinks using the player below:

Tim Peter

By

January 26, 2016

How Google, Uber, and Foursquare Plan to Revolutionize Travel (Travel Tuesday)

January 26, 2016 | By | No Comments

How Google, Uber, and Foursquare Plan to Revolutionize Travel (Travel Tuesday)I’ve said for a long time how, when it comes to e-commerce generally and mobile commerce specifically, we’re still living in the cave painting days. You might think that sounds crazy, but it’s true. A group of stories from the past couple days only serves to highlight that point—and to provide travel marketers for a better sense of where we’re heading.

First up, Koddi explains Google’s new Trip Planning capabilities, noting

“Within a few clicks, the user can get destination details on flights, hotels, restaurants, points of interest, weather, and general travel info like popular times to visit. This information has always been available in Google’s ecosystem, but now it exists in an easy to consume format.”

Now this is all “top of funnel” activity, targeting guests early in their travel shopping experience. But it also connects a ton of activities that travelers typically spread across a number of sites and sessions. Time will tell whether your guests accept Google as their go-to source when planning their entire journey, but it’s an early indicator that maybe we’ve used the term “online travel agent” too aggressively, without providing the concierge-style, end-to-end service that travelers actually need when planning their itineraries.

Also looking to accommodate travelers during the planning stage, Foursquare has built a social trip planning tool, says The Next Web:

“…type where your next trip will take place—whether it’s Sonoma, California or Shanghai, China—and Foursquare spits out an easy to manage URL to share with friends and family through every practical communication method. Foursquare promises to tabulate responses into a map to point you towards specific places suggested by friends. The resulting map is then saved to your phone.”

Note how seamlessly this new functionality incorporates mobile and social into the travel shopping experience. Foursquare clearly recognizes how integral a role social and mobile play for travelers—and have made them a key component of the overall travel planning process, not an afterthought.

Not to be outdone, Uber’s getting into the mix with its new “Trip Experiences” offering. Business Insider explains:

“The idea behind Trip Experiences is to make the apps on your phone smarter, or more “magical,” during an Uber ride. That could mean Spotify knows how much time you have in the car and queues up the perfect playlist. Or maybe your favorite news app knows to show you a 10-minute briefing of the day’s headlines.”

Obviously, Uber’s playing to its strengths here, worrying more about the rider’s experience than anything else. But—and this is key—they’re only just beginning to explore where this will go. As the Business Insider article continues:

“Uber’s Saad thinks apps having knowledge of your trips could unlock entirely new use cases, like a hotel app being able to check you into your room as you arrive in an Uber car. Trip Experiences may start off as something simple, like a time-tailored news briefing, but eventually they could make all the apps you use smarter.”

Um… yeah. That would be something, huh? Again, remember we’re still in the cave painting days.

Clearly, we’ll have to see whether travelers will shift towards making Uber, Google, or, for heaven’s sake, Foursquare(!) a core part of their travel planning and stay. But they’ve certainly embraced Booking.com, TripAdvisor, Expedia, and Travelocity over the last decade-plus—and all of those players started with far less mindshare.

The key takeaway from all of this is to note who’s working to improve the overall travel experience—and who isn’t. Hotels and airlines have a role to play here. And generally, could be doing a much better job. While you might welcome new entrants—and probably should—to increase competition with the major travel intermediaries and, ultimately, lower your costs, be conscious of whether you’re merely substituting one gatekeeper between you and your guest for another.

Ultimately, we’re all looking for the right way to provide the best experience all through the traveler’s journey—and to profit from providing that experience. As Marcelo Sapone writes over on PSFK:

“Up until this point, technology’s central design principle was to take humans out of the picture. Yet of course, this is fundamentally at odds with the concept of hospitality, which is wholly concerned with where it can harness the power of human touch… In many ways we simply haven’t gotten around to creating hospitality tech yet. Right now, our apps are focused on services as a transaction and the ways to make them more efficient. However, real service is defined as a relationship, not a one-way transaction.”

There’s no doubt that with these new offerings, Google, Uber, and Foursquare plan to revolutionize travel. So do Expedia, TripAdvisor, and Priceline. And plenty more are waiting in the wings, planning their attack. Plenty of opportunities exist to help guests all through the travel experience. The question is whether you’re ready to get out of the cave.

