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March 10, 2015

Huge List of Lessons Learned at HSMAI’s Digital Marketing Strategy Conference – Travel Tuesday

March 10, 2015 | By | No Comments

Lessons learned from HSMAI's Digital Marketing Strategy Conference

At last week’s HSMAI Digital Marketing Strategy Conference, Yahoo Travel executive editor Laura Begley (@laurabegley) said, “Hospitality is 2nd oldest profession, but there’s been more innovation in the first.” Which, I’ve gotta admit, feels true. But is it really true? As many of the outstanding presentations and discussions during the day illustrated, maybe not.

I basically live-tweeted the event, trying to capture the very best takeaways from the various speakers. Here’s what I got from the day:

Customer Experience

  • As @AdeleGutman noted, customer experience provides entire basis for hospitality marketing. So true.
  • The level of connection with guest on-property depends on what guest needs/wants.
  • Very interesting @CornellCHR data from Chris Anderson Social media/UGC conversion impact
  • Hugely important concept: value of reviews to driving rates/pricing featuring great data from Chris Anderson Online reputation elasticity via Cornell CHR
  • Customer experience matters. A lot. So says @CornellCHR’s Chris Anderson—and he’s got the data to back it up: Cornell CHR data on social media/UGC conversion impact
  • Treat every guest like a VIP travel writer (which they are today), you’ll never go wrong via @AdeleGutman

Digital Execution

  • Google’s Tiffany Miller says 50% of travelers start their buyer’s journey without a brand in mind.
  • Great proverb: “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” Nice job, @AdeleGutman
  • @NowItsLaura Yes. But when alternative is “none at all,” even modest improvement is step in right direction.
  • So true: Bernard Ellis says before worrying about big data, worry about your data
  • Yep. Good stuff. RT @jennzajac: The funnel is not linear – handle your big problems first
  • 2.4 weeks to convince travelers to choose you across 18 sites and 8 sessions. @google
  • Yep: Prioritize channels you own, not channels you rent. Travelers still visit hotel sites.
  • RT @gregbodenlos: “Hotels near me” = smart keyword to purchase for mobile users near airports with bad weather – @RyanDGibson
  • Jet Blue using team of stay-at-home parents for social media listening/response per @laurabegley . Smart.

Content

  • Provide shareable content to guests before they travel. Great idea from @laurabegley
  • Interesting use of @instagram photos on hotel websites by @Kimpton and @HiltonHotels. Smart idea from
  • “If this, then that…” style message sequencing is brilliant personalization idea from @Kimpton’s Heather Richer
  • RT @goorooryan: Hotel Del Coronado uses soft messaging to engage guests post-stay: i.e. recipe from the chef or a spa ritual.
  • Smart idea: Co-create content with customers, involve in process to tell brand story. @google
  • Excellent strategy to drive traffic/bookings: multiply influencers. @google

Mobile

  • More than half of travelers called to purchase in 2013. Why? Mobile booking still needs work. @eMarketer
  • So true: Mobile apps and mobile web must work together, depends on customer need. @eMarketer
  • Social or site login necessary to track customers across devices/channels. BUT, you must provide value for login. @eMarketer
  • @eMarketer says hotels are 1/3 of all mobile #travel purchases. Must provide better mobile booking experience.
  • More than 1 in 5 purchases will happen on mobile in 2015. 1 in 4 in #travel. Via @eMarketer
  • Time spent on mobile by US adults greater than on desktop according to @eMarketer
  • @eMarketer summed it up best: Mobile strategy MUST start with customer first

All in all, it was a great day. I’m already looking forward to next year’s conference and hearing more from the industry’s thought leaders. Be sure to follow all these folks (and, while you’re at it follow me) on Twitter to get even more great insights.

If you want to learn even more about how customers changing behavior shapes e-commerce and marketing, 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.

Plus, don’t miss these slides and video from my recent webinar, “Digital Marketing Directions: Three Key Trends Driving Your Marketing Next Year”:

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

Tim Peter

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March 9, 2015

4 Keys to Executing On Digital

March 9, 2015 | By | No Comments

Executing on digital

One of the biggest myths about executing on digital marketing and e-commerce is that it’s all about digital. In practice, nothing could be further from the truth. So much of what makes digital work is really about your organization’s culture and leadership rather than anything to do with paid search prowess or social marketing mastery.

