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In latest ever extra related world buyers occupy a considerable deal higher expectations of the agencies they deal with.
They desire companies to bear in intellect their preferences and deliver a personalized, beneficial event. What's more they anticipate this faultless of the time not just on the aspect of sale.
To assist businesses deliver for their consumers IBM is the expend of its Smarter Commerce global summit in Florida to unveil ExperienceOne, an integrated portfolio of cloud-primarily based and on premise offerings to collect marketing, revenue and repair practices and assist create deeper, extra helpful customer engagements.
IBM ExperienceOne attracts on innovation from IBM analysis as well as greater than $3 billion invested in organic edifice and acquisitions. it's additionally developed on finest practices drawn from IBM's adventure of working with over 8,000 companies across the globe.
"Smarter Commerce is ready assisting shoppers constantly reinvent themselves around the consumer event," says Craig Hayman, widespread supervisor, industry Cloud solutions at IBM. "IBM ExperienceOne gives a at ease and simplified portfolio -- including innovation from more than 1,200 companions -- to assist consumers design and bring greater positive consumer engagements. With cloud, on premise and hybrid options, IBM ExperienceOne directly scales to interact every client in the jiffy whereas holding their privateness".
New capabilities back to better understanding of consumer relationships, maximize earnings by means of directing the perquisite present to the perquisite client, and gain expend of cell and companionable media to convey more desirable client adventure. Combining ExperienceOne with SoftLayer cloud infrastructure IBM is additionally capable of present consumer facts, consumer analytics and digital commerce as a provider.
The enterprise is aiming to bring an identical stages of customer insight to the B2B sector as well with the launch of fresh accomplice and employer engagement software via its Smarter Commerce initiative. This comprises a Multi-business Relationship management (MRM) platform for superior collaboration. IBM Sterling B2B functions Reporting and Analytics to computer screen transactions and assist enterprise spot traits and gain suggested decisions. Plus different tools present more advantageous adherence to compliance requisites and faster and greater productive sharing of statistics.
"Now greater than ever, the fate of any enterprise is deeply intertwined with the success of its community of companions and suppliers everywhere," says John Mesberg, vice chairman, B2B & Commerce options at IBM. "with the aid of orchestrating these complicated engagements with incredible precision and perception, organizations can create fresh gateways to trade that enable corporations to carry extraordinary consumer experiences. With these days’s information, IBM fundamentally transforms these dynamics with partners and consumers to pressure quicker time to revenue throughout the prolonged charge chain".
that you could learn greater about IBM ExperienceOne on the company's web page. there is likewise an infographic on how Smarter Commerce can bring more advantageous client engagement beneath.
photo credit score: Sergey Nivens / Shutterstock
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There is a war a-brewin’, but this war will live fought with wits and not animal strength. Ever since Russian President Vladimir Putin’s declaration that “the nation that leads in AI (Artificial Intelligence) will live the ruler of the world,” the press and analysts occupy created hysteria regarding the ramifications of ersatz intelligence on everything from public education to unemployment to healthcare to Skynet.
Note: ersatz intelligence (AI) endows applications with the aptitude to automatically learn and accommodate from sustain via interacting with the surroundings / environment. survey the blog “Artificial Intelligence is not Fake Intelligence” for a more detailed explanation on ersatz intelligence and machine learning.
The lickety-split Company article “How to quit Worrying and worship the considerable AI War of 2018,” projected that the AI battle would ultimately stew down between the “AI colossal 6”: Alphabet/Google, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, IBM, and Microsoft. However, there are other contenders worthy of consideration including GE, Tesla, Netflix, Baidu, Tencent, and Albaba.
But what are the characteristics of organizations that will live the ultimate winners in this considerable AI War? What are the behaviors and actions that will distinguish those organizations that capitalize on this AI gold rush while others “fumble the future”?
I believe that the AI winners will occupy the following characteristics:
Let me situation my case.
#1 Users, Not Purveyors, of AI TechnologyThe Market Capitalization Leaderboard shown in pattern 1 offers primary clues as to which organizations will likely live the AI winners. What will set these organizations apart will live not the selling of technology, but their aptitude leverage AI for “value capture.”
Figure 1: Marketing Capitalization Leaders as of May 26, 2017.
By the way, I believe Kleiner Perkins was indolent in classifying “Industry Segment.” The market leaders are less purveyors of AI technology than they are users of AI technology.
Mastering Value Capture. Just having the technology is not sufficient; it’s how you expend the technology to derive and then drive fresh sources of customer, business, operational, and financial value that matters. Ultimately, the AI war is about “value capture.”
The companies listed in pattern 1 are trying to dominate markets, not technology. For example:
Each of these AI leaders seeks to extend their value capture capabilities into fresh markets, including transportation (autonomous vehicles), healthcare, finance, media, and entertainment.
Other market leaders are likewise affecting aggressively to exploit the power of AI to capture more customer, products and operational value. JPM Morgan (#11) is focused on edifice an AI platform (see “JPMorgan Takes AI expend to the Next Level”) that will allow JPMC to dominate financial trading. And GE (#16) has made a strategic pot with their Predix platform (see “GE’S colossal pot on Data and Analytics”) as the platform for dominating the Industrial Internet of Things.
Microsoft (#3) is the one exception as Microsoft is a purveyor of technology. But even Microsoft is branching beyond just selling technology into trying to dominate markets such as digital media, entertainment, and companionable media where their AI “chops” can give them competitive advantages (see “The Jewel of Microsoft’s Earnings”).
#2 Embrace Open Source for Technology Agility (Independence)AI leaders will exploit open-source commerce models to establish platform dominance/standardization, and create technology agility and independence. They will develop an enabling technology, and then give it away via open source. This enables them to embolden the growing community of developers, especially those up-and-coming developers in universities and research labs, to build out and create de facto standards around their enabling technologies.
Open Source Leaders. The Global AI winners are significant contributors to the ersatz intelligence and machine learning open source communities. This includes developments such as Amazon Machine Learning, Google TensorFlow, Facebook Caffe2, Microsoft Azure ML Studio, Microsoft Distributed Machine Learning Toolkit, Facebook GraphQL, and Facebook Torch.
The leadership role that the “Great AI War” combatants are playing can live seen in many open source projects. For example, Torch is an open source machine learning library and scientific computing framework. The “official maintainers” of Torch are:
Training and Education. Another strategy from the Global AI leaders the creation of community or industry training and education opportunities around their open source technologies. For example, Google is committing $1 billion to train American workers to build fresh businesses with Google’s AI tools (see “Google Commits $1 Billion in Grants to Train U.S. Workers for High-Tech Jobs”).
Avoiding Technology Lock-in. But equally primary is that these AI leaders are seeking to avoid technology and architecture lock-in. They occupy watched passe school organizations struggle with proprietary software packages that took months if not years for upgrades and bug fixes, while paying a demanding annual maintenance fees (33% of list charge means you’re buying the entire software package again every 3 years). In a world where the enabling data and analytic technologies are changing nearly daily, technological and architecture agility (at scale) and independence is mandatory for organizations looking to win the considerable AI War.
#3 Mastery of colossal DataEveryone knows about the astounding growth of colossal data over the ultimate decade as organizations focused on capturing detailed customer, product, operational and market data. Initially fueled by commerce, web and companionable media data, colossal data has accelerated with the growth of video, wearables, and the Internet of Things. (See pattern 2).
However, organizations occupy struggled to monetize this wealth of data. Enter ersatz intelligence.
Figure 2: Fueling the Insatiable Appetite for Data
More Data = Better AI. ersatz intelligence can exploit massive data sets to identify patterns on a scale that flummox traditional commerce Intelligence “slice and dice” and query technologies. Data is the food that feeds AI. The more data the AI models consume, the smarter AI gets. For example, Facebook is mastering facial recognition via its DeepFace abysmal Learning application by virtue of owning the world’s largest repository of photos.
To illustrate the symbiotic relationship between colossal data and AI, let’s peek at autonomous vehicles (AV). AV require vast quantities of data to feed the AV machine learning algorithms. It would buy tens of thousands of hours of real-world driving data across a variety of driving scenarios to educate cars how to navigate on their own. To address this data volume problem, AV companies are using the video game “Grand Theft Auto” to abet generate enough data in order to train Autonomous Vehicles (see “GTA is Teaching Self-Driving Cars How to Navigate Better in the actual World”).
Data Lake. Leading AI organizations are exploiting the data lake concept to not only store the growing wealth of structured and unstructured (internal and publicly-available) data, but to provide an elastic, scalable, self-provisioning data science platform for “collaborative value creation” in edifice the machine learning and ersatz intelligence models (see “Data Lake commerce Model Maturity Index” for more details on data lake commerce model maturation).
Exploiting the Economic Value of Data. Leading AI organizations realize that data and analytics are unlike any traditional corporate assets. Data and analytics are digital assets that never wear out, never deplete, and can live used simultaneously at near-zero marginal cost across an eternal commerce and operational expend cases. Understanding the just economic value of the organization’s data can abet to prioritize technology and commerce investments that accelerate value capture from these data sources (see University of San Francisco research paper “Determining the Economic Value of Data” for more details).
Conclusion: How to Become an AI WinnerAs has been discussed many times in my blog series, and explored in detail in my book, “Big Data MBA: Driving commerce Strategies with Data Science,” AI winners will ultimately live those organizations that are the most efficient at leveraging data and analytics to power their commerce models (see pattern 3).
Figure 3: How efficient Is Your Organization at Leveraging Data and Analytics to Power Your commerce Models?
Ultimately, AI winners will master three key characteristics:
So in conclusion, let’s occupy some fun with this blog and believe outside of the box about some hypothetical scenarios in which companies exploit this AI gold rush:
As the world prepares for the impending considerable AI war, now is not the time for organizations to live diffident or to cling to old, outdated commerce models.
Fortune Favors the Brave.
Figure 1: ScoopNest “2017 global market capitalization leader board: tech is 40% of top 20 companies and 100% of top 5” and Consultancy UK “Market capitalisation of world’s 100 biggest companies hits $17.4 trillion”
The post 3 Keys to Winning the considerable ersatz Intelligence (AI) War! appeared first on InFocus Blog | Dell EMC Services.
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2. The Up & Comers: Health and Auto are colossal progress areas for AI/ML due to the copious amount of data being created in those industries. For example, patient records house vital information related to disease identification and treatment. In Ontario alone, there are over 2.3 billion medical test results from 11.1 million Ontarians. On the other halt of the spectrum, automobiles are constantly generating slews of data — distance traveled, average speed, destination — that can live used for optimizing traffic, city planning and accident prevention. For AI/ML to live effectively implemented within the enterprise, it needs to live integrated into core conclusion making processes within a company; just peek at Facebook’s newsfeed algorithm and Uber’s surge pricing and route optimization system. AI/ML will supersede a lot of the grunt labor in the enterprise, freeing employee time for more value-add activities (e.g. Amy, x.ai’s robot assistant, who saves me from so many unnecessary emails when scheduling a meeting). Near-term opportunities in the enterprise are in data optimization, data search and messaging (think: commerce, payments and gaming), and you’ll likely survey this quickly penetrate areas such as Enterprise Optimization, Law, Security and Sales.
By Tyler Titherington
I am a restaurateur. I’m behind schedule. Again. Not because I am disorganized or occupy too much to do, more so because I occupy a hierarchy of tasks that are addressed based on priority. Guest needs are my first priority, staff needs are a nigh second and everything else last. There is a tertiary hierarchy in the ultimate basket as well. Some tasks with a lower priority descend through the cracks. Not because they are unimportant, but rather there just was not enough time. The veracity is that I am obsessively organized. I worship “To Do” lists, calendars, flood charts and the accomplishment of tasks. I ingest projects for breakfast, while vital on the edge of chaos and complete catastrophe. Short staffed? Yawn. Drains flooding? Been there, done that. POS system crash during service on a weekend? Bring it. I am the duck – smooth above water and feet affecting nonstop below. However, how achieve I manage faultless the curveballs and soundless manage to gain time without compromising any of my other priorities? It is very simple – accommodate and embrace technology wherever possible, specifically, cloud-based computing solutions that allow one to live in many places at one time. These applications simplify daily tasks for management teams and staff, which will ultimately leverage senior management down to focus on the bigger picture. Maybe even merit a day off…
Over the ultimate 10 years or so, the increased availability of cloud-based computing solutions (using network computers over the internet rather than property-based difficult drives) has been a major paradigm shift for many industries. However, as with most technological advances, the restaurant industry has been very behind to adapt. tight margins, resistance to change, and horrify of unknown outcomes occupy long driven the restaurateur’s decision-making process. However, with increased options, cheaper costs, and ease of use, that mindset is quickly becoming a thing of the past. Restaurant operators are tower to embrace cloud-based solutions for everything from Point of Sale and Tableside Payment to Menu Design and Scheduling.
