Technology

Conversational UI: How travel brands can get the experience right

Jan 16, 2019 / Conversational UI
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Shutterstock

Technology has now advanced to the point where conversational UIs are becoming smarter and more intuitive for users.

They’re offering human-like assistance and, in some instances, they are becoming the preferred way for users to interact with brands.

This doesn’t mean that conversational UI will displace Graphical User Interfaces (GUI) - voice will not replace screens any time soon. It does however mean that brands can no longer afford to ignore the rising popularity of these platforms, which offer immense potential to augment the customer experience.

Why it matters: Brands need to focus on designing the best mobile user experience possible, and this means incorporating conversational UI across various touchpoints.

Distribution

American Express acquires restaurant booking service Pocket Concierge

Jan 16, 2019 / American Express
Pocket Concierge
Pocket Concierge

The Japan-based service helps book quality restaurants, including those that are Michelin-starred and others that have months-long waitlists for reservations.

Pocket Concierge currently works with 800 restaurants and is available in Japanese, English and Chinese, its closest competitors include OpenTable and local operator TableAll.

American Express said Pocket Concierge will continue as a wholly owned subsidiary. It plans to integrate the business with its card membership services.

Market Data

The myth of the millennial

Jan 16, 2019 / Millenials
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Shutterstock

We are repeatedly told that millennials have distinctive tastes, seek out unique experiences, are tech savvy and constantly switched on. But in 2019, does this ring true?

Millennials have grown up in a world of laptops, the internet and smartphones and are the first generation of true digital natives.

Consequently, they tend to depend on technology for the entire travel booking process, from reading website reviews to mobile booking.

And while millennials are heavily dependent on technology, booking websites and social media, they also appear to favour face-to-face business meetings and are keen on “personalisation”.

Digital Marketing

IHG launches new lead sharing program

Jan 16, 2019 / Lead Management
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Shutterstock

The solution enables IHG sales managers, across the entire portfolio worldwide, to share and track group leads with other IHG properties.

With its new customized lead management platform, IHG sales team members can share leads that they were not able to accommodate at the original requested IHG property.

What's more, the entire life cycle of the lead’s status is fully transparent and can be tracked at every stage of its development by both the sender and receiver.

Digital Marketing

Gartner: What the post-disruptive marketing landscape will look like

Jan 16, 2019 / Gartner
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Shutterstock

The research firm predicts the fall of customer experience as top priority and a cutback in marketing analytics.

Marketers are trying to find a balance in the midst of massive destabilizing forces, according to a recent study from research firm Gartner. The new balance that will emerge in a few years will leave a landscape that looks significantly different from the one that currently exists.

Voice interfaces and bite-sized videos are causing marketers to re-think how they communicate, the report notes. Privacy laws mean that consumers have to agree on data usage.

Meanwhile, analytics organizations are “bloated,” while automation is disrupting creative production, the ability to understand all processes and the skillset of available staff.

Gartner: Companies now spending more on marketing technology than on salaries for their marketing staff

Distribution

Examples of hotel website innovation

Jan 16, 2019 / Best Rate Guarantee
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Shutterstock

Hotel marketers are now rapidly catching up with the digital savvy of the OTAs - here are a few examples.

Consumers usually aren’t aware that your hotel offers the exact same price as OTAs for the same rooms. So, it’s up to you to continuously reinforce the message that booking direct is in their best interest.

Unfortunately, it isn’t enough to simply have a Best Rate Guarantee on your website. The smartest tactic is to build your BRG into your booking engine itself, proving to the visitor that only booking direct gets them the best prices.

Digital Marketing

All you need to know about hotel guest loyalty

Jan 16, 2019 /
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Shutterstock

There’s a lot of talk in the travel industry these days that travelers aren’t loyal to hotel brands anymore; it’s all about price and perks.

But is this really true? Does hotel guest loyalty exist without paying for it - and if so, how?

Whether you’re considering launching a loyalty program, revamping an existing program, or looking for ways to build loyalty without a formal program, this guide will help you set your priorities, develop a strategy and optimize results.