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Word of Mouth Vs. Key Influencers

Posted on December 19, 2007. Filed under: Blogroll |

is the title of a column by Guy Kawasaki in AlwaysOn. It covers a study on the effectiveness of different kinds of word of mouth. I tend to agree with the results and Guy’s comments.

The most effective WOM is by family, friends and colleagues, followed by regular folk and then pundits or those "in the know". If this was not the case, we’d be right back in the days of old media with the control over, or filtering of  the message by editors and professionals. Those days are fast fading away as social media asserts itself.

 
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Not really surprising or new, but….

Posted on December 3, 2007. Filed under: Blogroll |

this is one more report, and by a respected firm like JD Power that shows Customer Satisfaction with Indy Travel Sites Declines. It’s fairly obvious by now, that the OTA have their work cutout for them if they want to keep their growth rates up and claim back market share lost to supplier sites.

It’s no longer enough to just throw up a lot of product on their websites at the cheapest price. Increasingly web savvy customers expect more than that. Usability seems to be required and I assume relevancy in terms of what’s shown based on preference input.

The more complex the travel plan gets, the more customers expect more than just a huge listing of pre-packaged vacations but the tools to self-design and assemble their dream vacation. It seems that Travelocity has caught on to that by putting more emphasis on the Dream – Learn – Plan aspect of leisure travel rather than the "from – to" model that is still prevalent.

This study is just one more indicator that the bar is now higher and the low hanging fruit in easy online travel component sale has been picked. It’s on to web 3.0 tool development!

 

 
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The conclusions of

Posted on November 21, 2007. Filed under: Blogroll |

this study by Avenue A/Razorfish on Understanding Digital Consumer Behavior I can agree with as there has been a significant shift since the early days of the web. What I don’t quite believe are the very high percentage figures of 70% of consumers reading blogs regularly and 41% having their own blog or post frequently. 476 seems a very limited number to give truly representative picture of all web users to determine their behavior. Nevertheless, what’s clear is that companies in any industry are no longer facing yesterday’s marketplace where traditional marketing rules. The customer rules and the conversation is taking place. Join it.

 
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Web 2.0 Is On The Ropes…..

Posted on November 9, 2007. Filed under: Blogroll |

at least according to this post reporting that one of the leading Silicon Valley VC Kleiner Perkins Has Halted Investments in companies claiming to be about web 2.0
It seems to me the label discussion is an ongoing one and we are unlikely to arrive at a definition universally accepted. I’ve said before that in the end it doesn’t matter what version number someone gives the web. It’s about what solutions to relevant problems these start-ups provide. On that yardstick, obviously, many don’t measure up and a majority will fade away a quickly as they appeared on the scene. Those that provide value can succeed in whatever industry, including travel.
Anyway, web 3.0 – or whatever some people will call the next phase in the future development of the web is just around the corner anyway!

 
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The Next Big Thing: User-Contributed Metadata

Posted on November 5, 2007. Filed under: Blogroll |

is the title of a great post on the Minding the Planet blog about new developments that will have a significant impact on how we experience and use the web.
It will be exciting to follow sites such as Twine when fully rolled out and how they will take what we today loosely call user generated content to a whole new level by adding richer data elements and semantics.
I expect this to have an impact on travel as well and bring improvements to today’s user experience of travel sites. In light of the reported decrease in the number of online travelers a welcome and needed next step in the evolution of the market.

 
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I agree with Nielsen

Posted on October 29, 2007. Filed under: Blogroll |

Blah-Blah Text: Keep, Cut, or Kill? that too many websites are violating this principle, especially DMO sites that often try to leverage the huge piles of data their organizations have at their disposal. To put too much of it on your site and in the wrong place can be a killer, so less is often more The only beef I have with his post is that I think it is rather too long itself…..!

 
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This is a welcome development

Posted on October 29, 2007. Filed under: Blogroll |

Travelocity launches new trip planning tool and one that goes in the right direction, away from the now pretty much standard template of asking people where they want to fly and when and take it from there.

Multi-destination and component research and planning is a logical next step to dynamic packaging that deserves the term.
To make the user experience a better one the tight integration of information sources and combination of mashups has to happen. This is certainly a welcome effort.

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Twine.com

Posted on October 19, 2007. Filed under: Blogroll |

is the name of the just launched site by Radar Networks  at Web2.0 Summit and it claims to be a Revolutionary Semantic Web Application. Having followed the company and their CEO Nova Spivack for some time, I believe this to be an exciting new development in what’s coming next on the web – also called web 3.0 by some, a new term that will most likely be as controversial and misunderstood as web 2.0 is by many today.

I can’t imagine that this kind of technology will not have an impact on travel, at least as significant as the web 2.0 tools are having at present. In addition the semantic web promises to affect and even transform collaboration even more than web 2.0 has done.

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Is viral marketing the same as word of mouth?

Posted on October 17, 2007. Filed under: Blogroll |

is the question posed on Seth’s Blog: and as always, he makes very valid point by claiming that it is not.
His comments make it very clear what the differences are between mere word of mouth and an ideavirus.
It also becomes clear, why creating one is such a difficult task and why marketer intervention doesn’t really make it happen, on the contrary. Good read.

 
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The shift to interactive marketing continues

Posted on October 15, 2007. Filed under: Blogroll |

according to this latest study by

Forrester: Interactive Marketing Spend to Surpass $61B in Five Years. This is a considerable amount and what is even more significant is that the leading category by a wide margin is travel & hospitality with $ 8.7 billion spent in 2007.

This tells me that any organization in our industry not focusing as a priority on interactive marketing to generate business is missing a great opportunity for effective and highly measurable marketing.


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