Great lessons for our industry

Posted on April 18, 2008. Filed under: Social Media, Uncategorized, Web2.0 | Tags: , , , , , |

are contained in this interview with CNN’s King on Obama’s iCampaign on Always On

and it’s not the politics he talks about which is important but his comments about the new media world we live in and how it affects every facet of communication. The situation he describes that the traditional media finds itself in, applies to any industry. The lesson to be learned is that it’s about the conversation that influences peoples opinion about issues or products or services, and how you get involved in it. He repeatedly makes the remark that you can’t fight it or ignore it. It’s the exact same message I’ve been telling on this blog since day one. Great commentary from a real media professional.

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A “Revolutionary” Campaign with wings

Posted on April 2, 2008. Filed under: DMO, Marketing, Travel2.0, Web2.0 | Tags: , |

This award winning case study of a campaign to build viral buzz on MarketingSherpa caught my attention as not too many are from the travel industry. It explains in detail how Germanwings used web 2.0 tools to involve their audience with their brand while at the same time grow their database of new customers. A key element of the campaign was a specific micro-site. This is what I have proposed a number of years ago to DMOs to build rather than drive traffic to their main website where interaction is limited. The added benefit is that such a site can be deployed more quickly and in many cases reused, at least in part, for future similar campaigns at lower cost.

The results are an indicator of how well this campaign was received with a 26% open rate. 7.2% click-through, 45,000 profiles and 15,000 groups created. In addition their 1.4 million email list grew by 0.5%. What’s equally positive is the 9.5 minutes people spent on the micro-site, longer than the average time spent per visitor on their mainsite. Looks to me like a well deserved award winner and a model that DMOs should emulate in their own campaigns, especially those that integrate off- and online elements, where a micro-site would be best suited as the core fulfillment mechanism.

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Distinction Between Bloggers, Journalists Blurring More Than Ever

Posted on March 3, 2008. Filed under: Social Media, Travel2.0, Web2.0 |

MediaShift Digging Deeper::PBS deals with the topic the panel I’m on at the PhoCusWright Blogger Summit at the ITB in Berlin will address.

The title is journalists vs. bloggers, by itself a misnomer, as the lines have blurred between what used to be until quite recently very different categories as the article makes very clear. Like so much else, the role of journalists has been affected by how the web develops and this will very likely continue to be the case. The conversation continues……

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Here’s the one you want to be on!

Posted on February 29, 2008. Filed under: Marketing, Travel2.0, Web2.0 |


the TravelersChoiceAwards2008 list of top hotels which I’m sure is full of hotels that not only deliver on their promise but very likely over deliver and are rewarded for it. They probably also are aware of how they are perceived in the marketplace by participating in the conversation that happens about them and take corrective action quickly if needed to avoid the fate of those who take things for granted and probably don’t care.

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TripAdvisor’s 2008 Top 10 Dirtiest Hotels

Posted on February 29, 2008. Filed under: Social Media, Travel2.0, Web2.0 |

This is the list you definitely do not want to be on!

It’s a great – and for some scary! – example of the radical transparency businesses are facing today. There is no place to hide and anyone would be advised to manage their online brand reputation way before they end up on a list like this. I’m convinced that these establishments must have received negative feedback directly over a period of time that would have allowed them to improve the situation. More likely they just didn’t pay attention or care.

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Facebook fatigue?

Posted on February 28, 2008. Filed under: Social Media, Web2.0 |

Facebook Falling Off? asks Marketing Pilgrim and shows us a neat graph to visualize what might be the answer to the question


and Kevin on Travolution asks if “the social networking boom is losing momentum

First off, I’m not blaming the messengers here for reporting about this and granted, the figures show some drop off in traffic but let’s remember, the first reports about the meteoric rise of Facebook outside the college crowd appeared less than about a year ago. For some of the other social networking sites it might be a bit longer, but by and large about one year. Then everyone was worried that without a Facebook application or even own social networking site their business would nosedive, now it’s “well, we don’t have to worry about all this social web thing after all”

This somehow reminds me of the much predicted total demise of travel agents when the web 1.0 wave hit the shore and then the recent opposite claim by Forrester about a travel agent resurgence.

I can’t help but think that we’re jumping on and off bandwagons far too quickly here and need to take a collective breath before embracing developments and proclaim them the latest and greatest thing on the web. It’s in the very nature of web developments that some are permanent and others short lived and that’s likely to continue to be the case in future.

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Visit Scotland.com to close shop

Posted on February 26, 2008. Filed under: DMO, Marketing, Tourism, Travel2.0, Web2.0 |

reports Hotelmarketing, based on an article on Scotsman.com with the headline of “Tourist website has to be worth a visit”, which sounds pretty much like a no-brainer to me. I have to admit that I’m not familiar with the details of their situation but apparently a number of local suppliers are claiming the failure of the site as a victory which seems at least somewhat odd to me. If structured and organized correctly, a site with a popular address for a well known, global brand should be a success for both the DMO and its suppliers.

At least that’s the case for Switzerland, a destination I know more about, which launched Switzerland Travel Centre, a commercial, industry owned venture that since its inception ten years ago has grown to become a well established and profitable company, not only as the accommodation booking engine for MySwitzerland.com but also for local and regional DMOs in the country as well as being the largest distributor for rail products.

According to Klaus Oegerli, the CEO of STC, the model is successful due to their relationships with the industry both as a technology provider and major distribution partner, including a merchant model for hotels with more than 300 properties being sold through tour operators and online travel portals.

The Swiss model is proof to me, that with the right set-up and industry cooperation a successful online distribution system can be built that provides a welcome and effective marketing tool for the destination and its supplier partners that makes economic sense and a profit for both.

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Look who starts paying attention!

Posted on February 25, 2008. Filed under: Marketing, Search, Travel2.0, Web2.0 |

“Online comparison sites move beyond price”

reads the headline of Rob Lovitt’s column on msnbc.com about the travel meta-search companies that some of us industry bloggers have written about for over a year now.

I can only say – welcome to the party! and the earlier the main stream media start writing about the fact that online travel is not just used to go looking for the cheapest price the better.

This type of single issue media focus has been one of the main reasons travelers were trained to look only for bargains rather than value for money on online travel sites. The sooner this mindset is replaced by a different attitude the better.

The industry players, on the other hand, will then have to deliver a shopping experience that exceeds those higher, no longer only price focused expectations. That’s the challenge the industry needs to address while moving to the next level.

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Online Buyers Seek Out User Reviews

Posted on February 25, 2008. Filed under: Marketing, Social Media, Travel2.0, Web2.0 |

according to eMarketer which presents a collection of studies that proof this point. Although not dealing specifically with travel, I would venture the guess that similar numbers apply.

This is further proof of the importance buyers place on comments by buyers/users of a particular product or service and as I’ve commented previously, if those comments are made by someone close, like a relative or friend or member of a social network they will have an even higher impact on purchasing decisions.

Ignore the conversation about you in social media at your peril!

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There will be a web 4.0

Posted on February 19, 2008. Filed under: Web2.0 |

and I think you’ll read about it here first. Below is the link to a great video giving an exciting glimpse at what’s coming down the line on the web by Nova Spivak of Radar Networks who are about to introduce Twine It explains in clear terms about the semantic web and ultimately artificial intelligence (AI) with a reference to travel somewhere in the second half. I tend to agree that it will take much more than some incremental technology to offer the ultimate online travel buying experience.

Nova Spivack – Semantic Web Talk from Nicolas Cynober on Vimeo.

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