When you hear people around you talk about companies with “digital in their DNA,” what they mean is that the company doesn’t depend on any specific channel or tactic to achieve their goals. Instead, those companies value 4 things above all else:

  1. Customers. Companies that “get” digital get their customers. They realize that customers no longer go online, they are online, using whatever tools they have at hand to find, research, and buy the products and services that matter in their lives. And, they get that these customers will switch to whatever product or service best meets their needs whenever they want. In this environment, the only way to lead is to listen, to pay attention to your customers’ actual needs. And, of course, to focus all your energies on meeting those needs.
  2. Data. Listening to your customer depends on data. Not “Big Data;” your data. Data that helps you understand what your customers actually need. Data that guides you towards the right answer to solve customer challenges. And data that provides a barrier against competitors large and small. By definition, no one else can—or at least shouldn’t be able to—understand your customer’s interactions with your products and services as well as you can. Data represents the lifeblood of your organization’s success. Digital leaders understand that you ignore its value at your peril.
  3. Testing. Of course, data alone doesn’t tell you a complete story. Loads of opportunities exist to misinterpret what data means within your organization. Instead of relying on intuition or guesswork, digital leaders test their assumptions consistently and apply the lessons from those tests to improve the experience their customers enjoy. And that’s why digital leaders customers tend to actually enjoy those experiences.
  4. Accountability. Finally, digital leaders take accountability for delivering results and for creating environments in which their teams can produce those results. Accountability isn’t just about being willing to accept blame when things go wrong. It’s about making a commitment to your customer’s success and finding the intersection where customer success leads to business success. Google and Facebook, for example, famously didn’t know how they were going to make money during their early years. But their commitment to helping customers accomplish their goals eventually led them to seriously successful destinations all the same.

Apple, Google, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft (the AGFAM folks), all started small, but got big by delivering key benefits to their customers, using data to learn what worked for their customers, tested their assumptions in the marketplace, and held their leaders accountable for both the customer experience and their business results. Lots of new players are disrupting industries large and small by executing against this same playbook. It’s time you do the same.

If you’re looking to learn even more about how customers changing behavior shapes e-commerce and marketing, 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 can also check out these slides and video from my recent webinar, “Digital Marketing Directions: Three Key Trends Driving Your Marketing Next Year”:

And, finally, you might want to take a look at some of our past coverage of the e-commerce, mobile commerce, and digital marketing overall, including:

Tim Peter

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March 8, 2015

5 Amazing Travel Marketing Posts for You: Hospitality Marketing Link Digest

March 8, 2015 | By | No Comments

5 amazing travel marketing posts for youHaving a great weekend Big Thinkers? Well, how about making it even better with some of the best travel marketing insights from the past week? Without further ado, here’s this week’s list of 5 amazing travel marketing posts for you. Enjoy:

  1. Skift talks with four top hotel CEOs about how brand loyalty has changed. Outstanding insights from a great group of industry leaders.
  2. Loyalty depends at least in part from meeting—and exceeding—guest expectations throughout their experience with your property. I recently took a look at how the best hotels own the guest and offered tips on how you can do that too.
  3. Switching to search, Search Engine Land reports that Google city searches now include hotel booking info in its Knowledge Graph. This is a big sign that Google is getting deeper into the overall guest value chain and, candidly, I’m very curious about what this means for the future.
  4. Crazy stat out of ITB this past week, where Priceline CEO Darren Huston mentioned that Booking.com now conducts 100,000 mobile transactions a day. So, y’know, there might be something to this mobile thing for travel. To that end, you might also want to check out this post where Priceline CEO Darren Huston explains why driving brand value matters.
  5. Finally, we rounded up these 7 outstanding hospitality marketing insights, the top posts from February, for you to enjoy as well. Be sure to check out the whole list.

Looking for even more of the best hospitality marketing advice and insights? Then don’t miss “The 6 Best Travel Marketing Posts This Past Week,” these “6 Superb Hotel Marketing Insights,” and these “6 Totally Brilliant Travel Marketing Posts,” from our hospitality marketing link digests (part of the ongoing E-commerce Link Digest series).

If you want to learn even more about how customers changing behavior shapes e-commerce and marketing, 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.

Plus, don’t miss these slides and video from my recent webinar, “Digital Marketing Directions: Three Key Trends Driving Your Marketing Next Year”:

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

Tim Peter

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March 6, 2015

6 Quick E-Commerce and Digital Marketing Winners: E-commerce Link Digest

March 6, 2015 | By | No Comments

Woman shopping e-commerce missivesIf it’s Friday, it must be link digest day. And, in the interest of getting right to the goods, I’m going to skip the setup and simply point you to these 6 quick e-commerce and digital marketing winners. Enjoy:

  1. Our good friends at GetElastic take a look at the role of Big Data in personalization and say it goes way beyond product recommendations.
  2. The latest episode of Thinks Out Loud, my weekly e-commerce and digital marketing podcast, has some great tips on putting digital to work.
  3. Mobile Commerce Daily developed its Q4 2014 mobile site performance benchmark report which makes a nice complement to these recent mobile and millennial milestones.
  4. Last week, we looked at how customer data drives satisfaction and increased revenues and whether customer experience is the future of e-commerce.
  5. Search Engine Land highlights a study showing Google now displays rich answers for 19.45% of queries. Combined with the news that Google will rank brands with Android apps higher in mobile searches, it’s a clear sign that Google is getting deeper into the purchase path. Ugh.
  6. Finally, we covered the top posts from February with these 10 can’t miss mobile commerce and marketing columns, so, um… don’t miss them.

There you have it, Big Thinkers; 6 quick e-commerce and digital marketing winners. If you’re looking for even more, don’t miss these “8 Must-Read Posts Connecting Content, Search and Mobile Commerce”, these “8 Must-Read Marketing and E-Commerce Posts” and this past link digest called “Freezing? 8 Fabulous Marketing and E-commerce Posts to Warm You Up.” Really solid stuff.

You should also check out this round-up of 8 Great Mobile Marketing and E-commerce Reads for a Snowy Weekend, these 7+ Super E-commerce and Mobile Must-Reads to Enjoy Before the Big Game: E-commerce Link Digest, and the rest of our E-commerce Link Digest series.

And if you want to learn even more about how customers changing behavior shapes e-commerce and marketing, 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 can also check out these slides and video from my recent webinar, “Digital Marketing Directions: Three Key Trends Driving Your Marketing Next Year”:

And, finally, you might want to take a look at some of our past coverage of the e-commerce, mobile commerce, and digital marketing overall, including:

Tim Peter

By

March 4, 2015

Putting Digital to Work – Thinks Out Loud Episode 113

March 4, 2015 | By | No Comments

Putting digital to work

Putting Digital to Work – Headlines and Show Notes

You might also enjoy the slides from my recent webinar, Digital Marketing Directions: Key Trends Driving Your Marketing Next Year,:

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 07s

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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March 3, 2015

7 Outstanding Hospitality Marketing Insights: The Top Posts from February

March 3, 2015 | By | No Comments

7 Outstanding Hospitality Marketing Insights: the Top Posts from FebruaryWell, Big Thinkers, it’s time once again to collect the very best hospitality marketing, e-commerce, and distribution posts from the past month here on Thinks. And is this your lucky day or what? Based on what you and your fellow Big Thinkers read and reviewed, liked and linked to, shared and, um… well, shared anyway, these are, by far, the very best posts from this February. Without further ado, take a few minutes to review each of these 7 outstanding hospitality marketing insights: the top posts from February. Enjoy:

