Source: Tim Berners-Lee laments state of the web but offers hope for travel brands | PhocusWire
When the Internets Creator says the Web is broken, the world listens!
This article chronicles statements made by Tim Brenner at a recent Seminar. It consider the impact of what has happened and its implication for travel and tourism.
A Manipulative and Un-Trustworthy Web
Tim Breners-Lee, inventor of the Word Wide Web is worried. He explains that the World Wide Web he started was 0pen and collaborative. Today he sees it as manipulative and un-trustworthy.
In his presentation at the Amadeus T3CH event in Madrid, Spain, he says that “it is far from how it started with people having their own sites and linking to other blogs they liked.” In those days he tells us ” I would make a blog as good as possible, people would reward me for it by linking to it. The biosphere spread good links by curation and humanity became this wonderfully collaborative space.”
The Internet’s Biggest Sin
Unfortunately this wonderfully collaborative space is not what has happened today. Berners-Lee notes that algorithms now determine what we read in social media and on the Internet”. It has become to centralised and driven by advertising rather than peoples needs. The ad-based revenue model may be the Internet’s “biggest sin.” It portrays a feeling that everything is free but we are all paying a high price for persuasion at the expense of authenticity and privacy in ways we hardly know.
Berners-Lee suggests that the solution to today excesses is to return to decentralization the network. This gives consumers control of their data and access to it. Not that it should not be used, but giving control to the owner puts the brakes on how it might be manipulated and used to manipulate others.
The Future is Personally-Positive for Travel
Travel is Personal so lets Personalize the Experience to the Travelers Persona
Giving controll back to content owners has positive implications for travel where he sees travelers being able to store information on passports, travel preferences and past and upcoming trips on a Solid Pod. This could also give OTAs and travel companies better access to knowledge that can help in personalizing the vacation experience and planning process and offering travelers specific personal recommendations.
Read more about it at Tim Berners-Lee laments state of the web but offers hope for travel brands | PhocusWire
As businesses of all types try to provide more personalized experiences for customers, they are drawn to what we call Big Data. Big Data is the entire collection of information about your guests and your target market. It can be used to find out more about customer preferences, buying habits and markets. It can also shed insight on trends, opportunities and difficulties.
Some say that this is just B.S. Harper Reed, CTO of the Obama re-election campaign, calls it a “bullshit marketing construct”. He point out that answers to simple questions, such as “do you support the President?” matter most. Most companies, he says, just don’t have that much data – big or small.
Nevertheless, things are far more complicated today and companies are marketing and using “data” far more aggressively. Technology companies are creating new ways to interpret data and use it in marketing. It is appropriate to take some time to understand how hotels can use Big Data to get more direct bookings.
Hospitality and tourism have a major problem with Big Data. That is because the focus is often on one’s own data rather than the market at large. In-house data is where most analytics start, but that is the wrong starting point for most small and independent hotels. Only 15% to 25% of guests are repeat guests so sweating over guest data is addressing a pretty small market. 75 % of a hotel’s guests have never been to the hotel before and first-time guests are the largest part of a hotel’s market. You will not find any first-time guests by studying your archives of data.
Of course we want to encourage repeat visitors but we have to accept that travel is about exploration and discovery for a lot of consumers. As we have just stated, that is not something you can gain insight on by pondering your own statistics. Repeat visitors vary between destination and brands, but according to eHotelier, the average is low. It should not be a prime motivator for the average hotel’s marketing campaign.
So we have to ask: what really is the Big Data Opportunity?
Airlines’ Data Define Travel Patterns
Sojern has made a start at being the big data provider for travel. It uses Big Data to get insights into buyer behaviors and preferences, as well as seek out target markets. Sojern gathers information from all sorts of places – social sites and travel sites such as airline sites.
With information from hundreds of travel bookings, they can define travel patterns. In the business travel market, they can inform their hotel clients of business travelers who are arriving in their destination. This they get from the airlines they are associated with. That clearly is a Big Data advantage for some but not for all. It does not work well for holiday destination hotels, as most vacationers usually book a hotel before they buy an airline ticket.
So again we have to ask: where is the Big Data Opportunity?
Useful Big Data Analytics
Hebs Digital has a lot of data. They collect information from open sources – from their own and others’ research as well as from clients. They know that the average time for a traveler to plan and book is about 17 days. In that time, travelers will do an average of 8 research sessions, visit 18 sites, and make 6 clicks each before making a booking (Google Research).
According to eMarketer, they will make 15.5 touch points within the week before they actually book a room, villa, apartment or resort. http://blog.hebsdigital.com/top-five-secrets-to-hotel-multichannel-marketing/
Now that is useful Big Data! What it tells us is:
- Your website has to provide information that will persuade the early-stage shopper.
- You need to inspire them, engage them and offer benefits for booking direct >>> see our blog .
- You need to keep in contact with options like re-targeting ads to hotel website visitors.
- You absolutely need to be remembered – capture them, re-target them with a really pertinent offer.
- You need to seek out direct booking channels like MetaSearch that are accessible to independent hotels at reasonable costs.
- Use lead magnets, like an extremely helpful app or guide, to get their contact info and keep in contact via emails.
Is Big Data a Big Opportunity for Hotels & Tourism?
Hotels can and must use data from many various sources to compile statistics in order to to identify and reach their perfect guests. Big Data can help identify high value customers and clarify which services are most important to them. The information you need is somewhere in the cloud. That data is not going to be fully accessible to small hotels and it will be a real problem to interpret it. For that we need the Big Data technologists. The challenge is finding and processing all the data so that it can be of use. This field is very competitive and hotels are at a huge disadvantage compared with the OTAs. They simply do not have access to the vast data collected by OTAs, who deal with hundreds of thousands of hotels and millions of travelers.
Dale Nix, Hospitality Consultant at Avenue9, part of the JLL Group, says that, “As emerging technology become mainstream, the opportunity to convert data into truly tangible value will be employed by savvy hotel brands, to everyone’s benefit… Guests look for personalization, recognition and status. We can provide those things at very little cost if we get it right. It’s about creating that seamless guest journey, from booking, to staying, to paying and beyond. We have to make it easy for the guest to say yes—and it doesn’t have to be through points.” Source JJL >>>
Big Data technology companies can add value to small hotels and chains by tapping into vast data resources. As an example, Sojern claims to have over “350 million traveler profiles and billions of intent data points that drives bookings by helping you engage with in-market audiences most likely to book.”
Personalization: a Big, Big Data Opportunity
The buzz word for travel marketing and guest experience in 2016 is ‘personalization’. Here Big Data can be very effective. Tourism marketers can now grab details of guests and prospects from their social profile. Automated systems will scrape interest and profiles from Facebook for any email you have. You can create target markets with this information and market directly to them. These ideas are presented in our last post on re-targeting (see link above).
Hotels need to seek out marketing services that fine tune personalization. These new systems understand that travelers do not want more choices. Instead, they want a personal recommendation. The new personalization expert systems are the driving force behind PersonaHolidays.com, now implemented on the Barbados Tourism Website http://holidays.barbados.org. The intelligent systems analyze a visitor’s behavior and match it with a history of data. In just moments, the traveler gets a recommendation that is highly personal.
While still in beta, the system has shown a remarkable increase in engagement and conversion.
The secret to getting direct bookings is to target and engage travellers who are planning to visit your destination in the near future. Big data does not capture these buyers as eHoteler confirms – the answer lies in smart data marketing. MARKHAT offers a winning strategy for advertising and re-targeting.
Source: Smart data marketing in hospitality: The secret to maximizing direct bookings – eHotelier
Winning Strategy for Direct bookings by Ian R Clayton
– The Book – Your Website Strategy
Big Data is Not the Answer
This article has two salient point and a lot of common sense argument that direct bookings is good for business. It concludes that bid data, which is the hot button word right no, w is not geared to helping get direct bookings because it is focused on past guests. That is where the BID data comes from. Unfortunately that is not the BIG opportunity as the number of repeat guest for small independent hotels is below 25%.
“On average, on any given night, only 15% – 25% of guests at a typical independent hotel are repeat guests, the rest are first-time guests. For branded hotels the percentage of repeat guests at any property is higher, but still below 30% – 40%, not counting loyalty members who have stayed at other properties of the brand.”
For more like this see our blog Big Data Marketing for Hotels
How to Find New Guests
Hotels need to engage and with repeat guests for sure and building lookalike Personas is a key use of Big data. The bigger issue is how do you find and influence travelers who don’t know about you yet. On this there are no breakthroughs, but first one must recognized the need for marketing based on Intend Data: “Intent Data i.e. targeting and engaging travel consumers who are “in market” and planning to visit your property’s destination in the near future. Intent Data is crucial to engage and acquire first-time guests, which generate the bulk of room nights at the property.”
The solution are not fully explored in the article so I will add a few suggestions from experience.
A Winning Strategy for Direct Bookings by Ian R Clayton
- Facebook targeting. Your prospects are on Facebook. You can create a look alike audience – just give Facebook the emails of your very best clients and ask them to create a “look alike” audience. You can then advertise directly to these customers
- Adwords keyword targeting. Figure out what keywords guests are using to find hotels in your location. Choose keywords that are Buy words – Hotel Accommodation is too general – but villa holiday in St. Lucia is more focused – more specif the work the more likely they are ready to book
- Re-targeting- Run both the Facebook and Adwords together and run a re-trageting campaign at the same time. You can use a service like Adroll to re-target – they will place a bit of code on your site and all the people who visit it from Adword and Facebook will see your Adroll ads on Facebook and other site they visit on the Adroll network
Advertising/Re-targeting at $$$ Per Click
It will cost and you may end up paying several dollars for a lead (someone who click the ad and get to your site, but it is a great way to get seen and get known. Only 2% of visitors book, many are just planning and looking around. For many it is to early, they just are not ready to book. That is why re-targeting is important. It puts your property in front of people who have shown interests and may well book later on.