Our foray into cloud computing began with an luckless set of circumstances that the entire industry was facing. The year was 2010 and the impending doom of PCI Compliance was upon us. At best, their network infrastructure was dated and they needed to act quickly to merit it into compliance. fancy most operators, their hand was forced and they had no choice. What is PCI Compliance? The retort depends on who you ask.
Your guests occupy never heard of it and occupy no conception what it is. Most restaurant operators will reiterate you that PCI Compliance is an almost unachievable set of network security standards designed to protect the credit card giants, who already suffuse them route too much for credit card processing and continually squeeze them with a plethora of monthly fees. The definition of PCI Compliance is below, according to PCI ComplianceGuide.org
“The Payment Card Industry Data Security criterion (PCI DSS) is a set of security standards designed to ensure that faultless companies that accept, process, store or transmit credit card information maintain a secure environment. The PCI Security Council Card focuses on improving payment account security throughout the transaction process. It is an independent corpse that was created by the major payment card brands (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, learn and JCB.).”[i]
PCI DSS is mandatory for any and faultless businesses that accept credit cards. It involves a process of assessment, remediation and reporting. Operators must identify network vulnerabilities, physical vulnerabilities, and operational vulnerabilities that could result in a credit card trespass and fix them. In summary, it is a painfully tedious, extremely time consuming, and potentially expensive process.
It is extremely primary for the security of their guest’s payment information, both for ensuring faith with their customers and limiting legal liabilities. In 2017-8, major retail stores including Home Depot, Macy’s, Sears, Kmart, Best Buy and Lord & Taylor made headlines across the country for data breaches possibly compromising customer’s credit card personal information. The restaurant industry is likewise plagued with security breaches, including big chains such as Darden (Cheddar’s), Panera Bread, Sonic and Arby’s. The number of customers whose credit card information may live compromised totals into the millions.[ii]
At Grafton Group, the process of obtaining Credit card security involved working directly with their IT vendor and POS vendor to achieve PCI compliance. The first order of commerce was to merit their network infrastructure in order. Some of the major network upgrades that they undertook were upgrading wiring, locking down patch panels, securitizing external ports, adding wireless access points (WAPs), and replacing firewalls. The WAPs and fresh firewalls were the heart of the upgrades and would ultimately allow us to operate unencumbered in the cloud. The fresh access points give their guests their own network and preclude them from accessing ours. The security firewalls preclude intrusions and likewise allow their IT vendor remote access so they can gain changes without actually being in the restaurant. What used to live a scheduled visit from their IT vendor that may occupy taken weeks, is now a simple email and can often live addressed online in minutes. In a nutshell, PCI DSS forced us to upgrade their network, which ultimately allowed us to operate in the cloud. This unintended outcome to a painful requirement was truly a blessing in camouflage and it pushed us into fresh territory – the cloud! Being in the cloud has allowed us access to exciting applications and services that would otherwise live unavailable to us.
IBM defines cloud computing as “the delivery of on-demand computing resources — everything from applications to data centers — over the internet on a pay-for-use basis.”[iii] For their purposes, these on claim computing resources primarily consist of “SaaS” or Software as a Service. Here are some of the areas where cloud computing can streamline their operation.Point of Sale
POS systems are the most inviting zone of cloud-based solutions for restaurant operators. Legacy systems such as Positouch, Micros, and Aloha are bulkier, more expensive, and much harder to program and implement. There are quite a few cloud-based POS options, most notably Boston-based Toast. Toast has done a considerable job streamlining and simplifying the interface for both front and back halt users. Management can access the system remotely for screen programming, troubleshooting or reviewing sales. It is extremely intuitive, fancy using a smartphone, thus needing very itsy-bitsy training. As wireless POS solutions evolve, legacy systems will eventually live phased out. It is only a matter of time.Tableside Payment
EMV (Europay, MasterCard and Visa) is another set of regulations that are coming to the restaurant industry. “EMV is a global criterion for cards equipped with computer chips and the technology used to authenticate chip-card transactions.”[iv] Used in Europe for years, the credit card never leaves the customer and faultless transactions are processed tableside with a handheld device. One example of an EMV compliant, cloud-based device for tableside payments that they at Grafton Group are currently analyzing and arrangement on implementing is Pay My Tab. Pay My Tab will fully integrate with their POS system and eliminates many bulky PCI DSS requirements. Many similar systems are already in expend at quick service operations, where guests and staff occupy easily adapted to them. In addition to tougher security, the implementation should lessen payment time, liquidate paper receipts (emailed instead) and simplify the process for management to search for specific receipts.
Reservations and Floor Management
There are a variety of solutions for reservations and floor management systems. Their solid has been using OpenTable for over 15 years, so when they rolled out their cloud-based system, GuestCenter, they were early adopters. This has been one of the unique best applications in terms of roll out, ease of use, and seamless integration. It is iPad-based and eliminates faultless the wiring and host stand actual estate. It is compatible to smart phones that allows for remote access, allowing management to check flood of service, identify unique reservations, and gain certain that waitlists are being managed appropriately. Soon to foster is an interface with POS systems that automatically applies any “guest notes” from GuestCenter to the server’s check, such as special occasions, etc. Most importantly, due to its intuitive design, their millennial hosts expend the system seamlessly.Private Event Management
Private events are the foundation of most complete service restaurant operations. They are the contrast between a grandiose week and a considerable week. However, it can live a very confusing process with faultless of the affecting parts. In order to tarry organized, they expend TripleSeat to manage leads, create BEOs and track their events calendar. The cloud-based event management system allows their Private Event Coordinators to respond at any given time from anywhere, giving them a leg up on the competition, giving them the break to merit fees for each event. Since their coordinators receive an administrative fee for each event, they delight in responding when available off-site; grandiose communication is key for making certain work-life equipoise is maintained.Bar at the Russell House Tavern in Cambridge, MA. Photo: graftongrouphospitality.com Inventory
An zone which the cloud has really saved their restaurants time is with food & beverage inventories. No more paper and no more transposing paper to spreadsheet. Inventories can live uploaded in actual time using a tablet, laptop or even a smart phone. BevSpot is used for both their food and beverage inventories. They occupy likewise given access to their accounting firm, in order to reduce bulky invoice scans and uploads. faultless information can live entered into the cloud and accessed by faultless of their approved users. It likewise allows for multiple people to buy inventory simultaneously. One person can live on the bar, another in the walk in fridge, and another in the liquor room, faultless at the same time. In addition to being a major time saver, it has helped Grafton Group to reduce sitting inventory by a significant amount across faultless properties.Scheduling
Staff scheduling is a weekly administrative headache for managers, but there are cloud-based scheduling applications that lessen the pain. They occupy organize HotSchedules to suitable their needs as it interfaces with their POS system and allows their solid to achieve some creative reporting in regards to budgeting and forecasting, as well as taking employees requests and requirements into consideration.Email and File Sharing
Grafton Group has foster a long route from sharing access to a desktop version of Outlook and toggling between accounts. They were able to liquidate their main server entirely and now they expend Office 365 for their email and file sharing needs. Not only is this highly securitized, it has redundancy so their information is always backed up. They access both their email and files from anywhere in the world. This has greatly improved productivity and allowed their management teams to communicate in actual time.Grafton Street in Cambridge, MA. Photo: graftongrouphospitality.com Computer Hardware
Our office hardware now consists of much less expensive “Network Computers”, which achieve not require expanded memory for giant programs, CD drives for downloading drivers, or expansion slots for extraneous drives. They can purchase more computers at a reduced cost and their managers no longer occupy to participate computer access in the office.Menu Design
For their menu design need, they occupy organize InDesign to live the most efficient program, which is allotment of the Adobe Creative Cloud. This program can now live selected a la carte from Adobe’s menu of programs and paid for on a month to month basis for under $20. This is much more palatable than paying $600 for the entire Adobe suite.
These are just a handful examples of how cloud computing has impacted their operations and ultimately saved time for their management team and staff. Ten seconds here, 5 minutes there, an hour tomorrow – it adds up to impactful chunks of time that can live better spent elsewhere. They occupy only scratched the surface as an industry – they will survey more and more options for cloud-based solutions to actual world restaurant problems. Although the solutions highlighted above create efficiency and save time, they achieve not serve guests and they don’t understand the knack of hospitality. It is imperative that as restaurateurs they continue to create a positive environment, embrace innovation, and engage and train their employees in the knack and skill of hospitality.
There are some things you will never occupy time for in the restaurant industry, regardless of cloud-based advancements. “Lunch”, for example, I occupy heard is a meal that takes situation in the middle of the day. For me, “lunch” is the sandwich that I ingest in 30 seconds somewhere between 2pm and 6pm standing over a trash can in the back of the kitchen. There is no technology for that…
PDF Version Available HereReferences [i] “PCI Compliance usher FAQ.” PCIComplianceGuide.Org. September, 2018. https://www.pcicomplianceguide.org/faq/#1. [ii] Green, D. and Hanbury, M. (Aug. 22, 2018). “If you shopped at these 16 stores in the ultimate year, your data might occupy been stolen.” https://www.businessinsider.com/data-breaches-2018-4 [iii] “What Is Cloud Computing?” IBM.com. September, 2018. https://www.ibm.com/cloud/learn/what-is-cloud-computing. [iv] Kossman, Sienna. ” 8 FAQs about EMV credit cards.” CreditCards.com. August 29, 2017. https://www.creditcards.com/credit-card-news/emv-faq-chip-cards-answers-1264.php. Tyler was born and raised in Portland, Maine and has lived in the Boston zone since attending Boston University. After graduating from the Boston University School of Hospitality Administration, Mr. Titherington operated a handful of bars and restaurants in Boston. He has been with Grafton Group since October 2007.
By Christopher Muller
In allotment 1 of this analysis of the restaurant delivery system they looked at the owner/operator models which soundless proffer some measure of control over charge and quality. This is lickety-split becoming an issue with the tower of the Ghost Kitchen where the ODP is an integral allotment of the equation. Here they present the larger challenges from the preponderant ODP control of the marketplace. It is grandiose to remember that most of the ODPs themselves are soundless looking to find profits in what they do, a suggestion that those profits will need to foster at the expense of the restaurant providers in one route or another.5. The Aggregator or On-Line Delivery Provider (ODP) – No Driver Fleet
If someone were to say, “Let me buy supervision of faultless of your delivery problems for a miniature gash of your revenues” many restaurant operators, especially those enthusiastic to merit into the market with the least amount of upfront investment, would jump at the chance. Enter the On-Line Delivery Provider with a commerce model built upon a brand denomination customer-facing APP, website or phone number and an vast amount of back office computing power to drive order volume.
At its core, to live successful the Aggregator needs to live a world-class matchmaker for food orders, with both a big customer database of users and a broad assortment of restaurant menus offered in major cities. fancy many of what MIT’s Bill Aulet calls an Innovation Driven Enterprise (IDE) the cost of customer acquisition is the key hurdle in entering this distribution channel. What it doesn’t need is its own fleet of employee delivery drivers. Capitalizing on the DIY gig economy, drivers are hired on a contractual basis, working as independent delivery agents with their own vehicles.
The barrier to lowering this towering cost of entry has favored early market entrants and big well-funded digital innovators. Worldwide, the fastest growing ODP is Uber Eats, the natural extension of car service provider, Uber, with its existing vast data ground of users, an ever expanding fleet of drivers, and the understanding for a driver that delivering food with an APP-based pre-payment system is considerably faster and easier than dealing with human passengers.
The upside for restaurant companies using an ODP such as Uber Eats, from those as preponderant as McDonalds or as miniature as the local pizzeria, is that there is no need to hire and train non-core employees. As touted by Uber Eats delivery service can inaugurate almost immediately upon signing up. The downside, that has a potential for long term impact, is two-fold. The fee structure for traditionally low margin restaurants can live between 20-30% of a menu particular price, leaving itsy-bitsy to cover remaining expenses. Worse though is that the restaurant gives away its brand and trade dress image to the company making the delivery to the front door. McDonalds hamburgers may live in the bag, but the denomination on the ordering APP and the uniform on the person handing it to the customer says Uber Eats.
6. The Consolidator – Bulk “Bus Stop”
As noted, the most expensive unique piece of the delivery confound is getting food from the restaurant to the front door, what is called “the ultimate mile.” One proven route to minimize that expense is to occupy the customer meet the food delivery at a central drop-off spot (see: Amazon ). A start-up, Yun Ban Bao, in fresh York City is taking advantage of ethnic Chinese food deserts through direct targeted marketing using the preponderant Chinese online service provider, WeChat. By doing so it is creating a captive delivery market with the advantage of pre-ordering and payment.
Taking online requests for delivery on the next commerce day, then consolidating orders using a bulk delivery model, Yun Ban Bao is lowering the cost of delivery while maintaining control with its own fleet of drivers. It advertises a data analytics service for smaller restaurants as well as being a revenue growth accelerator for restaurants in suburban locations which otherwise could not find fresh or broader market opportunities.
Using a pre-arranged group delivery network, often outside parks, office towers or apartment buildings, the system mirrors a bus route, not the more traditional taxi route model of one-on-one delivery. This likewise affords the network of restaurants a route to lower operating costs by controlling the production process in advance.7. The Aggregator ODP – Owned Fleet
Some of the largest ODP players started in the delivery commerce by controlling their own fleets of employee managed delivery drivers. The global leader, Just Eat, has used this model throughout the UK, Europe and worldwide. But it likewise has worked directly with restaurants who occupy their own in-house deliver fleets to create a broad partnership. Just ingest acts as the online ordering platform, but then allows the local branded company to live the countenance at the door.
The aptitude to present a standardized customer facing brand identity means that faith may live established with the customer directly. While this can foster at the risk of the restaurant losing its direct brand relationship, what Just ingest has been able to master is the collection of a vast customer database of its users. It has created a relationship with many of its restaurant partners to assist them in finding exemplar store locations, menu particular design and creative targeted pricing and promotions programs which would not otherwise live affordable or even available to smaller companies.
For these ODP companies, the costs for maintaining their own fleets or working as a hybrid with a local restaurant creates a higher operating expense, but these are often offset with a higher fee participate from both the restaurant and the consumer. It likewise creates a competitive advantage by edifice a broader network of restaurants to choose from for the customer, which builds long term loyalty and habitual purchase behaviors.
8. The ODP Aggregator – unlit Kitchens
One of the greatest threats to the bricks and mortar restaurant delivery partners is the emerging concept of a unlit Kitchen. This is a space created by an OPD to facilitate the lowest cost per delivery mile from restaurant kitchen to the highest density of users. While this is similar to the Cloud Kitchen model, in this case the OPD establishes a cluster of miniature dedicated but competitive restaurant kitchens in a unique site. A unlit Kitchen is likewise similar to the trending food hall concept, but comes with no direct customer interaction—no walk-in guest visits these production facilities. In the UK this was pioneered by Deliveroo with its urban RooBox or Editions concepts. colleague restaurants rent portable kitchen space from the delivery service and pay a larger percentage fee to cover the build-out costs for their space. Restaurants staff the kitchens at their own expense, as well.
Earlier this year, Grubhub invested $1 million in Green summit Group (see Ghost Kitchen in allotment I), a startup with nine virtual restaurants operating from a unique kitchen. DoorDash is renting extra space from the Santa Clara Fairgrounds in San Jose, Calif., and making it available to foodservice operators who want to create delivery-only options. In Los Angeles, Postmates leased a commissary kitchen space so its restaurants can reach fresh customers. And UberEATS is exploring the concept with Poke Café in Chicago — a virtual restaurant serving Hawaiian poke bowls.
“We can labor with existing restaurant partners to create delivery-only menus. (They would) loom as entirely fresh restaurants on the UberEats app,” Ambika Krishnamachar, UberEats product manager, said in an article on Mashable.
And again, while on its countenance this appears to live a positive break for independent or chain restaurants to lower costs or disaggregate the dine-in from the delivery production process, it is not cost free. In fact, as a logical progression would suggest, the OPD Deliveroo service has realized that the actual local restaurant in this mix is not a necessity for success. Instead by using its own “innovation fund” it will to depart directly into the restaurant commerce itself, creating “from scratch” concepts by working with luminary chefs and data mining information from its vast customer data base. 
As more of the OPDs peek to find profits to pass along to the aggressive investors who occupy funded rapid growth, they will inevitably peek to gash out the middleman and provide meals themselves to augment margins. The kitchen that may actually depart “dark” is the local one on the corner down the street in an independent restaurant.
This is undoubtedly both an inviting and a challenging time for the restaurant industry and the Online Delivery Providers who are feeding from it. Neither side seems to occupy figured out how to gain the fresh consumer claim for off-site delivery labor to their complete advantage.
It is impossible to believe that any restaurant can survive if it gives away up to 30% of its top line revenues when the average net profit is less than 10%. No amount of increased volume in sales will gain up for that. As Cameron Keng wrote in his column “Why Uber Eats Will ingest You Into Bankruptcy” in March, 2018:
Based on the average profit margins above, every restaurant that engages Uber Eats will lose money on every order they take. The more orders coming from Uber Eats, the more money a restaurant would lose.
At the same time, while it is difficult to merit exact information, it appears that almost zero of the largest On-Line Delivery Providers, in any of the described segments is actually showing a profit. Uber Eats is only profitable in 27 of its more than 100 urban markets, and while Deliveroo’s sales rose in 2017 to £277 million ($356 million), the company lost an astounding £185 million ($237 million). Yet Uber Eats is offering over $2 billion to purchase/merge with Deliveroo.
Finally, as Jonathan Maze wrote in his Bottom Line column in early October the restaurant industry is simply unprepared for what appears to live a tectonic shift in traditional restaurant segments, consumer behavior, labor utilization, actual Estate valuation and investor interest.
If delivery is the future of the restaurant business, the restaurant commerce as it is currently constructed is in trouble.
The service is growing rapidly. But it’s increasingly replacing existing restaurant commerce rather than taking commerce away from grocers or other food retailers. 
As they famous in the beginning, it took the lodging industry almost 20 years to inaugurate to gain this kindhearted of tectonic change and it is nowhere near complete. A few very big hotel companies, through merger and acquisition, occupy consolidated enough power to start the sail away from handing over faultless of their pricing to the OTA’s. In economic terms, hotel companies are trying to depart from being charge Takers to charge Setters.
At this early stage of the restaurant OPD’s domination of the delivery cycle, it is not transparent that any restaurant organization is big enough to fracture the fever, especially now that McDonald’s is partnering with Uber Eats. While it may loom that the On-line Delivery Provider is a restaurant’s partner, friend or even savior, it is zero of those. In fact, in order to become profitable the OPD is looking to become a direct competitor.
What is inevitable is that few restaurant companies, and certainly no independent operations, can survive the next two decades letting third parties decree what convenience and charge mean. In fact, this might live a grandiose time to merit out of the house and depart visit your favorite local restaurant. Sacrificing some convenience for a considerable sustain is a grandiose value and that restaurant may not live around the next time you want to interpret up.
PDF Version Available HereReferences  survey Bill Aulet, Disciplined Entrepreneurship,  The Financial, October 25, 2018, https://www.finchannel.com/~finchannel/business/76317-amazon-expands-grocery-delivery-and-pickup  Menqi Sun, WSJ, September 9, 2018, https://www.wsj.com/articles/how-to-get-food-delivered-from-your-favorite-faraway-restaurant-1536516000  See https://www.just-eat.com/  James Cook, commerce Insider, April 5, 2017, https://www.businessinsider.com/deliveroo-editions-pop-up-restaurants-roobox-2017-4  Tim York, The Packer, March 23, 2018, https://www.thepacker.com/article/rise-virtual-restaurant Sophie Witts, colossal Hospitality, May 21, 2018, https://www.bighospitality.co.uk/Article/2018/05/21/Deliveroo-to-create-own-restaurant-brands-using-5m-fund#  Cameron Keng, Forbes, March 26, 2018, https://www.forbes.com/sites/cameronkeng/2018/03/26/why-uber-eats-will-eat-you-into-bankruptcy/#778a3b0621f6  Ibid., DealBook, September 21, 2018  BBC News, October 1, 2018, https://www.bbc.com/news/business-45707700  Jonathan Maze, Restaurant commerce Online, October 17, 2018 https://www.restaurantbusinessonline.com/financing/delivery-could-force-changes-restaurant-business-model Christopher C. Muller is Professor of the practice of Hospitality Administration and former Dean of the School of Hospitality Administration at Boston University. Each year, he moderates the European Food Service Summit, a major conference for restaurant and supply executives. He holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Hobart College and two graduate degrees from Cornell University, including a Ph.D. in hospitality administration. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
By Christopher Muller
The entire restaurant industry, from the simplest quick service joint to the most complicated fine dining jewel, is caught in a veritable frenzy of delivery. It may be, unfortunately, a very risky path to travel for the uninitiated restaurant operation, but delivery is driving the investment community to a fever pitch.  They occupy entered into the time of the restaurant On-Line Delivery Provider (ODP) which mirrors in many ways the On-Line Travel Agent (OTA) which has so disrupted the lodging industry.
In two complimentary BHR articles here, they present a peek at the 8 different models of restaurant delivery and how they are affecting both senior management and customer choices.
A Quick Lesson From Pricing History
For observers of the global Hospitality Industry this should transmit up warning flags. In a galaxy far, far away, the Lodging industry managed revenues by using simple seasonal or impute pricing models (On-, Shoulder- and Off-Peak rates, or premiums for “A scope With A View”) and sold some limited excess inventory through a network of independent Travel Agents (at an onerous 10% commission!).
Then, as the Internet expanded, and the travel market imploded after the 9-11 tragedy, a fresh and exciting model emerged – the On-Line Travel Agent (OTA) acting as a third party aggregator appeared. Hotel companies willingly gave open access to faultless of their unsold scope inventory to the OTAs (Expedia, Travelocity, Priceline, Booking.com, Kayak, Trivago, etc.) to sell directly at abysmal discounts, often between 25 and 30% off posted Rack Rates. Occupancies rose, but average Daily Rates plummeted, and profits quickly diminished. Hotels, relying on the passe pricing models were caught competing “with themselves” and watched as formerly loyal customers switched their buying habits and loyalties to the OTA that gave them the best rate. Customers could scroll through pages of prices, often for the exact same scope in the same hotel, searching for the cheapest rate. Hotel rooms, instead of being unique destinations became interchangeable commodities.
It has taken almost twenty years, but through brand consolidation and a total system-wide transformation into a Revenue Management based pricing model, the hotel commerce has been transformed and the OTAs are being aggressively challenged for dominance. This should live a lesson for the restaurant owner/operator, the OTAs drove nothing but charge as a conclusion attribute, the ODPs are poised to achieve the same thing with both charge and convenience, unfortunately restaurants probably won’t occupy decades to recover.
Today’s Restaurant Delivery Frenzy –The tower of the ODP
Whether it’s the savvy but shape-shifting Millennial, the rapidly aging Baby Boomer, or the rising adolescent digital autochthonous from the i-Generation, it seems that customers in faultless shapes and sizes just want to occupy their meals brought to them at home, the office, or somewhere in between. Breaking the code of the delivery model—becoming the customer’s option of who serves up breakfast, lunch or dinner at home, labor or play—has emerged as the Holy Grail of the foodservice business. But it may live more fancy the other mythic unlit Ages metaphor, the Plague, potentially killing upwards of 30% of existing restaurant units.
So, what exactly is “delivery” today, how did it evolve into such a big, expanding component of the restaurant offering and what are the implications going forward for the industry? Just how achieve the On-Line Delivery Providers, the ODP, dominate the market?
We can inaugurate by agreeing that delivery is a discrete and rapidly growing distribution channel, although it has been around in one configuration or another for a very long time. And while not exactly a fresh technology, nor necessarily a profitable one, the exploding market for the delivery of food is poised for an inevitable shudder out as it quickly approaches a age facet consolidation.
In late 2018 delivery is faultless about instant gratification, not just for the diner but some would imply for the restaurant as well. At first glance, it faultless feels so simple and easy. But fancy so much in restaurant management, there is more than one route to merit something done, even the simplest of things.
Emerging Key Success Factors
Like so many emerging commerce models in the on-line digital age, food delivery is developing its own metrics and factors to live considered and mastered. While soundless evolving, among these now are:
Delivery of food, especially from a restaurant to a consumer, has become a multi-billion dollar segment of the industry. Some are predicting that it will overtake the traditional dine-in segment completely within a decade, although the complexity of getting it perquisite and turning a profit while doing so, can soundless live elusive even for the largest players. And of course, no one should forget that Amazon is over in the corner waiting to survey how things evolve in an online delivery world they basically invented.
Traditional and Controlled
As noted, the delivery of food from a restaurant directly to a local customer is not a fresh conception although traditionally the customer came to the restaurant and picked up or carried out their food order. Both delivery and carry-out were best suited to a restaurant with a simple, easily transported menu. Where a significant amount of the value of the meal was the dining sustain and table service, meals to depart were often comprised of a package of leftovers or the long gone term “doggie bags.”
Here is a peek at four models with some measure of control for restaurant owners and operators over the character and profitability of their offerings.
1. The Independent – One Shot
As a service provider a restaurant may rule that in order to meet the needs of its local customer ground it should provide a delivery option. At one time, only a few restaurants in an urban core would occupy delivery offers and these might typically live delicatessens or Chinese restaurants with few seats and a very stalwart focus on offering takeout options. The food can live cooked, boxed, wrapped and brought quickly to an office or apartment within a few blocks on foot or by bicycle.
This model is the most basic – a caller, the kitchen, and an employee bringing inflamed food directly to the customer. The restaurant controls the quality, manages the relationship with the diner and absorbs the complete cost and faultless the revenues. It typically comes with higher operating costs for labor (primarily from an in-house paid delivery driver fleet) and with premium rent from the need for an attractive customer-facing retail space. On the plus side, faultless local customer information may live controlled by the restaurant and there are no fees to participate with an outside third-party service.
But as the independent operator reaches for the brass ring on the delivery merry-go-round, they likewise need to live heedful not to lose their grip on their existing ride. A fresh distribution channel can live much more challenging that just taking a customer order. As famous by Jennifer Marston:
…restaurants are under pressure to adapt…More and more, that means altering the physical restaurant space so it can better accommodate this influx of fresh orders. Extra meals require extra bodies to cook and package the food, after all, not to mention extra space for third-party devices, and somewhere to build completed orders waiting to live picked up by a delivery driver.
An inviting twist on this unique restaurant model of trying to find a route to both control and expand the delivery system while maintaining some measure of profitability is one recently proposed in the restaurant trade magazine Restaurant commerce Online:
He (CMO Nabeel Alamgir) explained that Bareburger is already striving to transfigure customers ordering through third parties’ apps into users of the chain’s own channels. Patrons of an Uber Eats or Postmates might live offered a 10% discount on their next order if it’s placed through Bareburger’s website. The chain can afford a discount that abysmal because the financial repercussion is soundless less than the 20% or 30% discount an outside service typically charges.
Alamgir famous at the start of the panel’s presentation that a service started by restaurants for restaurants would occupy been an attractive alternative to some of the third-party giants. “Let’s gain their own platform. Let’s gain their own Grubhub,” he said.
2. The Cloud Kitchen – A Hub & Spoke System
It can live argued that today’s focused delivery channel began in earnest when Domino’s offered up a “30 Minute or Free” guarantee in 1973. In order to gain this guarantee effective, the company created a hub and spoke system, in consequence edifice a sequence of franchised units in low cost locations. They were characterized by being geographically market-centered but with no need for a “High Street” customer facing address. This was directly in contrast to the overwhelming market advantage owned by Pizza Hut and its network of “Red Roof” complete service pizzerias with their focus on dine-in and takeout service. But the competitive advantage that came from having units with no dine-in, limited customer carry-out, and which were serviced by a central commissary set in motion the shift away from the traditional eat-in model.
“The reality is, when the red roof restaurant was created, the conception of delivery wasn’t allotment of the concept,” said Pizza Hut chief executive David Gibbs, a 26-year veteran at parent company Yum Brands…”so in many cases, their commerce has outgrown the capabilities of those restaurants…”
Now, four decades later Domino’s is the world leader in delivery, pizza or otherwise. It has done this by controlling the entire process or what is called the “full stack” in the delivery cycle. Now describing itself as an IT and logistics company that sells pizza, the backbone of the system is that they control the customer ordering process, the production character process, and through a vast franchise network the delivery process.
Next to come, using fresh GPS and AI technologies, Domino’s predicts that it will live able to gain deliveries not just to a formal edifice address, but to anywhere a customer can live located by tracking their cellphone, even if that is a park bench or a blanket on the beach.
But Domino’s is not the only leader to live expanding its Cloud Kitchen delivery system. Already designed on a commissary production system model, giant lickety-split casual leader, Panera Bread, tested delivery in Boston and then announced an expansion across the United States in early May, 2018 with a system based upon using its own delivery drivers.  Following the trend in October the largest chicken sandwich chain, Chick-fil-A, announced it was tower to test the hub and spoke model of delivery in Nashville, TN and Louisville, KY.
Chick-fil-A is opening two fresh restaurants that don’t occupy something you commonly associate with the chain: seats.
Chick-fil-A, the Atlanta-based chicken sandwich chain, is testing catering and delivery locations in Nashville and Louisville, Ky., that will open this month.
The locations, according to an announcement on the chain’s website, occupy no dining rooms or drive thru’s and are designed to live hubs for catering and delivery orders. The restaurants will not accept cash, either.
The Cloud Kitchen model can live very efficient for restaurant companies with big enough scale, whether in a unique city or across a region, to buy advantage of a unique production kitchen site with remote staging kitchens. Ultimately the “full stack” control from order to front door can foster from as few as three restaurants or as many as 3000. This likewise means that the foundation is laid for vast proprietary customer data collection and eventually data mining by the most forward-looking operators.
It can live argued that the Food Truck movement of the past decade is a subset of the Cloud Kitchen model. By most local health code laws, food trucks must occupy a “home kitchen” or commissary for their bulk production that meets faultless health and sanitation code requirements. In many urban centers, to be successful a food truck company needs to occupy multiple trucks on the road acting as a distribution network. While this is likewise a classic Hub & Spoke model, it comes with similarities to a model in the next article, #6 The Consolidator, with distribution on a bus quit route and not a one-to-one ultimate mile taxi route.
3. The Ghost Kitchen
One further refinement of the Cloud Kitchen is the Ghost Kitchen. As delivery becomes more of a threat to the traditional dine-in restaurant option, some imply that this model, in fact, is the future of restaurants—basically a highly efficient hybrid of menu concepts, specialized production and logistics, and low labor cost with no eat-in customers.
In that way, this model is identified by three key components.
First, it removes the dining scope or takeout from the restaurant completely, working out of a kitchen whose location is based on nearness to its core customer market yet in a typically low rent out-of-the-way space.
Second, it does not hire any paid employees to deliver, instead making expend (through partnership or agreement) of the many third-party delivery companies fancy GrubHub, Postmates or Doordash.
Third, and possibly the most important, because of the flexibility of only needing an APP, website or traditional telephone ordering system, more than one cuisine can live produced in the same kitchen space. light to prepare, cook and deliver foods such as salads, sandwiches, Asian and other ethnic dishes, or gourmet pizza can faultless live offered while cross-utilizing similar ingredients in creative menu offerings.
This can best live described as an “order only” restaurant. The most prominent or well-known of these Ghost Kitchens would live Green summit (see transition to #8 unlit Kitchen in allotment 2). While garnering a grandiose amount of press, the luminary chef David Chang’s Maple, closed its operation in 2017 with some assets affecting to London and the delivery company Deliveroo. Chef Chang sold the physical kitchen space, Ando, to Uber Eats after ceasing operations in January, 2018. 
Because no customer ever sets foot through the front door the owners can build faultless of their investment in kitchen apparatus and the technology of ordering. A Ghost Kitchen offers customers big menu choices, and just as its cousin the Cloud Kitchen, has the option to maintain track of its own proprietary customer data set through the direct ordering process. The tradeoff is that ownership sacrifices the customer interface at delivery of the Cloud Kitchen model. Operating and start-up costs are low and efficiency can live very high. The risk is that a big portion of the margin (sometimes up to 30%) from market-driven menu prices is taken by the delivery partnership, who likewise control the brand image when customers receive their orders off-site.4. Virtual Restaurants
Along with disrupting the taxi business, Uber Eats is about to globally disrupt the restaurant delivery business. As of October, 2018, Uber Eats had over 1600 “virtual restaurants” around the globe, with almost 1000 in its US partnership portfolio. The majority of these are not the Cloud or unlit Kitchen models mentioned above, but are existing restaurants with fresh brands that only exist through Uber Eats. This model, while charging very towering fees to the restaurant, allows them to technically not compete with themselves in the home delivery marketplace. Uber Eats gains more menus to offer, and limits any need for an investment in a commissary space.
For SushiYaa, Kim says the virtual restaurant concept has been transformative. “Because this concept worked so well for us, they actually changed one of their restaurants from a sushi buffet concept to a regular restaurant with 8 different virtual restaurant brands inside it. The buffet sales weren’t doing so well and the delivery side was doing better, so they thought — let’s change it completely so we’re focused more on delivery.” From a sales standpoint, he says it’s “almost as if they occupy another restaurant without paying additional rent and labor, even though [Uber Eats] takes about 30 percent.”
One other sort of Virtual Kitchen involves the licensing of existing restaurant recipes and menu items in a curated virtual model. The start-up concept grandiose Uncle is using this to compete in the university meal arrangement segment, offering a reach of pricing options for higher character prepared meals, delivered by their own delivery fleet using the bus quit common drop off method. This is a limited menu, limited target market, which benefits from a direct marketing approach, lower operating costs, and uses both a subscription and premium fee based pricing system. It is a Virtual Kitchen because there is no restaurant or other customer facing facility, it exists only online.
Part One – Conclusions
Delivery models, some traditional, some evolving, proffer many opportunities for restaurant operators, especially those in the QSR and lickety-split Casual segments, where quicken and charge and convenience are the drivers of consumer choice.
The challenge in today’s delivery market is how owners and operators can maintain both towering character and long-term profitability in the products/services they offer. For many meals, the time and distance from kitchen to table can live more than 30 minutes or multiple miles. character of presentation and flavor may quickly diminish. More importantly, where the medium annual profitability for restaurants across faultless segments in the USA is considerably less than 10%, losing up to 30% of top line revenues is not a path to a successful future, (even if total sales augment by 20%).
PDF Version Available HereReferences  Heather Haddon and Julie Jargon, The Wall Street Journal online, October 24, 2018, https://www.wsj.com/articles/investors-are-craving-food-delivery-companies-1540375578?mod=cx_picks&cx_navSource=cx_picks&cx_tag=contextual&cx_artPos=4#cxrecs_s  Liam Proud, DealBook, NYTimes, September 21, 2018, https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/21/business/dealbook/uber-eats-deliveroo.html  Jennifer Marston, The Spoon, July 31, 2018, https://thespoon.tech/delivery-is-making-these-restaurants-literally-redesign-the-way-they-do-business/  Peter Romeo, Restaurant commerce Online, Oct. 19, 2018 https://www.restaurantbusinessonline.com/operations/3-big-changes-looming-restaurants  Karen Robinson-Jabos, Dallas News, Jan 6, 2016. https://www.dallasnews.com/business/business/2016/01/06/pizza-hut-is-ditching-the-iconic-red-roof-for-a-more-modern-look  Janelle Nanos, Boston Globe, May 7, 2018, https://www.bostonglobe.com/business/2018/05/07/panera-expanding-its-delivery-service-cities/sZg4pO0yTw9cEdYpv514tL/story.html?event=event12  Jonathan Maze, Restaurant commerce Online, Oct. 09, 2018 https://www.restaurantbusinessonline.com/financing/chick-fil-opening-new-delivery-focused-prototype  Neal Ungerleider, 01.20.17 lickety-split Company https://www.fastcompany.com/3064075/hold-the-storefront-how-delivery-only-ghost-restaurants-are-changing-take-out  Closing announcement from Maple, May 8, 2017 https://maple.com/letter/  Whitney Filloon, Eater, October 24, 2018, www.eater.com/2018/10/24/18018334/uber-eats-virtual-restaurants  survey the online Audiopedia site https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKO5JFbqKTA  Ibid, Eater, October 24, 2018  survey https://www.gooduncle.com/ Christopher C. Muller is Professor of the practice of Hospitality Administration and former Dean of the School of Hospitality Administration at Boston University. Each year, he moderates the European Food Service Summit, a major conference for restaurant and supply executives. He holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Hobart College and two graduate degrees from Cornell University, including a Ph.D. in hospitality administration. Email: email@example.com
By Makarand Mody and Monica Gomez
For a long time, the hotel industry did not reckon Airbnb a threat. Both the industry and Airbnb claimed they were serving different markets and had different underlying commerce models. Over the years, as Airbnb become more successful and grown to being larger than the companies in the hotel industry, the rhetoric has changed. The hotel industry began to realize they had something to worry about.
A stage of denial was followed by the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) attacking Airbnb by sponsoring research to demonstrate its negative impacts on the economy and lobbying governments to impose taxes and regulations on homesharing. The association is arguing for a level playing province between homesharing and hotels (and rightly so). The next stage of this battle involves competition and integration. Not only are hotels looking to add homesharing-like attributes and experiences to their properties, to more effectively compete with Airbnb, but are likewise looking to tap into the platform-based commerce model that underlies Airbnb’s success.
The Past: How does Airbnb repercussion the hotel industry?
Airbnb’s disruption of the hotel industry is significant, both existentially and economically. A recent study by Dogru, Mody, and Suess (2018) organize that a 1% growth in Airbnb supply across 10 key hotel markets in the U.S. between 2008 and 2017 caused hotel RevPAR to decease 0.02% across faultless segments. While these numbers may not loom substantial at first, given that Airbnb supply grew by over 100% year-on-year over this ten year epoch means that the “real” lessen in RevPAR was 2%, across hotel segments. Surprisingly, it was not just the economy but likewise the luxury hotel segment that was difficult hit by Airbnb supply increases, experiencing a 4% actual decline in RevPAR. The repercussion of Airbnb on ADR and occupancy was less severe. In Boston, RevPAR has decreased 2.5%, on average, over the ultimate ten years due to Airbnb supply increases. In 2016 alone, this 2.5% lessen in RevPAR amounted to $5.8 million in revenue lost by hotels to Airbnb. Brands that felt the repercussion the most were those in the midscale and luxury segments, with a lessen in RevPAR of 4.3% and 2.3% respectively. These supply increases are likewise fueling Airbnb taking an increasing participate of the accommodation market pie. For example, in fresh York City, Airbnb comprised 9.7% of accommodation demand, equaling approximately 8,000 rooms per night in Q1 2016 (Lane & Woodworth, 2016). As a whole, Airbnb’s accommodated claim made up nearly 3% of faultless traditional hotel claim in Q12016.
Buoyed by a growth rate of over 100% year on year, Airbnb now has over 4 million listings, with the U.S. being its largest market. The company likewise has significant scope to grow in other countries, particularly emerging markets in Africa and India. The company has elope into some competition in China, with local rivals Tujia and Xiaozhu. Also, within the U.S., the grandiose advice is that Airbnb will not grow at 100% indefinitely and will eventually plateau as it reaches a saturation point (Ting, 2017a). In view of this, the company has turned to alternative strategies to continue to augment supply. It is now targeting property developers to swirl entire buildings into potential Airbnb units, through its newest hotel-like brand, Niido. Currently, there are two Airbnb branded Niido buildings in Nashville, TN and Orlando, FL with over 300 units each and Airbnb plans to occupy as many as 14 home-sharing properties by 2020 (Zaleski, 2018). Niido works by encouraging tenants to list their units on Airbnb, with Airbnb and Niido taking 25% of the revenue generated. Airbnb has likewise clearly evolved from its original premise of “targeting a different market” to attracting segments traditionally targeted by hotels, such as the leisure family market, commerce travelers, and the upscale traveler, as evidenced through its latest offering, Airbnb Plus. These homes occupy been verified for quality, comfort, design, maintenance, and the amenities they offer. They likewise occupy light check in, premium internet access, and fully equipped kitchens. Their hosts are typically rated 4.8+, and depart above and beyond for their guests. Through Airbnb Experiences, travelers can partake in everything from the considerable outdoors—hiking and surfing—to “hidden” concerts and food and wine tours. In addition to these products, Airbnb has likewise “created” its own segments of travelers: novelty and sustain seekers who are looking for unique and unconventional accommodation fancy yurts, treehouses, and boats, faultless things that a traditional hotel company cannot provide.
The Present: Understanding what consumers want lies at the heart of the battle between hotels and Airbnb
There are larger societal trends that are impacting what consumers quest travel, and they believe this has implications for the Airbnb and hotel dynamic. These trends include:
What achieve these trends mean? They require marketers and sustain designers to re-think what the travel sustain means to the customer. The notion of the sustain economy was created by Pine and Gilmore in 1998, and included four dimensions: escapism, education, entertainment, and esthetic. Leveraging one, or ideally, more of these dimensions creates memorable experiences for customers, which in swirl results in brand loyalty. This dynamic has been fairly well-established in the academic literature. However, Airbnb has changed the game for the sustain economy by emphasizing the sharing lifestyle and a sense of community, cleverly incorporating the above highlighted trends into its communications with customers. Because of Airbnb popularity and success, six fresh dimensions occupy been incorporated into the sustain economy, in the context of the travel experience: personalization, communitas, localness, hospitableness, serendipity, and ethical consumerism, as was presented by Mody in 2016.
Interestingly, in a recent study by Mody and colleagues (Mody, Suess, & Lehto, 2017), the researchers organize that Airbnb outperformed hotels on faultless the dimensions of this new, expanded, accommodation experiencescape. Airbnb outperforms hotels in the personalization dimension because of its wide array of homes and locations, enabling genuine micro-segmentation and the “perfect match” between guest and host (Dolnicar, 2018). Moreover, no one home is similar to another, giving customers a unique sustain every time, enhancing the serendipity associated with an Airbnb stay. Airbnb elevates the sense of community that consumers seek, particularly when sharing space with other travelers and/or with the host, and allows consumers unparalleled access to “the local”—that café or cute itsy-bitsy store that only locals know about. However, there are areas where hotels hold their own. For example, the pathways between these dimensions and memorability were just as stalwart for hotels as for Airbnb, emphasizing the need for hotels to engage customers by leveraging the “right” dimensions for the brand—dimensions that align with the brand’s mission, story, and personality.
One such dimension where hotels accomplish just as well as Airbnb is hospitableness, as confirmed in a study by Mody, Suess, and Lehto (2018). More “investor units” on the Airbnb platform means that the host is often not present when guests arrive to the home; moreover, faultless communication is done electronically and with someone who “manages” the Airbnb unit and doesn’t necessarily own or live in it. In turn, hotels that leverage the human factor—the welcome of a friendly check-in agent, the helpfulness of the concierge, the warm greeting and genuine interaction between guest and food and beverage staff—create more positive emotions, which subsequently lead to higher brand loyalty. It is imperative that hotel brands really believe about the high-tech, towering finger sustain they are looking to provide, particularly in the golden age of brand proliferation that they live in.
From a non-experience standpoint, regulation is another bone of contention that merits nigh inspection. After years of denying that Airbnb was a competitor, in 2016, the American Hotel & Lodging Association first began an extensive lobbying exertion for the imposition of taxes and regulations on Airbnb that level the playing field. Over the ultimate brace of years, the voices of the hotel lobby and other community groups occupy translated into governments taking some action, in the U.S. and abroad. However, in a study of regulation across 12 European and American cities, Nieuwland and van Melik (2018) organize that governments occupy been fairly lenient towards short-term rentals with itsy-bitsy to no (meaningful) regulations thus far. Moreover, regulations occupy been designed to alleviate the negative externalities of Airbnb on neighborhoods and communities rather than to level the playing province between Airbnb and hotels. Another challenge with regulating the peer to peer economy has been enforcement. In fresh York City, under the Multiple Dwelling law, it is illegal for a unit to live rented out for less than 30 days unless the owner is present in the unit at the time the guest is renting. However, it is soundless workable to find “entire homes” on Airbnb in fresh York City, even though, in principle, these typically include homes where the host is not present during the guest’s stay. Moreover, Nieuwland and van Melik (2018) and Hajibaba and Dolnicar (2017) occupy organize that regulations attend to live very similar across cities, without accounting for the specificities of a particular location, which makes the process perfunctory and superficial. There likewise remains the danger of over-regulating Airbnb, given that there is soundless very itsy-bitsy information about efficient ways of regulating these innovations in the sharing economy, thus stifling their potential. Avoid over-regulation is critical, since Airbnb has significant welfare effects in the economy. In addition to stimulating travel to previously inaccessible markets, Airbnb likewise creates customer surplus (Farronato & Fradkin, 2018), an primary economic value measure. Moreover, other research has suggested that the average resident is not as negative towards the Airbnb as media rhetoric might imply (Mody, Suess, & Dogru, 2018). The need for a data-driven approach to Airbnb regulation remains paramount.
The Future: Competing with the sharing economy requires re-thinking the brand and the experience
While regulation is outside the control of the hotel industry, the brand and the customer sustain are not. They contend that these are the areas where hotel companies’ efforts need to live focused. Hotels need to re-think the brand promise, both for the parent brand as well as individual brands in the portfolio, and how it defines and shapes the guest experience. Recent research by Mody and Hanks (2018) indicates that while Airbnb leverages the authenticity of the travel experience—by enabling local experiences that provide a sense of self and sense of place, hotel brands that are perceived as being authentic—original, genuine, and sincere—can generate higher brand loyalty. Thus, while it’s difficult to compete with homesharing in terms of experiential authenticity, brand authenticity is a pillar on which hotels can build a stalwart foundation for loyal brand relationships. This is particularly primary because while Airbnb promotes experiential authenticity as a key reason to expend the brand, most travelers attend to tarry with the brand for much more functional requirements, such as space and charge (Chen & Xie, 2017; Dogru & Pekin, 2017)
There is no one definition for or manifestation of an “authentic” brand. It’s a perception, a feeling that consumers occupy about what you stand for. An genuine brand has at its core the brand promise, an genuine value proposition that gives consumers a raison d’etre for associating with the brand. However, what an genuine brand does require is efficient storytelling. A brand is perceived to live authentic, if it has an genuine yarn that feeds it. Brand stories can foster from many sources: a brand’s values, personality, heritage, uniqueness, or its quest and purpose. What is primary is telling compelling and coherent stories across the brand’s various touchpoints to engage consumers at a visceral, emotional level. Taking off industry blinders, and looking for inspiration outside the hotel industry, is critical. Tom’s Shoes is an excellent example of leveraging its quest—One for One—in creating a compelling brand story. As another example, in an industry typically focused on the in-store, “physical” experience, Burberry has set the gold criterion for authentic, digitally-led and emotive storytelling, by looking within and leveraging over 150 years of history (Watch the YouTube Video here). In this vein, they believe that Fairfield Inn and Suites’ return to “where it faultless began”—the Marriott family’s Fairfield Farm in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia— to craft the brand sustain of the future, from a design and communications standpoint, is an excellent example of leveraging authenticity and crafting a compelling brand vow (Ting, 2017b).
Another conception that lies at the heat of the brand vow is what they convoke the experiential value proposition, or EVP. For the longest time, hotel marketers occupy relied on the guest scope as the primary source of value for the guest. But believe about the ultimate time you traveled. Was it the prospect of the hotel scope that got you excited about your trip? Or was it everything that the hotel enables you to achieve – the sustain outside the guestroom? From experiencing knack and music in the lobby to its proximity to the must-do craft beer garden, hotel marketers must realize that it’s the complete package—what’s inside and outside the room—that customers expend as cues for making their conclusion to choose an accommodation. They convoke this proposition offered by the hotel—what’s inside and outside the guest room, enclosed within an sustain of hospitableness and a connection to humanity—its EVP. They present the EVP in pattern 1. The EVP mirrors the value paradigm of the modern traveler, something that must live reflected in the hotel brand’s sales, marketing and pricing and revenue management efforts. Thinking about a brand through the lens of the EVP paradigm has the power to re-orient the customer’s mindset from one of price-shopping to experience-shopping.
Figure 1. The Experiential Value Proposition Framework
How does a hotel marketer apply the EVP paradigm? Its application can open up many avenues. Hotels can start by rethinking the design of their primary digital channels, led by the website by adding more rich, vivid content that goes beyond the guestroom, in order to better integrate aspects of the wider hotel and local experience. The criterion Hotels serves as an excellent example (http://www.standardhotels.com/) Its website feels more fancy a local lifestyle and culture magazine than a digital media property “selling” a hotel room. The website’s moneyed images and stories draw the visitor into wanting to learn more about what the brand has to offer. While not every hotel can or would want to depart the criterion way, since the brand has its own discrete voice and personality, there is a case to live made for going beyond static images of beds in guestrooms, which attend to blend into one indistinguishable entire after a point, particularly on OTA websites. When was the ultimate time the image of a hotel bed excited you to want to tarry there? Yet, when you peek at the imagery build out by most hotels, this is what marketers soundless focus on.
Placing an emphasis on humanity and providing a sense of hospitableness can likewise enhance a brand’s EVP. Instead of technology replacing the human connection, the industry needs to peek for ways in which technology can actually free up employees so that they can spend their time crafting more personal and unique experiences, delighting guests instead of performing routine transactions. Moreover, if the human connection is what people quest out when traveling with Airbnb, why is it that hotel confirmation emails soundless merit sent out by automated systems that highlight the “facelessness” of the hotel entity. Why not expend that as an break to truly welcome the guest; a simple finger such as a welcome missive from the GM with his/her photo, or that of an employee who is “assigned” as “your personal host” during your tarry can depart a long route in emulating the human connection that the sharing economy enables.
The design of the hotel’s public spaces can live used to enhance the guest’s sustain of “communitas”. Ian Schrager would correspond (Schaal, 2017). After all, with much of Airbnb’s supply being dominated by investor units that provide itsy-bitsy or no host contact, what better an break for hotel brands to interpret that they are the original connectors of human beings? Sheraton has been sensible in incorporating some of these communal elements into its brand makeover by introducing productivity tables and studio spaces and a day-time coffee bar that transforms into a bar at night. In terms of another design element, Airbnb’s attractiveness to family and group travelers can live offset by offering connecting and/or multiple rooms for one price, with other sustain value-adds thrown in (as with the Marriott family scope connecting rooms package.
Finally, the role of the loyalty program cannot live emphasized enough. Loyalty programs must sail beyond programmatic levels to being able to leverage data from guest history, companionable media, and other marketing data sources, powered by predictive analytics, to personalize and individualize the guest sustain of the brand. In an age of instant gratification, the loyalty program has to live gamified to unlock value-adds and proffer creative bundling.
At the level of the hotel company, beyond the individual brand, the hotel industry has started participating in the home sharing commerce and is increasingly looking to integrate these platform commerce models. For example, while Accor purchased Onefinestay, Marriott has teamed up with Hostmaker to create Tribute Portfolio Homes, a partnership that was recently expanded to four European cities (Fox, 2018). From an organic brand progress standpoint, Accor’s newest Jo & Joe brand mimics the sharing economy within the confines of a traditional hotel space. Other, more innovative and bold ways of integrating the sharing economy ethos into a hotel could include offering an “Airbnb floor”, an antithesis to the club floor, one that would not proffer housekeeping and other hotel services and thus live offered at a lower price. With hotel brands becoming “branded marketplaces” for accommodation and not just hotel rooms, perhaps there is merit in listing hotel rooms on alternative accommodation platforms. HomeAway is already adding hotels to its platform through the Expedia Affiliate Network, while Airbnb is making a thrust for bed-and-breakfasts and boutique hotels. Homesharing providers hope that by adding these options to their listings, they will fulfill their goal of being “for everyone”, while allowing independent and boutique hotels to gather the benefits of branded distribution at a lower cost than traditional OTA brands.
In sum, hotels must adopt a sales, marketing, and revenue management approach that is both strategic and tactical.
At a strategic level, hotel brands need to re-think their story, and how they portray and fulfill their authenticity and brand promises. At a tactical level, it’s the sustain and value beyond the guestroom that must live factored into what is presented to current and potential guests, what they are charged for it, and how it is leverage to create “memorable memories” that lead to higher net promotor scores and brand loyalty. They present a graphical summary of the past, present, and future of Airbnb vs. hotels in pattern 2.
Figure 2. Summarizing the past, present and future of Airbnb vs. hotels
PDF Version Available HereReferences Chen, Y., & Xie, K. (2017). Consumer valuation of Airbnb listings: a hedonic pricing approach. International Journal of concomitant Hospitality Management, 29(9), 2405–2424. http://doi.org/10.1108/IJCHM-10-2016-0606 Dogru, T., Mody, M., & Suess, C. (2018). Adding evidence to the debate: Quantifying Airbnb’s disruptive repercussion on ten key hotel markets. Dogru, T., & Pekin, O. (2017). What achieve guests value most in Airbnb accommodations? An application of the hedonic pricing approach. Boston Hospitality Review. Dolnicar, S. (2018). Unique Features of Peer-to-Peer Accommodation Networks. In S. Dolnicar (Ed.), Peer-to-Peer Accommodation Networks: Pushing the boundaries (pp. 1–14). Oxford: Goodfellow Publishers Ltd. Farronato, C., & Fradkin, A. (2018). The Welfare Effects of Peer Entry in the Accommodation Market: The Case of Airbnb. Fox, J. (2018). Marriott expands homesharing program in Europe. Hotel Management. Retrieved from https://www.hotelmanagement.net/own/marriott-expands-homesharing-program-to-3-european-cities Hajibaba, H., & Dolnicar, S. (2017). Regulatory Reactions Around the World. In S. Dolnicar (Ed.), Peer-to-Peer Accommodation Networks: Pushing the boundaries (pp. 120–136). Oxford: Goodfellow Publishers Ltd. Lane, J., & Woodworth, M. (2016). The Sharing Economy Checks In: An Analysis of Airbnb in the United States. Retrieved from http://www.cbrehotels.com/EN/Research/Pages/An-Analysis-of-Airbnb-in-the-United-States.aspx Mody, M. A., Suess, C., & Lehto, X. (2017). The accommodation experiencescape: a comparative assessment of hotels and Airbnb. International Journal of concomitant Hospitality Management, 29(9), 2377–2404. http://doi.org/10.1108/IJCHM-09-2016-0501 Mody, M., & Hanks, L. (2018). Parallel pathways to brand loyalty: Mapping the consequences of genuine consumption experiences for hotels and Airbnb. Mody, M., Suess, C., & Dogru, T. (2018). Not in my backyard? Is the anti-Airbnb discourse truly warranted? Annals of Tourism Research. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.annals.2018.05.004 Mody, M., Suess, C., & Lehto, X. (2018). Going back to its roots : Can hospitableness provide hotels competitive advantage over the sharing economy ? International Journal of Hospitality Management. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijhm.2018.05.017 Nieuwland, S., & van Melik, R. (2018). Regulating Airbnb: how cities deal with perceived negative externalities of short-term rentals. Current Issues in Tourism, 0(0), 1–15. http://doi.org/10.1080/13683500.2018.1504899 Schaal, D. (2017). Ian Schrager Calls Out Hotel Industry’s Airbnb Strategy as Misguided. Skift. Retrieved from https://skift.com/2017/12/08/ian-schrager-calls-out-hotel-industrys-airbnb-strategy-as-misguided/ Ting, D. (2017a). Airbnb Growth yarn Has a Plot Twist — A Saturation Point. Skift. Retrieved from https://skift.com/2017/11/15/airbnb-growth-story-has-a-plot-twist-a-saturation-point/ Ting, D. (2017b). Marriott and option buy Varied Approaches to Reviving Classic Midscale Brands. Skift. Zaleski, O. (2018). Airbnb and Niido to Open as Many as 14 Home-Sharing Apartment Complexes by 2020. Retrieved from https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-08-14/airbnb-and-niido-to-open-as-many-as-14-home-sharing-apartment-complexes-by-2020 Makarand Mody, Ph.D. has a varied industry background. He has worked with Hyatt Hotels Corporation in Mumbai as a Trainer and as a character Analyst with India’s erstwhile premier airline, Kingfisher Airlines. His most recent experience has been in the market research industry, where he worked as a qualitative research specialist with India’s leading provider of market research and insights, IMRB International. Makarand’s research is based on different aspects of marketing and consumer behavior within the hospitality and tourism industries. He is published in leading journals in the field, including the International Journal of concomitant Hospitality Management, Tourism Management Perspectives, Tourism Analysis and the International Journal of Tourism Anthropology. His labor involves the extensive expend of inter and cross-disciplinary perspectives to understand hospitality and tourism phenomena. Makarand likewise serves as reviewer for several leading journals in the field. In descend 2015, he joined the faculty at the Boston University School of Hospitality Administration (SHA). He received his Ph.D. in Hospitality Management from Purdue University, and likewise holds a Master’s degree from the University of Strathclyde in Scotland. Monica Gomez is a graduate student in the School of Hospitality Administration at Boston University. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Tourism, Recreation, and Sport Management from the University of Florida and has held previous internship positions in hotel operations and event management. She is a member of the Hospitality Sales and Marketing International Association and is interested in hotel revenue management.
By Christian E. Hardigree, J.D.
Today’s hospitality conversations are rife with dialogue about sustainability, initiatives ranging from linen reuse programs, to donating toiletries, to auto dimming lights, to food sourcing, etc. Hospitality practitioners’ quest to define the ROI (return on investment) is often at foiled by a concept that includes intangible metrics and differing definitions of what “sustainability” really means. The oft-used “Triple Bottom Line – People, Planet, Profit” embodies the commonly agreed upon themes of sustainability, which include ensuring a robust environment, improving economic prosperity, and implementing companionable justice initiatives that ensure the well-being and character of life for current and future generations.