  1. At the top of this month’s list, we’ve got these “5 Outstanding Posts to Kick-off a Successful Hotel Marketing Week” one of my weekly Hospitality Marketing Link Digests (part of the overall E-commerce Link Digest series). A great round-up to lead off a great round-up, eh?
  2. Equally popular among your fellow Big Thinkers are these “3 Keys to Compete with OTA’s in 2015 and Beyond.” I can’t recommend this one enough.
  3. Another Hospitality Marketing Link Digest cruises into the #3 position, this one a collection of “7 Hot Hotel Marketing Insights” that you won’t want to miss.
  4. The next post on the list features “CEO Darren Huston from Priceline Explaining Why Driving Brand Value Matters.” A very worthwhile read.
  5. The biggest travel marketing, e-commerce and distribution news from February centered around Expedia’s acquisition of Orbitz. And the next post on our list explains “What the Expedia-Orbitz Deal Means for Your Hotel.”
  6. Two more Hospitality Marketing Link Digests are up next, the first aggregating “4 Award-Worthy Hospitality Marketing Posts” and the second collecting “6 Superb Hotel Marketing Insights.” Both are worth your time.
  7. Finally, few activities help you market your hotel better than providing a great guest experience. But, in this look at “How the Best Hotels Own the Guest” you can learn how to complement great experiences with an overall approach to owning those guests’ loyalties, for life. Definitely something you’ll want to check out.

Of course, if you want to gain even more learnings from our past posts, be sure to check out these 6 Winning Travel Marketing Posts: The Top Hospitality Marketing Posts from January, the “6 Top Travel Marketing Posts from November” and “9 Must-Read Marketing and E-commerce Gems: The Top Posts from October.” Plus, you’ll probably enjoy these “7 Remarkable Posts about Mobile Marketing in Travel” and these “7 Brilliant Insights into Mobile Travel E-commerce” from our hospitality marketing link digests (part of the ongoing E-commerce Link Digest series).

And 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 2015: Three Key Trends Driving Your Hotel Marketing Next Year” here:


(And, yes… you can hire me to speak at your next event, too).

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 business, including:

Tim Peter

By

March 1, 2015

The 6 Best Travel Marketing Posts This Past Week: Hospitality Marketing Link Digest

March 1, 2015 | By | No Comments

The 6 best travel marketing posts this past weekIt’s been a big week for travel marketing and e-commerce news, Big Thinkers, with lots of great information and insights to help you make the most of your hotel’s digital marketing and distribution. In fact, here are the 6 best travel marketing posts this past week. Enjoy:

  1. Tnooz explains what the recent travel tech deals mean for the hotel industry, which makes a nice companion piece to my look at what the Expedia-Orbitz deal means for your hotel.
  2. Social plays a justifiably large role in marketing your hotel and resort. In fact, eMarketer uncovers data that says the travel industry sees strong Facebook CTRs and engagement. However, it’s not all good news. Tnooz asks whether dark social is destroying your travel marketing strategy. I’d suggest not, but it further highlights the need to improve attribution modeling and leverage your hotel’s data to drive growth.
  3. Hotel News Now shows how hotel marketers are rethinking the affluent market.
  4. Leonardo has a great post featuring research from Google on how to master mobile and millennials. Given that the marriage of millennials and mobile represents a key trend driving e-commerce, digital marketing, and distribution in 2015, you’ll definitely want to review both of these posts.
  5. One big takeaway from the Leonardo and Hotel News Now articles just mentioned revolves around delivering on your overall brand value proposition. For this reason, you may want to review these insights from Priceline CEO Darren Huston on why brand value matters to help you own your customer.
  6. And while we’re on the topic of “owning your customer relationships,” be sure to check out this look at who owns your customer, how customer data drives satisfaction and increased revenues on the blog, and this week’s episode of Thinks Out Loud, “Want to Own the Customer? Own the Data.” And, for a hotel marketing focus, be sure to review how the best hotels own the guest. Good stuff all around and a great way to kick off your week.

If you want even more of the best hospitality marketing advice and insights, don’t miss these round-up of these 4 award-worthy hospitality marketing posts, this great round-up of “7 Hot Hotel Marketing Insights,” and these “6 Totally Brilliant Travel Marketing Posts” all from our hospitality marketing link digests (part of the ongoing E-commerce Link Digest series).

And, if you’re looking to learn even more about how changing guest behavior shapes e-commerce and marketing, 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 2015: Three Key Trends Driving Your Hotel Marketing Next Year” here:


(And, yes… you can hire me to speak at your next event, too).

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 business, including:

Tim Peter

By

February 27, 2015

8 Must-Read Posts Connecting Content, Search and Mobile Commerce

February 27, 2015 | By | No Comments

8 Must-Read Posts Connecting Content, Search and Mobile CommerceIt’s been a crazy week, Big Thinkers, so you’ll pardon me if I dispose of the pithy intro this week and simply give a big shout-out to these 8 must-read posts connecting content, search and mobile commerce. Enjoy:

  1. Leading off, eMarketer has data that shows smartphones drive lift in mobile search traffic. Not a surprise, really, but it’s good that the data supports what many of you probably realized intuitively.
  2. Because of that growth of mobile search, you really want to check out iMediaConnection’s looks at how Google is transforming the mobile landscape. Fascinating read.
  3. Building on that, Mobile Commerce Daily reports that a Target exec says bricks-and-mobile commerce is logical next step. I completely agree. It’s not “mobile or e-commerce or commerce;” it’s “mobile and commerce,” all the time. eMarketer says that mobile is increasing its share of shopping, transacting in Canada. As I noted on Twitter, it ain’t just Canada.
  4. Search Engine Land noted these connections and outlined opportunities for 2015 omni-channel success in paid search & beyond, while Mobile Commerce Daily highlighted an Express exec who stated geo-bidding, cross-partnerships make significant impact on m-commerce. Again, the connections among mobile, search, and commerce are a really big deal.
  5. Of course, to rank in search and convince customers to buy, you need great content. Linda Bustos at GetElastic interviewed Bernardine Wu of FitForCommerce about the state of content and commerce. It’s a great discussion, well worth a few minutes of your time.
  6. Similarly, The Future of Commerce blog outlined why content and commerce represents the ultimate balancing act. Good stuff.
  7. Linda Bustos at GetElastic lists 5 obsessions every CMO must embrace. I agree across the board that summarizes these trends and how they help you to own your customer relationships. Great read.
  8. Speaking of “own your customer relationships,” this was a big week for the topic here on Thinks. We took a look who owns your customer and how customer data drives satisfaction and increased revenues on the blog, while this week’s episode of Thinks Out Loud advised “Want to Own the Customer? Own the Data.” And it’s becoming increasingly clear that owning the customer experience is the future of e-commerce. You definitely want to check those out.

There you have it, Big Thinkers; 8 must-read posts connecting content, search, and mobile commerce. If you’re looking for even more, don’t miss last week’s “8 Must-Read Marketing and E-Commerce Posts” and this past link digest called “Freezing? 8 Fabulous Marketing and E-commerce Posts to Warm You Up.” Really solid stuff. You should also check out this round-up of 8 Great Mobile Marketing and E-commerce Reads for a Snowy Weekend, these 7+ Super E-commerce and Mobile Must-Reads to Enjoy Before the Big Game: E-commerce Link Digest, and the rest of our E-commerce Link Digest series.

And if you want to learn even more about how customers changing behavior shapes e-commerce and marketing, 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 can also check out these slides and video from my recent webinar, “Digital Marketing Directions: Three Key Trends Driving Your Marketing Next Year”:

And, finally, you might want to take a look at some of our past coverage of the e-commerce, mobile commerce, and digital marketing overall, including:

Tim Peter

By

February 24, 2015

How the Best Hotels Own the Guest (Travel Tuesday)

February 24, 2015 | By | No Comments

How do the best hotels own the guest?

Just yesterday, I was talking about who owns your customer and how new entrants can seize that relationship. Hotel marketers have been dealing with this challenge more than most. Not only have the established OTA’s been competing for your guests for some time, but loads of new entrants have come on strong lately, include folks like TripAdvisor moving into bookings, Airbnb offering a differentiated product, and even Google getting deeper into the transactional space.

Recent consolidation among major players like Expedia/Orbitz/Travelocity (or “Expe-Orbi-Ocity,” as Vikram Singh memorably labeled the travel giant), only compound the problem, potentially providing these major players even more leverage in the race for putting feets in sheets.

So, what’s an independent hotel, management company, or beleaguered brand to do? How do the best hotels own the guest, from discovery through booking? During the stay and beyond?

Well, for starters, you’ve got to focus on guest needs. Hospitality, by its very nature, revolves around providing guests personalized, welcoming service. And guests really just want to know two things:

  1. “Will I enjoy my stay?”
  2. “Why should I book that stay with you and not with an OTA?”

You know your market and your property better than anyone. Use your content to tell your brand story effectively and help guests understand what they can and should expect while on property. Encourage guests who’ve had a pleasant stay to tell their friends and family and fans and followers all about it. And use your guest data not only to place the right offers in front of the right guests, but to help your hotel staff meet guest needs, as well.

As Priceline CEO Darren Huston recently explained, highlighting your brand value matters. This is the guy responsible for Booking.com stating outright that there’s more to capturing guests than simply taking responsibility for the booking.

There’s no question that many, many players compete with you to own the guest. That’s unlikely to change anytime soon. Sure, some consolidation will occur. But plenty of new players will undoubtedly emerge to fill the spaces left behind. Instead of worrying about those folks, do what the best hotels do and worry about your guests. Because the only way to own the guest is to own their experience, every step of the way.

If you want to learn even more about how customers changing behavior shapes e-commerce and marketing, 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.

And take a moment to review the slides from my recent webinar, “Digital Marketing Directions 2015: Three Key Trends Driving Your Hotel Marketing Next Year” here:


(And, yes… you can hire me to speak at your next event, too).

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

Tim Peter

By

February 20, 2015

8 Must-Read Marketing and E-Commerce Posts: E-commerce Link Digest

February 20, 2015 | By | No Comments

Must-read mobile and e-commerce postsNot much setup this week, Big Thinkers. Just a quick list of 8 must-read marketing and e-commerce posts to get your through the weekend. Enjoy:

  1. eMarketer says that mobile is still for upper-funnel shopping activities. Eh… maybe. By now you know that we’ve reached one mobile and millennial milestone after another and that mobile will disrupt your industry, so you need to protect your business. Because, even if it mobile’s “only” top of funnel, that’s only going to be true for a little while longer.
  2. One thing moving mobile deeper into your customers’ purchase path is how effectively it helps your customers solve their problems. For instance, Gigaom reports on an Nokia Here for Android, out of beta and in Google Play. With the addition of indoor mapping, it’s highly likely your customers will ask their phone where to find what they need in your stores, bypassing your staff altogether.
  3. Similarly, eMarketer reports that marketers spent $4 billion on click-to-call advertising in 2014. That’s another example where customers will use whatever tool is at hand to solve their problems, as well as an opportunity for you to get in front of those needs.
  4. Speaking of mobile for browsing, shopping, and buying, the latest episode of Thinks Out Loud explores the mobile commerce myth. Definitely worth a few moments of your time.
  5. eMarketer also talks about the trend of marketers increasing investment to provide customer experience makeovers. It’s about time. As we examined during last week’s Thinks Out Loud episode, “Is Customer Experience the Future of E-Commerce?” getting customer service right is going to play a huge role in shaping your brand’s future.
  6. According to Forbes, Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer claims Tumblr is now the fastest-growing social network over Instagram. Whichever one is actually biggest, it surely suggests how much the web now revolves around images, not just text.
  7. While you’re considering which social network is indeed the biggest, you might want to review this post that considers another key debate: That of marketing vs. math. Insightful stuff about a sometimes-contentious—and entirely unnecessary—division.
  8. Finally, we kicked off this past week with a set of 20 terrific e-commerce insights for a long winter’s nap. Great round-up and worth checking out.

What? You want more? OK, I’ve got some more for you. For starters, you might want to check out last week’s link digest, “Freezing? 8 Fabulous Marketing and E-commerce Posts to Warm You Up.” Really solid stuff. You should also check out this round-up of 8 Great Mobile Marketing and E-commerce Reads for a Snowy Weekend, these 7+ Super E-commerce and Mobile Must-Reads to Enjoy Before the Big Game: E-commerce Link Digest, and the rest of our E-commerce Link Digest series.

And if you want to learn even more about how customers changing behavior shapes e-commerce and marketing, 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 can also check out these slides and video from my recent webinar, “Digital Marketing Directions: Three Key Trends Driving Your Marketing Next Year”:

And, finally, you might want to take a look at some of our past coverage of the e-commerce, mobile commerce, and digital marketing overall, including: