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Tim Peter Thinks

Tim Peter

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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

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October 31, 2015

Google, Mobile, E-commerce. What More Could You Want? – E-commerce Link Digest

October 31, 2015 | By | No Comments

What more could you want than a look at Google, mobile, e-commerce, and moreReady for the weekend? Even more important, are you ready for this week’s link digest? Well, let’s see. This time we’ve got posts about Google, mobile, e-commerce, social, streaming video, bitcoin, net neutrality, plus a couple inspirational posts that help explain how to succeed in digital—and in business overall. I mean, really, what more could you want? Enjoy:

  1. Well, Google’s been busy lately. First, Search Engine Land says that Google warns webmasters again not to use sneaky, mobile-based redirects, proving once again that mobile is where Google’s putting tons of its energies these days.
  2. While keeping with the Google and mobile theme, a recent episode of our Thinks Out Loud podcast asks, “Google, Apple or Facebook: Who’ll Win the Mobile Web?” Spoiler: it’s too soon to tell. But check out the whole episode to understand why. And on the same topic, Quartz explores why Google can’t stop talking about mobile until it comes to real numbers.
  3. Another Search Engine Land piece offers a great FAQ all about the new Google RankBrain algorithm, which uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to improve its search results, and Search Engine Land also reports that the search giant now provides RLSA to AdWords Shopping Ads with its shopping remarketing lists. . Cool feature, and very welcome for e-commerce marketers.
  4. Quartz highlights a couple of breaking bit coin stories this week, including the EU admitting bitcoin is a currency and that AmEx just made its first bitcoin investment. I’m planning to delve deeper into what makes bitcoin important for the e-commerce and digital strategy space in the next few weeks. These Quartz articles will give you a head start on the topic.
  5. Business Insider shines a light on the latest from the NFL featuring its experiment with streaming. The A/V Club pours cold water on the league’s announcement that 15.2 million unique users viewed the stream in an article thoroughly submerged in snark, but still notes:

    “…three seconds of involuntary football fandom might not sound like much, but look at the product being offered. This was a game between two dreadful squads hailing from second-tier cities. It was played early on a weekend morning, and people in Buffalo and Jacksonville could see it on TV, giving them little reason to watch it online. Yahoo’s web stream was engineered to lack appeal… When Yahoo’s engineers were able to dupe 15.2 trillion people into spending more than zero time on Buffalo-Jacksonville, they succeeded in moving the needle. League officials can be happy…”

    It seems there may be something to this streaming thing in the future after all.

  6. Changing gears, eMarketer rounding up research from top marketers and found increasing audience engagement remains a key objective in social media marketing. Some wag once even went so far as to say that tactic represents the single most effective way to improve your brand’s digital marketing.
  7. A great piece over on KissMetrics says, “It’s Time to Kill These 8 Deadly Online Marketing Myths.” Yep. I agree.
  8. A recent article from the Harvard Business Review that states “Companies Value Curiosity but Stifle It Anyway​” provided the inspiration for my post, “Learning How to Fail.” Failure in e-commerce and marketing happens. Learning how to do it right ensures they’ll let you stick around to do it again.
  9. PSFK details five key retail trends every brand should invest in. Brilliant list, and well worth your time this week.
  10. And, finally, Ars Technica updates us all after the EU voted in favor of Internet fast lanes and slow lanes, striking a huge blow for net neutrality. This is a monumentally stupid idea. As I’ve said before, net neutrality matters for businesses large and small. This isn’t a partisan issue. It isn’t “socialism.” An open Internet benefits consumers and businesses, large and small alike. Stay tuned for more on this topic over time.

Hope you have a fantastic weekend, Big Thinkers. And here’s hoping you have an amazing week ahead too!

If you’re interested in learning more about making the social, mobile web work for your customers, be sure to check out these “8 Excellent Autumn E-commerce and Digital Marketing Posts,” these “6 Must-See Mobile Commerce Messages for You,” this set of “9 Digital Marketing Must-Reads for You This Weekend” and other entries from our E-commerce Link Digest series, plus these “7 Special E-Commerce and Digital Marketing Trending Topics: The Top Posts of September, 2015.”

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”:

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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October 28, 2015

Why Priceline Believes in the Death of Search Engine Optimization (Travel Tuesday)

October 28, 2015 | By | No Comments

The Death of Search Engine Optimization

Want to know one cause for the rising cost of guest acquisition? Look no further than the declining prominence and effectiveness of natural search as Google increasingly places paid ads higher on the search results pages. This reduces both the number of natural results per page and your guests’ opportunities to see those ads. The problem has become so pronounced that, in a report from Skift’s Global Forum, Priceline.com CEO Paul Hennessy announced the death of search engine optimization. Money quote:

“As far as SEO is, my view on that is it’s more of a desktop thought because as the devices get smaller and smaller and smaller, the number of choices from an SEO perspective on mobile decline dramatically. And so I believe it is a paid world.”

Well, that’s a bummer. If you subscribe to Hennessy’s worldview, you’d have to expect your paid costs will continue to increase. But you already know that. You’re living that every day.

However, this particular cloud really does have a few silver linings. For one thing, this hurts the folks trying to disrupt you as much as it hurts you. And, in some ways, more. For instance, Tnooz says that Airbnb is increasing its host fees as way to pay for Google advertising (a topic we covered a little bit in this week’s Hospitality Marketing Link Digest). That’s a mixed blessing for hoteliers, as it will drive up the rates Airbnb hosts charge — and will help protect hotel rates in those same markets.

Additionally, OTA’s, which by definition should possess lower quality scores than the hotels whose brand terms they sometimes bid on, have to pay higher costs than hotel marketers on a per-click basis. Or, at least they do when you focus on creating high quality content for your hotel’s website to show Google you’re a better answer to a guest’s questions.

Also lost in all of this is the fact that Priceline currently is hiring SEO product managers—and probably would love to see hotels reduce their SEO efforts. I don’t know about you, but I’d take Hennessey’s comments with a grain—if not a whole chunk—of salt.

Is search growing? It’s complicated. Desktop search isn’t really growing, while mobile search is. But, as Hennessy accurately points out, fewer opportunities exist for your hotel to appear in mobile search due to the size of the screen and Google’s increased use of paid placements in the search results. Add to that the fact that guests often substitute apps in place of “traditional” search, and you can see why this is a mess. Even if its growth has slowed, search remains an important part of traffic and reservations for your hotel’s website. And, I can’t imagine abandoning search engine optimization or paid search marketing as a positive at this point.

Instead, the real takeaways for your hotel marketing include:

  • SEO and content marketing remain a cost of doing business—and likely will be so for some time to come
  • Quality content continues to improve your natural search rankings and drive down your paid media costs by improving your paid search quality scores
  • Link-building activity—a key component of SEO activities—can help drive referred traffic in addition to its assumed “SEO benefit”
  • In other words, effectively executing your SEO and content marketing strategies drives business

In fact, the more nuanced—and in my mind accurate—quote in the Skift report comes from Evan Reece, Co-Founder and CEO of Liftopia, right at the very end of the article:

“So perhaps the way we think about SEO now, it is dying a bit. But delivering value to users has been a huge driver of success even within that old world, and brands that focus on that value creation will likely benefit from Google’s new world of delivering that value.”

As long as you continue to focus on creating high-quality content, that’s snackable, sharable, and sharp (something I talked about in my 2016 Trends report a few weeks back), and expand your use social for promotion, you should still expect to receive benefit from search for some time to come.

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 business, including:

Tim Peter

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May 11, 2015

The Coming Massive Mobile Disruption

May 11, 2015 | By | No Comments

Massive mobile disruption: Couple shopping with mobile webCrazy insights in the Wall Street Journal the other day, which highlighted some new Google products — and some impressive data about mobile,

“[Google VP of Product Management Jerry] Dischler said Google searches on mobile devices now outnumber those on personal computers in 10 countries, including the U.S. and Japan.”

Take a moment and let that sink in. Mobile searches now outnumber those on desktop computers. In 10 countries. While Google didn’t list all ten, the US and Japan’s inclusion on the list makes it fairly safe to assume that they’ll include other advanced economies such as Germany, the UK, China, France, Brazil, etc.

Another key quote says,

“…mobile users spend more time in specialized apps, such as Amazon.com for products or Yelp for local businesses, than in a Web browser. That’s spurring Google to provide quicker answers to mobile-search queries.

Dischler said patterns are changing as users hop among devices. ‘It’s more of a swirl, with people browsing on phones, getting on their desktop at work, then their tablet at home, then purchasing through a store visit or on a phone call,’ he said.”

This mirrors a point I made a couple weeks ago, that Google is struggling to maintain its dominance as consumers shift to mobile (actually, they’ve been facing this problem for a while). It’s also further evidence that mobile commerce is here to stay.

Google’s going to face some significant challenges unless it can either: a.) monetize mobile apps more effectively, or b.) encourage more mobile web searches/fewer app searches. The data also underscores how quickly consumers have adopted mobile — and how much room still exists for positive growth.

This massive mobile shift will disrupt many industries — including yours. Someone will profit from that disruption. Google’s struggling to adapt, but is clearly making the effort to get ahead of the game. Why don’t you do the same?

Do you want learn even more about how your 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 I had the pleasure of speaking to a great audience recently about how to lead digital transformation within large organizations (a topic we’ve been talking about a fair bit lately). Here are the slides for your reference:

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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April 17, 2015

10 Must-Read E-Commerce, Search, and Mobile Posts: E-commerce Link Digest

April 17, 2015 | By | No Comments

10 Must-Read E-Commerce, Search, and Mobile PostsWhat a huge week we’ve had around here, Big Thinkers. Hope you’re knocking it out of the park and having a fabulous early April, too. Without any further ado, take a peek at these 10 must-read e-commerce, search and mobile posts from the past week. Enjoy:

  1. Marketing Charts has a retail e-commerce roundup showing market shares, attractiveness, and more. Cool.
  2. In other e-commerce news, Mobile Commerce Daily says that mobile ticketing transaction volume to double by 2019.
  3. AdExchanger offers up a marketer’s guide to cross-device identity. Good stuff.
  4. Also on the mobile front, Media Posts has data showing 40% of email clicks happen on mobile. While not hugely surprising, those are big numbers and represent one of the reasons why mobile email matters.
  5. BBC News reports on the EU accuses Google Shopping of search ‘abuse’ and I ask “Is This the Death of Google?” while Mashable quotes venture capitalist Paul Kedrosky as saying Google is, um… well, screwed. Hyperbolic headlines aside, this is likely going to represent a really big deal for the search giant — and its competitors — over the coming months.
  6. TechCrunch says LinkedIn raises its game in social media with Elevate, an app to suggest and share stories. Given the importance of content marketing for most businesses today, this is a development worth watching.
  7. TechCrunch also has a great piece on the power of earned media in social images. Very clever idea.
  8. Our old friends at GetElastic provide an infographic guide to cross-selling. I’ve written a white-paper about cross-selling and upselling that you can download from this collection.
  9. You won’t want to miss this post that says “Wow! Digital Influenced $1.2 Trillion In-Store Last Year.” Just a clear sign that digital works.
  10. And, finally, check out this podcast episode that explains
    why millennials matter
    as well as these
    9 amazing Millennial, mobile and digital marketing columns: the top posts from March
    when you get a chance.

And there you go, folks; 10 must-read e-commerce, search and mobile posts from the past week. Looking for more? Then don’t miss past entries from our E-commerce Link Digest series, including these
5-plus can’t miss mobile commerce and marketing posts from the past week
, these 9 superb social and mobile e-commerce missives, these 6 quick e-commerce and digital marketing winners, and the rest of our E-commerce Link Digest series here.

Do you want learn even more about how your 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 I had the pleasure of speaking to a great audience yesterday about how to lead digital transformation within large organizations (a topic we’ve been talking about a fair bit lately). Here are the slides for your reference:

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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: