The Mad Men of Amazon and 4 more stories
Why are Hoteliers obsessed about OTA costs?
The cost of marketing varies per hotel and area, but this study pulled out a figure of about 6-10% of the overall revenue. It seems about right depending on hotel size and so forth. The problem is that those costs are also the ones rising the fastest. Between OTAs, Meta-search, Adwords (to protect one's brand name) and many other little things, marketing a hotel is becoming a bigger and bigger piece of the pie. In my opinion OTAs are just the biggest line item, but the little things are probably growing a lot faster.
Getting Advanced Analytics to Hotels
McKinsey recently published a very insightful article on how hotels can use analytics and data better. The article is particularly good because it lists a lot of ideas, gives some examples and wraps up with a series of action items that deserve serious consideration. Not every hotelier will see the benefit of creating a data lake, and even more will have no idea of how to do it. But that doesn't mean it shouldn't be done. Take the time to read this.
Startups in Hospitality, is it toxic?
Innovation in the hotel sector takes a while. In many ways that's because it is capital intensive. Changing every TV in the hotel, door-lock, soap dispenser etc. It's not like upgrading a software (and that can be ridiculously expensive too). This article about how difficult it is to grow a startup in Europe versus Silicon Valley and hot toxic the European environment is to innovation made me wonder if there are parallels in our industry. It is always a lot easier to interpret what is happening elsewhere than in one's own house.
Amazon the advertising channel
We rarely view Amazon as an advertising channel, but with over 2 billion visitors to their website every month and most of them coming to buy something (i.e. purchase intent) the audience is quite qualified. Is it possible to advertise travel alongside products and expect an ROI? Maybe not without some help, but the truth is we do need more ways to reach future travellers at the inspiration stage and Amazon is an interesting option.
What can we do with Hotel Data
Some time ago at the Young Hotelier's Summit at Ecole Hoteliere de Lausanne interviewed myself and several others on ideas of what could be done with hotel data, and what should be done about hotel data. Check the video out.