It’s Friday – you know what that means: pizza, post-pizza naps, and our weekly Friday Fuel roundup. Enjoy:
You Surprised to see us, Clark?
Think you are stuck sleeping on grandma’s old pull-out couch again this holiday season? Think again. According to this year’s Hotels.com Winter Travel Survey, 43% of holiday travelers are more likely to stay in a hotel than to stay with family (only 16%). On the other side of that equation, 54% of people with guests coming into town said they would prefer for their visitors to stay in a hotel versus staying with them for the holidays. This trend could be a great way for your hotel to capitalize on holiday travel by offering Christmas specific deals and promotions. No more “full-blown, four-alarm holiday emergencies” here!
But First, Let Me Take a Selfie
It’s official – photo-centric social media giant Instagram is now larger than Twitter. The site now boasts more than 300 million monthly users which is up by more than 100 million monthly users since only March; Twitter currently has 284 million monthly users. Additionally, Instagram is going to begin rolling out verified accounts for public figures and brands which will appear as a blue badge next to a page’s name in the profile as well as in the search features. With this many monthly users, hotels have an obvious opportunity to showcase their property and amenities to a growing audience. Also, hotels can monitor and even encourage activity and sharing through strategic promotions and hashtags.
SnapChat For Hotels – Less Sketchy Than You’d Think
SnapChat has gained a somewhat questionably reputation since inception – mainly because of its debatable user intent. Despite this, many brands (like Taco Bell and GrubHub) have dabbled with creating unique SnapChat marketing campaigns. Hotel giant Marriott decided to be the first hotelier to dip their toes in the SnapChat pool with a campaign focused on young travelers. The campaign will use carefully selected “influencers” to interact with users about what cities to visit. The details are still being ironed out but be sure to keep an eye out to see how this new venture pans out.
Mobile Schmobile, Eh?
Whether you currently live under a nice cozy rock or you are just undeniably stubborn – mobile is here to stay. Mobile isn’t a fad; it isn’t a trend; it’s the new way of life. From mobile payments to mobile user experience to mobile search optimization, mobile is a hot trend for 2015. Other hot Hotel Marketing Trends for 2015 include personalization, retargeting and other abandonment strategies, and a more holistic approach to revenue management. Can you think of any other trends to be on the watch for this year?
What’s that you say? You’ve heard enough about mobile? Too damn bad. Skift recently caught up with several OTA executives and hotel CEOs to see what was in the pipeline for the next phase of mobile innovations. From mobile check payments at restaurants to mobile check-ins and check-outs, there’s a lot of exciting things in store for mobile in 2015.
Email for the Win
A new study via Message Systems reveals that email is by far the most preferred method of receiving brand messages and offers, according to consumers. Half of respondents indicated that they do not want any form of direct marketing communications from brands while about a quarter said that they would prefer email. Other contenders included text messages at 9%, direct mail at 7%, and social media at just 5%. Email pop-ups, contact forms, or email generation focused promotions are great ways to boost your email lists. Furthermore, adding up front segmentation options will make sure that interested parties only get the emails that they really want making them more qualified and less likely to unsubscribe overall.
Smart watches have been a hot topic for quite some time now and are slowly making their way into mass market. As consumer acceptance and usage grows, so do the capabilities of these “smart” products. From a travel perspective, the possibility to check-in to a flight or scan your watch to unlock a hotel room is not too far on the horizon. In fact, Starwood Hotels is currently working on developing an app for the Apple Watch that will act as a room key. Is your hotel ready to embrace and adopt these technological changes?
Ray Rice, Ebola, and Oscar Selfies – Oh My!
It’s been another busy year for our friends at Google. From scares and scandals to selfies and sports – 2014 was full of action. Check out Google’s video on the top search moments that defined 2014. Do you have any to add?