“Culture eats strategy for breakfast” says the quote (oft attributed to Peter Drucker). Nowhere is this more true than the W Doha Hotel. The first W branded hotel in the Middle East, the hotel both silenced initial skepticism (how could such an edgy brand possibly survive in a conservative market like Qatar?) and blew away the competition, year after year (be it in terms of market share, food & beverage concepts or social media prowess).
What astounds me is not the fact that the hotel is always on the ball (everyone walking through the doors is treated like a minor celebrity), but that they are constantly pushing the envelope. Five to six years ago, they were the first in the region to adopt a ‘proper’ [in my opinion] approach to dedicated social media talent (called the eInsider, this person reported to marketing but had an equal work relationship with Operations, constantly on the move with service recovery, surprise & delight and influencer engagement).
Continue reading “W Doha – Culture as a sustainable competitive advantage”
Ever since the term was first coined, ‘viral marketing’ has become the elusive unicorn of the marketing world, pursued by experienced professionals and self-anointed ‘social media gurus’ alike. And the harder you pursue the unicorn, the lower the likelihood you’ll actually find it. Some have stumbled upon viral fame and tried in vain to replicate their success…a most frustrating experience. So can you really ‘engineer’ virality?
One of my favourite authors and bloggers, Seth Godin (author of ‘The Purple Cow’ and ‘All Marketers
Are Liars Tell Stories’) talks about creating something remarkable (i.e. worthy making a remark about) and focusing on doing something so well that you can get at least one person to care so deeply that they can’t get your idea out of their head. They’ll then hopefully share with someone else and the network effect begins, at least within the tribe/s of like minded individuals. This is one great way to approach ‘virality’ and helping your ideas spread. Be so remarkable that you just cannot be ignored.
Continue reading “Contagious Marketing – The Paradox of Engineered Virality”
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.
Continue reading “Hotel Internet Marketing by 2013 – Are we on Track?”
In an eerie but mind-blowing integration of Facebook Data, X-Box has developed a superb online game demo that is bound to give you goose-bumps! Enough said, check out the demo at www.prototype-experience.com (depending on your Internet connection, loading may take a couple of minutes, but is worth the wait! To really experience the demo, be sure to sign into your Facebook account…!)
Continue reading “This Demo will blow your mind! The Xbox Prototype Experience”
“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.
Continue reading “Social lessons from Twitter”
A great animated video by Michael Reissinger, based on a concept by Scholz & Friends, titled “Dramatic shift in marketing reality” that illustrates how the producer/marketer – consumer interaction has changed drastically in just a couple of decades. Also known as “The History of Marketing” Enjoy!
Continue reading “Video – The Dramatic Shift in Marketing Reality”
Hotels (and the hospitality industry in general) may not be the quickest adopters of technology and “e” trends…but the industry has no shortage of creative and talented people. Branding and marketing is also cutting edge in the industry, especially with the new trends in luxury and lifestyle branding.
So it’s quite dissapointing that hotels are yet to make a mark where viral marketing is concerned! Other industries have made their foray into this new and unpredicatable arena… and many have tried and failed…and then again, there have been some dazzling successes. But where are all the creative minds in hospitality when it comes to online viral marketing? Are hotels scared of the fickle, short-lived and volatile nature of viral marketing? Too risky an attempt at brand management? What do YOU think?
Continue reading “Hotels Online – Where is all the Hospitality Viral Marketing?”