News for the Hospitality Executive
Travel-Generated Content and Web 2.0
Is Here to Stay.
Why Not Put it to Work for You?
May 20, 2008 - Recently there‘s been a lot of buzz regarding Social Media and how marketers need to incorporate it into their overall marketing plans. As a result, the phrases User-Generated Content (UGC) and Consumer-Generated Content (CGC) have become mainstream marketing terms. For travel professionals though, there is only one kind of Social Media worth tapping into – Traveler-Generated Content (TGC).
Traveler-Generated Content refers to all travel-related reviews and blog entries posted on the Internet for fellow travelers to read. TGC has taken a stronghold on the Internet as hotel reviews and blog comments are being published at phenomenal rates. As a hotelier, should you pay attention to this flurry of communication, or is it just Internet clutter?
Experts agree that the content is not only being read, but it also has become a trusted resource that travelers rely on during their purchasing process.
TGC is more trusted than professional travel reviews- In a survey conducted by Compete Inc, 56% of respondents considered consumer-generated content (regarding travel) to be credible while only 36% said they trusted descriptions created by a hotel or other travel suppliers.Since more and more travel websites now offer TGC in the form of reviews, you should establish a plan to consistently monitor a variety of websites for TGC related to your properties. Once you have the information, you can analyze it on a regular basis and make informed decisions. Rich sources for TGC include:
As a smart hotelier, you might also consider tracking TGC related to your comp set. This data will serve as a multi-dimensional snapshot of a competitors’ offering – far removed from the traditional STAR report. It can help you understand what improvements need to be made at your property as well as other changes that may help improve guest satisfaction. Most travel review sites allow reviewers the opportunity to individually rank key concepts, such as Value, Room Comfort, Service, Cleanliness, and many others. By analyzing your property’s score in these specific areas against a competitor’s, you’ll be better able to identify your property’s strengths and weaknesses in comparison to your comp sets.
What should you be looking for? By consistently analyzing TGC and comparing it to historical TGC data, you can uncover patterns and common themes concerning your hotels. These insights can be used to make important operational changes and uncover new marketing opportunities.
Improve Hotel Operations
From an operations standpoint, TGC can uncover everything from an unfriendly front desk staff to a leaky air conditioner that a guest never reported during their stay. These are actionable items that can be remedied beyond posting a management rebuttal on TripAdvisor – things that can actually be fixed. By heeding the complaints and suggestions found in these reviews, and fixing the source of the problem at the property, you can improve your property’s ranking on these sites as well as its overall reputation online and offline. Additionally, by resolving a problem and directly responding to a review with a management response, when allowed, you have the opportunity to connect directly with a disgruntled guest and convince them to return to the property.
From a marketer’s perspective, TGC can be seen as a free, qualitative study or survey about one’s property -- extremely valuable information that is usually very difficult and costly to obtain. By analyzing this TGC data, questions may arise concerning your current marketing efforts. Do your marketing and advertising plans stress the strengths of your hotel that consumers really care about? Do you know what amenities your competitor lacks, and are you promoting your comparative strengths?
Hotel review analysis is not just about finding problems and addressing them; it is also about uncovering strengths and maximizing them. A competing property might be getting slammed with negative reviews concerning its lackluster continental breakfast, while your hot buffet wins repeated rave reviews. This amenity advantage should be exploited in marketing communications. In another scenario, a repeat customer might mention that their family visits your hotel every year for a family reunion. A savvy hotelier can take advantage of this remark by contacting the visitor directly with a personalized package to reward their loyalty.
While analyzing TGC for a hotel in San Diego, TIG Global’s HotelProtect program (www.HotelProtect.com), a reputation management and TGC analysis program for hotels, uncovered blog postings regarding a haunted room at the hotel. The rich and interesting legend of a famous ghost, a former guest at the hotel, was uncovered, as well as a new niche target audience- ghost enthusiasts. Ghost hunters all over the world were referencing the hotel as being haunted by the famed ghost and TIG Global saw the legend as a profitable marketing opportunity. TIG Global, created a comprehensive online marketing plan to bid on paid search terms related to the name of the ghost and various “haunted hotel” terms. Hotel management is currently deciding whether to create a Haunted Hotel package for October that would drive traffic to a custom landing page detailing the offering.
TGC is a force to be reckoned with. Travelers rely on TGC during their
decision making process, hoteliers rely on it for feedback on their properties,
and ultimately, it affects reservations. Since more and more travel review
sites and blogs are being published everyday, hoteliers need a solid plan
to keep abreast of this burgeoning medium. By leveraging the knowledge
and opportunities TGC presents, you can ultimately gain market share and
increase revenue. If the effort and time required to complete this task
is daunting, consider employing an outside vendor with a detailed action
plan for monitoring and analyzing TGC. A company that also provides next-step
recommendations on how to respond to findings is the best choice.
a reputation management and Traveler Generated Content analysis program for hotels.
Contact Molly Israel, Marketing Manager at TIG Global, for questions
or reprints: email@example.com,
|Also See:||TIG Global Receives Top International Honors for Website Design and Internet Marketing; TIG Global Wins Three Summit Creative Awards / May 2008|
|TIG Global's Work Leads to 2007 eMarketer of the Year Recognition and Nine other Adrian Awards; The Georgetown Inn, a TIG Global Client and Part of LXR Luxury Resorts and Hotels, is Named eMarketer of the Year / March 2008|
|Ten Standards for Promoting Your Hotel Online / March 2008|
|TIG Global's Work Leads to 2007 eMarketer of the Year Recognition and Nine other Adrian Awards; The Georgetown Inn, a TIG Global Client and Part of LXR Luxury Resorts and Hotels, is Named eMarketer of the Year / February 2008|
|TIG Global Philanthropy Unit Using Internet Marketing Expertise to Take on Global Diseases; Bill Clinton spotlights TIG Global's Online Marketing Efforts at the Clinton Global Initiative for the Fight against Neglected Tropical Disease / October 2007|
|10 Ways to Optimize your Hotel Website through Copy; How to Use Copywriting to Achieve Higher Search-Engine Rankings for Your Site / October 2007|
|TIG Global Collects International WebAwards for Superior Website Design; Grand Hotel Esplanade Berlin and LXR Luxury Resorts and Hotels Receive Web Design Honors / September 2007|
|TIG Global Receives Top International Honors for Website Design; Nickelodeon, LXR Luxury Resorts and American Express Web Campaigns Receive Summit Creative Awards / August 2007|
|TIG Global Expands European Operations with New Sales Director; Jeff Down to Bring 15 Years of International Travel Industry Experience / June 2007|
|TIG Global's E-Mail Marketing Campaign Receives National Honors; The Web Marketing Association Awards TIG Global'Best E-mail Message' for The Rittenhouse / April 2007|
|TIG Global Wins Nine HSMAI Adrian Awards for Website Design and Online Marketing / February 2007|
|TIG Global Legal Reference Simplifies Challenges Associated with Online Marketing and Brand Protection; TIG Global, Cyveillance, and HSMAI Publish Profits and Pitfalls in Online Marketing / October 2006|
|The West Paces Hotel Group Selects TIG Global as their Internet Marketing Partner for the Solís Brand / July 2006|
|Three Destination Marketing Organizations Select TIG Global As Their Internet Marketing and Management Firm / July 2006|
|TIG Global Receives Two Webby Awards for Website Design; LXR and the Boulders Resort Recognized as Top International Websites / May 2006|
|LXR Luxury Resorts Selects TIG Global as their Internet Marketing Partner / April 2006|
|Carlson Hotels Worldwide Selects TIG Global as its Internet Marketing Partner for Park Inn / March 2006|
|TIG Global Wins Four HSMAI Adrian Awards for Website Design and Accompanying Online Marketing Programs / February 2006|
|The Venetian Resort Hotel Casino Selects TIG Global as their Internet Marketing Agency of Record; TIG Global to drive direct online traffic to the Venetian Resort Hotel Casino / February 2006|
|TIG Global Announces New Senior Management Appointments / October 2005|
|TIG Global to Exhibit at International Hotel Conference in Monaco / September 2005|
|Omniture Enables TIG Global to Enhance Reporting Performance Metrics / August 2005|
|CVBs, DMOs Win Online with TIG Global’s Launch of ‘Destination 1’ Internet Marketing Program / July 2005|
|Kayak.com and TIG Global Announce Preferred Marketing Partnership; TIG Global to Advertise Across Kayak Network For More Than 100 Of Its Hotel Clients / June 2005|
|TIG Global’s New RFP Tracking & Reporting Captures More Meetings and Group Business for Hotel Clients / May 2005|
|TIG Global Has Been Selected by Sunstone Hotel Investors as Exclusive Internet Marketing Partner / March 2005|
|New ‘TIG Global Guarantee’ Makes Internet Marketing a Must for Hoteliers; TIG Global Program Eliminates Risk, Guarantees Revenue / March 2005|
|TIG Global Announces Executive Promotions to Propel Strategic Growth; Sue Heilbronner named EVP of marketing and business development, John Tunney named EVP of finance and administration / February 2005|
|TIG Global Expands Account Management Division and Continues to Deliver the Highest Level of Interactive Marketing Services in Hospitality/ February 2005|
|TIG Global Guiding Internet Presence Close To 50 New Hotel Clients In Fourth Quarter 2004 / January 2005|
|TIG Global, HSMAI Publish First-Ever Distribution Strategy Guide for Hotel Industry / January 2005|
|Thayer Interactive Group Becomes “TIG Global”; Internet Marketing Firm’s New Corporate Identity Underscores Breadth And Depth Of Services / October 2004|
|Thayer Interactive Group Announces Previous Appointment of Michael Pusateri as EVP of Sales & Services/ September 2004|
|Thayer Interactive Group’s Independent Clients Quadruple Industry’s Year-Over-Year Online Revenue Growth / May 2004|
|Thayer Interactive Group Receives Top Honors for Website Marketing Excellence at HSMAI Adrian AwardsShow / March 2004|
|Thayer Interactive Group Is Selected By Driftwood Hospitality To Provide Comprehensive Internet Marketing Services / Aug 2003|
|Thayer Interactive Group’s Clients Outperform All Industry Benchmarks For First Quarter 2003 Online Revenue / June 2003|
|Ocean Point Beach Resort and Spa Selects Thayer Interactive Group To Provide Comprehensive Internet Marketing Services / May 2003|
|Thayer Interactive Group Selected By Quorum Hotels And Resorts To Provide Full-Service Internet Marketing / April 2003|
|Thayer Interactive Group Taps Industry Veteran To Head Sales And Marketing Efforts / March 2003|