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ISSUE 15

Hello <<First Name>>,

Writing to you from Berlin, getting ready for ITB in a couple of days. Needless to say, I think this is a pivotal moment for hotel technology and I'm hoping that will be visible this year at the show. If you want to meet up, I'll be mainly in halls 8.1 and 6.1 but you can always email me to know more. This week's news was interestingly provocative and food for thought. I'll let you read through what I found interesting below. 
- Martin
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food for thought.

Guest Experience in Numbers

The team at Experience Hotel have a pretty fact-filled blog with numbers and analysis of hotels that rivals some of the best ones out there. But last week they published an infographic that is worth a good study going over the numbers behind what makes good guest experience and what brings loyalty. Some interesting ones, Booking has a 57% cancellation rate, 26% of bookings come from Business travellers, 27% would like corporate rates and more. Includes some direct booking tips.

UNDERSTANDING GUEST EXPERIENCE

Has "Direct Bookings" gone too far?

A statement from David Turnbull published on Tnooz last week spiraled out of control. He said if he were launching a hotel he would give all the distribution to OTAs and focus on guest experience. The comments and reactions were that of religious extremists being told their god didn't exist. Look, I get it that direct revenue is good. I also get it that OTAs are annoying in that they take really large percentages. But let's step back a second here. Apple's App Store takes 30% commissions, if you're selling goods on Amazon they take 25-30% (all costs included) these aren't all that outrageous. Besides when opening and hotel (and I've opened a few) going all out with OTAs is the safest way to create brand awareness. I think it is time to stop and think for a second - we shouldn't be blindly campaigning for direct bookings, some times it is right, some times there are other ideas that are right too. 

ARE DIRECT BOOKINGS THE HOLY GRAIL?

Pandox CEO, the straight talker

Anders Nissen, the CEO of Pandox isn't afraid to say things as they are. Pandox owns some 150+ hotels in Europe branded and independent and has made even the largest chain CEOs cringe with his statements that OTAs distribute better than them. Here's his vision for hospitality as an owner and what he thinks is the future for hotels and brands. 

ANDERS NISSEN ON HOTELSMAG

Clay Christensen about Airbnb and IKEA

Clay Christensen is best known for the "Innovator's Dillema" book he wrote about disruption (I would argue that he's also quite well known for saying the iPhone wasn't going to disrupt things) but essentially he worked out the disruption theory and it does have some legs to stand on. In this article he discusses how companies (Airbnb for example) disrupted a market by finding a need no hotel chains were willing to go after and then expanded upward into the hotel market. What if Hotels started doing that now to peripheral markets? Office space for example? 

FIND A MARKET AND DISRUPT IT

Amazon is going after the Call-Centers

Call-centers are still great, and I think they'll be even better as calling becomes cheaper and everyone essentially has a phone in their pocket all the time. But the experience varies from great to epically disastrous. Amazon is going after that market with Alexa/Echo automated bots that can manage a lot, a lot more than a bunch of scripted humans who neither care nor feel the pains the customer is facing. 

BOT POWERED CALL CENTERS

Something Big is happening at ITB

SnapShot re-branded from an app maker to a marketplace last week, just before ITB, and that's a big deal. It isn't a secret that the biggest single challenge for any startup in the hotel tech space is integrations and SnapShot has decided to use it's large dataset to help tech companies and startups get off the ground. You could think I'm biased and this is a plug for a company I work for but the truth is, this could change the way hotel technology happens from now on and that is actually a big deal. A friend once told me, they'd never even try to get into the hotel space with their advanced algorithm technology because hotel data was such a mess. With a large hotel technology marketplace like this there's a chance we could evolve into a more innovative industry.

THE HOTEL DATA MARKETPLACE
other good stuff.
Check out the 10 Rules of Hotel Marketing chart
Download the Infographic to writing better taglines.
The 14 most important steps to increasing direct revenue. 
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