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 webinar, “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 26, 2016

Content is Still the King

January 26, 2016 | By | No Comments

Content is Still the KingLast week, I wrote that for travel marketers, content is still the king. Well, that’s not just true for travel marketers. The simple fact is that we’re all publishers now and that your customers increasingly rely on the information they find on your website, blog, and social media channels while making purchase decisions. Research from Fleishman-Hillard shows customers value a variety of content during their shopping, including information from you.

And using content to develop a relationship with your customers started really matters. According to Adobe:

“Only 23 percent of consumers trust content from companies whose products they don’t buy, but if the source is a company from whom they do purchase products and have a relationship, that number nearly doubles to 43 percent.”

Creating useful content that solves customer needs both attracts potential customers and builds those trusted relationships.

Oh, and consumers aren’t the only ones who rely on that information. Search Engine Land highlights a recent study from Backlinko that shows Google depends on quality content too:

“Basically, top-ranking content had a high estimated authority, and that content that ranked well was likely comprehensive in nature.”

So, what kinds of content should you be looking at? Here are a few options for you:

  • Blog posts
  • Articles
  • White papers/ebooks
  • Case studies
  • Press releases
  • Videos
  • Podcasts
  • Images
  • Community management/message boards
  • Polls/proprietary research
  • Newsletters (Electronic/print)
  • Advertorials
  • Slideware/presentations
  • Product demos

Even better, most of this content can work in a variety of formats, providing you more than just one outlet to attract those customers and start building those relationships. For instance, an interview with a customer or expert within your company can offer multiple uses, first featuring the interview as a video or podcast, then using a transcription or excerpts from the interview for blog posts, then crafting a presentation featuring the case study, and finally writing the case up as a whitepaper. You can change forms to target new audiences, and to extend the content’s reach and lifespan.

Given all the changes in the ways your customers find, shop, and buy products and services, content marketing plays an even greater role in helping you connect with your customers. With few exceptions, you’ll want to look closely at the content you’re offering your customers, determine what’s working and isn’t—from your customer’s point of view—and expand in those areas best suited to help them make a decision. Otherwise, you risk losing your brand story in an increasingly crowded and cluttered content environment.

So, yes, content is, was, and always shall be king. It’s time for you to attend to the king.

And if you want learn even more about how your customers’ changing behavior shapes e-commerce and marketing, be sure and register to receive a special report I’ve produced in conjunction with hotel marketing firm Vizergy, “Digital Hotel Marketing in a Multiscreen World.” While it’s targeted specifically at hotel and resort marketers, the lessons apply to just about any business. You can get your free copy of the report here.

You can also check out these slides and video from my recent webinar, “Digital Marketing Directions: Three Key Trends Driving Your Marketing Next Year”:

Tim Peter

By

January 24, 2016

5 Insightful Travel Marketing Messages: Hospitality Marketing Link Digest

January 24, 2016 | By | No Comments

5 Insightful Travel Marketing Messages: Hospitality Marketing Link DigestWe’re still digging out from “Snowpocalypse 2016™” here in the Northeast this weekend, Big Thinkers, so I’m going to skip the setup and take you right into this week’s list of 5 insightful travel marketing messages from the past week. Enjoy:

  1. Leading off, we’ve got a post that explains why, for travel marketers, content is still king. Great advice as you implement your 2016 marketing plans.
  2. On a highly related note is a piece from Contently’s Content Strategist blog outlines 21 content marketing predictions for 2016. While I’d already posted it in this week’s E-commerce Link Digest, it aligns well with the item above. Be sure to check ’em both out.
  3. Luxury Daily rounds up a new Expedia study that shows vacationers see mobile as indispensable throughout their trip. My personal favorite factoid? Most travelers—leisure and business—would rather leave home without deodorant than their phone. How their fellow travelers feel might be another matter.
  4. Lots of big Uber news worth paying attention to. First, according to Reuters, Uber’s pushing into public transit with new app partnership, while Quartz notes that for the first time, you can take an Uber to the Super Bowl. And finally, PSFK discusses how complementary partnerships enhance your brand with Uber executive Ethan Eismann.
  5. And, as we close out this week’s list, don’t miss these 5 fantastic travel marketing posts from the past week, part of our regular Hospitality Marketing Link Digest series.

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 webinar, “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 22, 2016

8 Exceptional Essays to Improve Your Digital Innovation: E-Commerce Link Digest

January 22, 2016 | By | No Comments

8 exceptional essays to improve your digital innovationIt’s going to be a frosty, freezing, breezy weekend here on the East Coast, folks. Hope you’re safe, warm, and dry wherever you might be. Me? I plan to curl up in front of a fire, crack open a bottle of Malbec, and hunker down with this list of 8 exceptional essays to improve your digital innovation in 2016. Enjoy:

  1. Chief Marketer collects a must-read list of the 4 things marketers must do better in 2016.
  2. Not to be outdone, the fine folks at Direct Marketing News ask “what should marketers do differently in 2016?” Both are excellent reads, well-worth your time.
  3. The Wall Street Journal reports that Amazon will release a portable version of its Echo Speaker in coming weeks (copy the headline and paste into a Google search if the Journal’s paywall blocks you from the whole article). Really interesting stuff that demonstrates how members of the AGFAM group (Apple, Google, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft) continue to work on driving seamless experiences in 2016, one of the key trends for the year ahead.
  4. Speaking of seamless experiences, Quartz says that for the first time, you can take an Uber to the Super Bowl. This illustrates something PSFK just wrote about Uber and developing complementary partnerships that enhance your brand. Smart stuff all around.
  5. Shifting gears just a bit, Search Engine Land highlights a study that reveals quality backlinks & comprehensive content are still biggest factors in driving Google rankings. Not a huge shock. Just goes to show how important and effective content marketing remains to driving traffic and business.
  6. Speaking of content marketing, many of your fellow Big Thinkers liked and linked to this list of 9 tremendous posts about 2016’s top digital trends, part of our ongoing E-commerce Link Digest series.
  7. On the mobile front, ClickZ offers a terrific look at how to assess the feasibility of your mobile project.
  8. And, finally, if there’s one thing that connects all the links this week it’s the strong focus on execution. Which is why I believe that execution as the new innovation remains among the top trends for 2016.

If you’re interested in learning more about making the social, mobile web work for your customers, be sure to check out these “9 Tremendous Posts About 2016’s Top Digital Trends: E-commerce Link Digest”, this collection of “8 Digital Strategy Posts to Start Your Week Right,” this set of “10 Must-Read Posts About Mobile Commerce and Content Marketing” a fun collection of posts featuring “Google, Mobile, E-commerce. What More Could You Want?” and all the rest of the entries from our E-commerce Link Digest series.

And if you want learn even more about how your customers’ changing behavior shapes e-commerce and marketing, be sure and register to receive a special report I’ve produced in conjunction with hotel marketing firm Vizergy, “Digital Hotel Marketing in a Multiscreen World.” While it’s targeted specifically at hotel and resort marketers, the lessons apply to just about any business. You can get your free copy of the report here.

You can also check out these slides and video from my recent webinar, “Digital Marketing Directions: Three Key Trends Driving Your Marketing Next Year”:

Tim Peter

By

January 20, 2016

Driving Seamless Experiences in 2016 (Thinks Out Loud Episode 149)

January 20, 2016 | By | No Comments

Driving Seamless Experiences in 2016 (Thinks Out Loud Podcast Episode 149)

Driving Seamless Experiences in 2016 (Thinks Out Loud Episode 149) – Headlines and Show Notes

You might also want to check out these slides I had the pleasure of presenting recently about how to lead mobile-focused digital transformation within large organizations (a topic we’ve been talking about a fair bit lately). Here are the slides for your reference:

Contact information for the podcast: podcast@timpeter.com

Technical details: Recorded using an Audio-Technica AT2035 studio condenser microphone through a Mackie Onyx Blackjack USB recording interface into Logic Express 9 for the Mac.

Running time: 15m 7s

You can subscribe to Thinks Out Loud in iTunes [iTunes link], subscribe via our dedicated podcast RSS feed (or better yet, given that Google has now killed Reader, sign up for our free newsletter). You can also download/listen to the podcast here on Thinks using the player below: