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Fear in Travel Marketing

September 3, 2009

In my early agency days, I was always confused when a client was hesitant to do something that seemed like a no-brainer to me. Then I worked clientside as a Director of Marketing for a VC-backed start-up. That’s where I learned the obvious – everyone answers to someone. For some odd reason, this makes people afraid to try new things or go out on a limb. I know, this is not groundbreaking stuff, but life is different outside of an ad agency and I never fully understood this prior to being a client. Fear dictates so many of our decisions in marketing, and in life really. I was impressed by this simple, but insightful article about fear in marketing. A great read for any marketer.

Link: http://www.webinknow.com/2009/08/fear.html

For a little insight on how to deal with fear in life, check out a very underated movie called Defending Your Life with Albert Brooks and Meryl Streep.

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Links on Luxury Branding, Price Cutting & Travel Search Patterns

July 24, 2009

Lots to read here, but all really informative pieces.

The 12 Rules for a 21st Century Luxury Brand: (all are appropriate for luxury travel brands)

http://beta.luxurysociety.com/articles/12-rules-for-the-21st-century-luxury-enterprise

eHotelier.com’s take on recent industry price cuts:

http://ehotelier.com/hospitality-news/item.php?id=A16723_0_11_0_M

A MediaPost.com article about “The Traveler’s Road to Decision” detailing the search process:

http://www.mediapost.com/publications/?fa=Articles.showArticle&art_aid=110204

Brand vs. Bottom Line

June 29, 2009

It’s something we all deal with. Protecting the sanctity of a brand amidst the storm of our current economic conditions. The hospitality sector is awash with deep discounts, reductions to marketing budgets, staff layoffs and, in most cases, a board of directors that just wants to stop the bleeding. Four Seasons’ Founder Isadore Sharp certainly doesn’t stand alone when he chooses brand integrity over balance sheets, but the 77 year old is an unlikely torchbearer for brand always being first.

I personally agree with him. At least to a point. Luxury brands can’t discount, but they can add value. While a room might stay at $395/night, there is no reason why a hotel can’t throw in a round of golf, spa treatment or even tickets to a local museum, or free airport limo pickup. It’s time to get creative with added value.The problem with the Four Seasons is that they only manage the hotels. The individual hotel owners often have an entire other Board of Directors to answer to.

This is a great article from the New York Times that anyone in the hotel industry should read.

Link: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/28/business/global/28four.html

No, not Chandler.

June 3, 2009

Name discussions aside, Microsoft’s Bing.com has arrived and it has a heavy travel focus. As a travel marketing professional, I urge you to play with the new search engine and understand it. Bing has a lot of features that pull travel info from various OTA’s and travel aggregation sites, as well as standard search results, and even a Yahoo Local-style return of listings. It’s a little “cooler” than the typical Microsoft launch, too. Take some today to explore it, and see how your brand is found in the results. You’ll be glad you did.

http://www.bing.com

Hawaii expands the net.

May 31, 2009

Hawaii casts a wider net by including major bloggers on their most recent Fam trip, not just traditional press or travel agents. I wish it didn’t take desparate times from them reach this POV.

http://everydotconnects.com/2009/05/30/hawaii-tourism-authority-breaks-the-mold-with-a-bloggers-fam-tour/

The Twitter Concierge

May 22, 2009

This story on the new Hyatt Concierge on Twitter is the first example I’ve seen, but I’m sure it won’t be the last. Definitely a trend in the space as travel brands look to use the customer service platform that Twitter provides. 

http://content.usatoday.com/communities/hotelcheckin/post/2009/05/66927973/1

10 Tips for Building Brand Communities

May 19, 2009

I’m always a big fan of Guy Kawasaki’s articles and tips. This recent list at AMEX’s OPEN Forum is written for any brand, but is very applicable to travel and tourism brands, whether a single hotel property, or an entire cruise line.

http://blogs.openforum.com/2009/05/18/10-tips-for-building-brand-communities/?campaignid=OF2_ola_sb