Time once again for our Sunday night travel round-up, Big Thinkers, with a great list for you this week. I won’t waste your time with too much setup, but instead will present you these 7 insightful distribution and e-commerce trends from the past week right away. Enjoy:
- Our own Tim Peter’s latest column for Hotel News Now looks at how OTAs get between you and your guests. Really good stuff, well worth your time.
- Underscoring that point, Mobile Commerce Daily highlights how Expedia fuels shopping journey sales via mobile marketing automation. Travel and hospitality marketing, when done well, increasingly relies on data and technology to make the guest experience more seamless, more pleasurable—and more cost-effective for marketers. OTA’s have made huge strides in these areas. To remain competitive, you’ve got to do the same.
- Tnooz offers this outstanding review called, “Fear, loathing, and category killers: A chat about hotel distribution and merchandising” that’s well worth your time.
- Travel Weekly reports the travel industry keeps a wary eye on Google’s moves in hotel booking. Um… yeah they do.
- While we’re on the topic of Google specifically, and search generally, Tnooz says that Airbnb is increasing its host fees as way to pay for Google advertising. The rising cost of guest acquisition remains a common complaint among many in the hospitality and lodging industries. Not a huge surprise then that Airbnb is taking steps to pass those costs along to its hosts. And, potentially, it’s a sign of the absolute floor for the rates Airbnb hosts can charge as those rising marketing and distribution costs drive up the cost of inventory for Airbnb and guests alike.
- 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, reducing both the number of natural results per page and your guests’ opportunities to see those ads. Well, it’s become so common that, according to Skift, Priceline.com CEO Paul Hennessy is talking about the death of search engine optimization. Expect to see more from us here at Thinks later this week as this is a very complicated topic and doesn’t lend itself to as pithy a epitaph as Hennessy would have you believe.
- And, finally, another Tnooz article reports that a number of hotel chains disagree over the open marketplace concept, such as the transition that Accor has been making for the last few months. This story’s far from fully written, but I suspect Accor’s move represents a likely direction for the industry at large as chains use consolidation, strategic partnerships, and similar moves to achieve scale and compete more effectively with OTA’s and meta-mediaries such as Google and TripAdvisor alike. Stay tuned.
If you’re interested in more insights and information about travel marketing and distribution, be sure to check out this list of “6 Super Hotel Distribution Strategy Posts,” a great set of “5 Hospitality Marketing Trends You’ll Want to Keep in Mind,” and a terrific round-up of “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:
- 10 Key Posts about Millennials and Mobile: E-commerce Link Digest
- The Secrets Behind “It’s All E-commerce” for 2014
- Should Marketers Really Trust Google in 2014?
- The Zen of Digital Marketing Strategy
- 7 Steps to E-Commerce Heaven
- Today and Tomorrow: Mobile and The Changing Customer Journey
- Mobile Makes E-commerce Even More “Frictionless”
- Your 2014 Internet Marketing New Year’s Resolutions – Thinks Out Loud Episode 56