News for the Hospitality Executive
Report Predicts Dramatic Changes in Hotel Marketing Discipline
as Result of Consumers' Use of Social Media
The Cost to Use these Tools is Low and the Impact is High
MCLEAN, VA (Sept. 4, 2007) – “There is a tsunami coming that few fully anticipate and it will dramatically change the marketing landscape in all industries, not just travel,” according to Cindy Estis Green, author of a report on Social Media and managing partner of The Estis Group.
Working together to focus on emerging topics of importance to travel marketers, the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI), under the auspices of the HSMAI Foundation, and the Travel Industry Association (TIA) have partnered to produce a comprehensive educational report titled: The Travel Marketer’s Guide to Social Media and Social Networking.
The findings, first being presented in a speech by Estis at the HSMAI Hotel Sales Strategy Conference at the Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. on Sept. 4, 2007, will also be presented at the TIA Marketing Outlook Forum, being held in Charlotte, NC from Oct. 22 - 25, 2007.
“There is a tidal wave related to online consumer behavior that has already begun to swell and the change that will engulf the marketing world will be of dramatic proportions,” Estis says, adding “it’s not just about a new set of media, it’s a sea change in consumer behavior. Social media opens the door for this new marketing model and as far as the consumers are concerned, the train has already left the station.”
“This study underscores the fact that savvy consumers are engaged with the Internet’s social media tools and social network sites in ever increasing numbers. Travel marketers should be plugged into the latest ways their customers are gathering and exchanging information,” says Dr. Suzanne D. Cook, TIA’s Senior Vice President of Research.
To research for the report, Estis interviewed travel executives, vendors, and experts from various social media sites. Additionally, executives from non-travel industries who have a strong background in the use of social media were interviewed. Case studies and results from travel executive polls are also featured.
Some of the topics covered in the report include:
Social media and social networking are all about customer engagement.
While consumer reviews have certainly captured the attention of travel
marketers, it’s not just about consumers spouting the good and bad of their
travel tales and travails. There is a much bigger story to tell.
This new consumer behavior applies as much to travel as it does to industries
as different as electronics, books, automobiles and financial planning.
Every industry is feeling the impact of the new “conversation economy”
and is beginning to alter the way its marketing is executed.
There are many tactical tools that can serve a travel marketer.
Trip planning is an ideal application for social media since it is often
interactive when several people are involved in the travel decision.
The trip planning function is enhanced by rich content such as video, audio,
photos and mapping, often forming “mashups” from several sources, and is
usually an essential element in the travel purchase.
A TIA/HSMAI study of travel executives shows that although the art and
science of social media is relatively new, the industry has taken note
and is testing the waters. There is an opportunity for the travel
industry to excel in these techniques. The very form of social media
that can inspire fear in the hearts of travel suppliers, the consumer review,
can be the most potent tool a marketer can leverage in its use of social
There are 10 key points when it comes to travel marketers’ effective use of social media. These are the primary issues that need to be top-of-mind in order to manage in the new Consumer 2.0 marketing environment.
TIA and HSMAI conducted a survey of members to ascertain the relative
emphasis placed on online marketing tools. Over half (53%) of senior
management in these organizations believe social media and related social
networking opportunities will have a positive affect on sales and marketing
results, and less than two percent (1.5%) believed it would have a negative
Sponsors of the report include Publishing Partners SECURE-RES and TIG Global and sponsoring supporters Open Hospitality and Yahoo.
Cindy Estis Green, author of the report and a 30-year industry veteran, has an MBA in Marketing from The American University and a BS from the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration. She is managing partner of The Estis Group, a travel industry consulting firm specializing in online marketing, distribution, CRM and revenue management.
The Travel Industry Association is the national, non-profit organization representing all components of the $700 billion travel industry. TIA’s mission is to promote and facilitate increased travel to and within the United States. TIA is proud to be a partner in travel with American Express. For more information, visit www.tia.org.
HSMAI is an organization of sales and marketing professionals representing all segments of the hospitality industry. Founded in 1927, HSMAI is an individual membership organization comprising more than 7,000 members worldwide, with 39 chapters in the Americas Region.
Established in 1983 to serve as the research and educational arm of HSMAI, the HSMAI Foundation’s mission is to expand and enhance the educational opportunities available to hospitality sales and marketing executives and to increase the amount of in-depth research conducted on behalf of the profession.
For more information, contact Fran Brasseux, Executive Director, HSMAI Foundation and Executive Vice President, HSMAI at 703-610-9024, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. For more details on the HSMAI Foundation contact www.hsmaifoundation.org.
|Also See:||Consumer Generated Media (Blogs, Discussion Boards, Review Sites), a Threat or an Opportunity? / Max Starkov and Jason Price / December 2006|