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Tim Peter Thinks

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September 6, 2019

Tim Peter Analyzes Attribute-Based Selling for Phocuswire

September 6, 2019 | By | No Comments

Tim Peter, president and founder of Tim Peter & AssociatesRecently, Phocuswire presented an article on attribute-based selling by our founder and president Tim Peter. Attribute-based selling isn’t a new concept, but it is generating a lot of conversation about current and future distribution practices. In his new article, Tim suggests that it may not be as practical a feature as it seems.

When we’re talking about an entirely new paradigm for providing “more choice,” I’d question who’s actually asking for this. Is it guests? Hotel revenue teams? Technology providers? Only one of these ultimately leads to more sales. And that doesn’t seem to be the case here.

Read his article here to see his insights on ABS, and what you may want to consider doing instead.


If you’re looking to learn even more about how changing customer behavior will shape your marketing going forward, be sure to 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 check out these slides I had the pleasure of presenting recently about the key trends shaping marketing in the next year. Here are the slides for your reference:

Finally, you might enjoy some of these past posts from Thinks to help you build your e-commerce strategy and your digital success:

Tim Peter

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September 4, 2019

Stop Outsourcing Your Sales & Marketing to Gatekeepers Like Google (Thinks Out Loud Episode 257)

September 4, 2019 | By | No Comments

Stop Outsourcing Your Sales & Marketing to Google: Image of Google logoLooking to drive results for your business? Click here to learn more.


Stop Outsourcing Your Sales & Marketing to Gatekeepers Like Google (Thinks Out Loud Episode 257) – Headlines and Show Notes

Google, Facebook, Amazon, and others are starting to face a fair bit of scrutiny over whether they have too much power in the lives of consumers and companies. That's probably for the best. But, regardless of how the various investigations unfold, it's worth asking whether you could do more to ensure Google is good for your business too. And the single biggest way to do that is to stop outsourcing your sales & marketing to Google – and to every other gatekeeper too.

How can you do that? Well, the latest episode of Thinks Out Loud takes a look at the actions taken by gatekeepers over the last couple of years and how you can use these technology giants to help, not harm, your company's sales and marketing.

Want to learn more? Here are the show notes for you:

Relevant Links:

Subscribe to Thinks Out Loud

Contact information for the podcast: podcast@timpeter.com

Past Insights from Tim Peter Thinks

You might also want to check out these slides I had the pleasure of presenting recently about the key trends shaping marketing in the next year. Here are the slides for your reference:

Technical Details for Thinks Out Loud

Recorded using a Heil PR-40 Dynamic Studio Recording Mic and a Focusrite Scarlett 4i4 (3rd Gen) USB Audio Interface into Logic Pro X for the Mac.

Running time: 17m 15s

You can subscribe to Thinks Out Loud in iTunes, the Google Play Store, via our dedicated podcast RSS feed (or sign up for our free newsletter). You can also download/listen to the podcast here on Thinks using the player at the top of this page.

Stop Outsourcing Your Sales & Marketing to Gatekeepers Like Google — Notes

Lots of backlash against Google, Facebook, and other large tech companies. Possible suits brought by the attorneys general of roughly half the states. GDPR, etc. I've talked about this a lot lately, talking about gatekeepers and the death of organic traffic, mentioning that Google is the beast that scares your industry's 800-lb. gorilla and asking whether Google is your enemy.

But this backlash exists for a reason. And the reason is we've ceded too much control, too much power, to too few players. Too many companies have outsourced their sales and marketing to Google via SEO and/or paid search and now are surprised that Google are increasing the costs. Or they've relied on Amazon for the bulk of their sales and are shocked that Amazon now expects a bigger cut. Or put all their hotel inventory on Expedia, then are hurt when Expedia's changes to payments and placement hurt their business.

Notice, the same pattern exists in every case. Why are we surprised by things that always happen?

Yes, gatekeepers gonna gate. That's a fact. But the problem isn't that Google exists. Or Facebook. Or Amazon. Or Expedia. Or Ebay. The problem is that companies have looked to these giants as their primary source of business.

Approach them the way a male black widow spider approaches a female black widow spider. Yes, you're looking for some benefits. But you need to think closely about the potential downsides.

Don't outsource your sales and marketing to any one company who also sells directly to customers.

And in digital, remember that the distinction between advertising and sales is literally just one more click. If I put a paid search ad on Google and the customer clicks to my business, we call that advertising. If I place an add-to-cart button on my site, that's e-commerce (or sales). If Google swaps the ad for the button and charges on the sale, is that advertising or sales? The point is, it doesn't matter. Because of digital, the worlds of media and commerce have merged. That's part of what I mean when I say "It's all e-commerce." Digital breaks down the barriers between products and services and advertising and sales.

But we can take lessons from each and apply them across the board.

In advertising, we've long made a distinction between paid, earned and owned media

  • Which one is Google? Paid and earned, right?
  • Which one is Amazon? Paid. Period.
  • Which one is Expedia? Paid. Period.
  • Which one is Facebook? Paid and earned.
  • Which one is YouTube? Earned and paid.
  • Which one is your website? Owned.

I like to refer to "leased" media. Yes, you can create a page on Facebook or Instagram or YouTube for your business. But think of it like an apartment you rent, not a home you own. Yes, you control the content you get to post, just like you can choose the art you can hang on the walls in your apartment. But remember who owns the walls. And the door. And the keys to that door.

Why is Automattic buying Tumblr a good thing? Because Google didn't buy them. Because Amazon didn't buy them. Because Facebook didn't buy them. FB would have been truly terrible, btw.

  • Use them to reach people you can't reach on your own in a cost-effective manner.
  • Understand they can raise their prices at any time
  • Use a variety of sources to drive traffic and business to channels you own (i.e., your website).
  • Continue to look for other sources that can drive traffic and business to channels you own.
    • Some may be paid
    • Some may be earned
  • But continually think "Hub and spoke"
    • The alternative is "they might choke (you)"
Tim Peter

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August 28, 2019

Mobile, Millennials, and…Moms? (Thinks Out Loud Episode 256)

August 28, 2019 | By | No Comments

Looking to drive results for your business? Click here to learn more.


Millennial mom holding infant and mobile phone

Mobile, Millennials, and…Moms? (Thinks Out Loud Episode 256) – Headlines and Show Notes

I've talked before about the "end of Millennials" and how we need to think about the world's largest demographic cohort not as "Millennials," but as "adults under 40." Well, research from Pew highlights exactly how why that's even more important than you may have realized…and got me thinking about what mobile, millennial moms mean for marketers today.

The latest episode of Thinks Out Loud takes a look at mobile, millennials and moms to uncover how those will shape your marketing over the next year or two — and why you want to be thinking about your business for years to come.

Want to learn more? Here are the show notes for you:

Relevant Links:

Subscribe to Thinks Out Loud

Contact information for the podcast: podcast@timpeter.com

Past Insights from Tim Peter Thinks

You might also want to check out these slides I had the pleasure of presenting recently about the key trends shaping marketing in the next year. Here are the slides for your reference:

Technical Details for Thinks Out Loud

Recorded using a Neumann TLM 102 Cardoid Condenser microphone and a Mackie Onyx Blackjack USB recording interface into Logic Pro X for the Mac.

Running time: 16m 05s

You can subscribe to Thinks Out Loud in iTunes, the Google Play Store, via our dedicated podcast RSS feed )(or sign up for our free newsletter). You can also download/listen to the podcast here on Thinks using the player at the top of this page.

Tim Peter

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August 20, 2019

How Worried Are You About Google Next Year? (Thinks Out Loud Episode 255)

August 20, 2019 | By | No Comments

Looking to drive results for your business? Click here to learn more.


How Worried Are You About Google Next Year? (Thinks Out Loud Episode 255) – Headlines and Show Notes

Google’s making more noise about ways to stick it to brands and businesses, potentially charging for (currently free) features in Google My Business. Even if your company doesn’t depend on these specific features for your business, it’s part of a larger pattern that demonstrates again how “gatekeepers gonna gate.” And, as we’ve talked about before, that’s a troubling trend. If you’re not worried about Google next year, it begs the question, should you be?

Since we’re begging the question, the latest episode of Thinks Out Loud comes out and asks, how worried are you about Google next year? And whether you’re worried or not, what should you do about it?

Want to learn more? Here are the show notes for you:

Relevant Links:

Subscribe to Thinks Out Loud

Contact information for the podcast: podcast@timpeter.com

Past Insights from Tim Peter Thinks

You might also want to check out these slides I had the pleasure of presenting recently about the key trends shaping marketing in the next year. Here are the slides for your reference:

Technical Details for Thinks Out Loud

Recorded using a Neumann TLM 102 Cardoid Condenser microphone and a Focusrite Scarlett 4i4 (3rd Gen) USB audio interface into Logic Pro X for the Mac.

Running time: 18m 44s

You can subscribe to Thinks Out Loud in iTunes, the Google Play Store, via our dedicated podcast RSS feed )(or sign up for our free newsletter). You can also download/listen to the podcast here on Thinks using the player at the top of this page.

Notes

  • Should we be paying for Google My Business features?
  • Over half of Google searches result in no clicks
    • as Fishkin points out, a US congressional panel recently asked Google if it was true that less than 50 percent of searches lead to non-Google websites. It was a simple Yes-No question, but the Big G eschewed giving a direct response. Instead, it took a dig at the authenticity of the data cited – without denying it.
  • Should you be scared? Well, it’s a complicated question:
    • Some folks could argue, based on the failure of Google+, the coming shutdown of Google Hangouts, Google Glass, Google KNol, etc. that the company doesn’t know what they’re doing
    • For one thing, Google kills products.
    • For another, it often incorporates features of those products into new products or directly into search.
      • Look at Google Trips and how those features are re-appearing in Google Maps and how several Inbox by Gmail features have made their way directly into Gmail
      • Google Showtimes was a movie search; those features now just appear in Google search given the right search query. For example, “movies playing near me” or the title of a given movie.

Gatekeepers gonna gate.

  • I’m troubled by Google’s access to data
  • They get smarter all the time
  • I’ve been asking whether we should trust data since at least 2014 and hinted at it much earlier than that.
  • Where do you think they learn what people want?
    • Oh, right, folks tell them every day both in use and in queries
    • They’ve got a huge advantage
    • And you could definitely argue they use it unfairly
  • AI won’t take your job. Smart people who use AI will
  • I’m not counting on Congress even with all the recent rumblings.
    • I said Congress would likely do something about this…in 2011. Heh.
    • I’m pretty good at understanding tech trends; I clearly don’t know enough about politics. 🙂
Tim Peter

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August 14, 2019

Quick “Verizon Sells Tumblr to WordPress” Follow-up

August 14, 2019 | By | No Comments

Looking to drive results for your business? Click here to learn more.


I don’t have much to add to yesterday’s podcast that looked at why marketers should be happy about Verizon selling Tumblr to WordPress (well, technically, Automattic). But Automattic CEO Matt Mullenweg gave an interview to The Verge where he talked, among other things, about the openness on the web. This was the key quote from my perspective:

We have peaks and troughs of openness on the web. I think we are exiting a trough. If you think 2016 was the peak of the closed social networks and proprietary software, we are seeing incredible growth of open source, of distributed systems, whether that’s in information, whether that’s in blogging, with money, with crypto and everything related to that. These are powerful revolutions that are going to play out over the next 15 to 20 years, but it’s only going to go up from here. [Emphasis added]

That significantly underscores the point of yesterday’s podcast about how creators and marketers still have tremendous direct access to their audience. Yes, Google and Facebook and others remain as gatekeepers. And, yes, they continue to look for ways to extend their dominance.

But it’s also true that you have the ability to get your voice out there, to be found, to be heard, to be shared. Continue to follow the “Hub and Spoke” model for your business’s content (or your idea’s or your movement’s), with your website as the hub where all your content lives and you’ll continue to grow. This move by Verizon to sell Tumblr to Automattic is an incredibly positive sign that the gatekeepers are losing their grip. Let’s hope we see more of that in the months and years ahead.

Past Insights from Tim Peter Thinks

If you’re looking to learn even more about how changing customer behavior will shape your marketing going forward, 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 check out these slides I had the pleasure of presenting recently about the key trends shaping marketing in the next year. Here are the slides for your reference: