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This summer I attended Digital Summit, a marketing conference with industry leaders that covers everything from content to email, social media, UX and design trends, mobile marketing and so much more. I attended sessions and roundtable discussions with experts from Microsoft, Apple, Pinterest, Instagram, Shutterstock, StumbleUpon, BlueHornet and many other significant players in the digital space.
Here are my top trends and takeaways from the event:
#1: Email is Alive and Well
Ask anyone—Gen Y, Millennials, Boomers—and the one thing they can agree on is that email is here to stay, and they plan on using it to communicate for years to come. In order for you to successfully reach these key audiences, you need to ensure your email marketing is Portable, Personal and Prescriptive.
Portable: “The thumb is king.” Your email must be able to go where the user goes; if it can’t follow the user through his/her day, it’s no longer relevant. If your email looks bad on mobile, consumers delete it.
For hotels and resorts, the competitive landscape has become increasingly ugly over the last 18 months. Organic traffic growth has significantly slowed (see Kim Palmer’s recent post on this subject for more). Competition in the PPC marketplace has cut purchase power. Increasingly aggressive OTAs spend millions convincing customers not to book direct. Even companies that have up until recently been considered partners are implementing programs that leech both traffic and dollars away from the hotel.
What’s an independent hotel to do?
In the face of these challenges, hoteliers are increasingly turning to optimization techniques to maximize their conversions on the traffic they already have, effectively doing more with less. The whole point of the optimization process is that there aren’t any easy answers – you’ll only discover what works best for your business by carefully studying analytics and methodically testing changes to visual hierarchy, messaging and
I always wanted to take a road trip based purely on chance, so for 48 hours I let a deck of cards and a pair of dice dictate my route.
My rules were simple: draw a card, then roll the dice. Spades meant head north, clubs south, hearts west, diamonds east. The dice would determine the number of miles until the next draw. So a jack of hearts followed by a toss with a five and a two meant go west either 25 or 52 miles – my choice. I added four jokers to the deck to serve as wild cards good to go any direction I wanted.
My starting point was a recent Saturday morning Green Bay, Wisconsin, and my only restriction was that I had to be in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the following Monday afternoon. The rest I left to chance.
I brought a pillow in case I ended up without a hotel room, and a passport if the route led into Canada. I hoped to travel to the blank
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