Of course in today market dominated by online Travel Agents we are always fighter with the false perception that the OTAS offer the best rate, Hotel must have strong messaging to overcome this. Check out our latest article on BookDirect Straetgies …. Here >>
If you like the ideas here you can buy the book and contact me anytime.
Buy in at http://bonus.marketinghotelstourismonline.com to get all the bonuses.
Amazon bestseller price increase now
Understanding Big Data Source: — SnapShot – Hotel Analytics
Tourism suppliers have access to loads of data from Google Analytics that show travelers behavior and source of visit to your website to Facebook analytics of your posts. But how you use that information is open to all sorts of interpretations, options and misunderstanding.
This infographics by SnapShot helps put data into perspective.
As SnapShot say, At its core, “big data is a large set of data that, through analysis, can reveal trends. When we say large, we mean large.
Thousands or millions of data points are common, so this information will almost always come from sources external to your hotel.
Good examples of big data are weather, traffic, or social media data.
These are giant pools of information that you can sort and filter to find the information relevant to your goals.”
The image here is just a sample of the complete PDF.
It covers these 4 topics in Understanding Data and more on Understanding Analytics.
– See more at: http://blog.snapshot.travel/the-hotel-data-cheat-sheet
In a Previous blog we looked at how big data is shaping up as a predictor of the future. “The next step for Big Data and machine learning, to move beyond collection and aggregation of data from multiple sources to insight and analysis of what the future holds.” See related link How big data can help predict the future
and how hotels can use big data to get more direct bookings
Hotels are embracing data that looks to the future “Big data” and, more recently, “machine learning” are buzzwords in the travel industry.
Source: Big Data + Machine Learning Equals Predicting Future Outcomes for Hoteliers | nSight for Travel
It is always challenging to think of the future and predict what may happen and when. Mostly we do this on gut feeling and instinct, coloured by knowledge and understanding of the nuances of our industry and behavior. Now it seems that science can analyze data and tell us what to expect. So it seems by reading this article, if not now soon!
How Data Predicts the Future
The next step for Big Data and machine learning, to move beyond “collection and aggregation of data from multiple sources to insight and analysis of what the future holds.” So says nSight for Travel in the blog on how “Big Data Machine Learning predict future for hoteliers”.
Today’s travelshoppers visit between 20-30 websites on multiple screens, like smartphones, tablets, lap top and desktop computers before they are ready to make a booking.
They take time and to compare prices, value and availability, and check out reviews before they book. Each step leaves a digital footprint that can be used to anticipates what action they will do next and how. Today we can actually “see” these footsteps live and start to predict future behavior? With the new learning system we can expect to “influence and guide the final outcome”
Data from a hotel website logs and analytic show us if a search or a reservation is abandoned or if the users is still shopping and needs to do more research. We can even go outside of the hotel experience now and see travel shoppers we have not yet engaged.
“This full market perspective lets us see how consumers shop that hotel and its competitors. What hotels are consumers shopping? What hotels are they booking? Where are consumers from and what do they look like? Having this knowledge, we are able to understand consumer demand as well as pricing influence, and how it can be addressed, corrected and presented in a way to drive conversion. This is where big data + machine learning comes in.”
The article takes Machine learning at this point and predictive analysis. It may seem far fetched but it is not – It is happening now but its still too technical for the average hotelier. But that may be changing sooner that we think!
nSight’s SaaS-based solution with target market reporting provides these insights and more for today’s hotelier. Hotels can try nSight data with complimentary benchmark reports comparing shopping on your hotel website with your shops on OTAs. Click here to learn more.
Past Blogs on Big Data >>>>
Sales funnel and marketing Hospitality >>>
According to McKinsey, big data leaders have 6% higher profits on average. Recognising the potential of big data, Avis Budget embarked on a voyage to become a data-driven business.
In this video presentation, Brian Dicker, VP Revenue Analysis & Decision Technology at Avis Budget, discusses how Avis Budget became a market leader in the field using data to more accurately forecast demand and grow revenue with price optimization analytics.
Key takeaways include:
People, process, technology – 3 key elements to a successful organisational transformation
How you can use the right data at the right time to drive profits
What the optimal balance between manual forecasting and automated RM systems is
Check out the conference on how to use big data for tourism – Click Here >>>