A recent blog post and case study shared by Mirai, on TripAdvisor’s Business Listings option introduced earlier this year. Many hotels have jumped onboard and many others have held off till better information is available about the Return on Investment on these (often pricey) listings.
TripAdvisor Business Listing – not for everyone
On May 6th 2010 in its press release Tripadvisor announced that over 12 000 hotels around the world had subscribed to its Business Listings service and added their urls, emails and telephone numbers. Five months after the launch Paris has taken the leader position wih 13% slice of the total listings with urls, followed by Rome, Florence and Venice.
It looks like a great business for Tripadvisor! According to cautious estimates, the above numbers can mean at least 5 million euros in revenue generated by the new feature. But is it really worth for a hotelier to pay from 400 up to 10 000 Euros per year? Since TripAdvisor launched the service we have received many enquiries from numerous hoteliers, keen to boost their direct sales by placing a link, asking whether it pays off. We decided to check it.
- in Analytics and Reporting, Digital Marketing Strategy, Hotel Affiliate Marketing, Hotel Digital Marketing, Hotel Distribution, Hotel Email Marketing, Hotel Industry News, Hotel Mobile Marketing, Hotel Online Advertising, Hotel Online PR, Hotel Paid Search Marketing, Hotel Referral Marketing, Hotel Search Engine Optimization, Hotel Social Media, Hotel Videos, Hotel Viral Marketing, Hotel Websites and Design, Interviews, Online Marketing Tools, Restaurant and Bar Marketing
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I came across a piece I’d written about 17-18 months ago on the future of hotel internet marketing. The article talked about 5 broad tech trends that I thought would radically alter the way we approached digital / internet marketing for hotels back at the end of 2008. I thought it’d be fun to take a re-look at the article and see how far we’ve actually come in the last year or more and if those predictions still hold water… here goes:
1. Choice is king.
The clear winners of the online distribution race will be suppliers and 3rd parties that provide the most choice to the customer. “Experience building” will become key to the looking and booking process online. This will mean that successful suppliers (hotels) will have to break down elements of their inventory like rooms, dining, sports, spa and supporting services into individual units that can be booked and packaged both internally and externally. The more elements you provide to what I like to call the “Experience Engine”, the better the choice available to customers to personalize and tailor their experiences. This creation of experience units will also allow tourism industry suppliers to collaborate more effectively online, as well as spur the evolution of 3rd party providers who provide superior experience engines, taking destination marketing to a whole new level.
We accept the reality of the world with which we are presented. We’ve become bored with watching actors give us phony emotions. We are tired of pyrotechnics and special effects. While the world he inhabits is, in some respects, counterfeit, there’s nothing fake about Truman himself. No scripts, no cue cards. It isn’t always Shakespeare, but it’s genuine. It’s a life. - Christof (Ed Harris): The creator of The Truman Show
You may remember the above dialogues from an old big screen favourite, The Truman Show, released in 1998. The movie is above an insurance salesman who discovers his entire life is actually a TV show. While the comedy and irony of the script is quite entertaining, who amongst us has never felt like they were being ‘watched’? Whether it’s the TV version of ‘Big Brother’ or something out of the catacombs of government surveillance, the world’s become a big stage…but just who’s watching who? And what in the world does this have to do with hospitality?
You’ve got to agree that the way hotels work today are far removed from the inns of yore. Consumer access to information and improved transparency, at least in the shadowy world of pricing, has made many a ‘Basil Fawlty’ squirm and shudder. The Internet has been a great equalizer, but how far have we come…and what can hoteliers expect in the future?
A picture may be worth a thousand words…but most hotel PR & Marketing managers today would be at a loss for words at the plague of user generated photos out on the Internet today. Hoteliers may need to get used to the fact that competing with their ‘official’ previews of what to expect, past guests have provided quite an unflattering visual footprint for those to follow. It’s no secret that hotels pay thousands of dollars for painstakingly taken, doctored photos that would entice even the most hardened globetrotter to positively drool in anticipation…and hit that book button. Great pictures DO sell.
Just as the transparency offered by the Internet in terms of rates has given many a hotel revenue manager gray hair, the ability to easily share rich media on the web promises to do the same for the marketing ilk. One only needs to turn to photos posted on TripAdvisor or Flickr to obtain unflattering photos of virtually every nook and crany of your hotel these days. Plus aesthetic slip-ups and the dreaded ease with which users can now take and publish photos online virtually guarantee that any dirty rooms, dropped drinks, deteriorating facilities and other ‘oops’ moments get their 15 mintues (or perpetuity) of fame on the Internet (as if old high school photos resurfacing on Facebook wasn’t bad enough!).
So is it all bad news?
“Great…another lame social networking site. I don’t have time for this stuff! Heck, I hardly use my Facebook account…how do people manage to keep these things updated anyway?” exclaims a fellow hotelier. On some days and with certain social networking offshoots I’d be inclined to agree. However Twitter is truly something else.
Although it’s hard to take a count, there are at least 140 ‘popular’ social networking sites, varying in community focus, from business networks to friend feeds to photo enthusiast platforms. MySpace and Facebook lead the pack, with Compete.com ranking Twitter the 3rd largest, with a population of approximately 6 million users and 55 million visitors per month.
I did a quick survey recently called the Twitterati Dozen. This was basically an online survey with 12 questions addressed to prominent and very active Twitter users, to obtain their thoughts on Twitter use, connections, peeves, best practices and more. A big thank you to those of you who participated – the survey link was posted on Twitter and 100% of the results obtained within the first 24 hours. The majority of survey respondents who were contacted directly are based in the United Arab Emirates / Dubai (60%). Other geo-locations include France, the Netherlands, Spain, UK and USA.
Very early on this month, a colleague (thanks Lola!) sent me a copy of Peter Kim’s collaborative compilation of thoughts by bloggers on Social Media. I loved the format and the power that collaboration could harness…bringing together the thoughts, ideas and best practices of those defining the field.
The following document was subsequently born – I reached out to about 18 prominent industry bloggers, writers and industry leaders in online hospitality marketing. 6 came back…here are their thoughts on the main trends the hotel industry is likely to see this year, plus tips on how hoteliers can survive and thrive in the recession. The contributors include:
- Professor Dimitrios Buhalis, Deputy Director at the International Centre for Tourism and Hospitality Research (ICTHR), School of Services Management at Bournemouth University.
- Todd Lucier, creator of Tourism Keys Internet Marketing for Tourism blog, podcast and learning materials
- Patrick Landman, Hotel Revenue Management, Online Distribution and Internet Marketing Guru and the Founder of Xotels
- Jan Tissera, President, TravelCLICK International (Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East, and Africa regions)
- Guillaume Thevenot, French Londoner based at Amadeus and founder+editor of Hotel-Blogs.com
- Jitendra Jain (JJ), Online Marketer at Starwood Hotels and founder of The Talent Jungle Network, YoungHotelier.com and HoteleMarketer.com
Please feel free to share this work as required: http://d.scribd.com/ScribdViewer.swf?document_id=11403251&access_key=key-23o5j75xc4uxljxk4vfw&page=1&version=1&viewMode=list
Hoteliers are fantastic with people. Isn’t that what we’re paid for? But not all hoteliers are comfortable with technology…yet. Especially when it comes to getting the max out of the social revolution online. The good news is that every hotelier CAN make the best use of the Internet to boost their professional profiles as well as hunt for career opportunities more effectively. And all thats needed is the drive, common sense and the vital skill hoteliers already have…that of dealing with other human beings!
Though the Internet has revolutionized the way we interact and access a wealth of knowledge and information, great job leads these days are still a matter of ‘who you know’. Therefore getting connected with the right people the right way is crucial to job hunting success. Here are a few do’s and don’ts from experience:
The world has been ‘atwitter’ for quite a while now, and the thousands of people join Twitter by the day…and even more ‘tweet’ about their lives, their work, their passions and in some misguided cases, even their bowel movements. So just what IS Twitter, you ask?
In the simplest terms, Twitter is a social networking and microblogging service that allows to send and read others updates in the form of short text messages (140 characters max). It’s kind of like blogging by sms. So who’s doing it? Kids, Professionals, Marketers, Bloggers…and even President Elect Barack Obama, while he was on the campaign trail!
For most hoteliers and indeed most people Twitter is a tough one to relate to, unless you happen to be obsessed with Facebook and updated your status 50 times a day. But there is more to Twitter than meets the eye. At the very basic level, here’s what Twitter can allow you to do as hoteliers or hotel internet marketers:
Hotel eMarketing – Beyond Rooms. Internet Marketing for Spas, Restaurants, Offline Tracking and more
“We’ve come a long way, baby” claimed a high-spirited pop idol not so long ago, following up on the claim with an equally upbeat track. And so we have…in the world of Internet Marketing too. From the age of information (think glorified electronic brochure) on the web to the world of snappy online transactions…we’ve now moved into the age of an experiential and social Internet, all great leaps in a relatively short space of time. Hotel eMarketers can lay claim to that cheery phrase too, as far as marketing and distributing hotel rooms on the internet is concerned, in spite of the traditional, people-centric nature of the industry. But despite the eMarketer code to boldly go where no other hotel marketers have gone before, very few venture into the fuzzy world of online marketing beyond rooms.
- Hotels and Restaurants on Facebook Graph Search – First Impressions and Tips
- 6 Hotel Social Media Marketing Predictions for 2013
- Commission Free Hotel Bookings with Treovi – Exclusive Interview with the Founders
- The Hotels vs OTA Paid Search War – Get Your Defensive Strategy Right
- 10 Things I Hate About Hotel Websites – Infographic
- Pinterest for Hoteliers – A Guide to Pinterest for Hotels, Resorts and Restaurants
- TripAdvisor Advertising – CPC Case Study and ROI
- The curse of too much choice
- Analytics and Reporting
- Digital Marketing Strategy
- Hotel Affiliate Marketing
- Hotel Digital Marketing
- Hotel Distribution
- Hotel Email Marketing
- Hotel Industry News
- Hotel Loyalty Programs
- Hotel Mobile Marketing
- Hotel Online Advertising
- Hotel Online PR
- Hotel Paid Search Marketing
- Hotel Photography
- Hotel Referral Marketing
- Hotel Search Engine Optimization
- Hotel Social Media
- Hotel Videos
- Hotel Viral Marketing
- Hotel Websites and Design
- Online Marketing Tools
- Restaurant and Bar Marketing
- Future Hotel Trends - 8 Hotel Guest Demands that will shape hospitality
- 6 Hotel Social Media Marketing Predictions for 2013
- The Hotels vs OTA Paid Search War - Get Your Defensive Strategy Right
- Future of Display Advertising - Is the Hotel Industry Ready?
- An introduction to Hotel Affiliate Marketing
- Pinterest for Hoteliers - A Guide to Pinterest for Hotels, Resorts and Restaurants
- TripAdvisor Advertising - CPC Case Study and ROI
- Transparency, the Internet and good hospitality - All the hotel’s a stage…
- Commission Free Hotel Bookings with Treovi - Exclusive Interview with the Founders
- Hotel Referral Marketing - Hotel Guests are a key Distribution Channel of the future