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Tim Peter Thinks

Tim Peter

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August 19, 2013

Say What? Computers May Stop Using Screens and What That Means for Your Business

August 19, 2013 | By | No Comments

Predicting the futureQuartz has a good look at how Google is preparing for screenless computers. Key quote:

“The future of Google’s voice interfaces isn’t just accurate interpretation of commands, but real interaction—hence the ‘conversation’ part of Huffman’s Conversation Search group. One trick Google’s voice interface can already do is understand pronouns like he, she and it. ‘You can ask yourself why in language do things like pronouns exist—well, they exist because it lets us communicate faster than we do without them,’ says Huffman.

To demonstrate, Huffman follows up his question about how far it is to Hearst Castle with the sentence ‘give me directions,’ which doesn’t even include the pronoun ‘it,’ but his phone begins rattling off directions in its tinny computerized voice, anyway.”

I’ve been talking about this trend for a while, (most notably in a Travel Tuesday post called
“What Watson, Xbox, and Google Are Telling You Right Now”). But regardless of the industry, this scenario describes where we’re headed:

“Imagine your customer driving his family to Disney for summer vacation, leaving New York early in the day.

Now imagine 8 hours later, the kids are getting restless and the parents want to find a place to stay somewhere near, say, Nashville, NC.

They’ve got a voice-responsive mobile computer sitting in their center console and the power of Google, or Bing, or Watson on the other end of the line to help them find a hotel that meets their needs and, when they’re ready, book it.”

The key point is that the 10 blue links that make up search results pages are increasingly rare—I recently heard one observer claim those now make up fewer than 15% of all search results (though I’ve been unable to verify that stat).

In any case, your marketing must adapt as your customers adopt new technologies and as their behavior shifts. Google’s doing it today. The real question as you head into planning for next year is what you need to do to get ready.

If you’re interested in learning more about the future of marketing on 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

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August 9, 2013

What Do In-line Ads on Google Maps Mean to You?

August 9, 2013 | By | No Comments

Google mapsArs Technica highlights the introduction of in-line ads to Maps apps:

“Now, when users conduct Maps searches, Maps will be able to feature an ad for a relevant location along the bottom of the screen. The ad will appear within the app as if it’s a location the user has already selected from the map of available options, with a name, short description, and a travel time estimate appearing along the bottom of the screen. The ads will be identified by a tiny purple box off to the side in the listing that reads ‘Ad.'”

I’ve been talking about the growth of Google Maps as a channel a lot lately and how that’s going to change your online sales and marketing activities. Google said that more than 40% of Maps use was on mobile over two years ago. I’m still looking for an updated number, but am very confident it’s grown.

This move just underscores the growth of Maps use as well as Google’s increased focus on Maps as a platform for marketers. If you’re wondering how your customers will find you in the future, it’s almost as though Google’s given us a map.

If you’re interested in learning more about the future of marketing on 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

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July 31, 2013

How Connected are Social and Mobile?

July 31, 2013 | By | No Comments

I spend a lot of time talking and writing about the social, local, mobile web. One reason is due to how connected the two trends are. A chart offered on Business Insider today illustrates the connection clearly:

Social is mobile and vice versa

You can check out the whole article on Business Insider.

And if you’re interested in learning more about the future of marketing on 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

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July 25, 2013

Facebook's Mobile Money and the Streisand Effect: Thinks Out Loud Episode 36

July 25, 2013 | By | No Comments

Facebook in stream ad

Headlines

And, as promised in the podcast, you can register to receive a free copy of my special report, “Digital Hotel Marketing in a Multiscreen World,” produced in conjunction with Vizergy, here. While it’s targeted to the hospitality industry specifically, most of the lessons apply across verticals.

Contact information for the podcast: podcast@timpeter.com

Technical details: Recorded using a Shure SM57 microphone
through a Mackie Onyx Blackjack USB recording interface into Logic Express 9 for the Mac.

Running time: 14m 05s

You can subscribe to Thinks Out Loud in iTunes [iTunes link], subscribe via our dedicated podcast RSS feed (or better yet, given that Google has now killed Reader, sign up for our free newsletter). You can also download/listen to the podcast here on Thinks using the player below:

Tim Peter

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July 23, 2013

3 Reasons Mobile Travel is on the Rise (Travel Tuesday)

July 23, 2013 | By | No Comments

Mobile travel is on the rise

Mobile travel continues to grow. For instance, eMarketer reports:

“…that 40% of digital travel researchers will plan trips via tablets and smartphones in 2013, and that more than one-quarter of digital travel bookers will buy on their mobile devices.”

Those numbers are slightly lower, but relatively in line with data I’ve seen before about travel and mobile. The point remains, mobile continues to grow in its importance with travel shoppers. And the reasons, as I’ve noted, remain pretty constant:

  1. Mobile’s close at hand. It’s increasingly rare that someone isn’t holding a mobile device. Just look at all the folks “praying” to their handheld device next time you’re waiting at the gate at an airport or strolling through the mall. Makes it pretty easy to get at information, no?
  2. Growth of Millennial travelers. Millennials made their debut roughly around 1983. As it happens, so did mobile phones (true). This generation, half of whom are now over 21, have never lived in a world without mobile. They’re also a much larger demographic than Gen X and only a marginally smaller group than Boomers. Oh, and they’re starting to travel. I’ll let you do the math on that one.
  3. The improving economy. Of course, we’re being helped a bit by the fact that the economy is beginning to get better. And consumers want to travel again. Thank God. Of course, add in younger folks, more mobile devices, and voil. Booming mobile business. Thank God. And, yes, I did say that twice.

Of course, you only benefit from this growth if your site is mobile-friendly. So, um, you might want to do something about that.

Because regardless of the reasons, these numbers stand to grow significantly in the coming months and years.

Interested in learning more about travel marketing and where it’s going—as well as lessons that apply to a host of other industries? Register to receive a special report I’ve produced in conjunction with hotel marketing firm Vizergy, “Digital Hotel Marketing in a Multiscreen World.” You can get your free copy of the report here.

Finally, you might also enjoy some of our past coverage of these changes in the marketplace, including: