Here’s another great guest post by the team at Mirai Espana, this time by Pablo Delgado and César López. This post examines how 3rd Party Retailers / OTAs capture business intended directly for hotels…and how to approach / fix the problem. Also evaluated is the value OTAs CAN add, i.e. via generic and destination level searches.
How Online Travel Agencies (OTA) or 3rd Party intermediaries get the customers that are searching for you on the web
PART 1: The problem
In Continental Europe, hotels with registered trademarks can prevent intermediaries from using their brand names in Google Adwords. Doing this means that more users end up on their own websites. In spite of the advantages, most independent hotels don’t take the necessary steps to benefit from it.
Did you think you were first in line? Others are cutting in front of you.
Your 1st place is barely visible
A great TED talks video by Sheena Iyengar that talks about the perils of too much choice. To quote from the video blurb:
We all want customized experiences and products — but when faced with 700 options, consumers freeze up. With fascinating new research, Sheena Iyengar demonstrates how businesses (and others) can improve the experience of choosing.
We all know what happens when you’re faced with too much choice…if you’ve ever stood in the local hypermarket aisle, facing endless brands of washing powder, you’ll know exactly what I mean. We all love choice…but do we really need 25 varieties of washing powder? Humans are great at processing 6-7 pieces of information at a time and at eliminating the choices we know we DON’T want.
Here’s a great presentation by a good friend (and extraordinary hotel educator), Lukas Ritzel. Lukas presented on the topic of the sensory web (Web 3.0) at the second ever TEDx event in Switzerland (Zug – May 27, 2010).
Explore Lukas’ presentation below using Prezi, a superb presentation tool:
Here’s a video of the presentation:
Save Money and Build Relationships with Direct Digital Marketing
By Brian Deagan
Despite unpredictable economic conditions, one truth endures for the hospitality industry – there is always room for improvement to the guest experience. In tough economic times, improving the guest experience is a worthy investment because the seeds of loyalty blossom into a strong relationship when the spending freeze thaws. In ideal economic times, competition peaks and the key differentiator guests evaluate when determining where to spend their time and money is the experience. Positive statements about “improving the guest experience” are a constant in marketing meetings – but how? When resources are scarce, but investment in the guest experience is paramount, an efficient and accountable approach is vital. The most modern, effective, and accountable approach for improving the guest experience is found in direct digital marketing.
Direct digital marketing is a digital marketing method that delivers relevant marketing communications that are addressable to individuals through the primary online channels of email, Web, and mobile using an email address, a Web browser cookie, and mobile phone number, respectively. Hotel guests value personalized, relevant interactions whether they are on property, reading an email, booking a stay online, or reviewing a text message.
Two elements are necessary to properly execute the type of direct digital marketing programs that appeal to guests.
- First, avoid perpetuating organic market inefficiencies by seeking individual relationships for email, onsite targeting capabilities, and mobile marketing. The right direct digital marketing software partner must have multi-channel campaign delivery and management capabilities.
- Second, the content and campaign execution capabilities must live in the same software platform as the data environment. More, that data environment – usually referred to as a universal profile management system – must be designed specifically for direct digital marketing programs. Centralizing all important marketing data into the same on-demand software the content is in enables the truly unique segments and message targeting capabilities guests consistently respond to. For example, building a segment that takes a guest’s email activity, website browsing behavior, mobile interaction, past stay data, and preferences into consideration is ideal for creating a personalized and memorable guest experience.
Is the end really nigh?
A recession is here again….and as with every economic downturn, echoes of despair and quick fixes permeate the wires. That’s all well, of course, except for the fact that this is no ordinary downturn…this one’s big, real big. Some say we’ve just about hit bottom now, others claim the fall’s decelerating. Only the fittest will survive, proclaim the Darwinians, somewhat gleefully.
That may be true, but the good news is that the evolution of businesses need not be as fatalistic an affair as the evolution of species. The great thing about hitting bottom is it gives the eventual survivors the chance to catch a breath, gather their bearings and strategize about the climb out. It goes without saying that the animal that’ll emerge from the fray will be a leaner and wiser one. This is all about conscious decisions…and the individuals that choose to make them will lead their organizations to even greater heights.
In this interview, I have the distinct honor of interviewing Professor Zeger Degraeve, who is the ‘Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Professor of Innovation, Professor of Decision Sciences’ at London Business School. Not only is Zeger a fascinating individual and an insightful teacher, but also brims with a bountiful supply of energy, zeal and experience. Here we talk about the fundamental issues in today’s business environment…the decisions we face, the results we’re held accountable for…and perhaps a clearer way to approach decision making than just relying on gut feel.
[JJ] We face many decisions on a day to day basis, ranging from personal to business…and from the critical life-changing type to the more mundane. Shouldn’t decisions be judged on the basis of the results they achieve?
[ZD] The result is irrelevant … as a measure of decision quality. People, including managers and business leaders typically equate the quality of a decision with the quality of the result. When people observe a good result they conclude that they made a good decision. Likewise, when a bad result is observed, people conclude that a bad decision was made. This is untrue. Decisions and results are two different things. Time elapses between a decision and the realisation of its result. Decisions are made at a specific moment in time. Afterwards, people implement these decisions and the result is observed in the future. The future is uncertain, there are no facts about the future, and nobody has a crystal ball. In the future, events can happen that managers and organisations cannot control. Also, events can happen that managers could not foresee. Such events can cause good decisions to have a bad result and vice versa. Therefore, the quality of the result is not an indicator of decision quality and the result is irrelevant as a measure of decision (and execution) quality.