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Digital Marketing Directions: 3 Trends Shaping 2014 Hotel Internet Marketing and E-commerce (Travel Tuesday)

I had the pleasure of moderating HSMAI’s 2013 Digital Marketing webinar series over the last year and was delighted when they asked me to contribute as part of the panel for the final webinar of the year. The following presentation covers the highlights:

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

Some of the data referenced in these slidess comes from Google’s latest report on the travel industry, highlighting the 2013 Traveler. The most interesting takeaways include:

  • Over half of travelers have used their mobile phone to research their trip. Given that eMarketer projected we wouldn’t reach that number until 2015, that’s a staggering shift in just two years time.
  • The Internet is the most-used travel-planning resource. And it’s #2 for travel inspiration behind friends and family (likely a significant indicator of the value of social media for trip inspiration).
  • Brand websites play a significant role in travel planning activity. Which suggests brands need to do a better job of keeping travelers on their site and converting those researchers to bookers. I’ve got some tips on how to do just that right here.
  • Reviews play a critical role in travelers’ inspiration and planning phases. And, as I’ve mentioned before, likely represent the single biggest step towards improving your online marketing.

Each of these trends represents a seismic shift in the way your guests discover, research, and book their travel. And, these trends cover both online and offline. Mobile has gotten bigger, faster, than anyone anticipated. Brand websites offer opportunities to capture increased business, but only with continued investment and customer-focus. Reviews continue to play a significant role in shaping your guests’ view of your destination and your property. And, finally, it’s safe to say that there’s really no such thing as “offline” travel any longer; your guests may book offline, but 80% of all travelers have used the Internet at some point in their travel-planning process.

Feel free to check out the whole presentation when you get a moment. And give me a call at 201-305-0055 if you’d like to learn more about how to make these trends work for your business.

If you’re interested in learning even more about the future of e-commerce and marketing via the social, local, mobile web, 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 enjoy some of our past coverage of the social, local, mobile web and what it means for your business, including:

Tim Peter is the founder and president of Tim Peter & Associates. You can learn more about our company's strategy and digital marketing consulting services here or about Tim here.

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