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Tim Peter

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July 24, 2018

6 Insights Into How Technology is Changing the Hotel Industry: Hospitality Marketing Link Digest

July 24, 2018 | By | No Comments

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How is technology changing the hotel industry? Abstract view of hotel and tech

Late last year, we took a look at 10 tremendous insights into the trends driving hotel digital marketing in 2018. An overarching theme of the piece was the critical role that technology plays in driving changes in guest behaviors and hotel revenues, especially revenues of the direct booking kind. I suspect that’s a topic still near and dear to your heart and especially important as you start gearing up for next year. Given that, it seems fair to ask, how is technology changing the hotel industry? And how can you use those changes to benefit your hotel?

Over the next few weeks, I’m going to take a look at these questions in detail. But here are a few thoughts to get you started:

  1. Key Hotel Technology Stats Worth Watching. Obviously, there’s lots of change going on. How much change? Well, this set of 15 mind-blowing stats about digital trends in travel and hospitality from CMO.com offers critical insights. Among the most interesting?
    • Some 43% of guests use smartphones to research their hotel/accommodations — underscoring why it’s time to stop calling mobile a trend. To be fair, only 25% use their smartphone to book, which signals that the guest experience during booking still needs help. But let’s not forget: With most guests carrying one or more smartphones, tablets, and laptops during their journey, you host more devices each night than guests — and that’s shaping the way they plan, book and experience travel every single day
    • J.D. Power says that hotel mobile apps don’t get downloaded very often, and get used even less for check-ins/checkouts; but guests that use those apps are more satisfied — and more loyal
    • Data from Adobe suggests that half “…of travel and hospitality companies today are gathering and using real-time data”
    • Another Adobe stat says that fewer than one in five “…executives at travel and hospitality brands said they believe their company is a digitally mature organization.” That’s a huge benefit, because it suggests you’ve got plenty of runway to improve relative to your competition — at least if you choose to take advantage of it.
  2. It Ain’t Just About Technology. Sure, technology is important. But it’s secondary. It shouldn’t be a secret that great marketing technology won’t save you from a bad hotel marketing strategy. Your success depends not only on having the right tech, but on having an excellent strategy and effectively executing that strategy. It’s fair to ask, “how important is technology to hospitality marketing?” but if you’re focused solely on the tech, you’ve got your carts and horses the wrong way ’round.
  3. Guests Continue to Take Ownership of their Experience. PhocusWire put together a must-read piece that explains why hotel rooms belong to guests, not hoteliers . As you might imagine, guests have clear expectations of the experience they’re looking for each time they step into “their” room. The technology that they encounter — whether hands-on or through a front-desk agent or concierge — influences their overall guest experience. Guest will remember waiting to check-in, order room service, or schedule a spa treatment because your system is too slow. Similarly, Amazon launched a version of its Alexa system for hotels at HITEC this year, which is particularly interesting given that Booking.com says business travelers are ‘warming’ to chatbots. Your guests are getting accustomed to technology serving their needs. Is your service growing along with them?
  4. Want to Get There Fast? Plenty of Potential Partners Exist. Does all this talk of tech leave you terrified? Well, you don’t have to go it alone. For starters, Skift put together a great round-up of its top travel startups to watch, which can help you figure out the tools and tech to help you excel. While some aren’t yet ready for prime-time, entrants like the (somewhat) more mature Fornova, Journera, and MisterFly might fit nicely into your overall strategy and help your properties get ahead of the curve next year. And, of course, there are plenty of exceptional hotel marketing/distribution consultants and agencies out there who can help you put the pieces of the puzzle together to grow your business.
  5. Troubling Trend: Too Many Hotels Continue to Sit on the Sidelines. You’d think given the facts outlined above that hotel marketers would be racing to assemble that puzzle for themselves. But SiteMinder offers a very thoughtful report showing many hoteliers remain in a ‘holding stage’ assessing the best tech trends. That’s a shame, given how important technology is to your overall hotel marketing and distribution strategy. What are you waiting for? Don’t forget, the OTA’s surely aren’t in a holding pattern. Booking.com went shopping for more metasearch capabilities and landed HotelsCombined to go along with its earlier pickup of Momondo, Cheapflights, and Mundi last year, as well as FareHarbor this April. And Expedia has made a huge move into packages in just the past few weeks with its Add-On Advantage offering. This isn’t about the future. This is about what your guests experience — and expect — right now.
  6. Even More Change is Coming. Finally, don’t forget that the changes in hotel technology we’re all dealing with are just the beginning. Whether it’s virtual reality, augmented reality, blockchain, AI or something else altogether, the next major disruption is right around the corner. For instance, there are all kinds of reasons why AI will change hospitality marketing forever and why voice, VR, and AR might be more hope than hype in the next few years. Keeping on top of these trends matters. What’s most important is for hoteliers to stay focused on the benefits of digital marketing for their property, and to stay in touch with how digital changes guest expectations and behaviors. Because no matter how much technology changes the hotel industry, your guests will continue to expect a great experience. And that will never change.

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:

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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May 4, 2018

9 New Insights Into How AI Will Shape Sales and Marketing: E-Commerce Link Digest

May 4, 2018 | By | No Comments

9 new insights into how AI will shape sales and marketingLooking to drive results for your business? Click here to learn more.


¡Hola, Big Thinkers! The boss is enjoying some sun, sand, and surf in sunny Mexico, so we hope you won’t object while we skip the setup this week and jump straight into this week’s round-up of 9 new insights into how AI will shape sales and marketing. Enjoy:

  1. Steve Zakur at SoloSegment wrote a really cool piece that explores the myth of automation and why it’s important to have humans in the loop. You’ll definitely want to check that one out. Steve’s post makes a fantastic companion to our look at why AI won’t steal your job but smart people who put AI to work will.
  2. MarTech Today has published the CMO’s guide to AI’s marketing impact for 2018 that’s well worth your time.
  3. One of the first things you’ve got to get right in AI is clean data, as Harvard Business Review says. They point out that if your data is bad, your machine learning tools are useless. And that’s the truth.
  4. Mike Moran made a similar suggestion in our discussion on the future of content marketing, search, and digital.
  5. Emarketer released new research that shows, despite its promise, marketers struggle to integrate AI into their workflow. That’s undoubtedly something marketers will need to address since “…[survey respondents] indicated… one of the main benefits of AI is more productivity and time savings, the top advantage cited was… it provides a better understanding of the customer.” And those benefits are too important for sophisticated marketers to pass up.
  6. Given these changes, the Sloan Review from MIT’s Sloan School of Management states that the time for retraining is now. I couldn’t agree more. In fact, we’ve put together this look at “How to Keep Up With Technology as a Marketer: The Quick and Dirty Guide” and noted that “in digital marketing, practice does not make perfect. perfect practice makes perfect” more than once.
  7. Persado offered up another way to improve with its tips on what to look for in an artificial intelligence and machine learning company as a marketer that you’ll want to check out.
  8. If you’re still not convinced of the important role AI will play in marketing in the coming years, be sure to check out this look at where AI will affect sales and marketing first—and most and these 7 ways you can use AI in B2B sales and marketing right away.
  9. And, finally, you’ve got to check out this set of 11 extraordinary insights into AI and e-commerce from the past week to wrap up these 9 new insights into how AI will shape sales and marketing.

Have a fantastic weekend, Big Thinkers. Catch you back here next week!

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:

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

By

April 13, 2018

11 Extraordinary Insights Into AI and E-commerce from the Past Week: E-commerce Link Digest

April 13, 2018 | By | No Comments

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


11 Extraordinary Insights Into AI and E-commerce from the Past Week: Woman using AI to connect with customers

Hey, Big Thinkers! We’re finally getting some spring weather here at Thinks Central, so hope you don’t mind if we skip the setup this week and jump straight into this list of 11 extraordinary insights into AI and e-commerce from the past week. Enjoy:

  1. So, don’t know if you saw, but our old friend Mark Zuckerberg spent a couple of days explaining Facebook and privacy to a group of clueless old men Congress this past week. Clearly, the markets don’t seem to think the, ahem, brain trust on Capitol Hill has any chance of successfully reining in the social media giant, leading the company’s stock price to rise 4% in the last week. And, as TechCrunch points out, regulation could ultimately protect Facebook, not punish it. Obviously, we’ll keep watching this one for a bit, but until customers or a more technically-competent Congress acts decisively, Facebook’s probably going to weather this storm.
  2. That said, the role of data, tracking, and privacy clearly are getting a lot more play in the media than they were just a few months back. Which is why maybe Facebook's data problem will end up as your data problem. And that’s definitely something worth thinking about for your brand/business.
  3. All of this has much larger implications for your business than may appear at first glance. For instance, we’ve long talked about the fact that AI makes big data little. And Harvard Business Review rightfully explains that if your data is bad, your machine learning tools are useless. Expect a lot more talk around this topic over the next few months.
  4. While we’re on the topic of AI, you won’t want to miss these 8 exceptional insights into voice and AI and their effects on digital marketing from the E-commerce Link Digest series.
  5. Business Insider has a great look atAI in marketing and how brands can “leverage artificial intelligence to improve personalization, enhance ad targeting, and make marketing teams more agile.” Wow, that’s quite a mouthful. But it’s also quite true.
  6. Want to know more about the effect of AI on marketing? Well, check out these recent episodes of Thinks Out Loud, our e-commerce and digital strategy podcast. The first looked at where AI will affect sales and marketing first, and most while the second outlined 7 ways you can use AI in B2B sales and marketing. Good stuff all around.
  7. For one real-world example, Digiday put together a great case study of how Tumi is using AI in marketing campaigns, online and in stores that’s well worth checking out.
  8. That Tumi story is a great example of what marketing at the speed of digital looks like in practice.
  9. It’s fair to ask, of course, whether with the rise of the machine: “Will your job become obsolete?” as Rita Shapiro-Das does over on The Future of Commerce blog. And, given that reality, R. Edward Freeman and James R. Freeland argue over at MIT Sloan Management Review argue that the time for retraining is now.
  10. You don’t need to wait for your company to make that a priority (in fact, we’d argue that it’s probably a mistake to wait around for that to happen). We’d recommend you check out our quick and dirty guide for how to keep up with technology as a marketer instead.
  11. Finally, let’s wrap-up this week’s look at 11 extraordinary insights into AI and e-commerce from the past week — and bring all these stories together – with this set of 6 quick content marketing and AI insights and these 6 proven digital marketing trends.

Have a fantastic weekend, Big Thinkers. Catch you back here next week!

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:

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

By

March 30, 2018

6 Quick Content Marketing And AI Insights: E-commerce Link Digest

March 30, 2018 | By | No Comments

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


6 Quick Content Marketing And AI Insights: E-commerce Link Digest

Howdy, Big Thinkers! No setup today. Just a list of 6 quick content marketing and AI insights to carry you through to next week. Enjoy:

  1. Mark Schaefer asks ”is social media marketing still a thing?” And provides a great answer to the question, too.
  2. CMO.com offers up a walk into the future of content with The Mill’s Boo Wong that’s well worth your time.
  3. Our own Tim Peter interviewed Mike Moran on the future of content marketing, search, and digital.
  4. We also rounded up a great set of 8 exceptional insights into voice and AI and their effects on digital marketing for the E-commerce Link Digest series.
  5. Speaking of AI, the Forbes Technology Council says to decide if your company is ready for AI, ask yourself these nine questions
  6. You also will want to check out these 6 proven digital marketing trends (the best of Thinks Out Loud and this great post that asks, how can you succeed at digital marketing next year? 17 great posts offer answers

Have a fantastic weekend, Big Thinkers. Catch you back here next week!

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:

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

By

March 16, 2018

8 Exceptional Insights Into Voice and AI and Their Effects on Digital Marketing: E-commerce Link Digest

March 16, 2018 | By | No Comments

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


8 exceptional insights into voice and AI and their effects on digital marketing: Customer searching on mobile through voiceHowdy, Big Thinkers! Hope you’ve had an amazing week, filled with all sorts of greatness (traffic, revenue, a bit of laughter, love, and joy…) It’s been awesome around here (landed a couple of remarkable new clients, kicked off an incredibly fun project, shared a bit of laughter, love, and joy…) Clearly, we’re in a great mood. How about we put a bow on this extraordinary week by sharing this set of 8 exceptional insights into voice and AI and their effects on digital marketing. Maybe they’ll make a great week even better for you. Enjoy:

  1. Greg Zakowicz at Multichannel Merchant looked at the threat of disappearing brands in the age of voice assistants that’s well worth your time.
  2. Greg’s post makes an excellent complement to our look at the truth about voice as a powerful trend and whether voice, VR, AR, and AI represent hype or hope for marketers.
  3. In highly related news, our founder and president Tim Peter recently had a fantastic conversation with author, speaker, and digital strategist Mike Moran on content marketing, site search, and AI in an episode of Thinks Out Loud, our e-commerce and digital strategy podcast. Be sure to give it a listen when you get a moment.
  4. While we’re on the topic of AI, McKinsey put together a fantastic white paper ”Artificial Intelligence: The Next Digital Frontier?” [Heads-up, it’s a PDF link, not a regular webpage]
  5. Chris Abraham has an excellent piece over on Biznology that looks at how to embrace AI and robots as a PR and marketing professional that’s worth a look.
  6. Also on Biznology, Tim offers this warning that you’re ignoring your company’s best salesperson — and it just might be killing your business. Good stuff.
  7. Shifting gears, Bloomberg explains how Amazon became corporate America’s nightmare. Really fascinating insights into how digital changes customer expectations.
  8. Finally, we’ll wrap-up our look at |???| with two recent episodes of Thinks Out Loud. The first looks at marketing at the speed of digital while the second outlines 6 proven digital marketing trends.

Have a great weekend, everyone. We’ll catch you back here next week!

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:

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