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Tim Peter Thinks

Tim Peter

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May 27, 2020

When Will the Recession End? (Thinks Out Loud Episode 289)

May 27, 2020 | By | No Comments

When Will the Recession End: Executive woman reading on tabletLooking to drive results for your business? Click here to learn more.


When Will the Recession End? (Thinks Out Loud Episode 289) — Headlines and Show Notes

It’s pretty clear we’re all living through a Covid-19 driven recession. And while we know that the recession will end, no one knows for sure when the recession will end. However, it’s probably safe to assume that it will last at least as long as an average recession, give or take. What’s more important is what you do now — for your customers and your business — to ensure you’re putting yourself in good shape both for the time being and when we finally come to the end of the recession.

How can you do that? The latest episode of Thinks Out Loud walks you through it. Here are the show notes for you.

Relevant Links — When Will the Recession End? (Thinks Out Loud Episode 289)

Thinks Out Loud is sponsored by SoloSegment: SoloSegment increases large-enterprise, B2B website conversion with easy-to-install software that automatically connects website visitors to the content they need to see to achieve their goals. SoloSegment does this using anonymous data and machine learning ensuring privacy compliance, addressing the many anonymous visitors, and improving the efficiency of marketing teams. Visit SoloSegment.com.

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: 19m 16s

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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May 12, 2020

Two Years of Digital Transformation in Two Months (Thinks Out Loud Episode 287)

May 12, 2020 | By | No Comments

Two Years of Digital Transformation in Two Months (Thinks Out Loud Episode 287): Couple interacting with virtual screenLooking to drive results for your business? Click here to learn more.


Two Years of Digital Transformation in Two Months (Thinks Out Loud Episode 287) — Headlines and Show Notes

We’re facing immense change. Change in our daily lives. Change in our work. Change in digital use. Microsoft says it has seen “two years of digital transformation in two months” since the coronavirus started. And, this radical changes can easily feel like more than we can handle. That’s understandable.

However, just because it’s understandable that you’d feel overwhelmed at points doesn’t mean you can’t manage it. Because, when you look at the broader picture — when you step back and see the forest for the trees — what you’re seeing is what we’ve been talking about for years. It’s not “two years of digital transformation in two months.” It’s just digital transformation. It’s what we’ve all been talking about and working towards for, well, at least two years. And, most importantly, it’s a topic that’s well understood.

So, how can you manage in the current situation? How can you handle this amount of change? How can you adapt? The latest episode of Thinks Out Loud offers the insights you need to manage through this challenging period and to come out on top, whether the crisis lasts two months… or two years.

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

Relevant Links — Two Years of Digital Transformation in Two Months (Thinks Out Loud Episode 287 )

Massive Change — Two Years of Digital Transformation in Two Months (Thinks Out Loud Episode 287 )

Customer Needs Have Shifted Rapidly — Two Years of Digital Transformation in Two Months (Thinks Out Loud Episode 287 )

Individuals And Individual Businesses That Don’t Adapt Stand To Get Hammered — Two Years of Digital Transformation in Two Months (Thinks Out Loud Episode 287 )

Here’s What You Do — Two Years of Digital Transformation in Two Months (Thinks Out Loud Episode 287 )

Thinks Out Loud is sponsored by SoloSegment: SoloSegment increases large-enterprise, B2B website conversion with easy-to-install software that automatically connects website visitors to the content they need to see to achieve their goals. SoloSegment does this using anonymous data and machine learning ensuring privacy compliance, addressing the many anonymous visitors, and improving the efficiency of marketing teams. Visit SoloSegment.com.

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 35s

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

By

April 28, 2020

Why You Should Be Optimistic About the Future Right Now (Thinks Out Loud Episode 285)

April 28, 2020 | By | No Comments

Why you should be optimistic right now: Woman joyfully embracing the futureLooking to drive results for your business? Click here to learn more.


Why You Should Be Optimistic About the Future Right Now (Thinks Out Loud Episode 285) — Headlines and Show Notes

Are you pessimistic right now, optimistic, or just plain realistic? Well, there's evidence that shows you need to be both realistic and optimistic during tough times. The problem is, too often, we focus on the realism (or, unfortunately, the pessimism) without balancing it with optimism. And that's a mistake. This week's episode of Thinks Out Loud aims to correct that, with some details on why you should be optimistic about the future right now.

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

Relevant Links — Why You Should Be Optimistic About the Future Right Now (Thinks Out Loud Episode 285)

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: 16m 04s

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

By

April 21, 2020

Pandemic-Proof Digital Trends: What You Need to Know (Thinks Out Loud Episode 284)

April 21, 2020 | By | No Comments

Pandemic-Proof Digital Trends: What You Need to Know: Woman reading on her phone

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


Pandemic-Proof Digital Trends: What You Need to Know (Thinks Out Loud Episode 284) – Headlines and Show Notes

The world is facing unprecedented upheaval at the moment. And it feels like everything we've known and planned for this year is changing faster than our ability to react. But is that true? Or are their some pandemic-proof digital trends that you can use to help your business succeed now — and during the inevitable recovery? We think it's more of the latter than the former. And this episode of Thinks Out Loud explains why.

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

Relevant Links – Pandemic-Proof Digital Trends: What You Need to Know (Thinks Out Loud Episode 284)

Thinks Out Loud is sponsored by SoloSegment: SoloSegment increases large-enterprise, B2B website conversion with easy-to-install software that automatically connects website visitors to the content they need to see to achieve their goals. SoloSegment does this using anonymous data and machine learning ensuring privacy compliance, addressing the many anonymous visitors, and improving the efficiency of marketing teams. Visit SoloSegment.com.

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 19s

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

By

April 15, 2020

Why Hotel Marketers Must Think “Backyard and Bundle” When Demand Returns

April 15, 2020 | By | No Comments

Why Hotel Marketers Must Think "Backyard and Bundle" When Demand Returns: Guest taking a selfie while hikingI wrote a piece a couple weeks ago as part of a HospitalityNet panel to help hotel marketers think about their "Post-Crisis Marketing Action Plan." And, while I'd recommend that you read the advice from the entire panel, one idea keeps coming back to me, which is the need to think "Backyard and Bundle" as you plan for your market's recovery.

The piece on HospitalityNet explains:

Think "Backyard and Bundle." While it's possible that the economy might come roaring back, given the larger economic effects and potential for lingering concern on the part of guests, it's also likely that they may want to stay closer to home, have less to spend, or simply want to keep a little money in their pocket for the next big shock to the system. There's a clear downside to discounting your product. But you should also think about offering packages or promotions that allow guests to get the most bang for their buck, especially with drive and local customers.

Focus on value-adds in your promotions and offers that help you hold rate, but show clear benefit to the guest. And target those first to the people for whom your property is closest to home.

It's also likely that guests will want to spend time with their families and friends, many of whom they've been forced to isolate away from throughout this crisis. Consider offers that encourage and reward multi-generational travel, girlfriends' getaways, etc. And it will be time to test geo-targeted mobile offers to increase share of wallet for folks already in market once they're traveling again.

Here's why I think the "Backyard and Bundle" advice increasingly makes sense as you plan for the future.

Air Travel Will Take Longer to Recover than Drive Market Business

The single biggest factor is that air travel to your destination is going to take longer to recover than drive will. Some experts suggest that it's will be five years before air travel return to pre-crisis levels and that Covid-19 represents "an existential threat to airport business." That seems overly pessimistic to me — people are still booking cruises(!!!), for Pete's sake, which seems much higher risk than air travel. But, it's undoubtedly true that air is taking a big hit and that travelers may fear — or lack the money — to fly for a while after the recovery gets started.

Consumers May Fear Risks of Air Travel and Want to Stay Closer to Home

As I noted the other day on our Covid-19 resources page, guests will need assurances of health, financial and emotional security before they'll be ready to travel again. Getting in a car and driving a couple hours from home is less risky and less costly than flying in most cases. So, it certainly suggests that drive market business will return much faster than air once the economy starts to recover.

Government Restrictions May Limit Air Travel

Government actions seem likely to play a role too. For instance, Israel has released its plan to restart its economy, opening hotels and restaurants in Phase 3 of its efforts and loosening air travel restrictions in Phase 4. Given that there's a two-week pause between each phase if Covid-19 cases spike, air travel can't even begin to rebound until hotels have been back in business for a couple weeks. And I wouldn't be surprised if other countries follow similar paths as they restart their economies and attempt to get travel back in business. You obviously don't want to wait for air to return to get your fair share of whatever travel demand exists — or lose out on two-plus weeks of potential revenue.

How to Make "Backyard and Bundle" Work Best for Your Hotel

I looked at two ideas for putting a "Backyard and Bundle" approach to work for your hotel in that same HospitalityNet panel article.

Sell Your Destination First

For starters, you want to sell your destination first. Data from Within.co's Retail Pulse https://go.within.co/retail-pulse/ and Morning Brew show that overall consumer internet use is skyrocketing. While travel hasn't yet started to see similar patterns, it's a given that guests will want to start exploring the world around them once they feel it's safe to do so. You can't afford to be late to the party here. Your content and your website need to answer guest questions and sell the destination in an appealing, persuasive way.

You don't need to go it alone, either. As noted in the article,

Partner with other local businesses — all of whom will also be looking to dig out — to create videos, content, and offers to help attract travelers to your destination. OTAs have invested heavily in content over the last few years. Don't let them reap the rewards. Instead, demonstrate directly why your destination in special and the right choice for guests venturing out again.

This may work with folks a little further away too. Again, from my HospitalityNet writing,

Of course, you don't want to think only of the "backyard and bundle" crowd. You also need to cast a wider net. This is a little bit "old school" or "Hospitality Marketing 101," but before guests can choose your hotel, they need to choose your destination.

My recent piece on Hotel News Now takes this idea further, explaining why you need your digital presence to do the heavy lifting for your hotel in troubled times. OTAs and intermediaries are investing in these efforts right now so that they're best positioned to capture interest and demand once it returns. They won that fight in 2001-2002. They won the fight in 2008-2009. How many times must we as an industry learn this lesson? We simply cannot allow OTAs to win this fight again.

Use Paid Search and Meta to Harvest Demand

Of course, your content only works if your guests see it. And that's why you must use paid search and meta to harvest demand that exists. Many of our clients are receiving ROI-positive bookings right now for future dates because they've continued to let their paid search and metasearch campaigns run. As I argued in HospitalityNet,

Keep meta and paid search running later… and right now. Meta and paid search spend automatically declines as demand declines. The single biggest problem at the moment it's that there's limited demand. Shutting off meta and paid search removes you from consideration among anyone even thinking of travel. Or those looking in advance of when they can travel again. It also may hurt your ranking relative to those who've consistently kept their media running even at the lower levels that match current demand. Waiting until the downturn ends might put you at a disadvantage to those who've kept the lights on during the current period… and takes you out of consideration of anyone who needs to travel right now.

The great thing about both paid and meta is that, if you run them properly, you're paying in exchange for booked revenue. Guests who book cover the cost of getting in front of a wider audience. And with ROI's currently running 8:1, 10:1 and greater, it provides you bookings at a far lower cost than OTA business.

If you’re looking for some specific details on how to target drive markets on email and paid search, you’ll definitely want to check out Fuel Travel’s excellent “how-to guide” on the topic.

"Backyard and Bundle" Conclusion

Travel isn't coming back tomorrow. The best case scenario is that we're still facing a couple months of uncertainty before the overall travel picture clears up. But, it seems increasingly likely that your first guests will come from local and drive markets.

Air will take some time to recover due to financial and emotional concerns from travelers and from government restrictions continuing for a longer period. Customers will choose to stay closer to home for reasons of safety and cost.

Your destination offers "backyard travelers" a way to get out of the house, explore a little, and earn a little relief during a troubled time. They'll choose your destination, and your property, if your content and your overarching digital presence helps answer their questions and fulfill their needs. Your local partners can and should provide additional resources to enrich that content — and the offers your provide your guests.

Build on your content with metasearch and paid search to affordably reach guests at time of need without relying heavily on OTAs. Adjust budgets where needed, but remember you'll likely have more money available than demand at the moment. Put your money to use the right way to gain the greatest benefit.

Travel will come back. Guests will come back. Your business will come back. The key is to focus on where you can find that demand and how you can convert that into revenue for your property. Right now, the data shows that they best way to do that is to think about your local and drive market guests and to put together offers that provide a great value for their limited travel budget. And that's why "Backyard and Bundle" offers you the right path to success as the travel recovery begins.