Companies struggle to determine what role they play in advancing and addressing companionable and global challenges while enhancing their brand, ensuring consumer loyalty, and expanding their market share. Many companies evaluate and refine their efforts for engaged brand activism, particularly through marketing, which they equipoise with efforts to implement higher standards for suppliers, better equality among workers, and maintain pricing competitive – falling in line with the general categories of most corporate companionable responsibility efforts: 1) environmental efforts; 2) philanthropy; 3) ethical labor practices; and 4) volunteering.The “Arms Race” of Corporate companionable Responsibility Reporting
For many companies, particularly in hospitality, corporate companionable responsibility (CSR) reporting has emerged as a key commerce approach to articulate the benefits to the company’s stakeholders through strategic initiatives. According to the Governance and Accountability Institute, sustainability reporting by S&P 500 companies increased from 19% in 2011 to 85% in 2017.[i]
Companies now appreciate the marketing value of CSR reporting, particularly as a mechanism to attract and retain customers. Increased societal pressure for greater regulation and transparency, coupled with research showing that consumers demonstrate a preference toward companies they perceive are more responsible, occupy resulted in a fresh “arms race” with companies are making operational decisions that are more tightly linked to ethical values, environmental stewardship, and respect for the human equity. They want to ensure those efforts are known to their stockholders, investors, and the public.
While many CSR disclosures are currently intentional in the United States, there are increasing requirements mandated by various statutes. Such mandates, commonplace in the European Union, are increasingly required in the United States. In particular, there is growing market claim for a more amenable and transparent corporate supply chain. Current statutory requirements reach from the Mandatory Reporting of Greenhouse Gases rule for big emitters of greenhouse gases to the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act of 2010 to ensure that big retailers and manufacturers provide consumers with information regarding their efforts to eradicate slavery and human trafficking from their supply chains.[ii] The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which impacted virtually every allotment of the US financial services industry likewise includes provisions for inevitable reporting on their exercise of due diligence in the source and chain of custody of inevitable minerals that are associated with armed conflicts in and around the Democratic Republic of the Congo, minerals that are associated with the manufacturing of devices such as cell phones, computers, and digital cameras.[iii] Most recently, the European Union’s sweeping Global Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) went into consequence May 25, 2018. Intended to give EU citizens greater control of their own, widely-define personal data, GDPR has far reaching implications for any company doing commerce with citizens of the EU. For the hospitality industry, fresh processes are required to live implemented to protect things fancy IP addresses and cookie data, similar to the protections currently provided to ensure privacy for addresses and companionable security numbers. In the three months prior to GDPR going into effect, it was estimated that 79% of companies were unprepared.[iv] The mandatory disclosure landscape is changing fast, and hospitality is challenged to maintain up.Not faultless Changes Are Mandated
As consumers are holding corporations accountable for effecting companionable change in their commerce practices and beliefs, ultimately impacting the bottom line, companies refine their sustainability initiatives as a result of public advocacy, stockholder proposals, or consumer feedback. A 2017 study by Cone Communications illustrated some key elements, including:[v]
To illustrate, on February 6, 2018, in a commitment associated with improved packaging in betterment of the planet, Dunkin’ Donuts announced it would facet out the expend of polystyrene foam cups by 2020 and supersede them with double-walled paper cups, estimated to occupy a net repercussion of eliminating over a billion cups annually from the dissipate stream.[vi] This was on the heels of McDonald’s announcing in January that it would facet out the expend of foam packaging in faultless global markets by the halt of 2018.[vii] Straws and stirrers gain up over 7% of plastic organize in the environment, an issue initially addressed (and banished) by George McKerrow, co-founder of the restaurant chain Ted’s Montana Grill, that has gained widespread attention as consumers are reminded that they expend 500 million straws a day, a practice that widely impacts wildlife and the oceans.[viii] Just this month, Bon Appétit announced they were banning plastic straws from their over 1000 café locations in 33 states.[ix] As cities fancy Miami and Malibu occupy banned unique expend straws (and in Malibu, banned faultless unique expend plastic utensils and stirrers), they find some municipalities are forcing hospitality businesses to incorporate sustainable practices.Avoid Greenwashing
As hospitality companies quest to out-promote each other, they would live well-advised to avoid greenwashing – today’s version of “snake oil”, more akin to “eco-fraud” – when a company holds itself out as more environmentally friendly than it actually is in practice. Clearly consumer preferences demonstrate an increasing trend for purchasing products and services that are sustainable – for their repercussion on the environment, in how they are manufactured, and/or how the workers are treated. Between 2009 and 2010, the number of “greener” products increased by 73%.[x] In order to capitalize on this trend, many brands are trying to competitively out-do each other with their eco-credentials – exaggerating their claims, or at times, completely manufacturing them. In legalese, greenwashing may amount to deceptive marketing, misrepresentation, and/or fraud.
In the “sins” of greenwashing, hospitality entities would live sensible to avoid vague, over-reaching, or unverifiable assertions. Hotels increasingly embolden their guests to embrace green practices – shut off lights, reuse towels, avoid changing the linen as frequently, etc. Research by faculty at Washington situation University organize that a perceived ulterior motive of a hotels’ environmental claims evoked consumer skepticism, which negatively influenced consumer’s intent to participate in the linen reuse program, as well as negatively effecting the consumers’ intent to revisit the hotel.[xi] At a time when as many as 79% of travelers correspond that eco-friendly practices is an primary factor in their option of lodging, companies risk losing valuable reiterate customers if their motives are self-serving. As a result, to avoid the negative aspects, hoteliers are cautioned to install comprehensive green programs, train their staff to implement practices, and ensure their green claims are accurate and not overreaching, perhaps through third party certification.For Goodness Sakes, Don’t Greenwash the Food
Greenwashing is of particular concern in today’s environment, particularly in the context of food. For example, in 2016, organic food sales jumped 8.4%, to over $43 billion, while overall food sales only increased 0.6%.[xii] Similarly, organic non-food items jumped 88% to $3.9 billion in sales. As restaurants and hotels are asked questions by their customers about the source of their products, facilities need to live awake of the claims they are making to ensure they are not overreaching or deceptive, as greenwashing has become the “flavor of the month” in consumer class litigation. Claims challenging products advertised as “natural” are the most frequent suits encountered.
While no definition of “natural” is provided by the FDA, food products in the US labeled as “natural” gain up roughly $40 billion in sales, and are growing by an average of 6.6% annually. According to Food Navigator, there were 20 food labeling class actions pending in federal court in 2008 – a number that rose to 425 by 2016. Cases that specifically focus on “natural” claims increased by 22% from 2016 to 2017, notably with suits against general Mills’ Nature Valley bars and Dr. Pepper Snapple’s Mott’s Apple Sauce. Of particular note is that three quarters of federal court food class actions are in four states: California (36%), fresh York (22%), Florida (12%), and Illinois (7%).[xiii] Many of the suits are rooted in claims that items such as towering fructose corn syrup, towering maltose corn syrup, soy flour, soy lecithin, and GMA yellow corn flour, as well as synthetically derived vitamins, are not “natural”, and thus such claims are fraudulent.[xiv] Overreaching statements can live a source of eroding consumer confidence, destroying customer loyalty, and/or litigation.Conclusion
Sustainability initiatives will continue to live an imperative allotment of a hospitality entities’ brand, evaluated by faultless stakeholders. In order to ensure consumer confidence, it is imperative that those initiatives live genuine in their implementation, supported by third party verification, and in alignment with the legal requirements of the jurisdiction. In doing so, their efforts in supporting the three E’s – environment, economic, and equity – their industry will collectively tower in to better the future for ourselves and for future generations.
PDF Version Available HereReferences [i] Retrieved May 30, 2018 from https://www.ga-institute.com/press-releases/article/flash-report-85-of-sp-500-indexR-companies-publish-sustainability-reports-in-2017.html [ii] 40 CFR allotment 9; and California Civil Code §1714.43 [iii] https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/PLAW-111publ203/pdf/PLAW-111publ203.pdf [iv] Retrieved April 6, 2018 from https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbestechcouncil/2018/03/27/u-s-businesses-cant-hide-from-gdpr/#33b76ef052c8 [v] Retrieved April 6, 2018 from http://www.conecomm.com/research-blog/2017-csr-study [vi] Retrieved April 16, 2018 from https://news.dunkindonuts.com/news/dunkin-donuts-to-eliminate-foam-cups-worldwide-in-2020 [vii] Retrieved April 16, 2018 from https://www.bizjournals.com/chicago/news/2018/01/10/mcdonalds-phasing-out-foam-packaging-this-year.html [viii] Retrieved May 30, 2018 from https://www.forbes.com/sites/megykarydes/2018/05/23/the-future-of-take-out-exhibit-how-we-can-eliminate-packaging-waste/#37a1213c7580 [ix] Retrieved May 31, 2018 from https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2018/05/31/615580695/last-straw-for-plastic-straws-cities-restaurants-move-to-toss-these-sippers [x] Retrieved April 6, 2018 configuration http://sinsofgreenwashing.com/index5349.pdf [xi] Rahman, I., Park, J., & Geng-qing Chi, C. (2015). “Consequences of “greenwashing”: Consumers’ reactions to hotels’ green initiatives”, International Journal of concomitant Hospitality Management, Vol. 27 Issue: 6, pp.1054-1081, https://doi.org/10.1108/IJCHM-04-2014-0202 [xii] Retrieved May 31, 2018 from https://www.foodbusinessnews.net/articles/9394-u-s-organic-food-sales-jump-more-than-8 [xiii] Retrieved May 31, 2018 from http://www.instituteforlegalreform.com/uploads/sites/1/TheFoodCourtPaper_Pages.pdf [xiv] Examples include Janney et al. v. general Mills, 3:12-cv-03919, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California; Rojas v. general Mills, Inc. 3:12-cv-05099, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California; Bohac v. general Mills, Inc., 3:12-cv-05280, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California; Van Atta v. general Mills, 1:12-cv-02815, U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado
As Founding Director and Professor of the Michael A. Leven School of Culinary Sustainability and Hospitality at Kennesaw situation University, Dr. Hardigree oversees the Bachelor of Science degree program which houses over 260 majors and services over 1500 students enrolled in classes each semester. Addressing both “sustainability on the plate” as well as “sustainability beyond the plate” in terms of water, dissipate and energy efficiencies, this highly pertinent management program provides a competitive advantage and discernible point of differentiation as the epicenter for teaching, research and best practices in sustainable culinary and hospitality management. The flexibility of the program’s curriculum allows students to emphasize careers in beverage management, event planning, specialized cuisines, and the hotel industry. Christian conducts research and presents nationally at industry conferences as related to her areas of expertise, including food safety, risk management, sustainability, workplace violence and employment/management issues. She is a national expert on bed bug litigation, speaking across the country on the subject. After obtaining her B.S., cum laude, from the William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration at UNLV, Christian obtained her Juris Doctorate from the Walter F. George School of Law at Mercer University, focusing on employment discrimination, arbitration/mediation, and labor management relations. She is of counsel with the law solid of Parnell & Associates. Christian serves on a variety of committees and advisory boards, including the ConServe Sustainability Advisory Council for the National Restaurant Association, the KSU Brian Jordan heart for Excellence and Professional progress at LakePoint Sporting Community, and formerly on the Women in Lodging Advisory Council for the American Hotel & Lodging Association.
By Martin Zsarnoczky
Digitalization is among the most primary changes in their rapidly evolving world. Digital innovations and technological novelties are engines of progress and interpret their repercussion everywhere, especially in the province of manufacturing, ICT and other service industries. Given the fact that tourism is based on the cooperation between a wide reach of services and products, the benefits of the digital revolution in the sector are quite obvious.
Our vital environment is a combination of online and offline spaces that co-exist together, defining their everyday habitat. In tourism, the special expend of spaces has always been a unique feature of the industry, and as of today, the spaces of the digital world occupy become allotment of it. The rapid progress of the digital world brings novel and innovative solutions into the digital tourism spaces by the day. Peer-to-peer communication is outstandingly primary in the technological environment of tourism. This sort of communication, together with the spreading of smart devices occupy revolutionized scheduling, administration and finances, and likewise opened fresh horizons for the introduction of innovative sales and marketing technologies in the entire tourism industry. As a result of the digital revolution, the international progress trends in tourism occupy opened the route for novel solutions fancy cloud-based booking sites or information and sustain sharing via digital platforms.
In line with the fresh trends of travelling, there is a dynamically growing claim for special tailor-made offers beyond mass tourism, as conscious consumers anticipate personalized solutions that retort their individual needs. As of today, the vast majority of tourism market stakeholders occupy access to detailed information on their consumers and can closely ensue and track consumer behavior and its changes. These novel systems of personalized products and services are available thanks to various supple follow-up techniques fancy CRM client databases. The cloud-based CRM client database systems – ones that create offers by analyzing previous sales records and demographic data – occupy evolved rapidly. As of today, they can dissect huge datasets by colossal data analysis and scaling methods in a cost efficient and anonymous way, searching for significant event points. Although colossal data research is based on working with big samples, it is the most efficient system to expose individual personal preferences (Stadler, 2015).How did sharing economy pave the route to personalized tourism services?
In previous decades, the results of digital progress occupy opened the door for the actual life implementation of shared economy theories. It was almost ten years ago that Chris Anderson (2009) introduced his pricing theory in digitalization, basically suggesting giving away products for free, based on the principle of shared goods and resources. Although at the time Anderson’s theory was considered as a technological solution, the principle of digital sharing occupy induced serious companionable changes as well. One of the most primary positive messages of shared economy is the maximum expend of resource capacities for the purpose of companionable well-being (Sundararajan, 2014). companionable well-being is likewise a key priority in tourism, because a well-managed tourism industry brings profit not only for the commerce operators but likewise for the local communities.
In the sharing economy model, the stakeholders – who are likewise consumers at the same time – proffer their excess capacities for collective expend in order to maximize the exploitation of their goods and resources. These economic processes consist of so-called hybrid transactions with maximum capacity expend (Hyde, 2007), for both commercial and companionable purposes. An primary drive in the evolution of collaborative consumption theory was the realization of the fact that using or possessing the same consumer goods can result in different advantages. The core ingredient of the model is that sellers proffer their excess capacities, while the consumers in need expend them in return for payment. In the sharing economy (based on the aforementioned primary idea), more and more industrial, commercial and service providers proffer innovative solutions.
The principle of sharing is not a fresh conception in the tourism industry. In the case of some accommodation services, seasonal charge reduction has always been a practice. Hostels and youth hotels occupy always been favorite – these facilities are often used as dormitories throughout the academic year and lease their rooms for backpackers in the summer season, when the students are away. Of course, these seasonal options would not occupy been enough for creating a fresh market sector; the dawn of the fresh commerce era was marked with the emergence of wide platform solutions fancy Airbnb, Booking.com, Agoda, etc.
In the strategy of digital platform tourism businesses, consumers are considered as partners in the commerce activities. This shared operation can live best defined as a postmodern commerce model. Although the complicated conception of postmodernism is quite difficult to describe, its main characteristics – shared participation and the subjective zeal of each contributor – can lead closer to understand the phenomenon. It is transparent that postmodernism will change some processes of the classic market laws in the near future. While “shared experience” has become a key marketing term for selling goods and services, specialized offers inevitably lead to a market fragmentation that will result in the fragmentation of users as well. In a disintegrated market, consumers will behave differently in fragmented times and spaces, paving the route for personalized services and tailor-made solutions. At the same time, individualism has become the key characteristics of the younger generations (McCrindle et al., 2009); a phenomenon that will occupy to live taken into account whilst creating commerce strategies. Due to the emergence of individualism, more and more adolescent people are trying to create something unique that can serve the long-term profit of the community. Their drive for creating businesses based on their own ideas and sustain accounts for the increasing popularity of start-up businesses. These aspects of uniqueness, community thinking and experience-centered approach hold a huge break for the future of the tourism industry.The Future: AI, VR/AR, Blockchain
While looking through their photos, tourists usually occupy a positive sustain remembering their travels, experiences and the destination they had visited. Some specialized digital technologies can proffer this assumed positive sustain in a searchable and changeable form. With regards to actual life objects, their connections and relations, there is only a limited amount of information available in a format that could live handled by computers. The main problem is that computers need sufficient coding solutions created by ersatz intelligence to live able to store, ply and organize information. The methods of coding for tourism sustain purposes finger the speed, efficiency and knowledge/experience-based computing abilities of today’s computers.
According to the forecasts of product progress strategies in various industries, almost faultless of their everyday objects and apparatus will live accessible through the internet in the future. As a result, faultless devices that are capable of two-way communication will belong in the framework of IoT (Internet of Things). The devices of the future, unlike the devices of today, will communicate in a bidirectional way, where robust safe data handling, personalized differentiation and sufficient conclusion management will live allotment of the user experience. As a result of the continuous data collection during the expend of these devices, faultless pertinent information will eventually halt up in a final centralized system at the top of the dataset.
Previously, tourism used to live an industry based on personal relations and connections, where the trends – and therefore travelers’ decisions – were set out by a limited number of big international tourism and travel enterprises. As a result of the digital revolution, the transparency of “hidden markets” had been revealed and numerous other factors occupy to live taken into account (Fig.1.).
The early progress of ICT resulted not only in the better capacity utilization of airlines, but likewise on the compatibility of the prices; and soon, the emergence of the discount airlines had led to the innovation of the entire industry and forced out efficiency in faultless segments. The novel travel recommendation sites (Expedia, Orbitz, Kayak, etc.) were created with the direct to gain travelers’ decisions easier; however at the same time, a lot of tourism service providers who could not maintain up with the fresh challenges were forced out of the market. Although the fresh trends fancy travel packages (including car rental) or taking into account the reviews of previous travelers (Lonely Planet) were from many aspects antithetical to the former commerce models, the rapidly increasing popularity of online offers required quick and user-friendly tourism product progress from the industry.
With the arrival of Google, which was able to rank the sites’ appearance in internet searches, a fierce competition begun between blogs, tourism recommendation sites and price-comparing OTA systems. The bidirectional communication started with the expend of cookies 2.0; since then, consumers occupy become an integral allotment of the commerce models, because businesses who quest to live successful in the long run, need to know their customers’ demands in detail. The progress of digital services require the identification of the user, information on their individual preferences and a decision-based calibration (by AI). In AI-based conclusion making solutions, the former determinative factors are replaced by a virtual personal assistant, which is able to map the consumer’s preferences based on their digital footprint, and create an optimal personalized proffer from the available colossal data systems (Fig. 2.)
The technological progress cannot live stopped; however, with sufficient flexibility and openness, tourism businesses can prepare for the upcoming challenges. In the tourism of the future, the fresh consumers will bring forth fresh priorities and fresh demands. As a revolutionary approach, the members of the IoP (Internet of People) community proffer their free time in order to reach joint IT/industrial goals, where frameworks are created in line with the preferences of other people, for a yet not specified consumer segment (Miranda et al., 2015). Beyond innovative technologies, entire fresh spaces occupy opened in tourism, completely different from the habitual destinations. University researchers occupy been carried out to study the possibilities of online tourism spaces and their opportunities for the tourism and hospitality industry. In virtual reality, with a special “glass”, the user can peek into an optional tourism space, from which the actual world is completely shut out. The Augmented reality is a different technological solution, where digital elements are projected into a actual life space.
The newest technological developments and the innovation in the expend of vital spaces are faultless connected to the alternative payment options that can live used in tourism as well. The emergence of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies has led to the creation of a novel payment system. The Blockchain payment system is a shared database, which records a continuously growing list of data blocks, preventing any counterfeiting or alteration of the data. One obstruct consist of a list of transactions and the results of computations made by the stored programs. For example, if a customer buys some cryptocurrency or any other kindhearted of currency, and then transfers it to anywhere in the world to another partner, who exchanges it instantly, both partners can avoid any loss caused by exchange rate fluctuations; furthermore, the entire transaction takes only minutes instead of the habitual brace of commerce days. This solution can denote a revolutionary innovative payment option for everyone in the tourism industry.
The applicability of the blockchain system is independent from currency rates. In the case of cryptocurrencies, it is not the exchange rate that really matters – instead, the just value of the currency lies in the safety of the blockchain technology and in the authentic, transparent, unalterable and decentralized recording system (Pilkington, 2016). This payment system offers a fresh level of encryption safety and intervention-free operation, and the data handled in the system cannot live modified in any way. Another huge profit of the system is that the transactions are realized without any intermediate agents, thus eliminating any additional transaction costs. By the time of the “maturity” of blockchain payment solutions, today’s big service intermediators fancy Airbnb, Booking.com, Agora, etc. are foreseen to lose some of their market positions, as consumers and service providers will probably deal with their transactions directly.Will ersatz Food live the next meal on the table?
With the worldwide population boom, the claim for food is likewise increasing. To satisfy this growing need for food, the extension of agricultural areas is required for food material production, and at the same time, sufficient land management is needed for animal husbandry. The greatest challenge of sustainable agriculture lies in the fact that the agricultural areas can only live further expanded at the expense of forested lands. In addition, the current changes in the environment has likewise led to the lessen of fishing possibilities, another vicissitude in the availability of food materials.
The decreasing resources of food materials will obligate the food production industry to re-think their former concepts. fresh technologies fancy 3D food printers can even bring the lickety-split food era to an end. The novel inventions of food production and food engineering – fancy artificially flavored drinks, chocolates and dairy products – occupy been on the market of more than a decade now, and so far, they occupy not had a negative consequence on the common smack of consumers.
In the concept of 3D food printing, popular sweets and delicacies are synthesized by a layered printing technology, using the various pre-mixed powders, flavorings, fixers and oils that are stored in the “toners” of the printer. These ersatz foods are already available: specialized franchise restaurants fancy the Food Ink chain proffer a wide variety of printed meals for consumers who are curious about the future of gastronomy. It is likewise likely that with the next generation of the food printers, they will live able to calibrate the nutritional values and energy content of the meals.
The 3D food printing technology is not only primary for HoReCa businesses, but holds a considerable break for the health industry, too, especially in the province of special diets and medication. Using 3D food printing for these purposes can augment cost-effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability, thus supporting the food industry and hospitality and tourism businesses alike.
The option of personalized 3D food printing is just one of the innovative technological solutions in the tourism and hospitality industry. The Henn-na Hotel  in Huis Ten Bosch, Japan is the first hotel in the world, where customers are served exclusively by robots. At another Asian location in China, there are 24/7 cafés that ensue the no-staff commerce model of Amazon Go. As for the restaurant market, the Chinese food brand Wufangzhai has recently opened the first unmanned restaurant in Hangzhou, capital city of east China’s Zhejiang Province.
The question is: how long will it buy until food production and consumption will need no human resources at all?Summary
For innovative enterprises, the efficiency of interactivity is of key significance for the success of their business. The rapid progress of ICT solutions has brought immense changes in the tourism industry. Previously, consumers’ conclusion making was mainly affected by the industrial environment. The era of digital tourism spaces – preceded by theme parks and thematic destinations – started with the emergence of information websites; however, this targeted information flood used to live one-directional with narrow choices. In today’s digital era, the fresh generation of commercial activities buy situation in VR or AR spaces, and the instant analysis of the customer’s reactions and behavior back the enhancement of their buying willingness. The traditional conclusion making processes are gradually being replaced with personalized offers, further increasing the significance of AI.
With the progress of shared economy, greater emphasis is build on companionable well-being, as user sustain slowly becomes more primary than ownership. This fresh approach is likewise expressed in novel forms of payment, which can seriously lessen the profits of intermediate activities. The fresh trends achieve not look to live problematic in the tourism industry, mostly because in this sector, the exact costs and incomes are not clearly visible yet. On the other hand, the character progress of the 3D printing technology holds a considerable break for the tourism and hospitality sector. The progress of digitalization has finally reached a level where it can truly back the cost-effectiveness and sustainability of industrial food production, paving the route to the future of tourism and hospitality businesses.
PDF Version Available HereReferences Anderson, C. (2009). Free: The Future of a Radical Price. Hyperion, fresh York. Hyde, L. (2007). The Gift: Creativity and the Artist in the Modern World. fresh York: Random House Inc. McCrindle, M. – Wolfinger, E. (2009). The ABC of XYZ: Understanding the Global Generations, University of fresh South Wales Press, Sidney. pp. 1-22. Miranda, J. – Mäkitalo, N. – Garcia-Alonso, J. – Beroccal, J. – Mikkonen, T. – Canal, C. – Murillo, M. J. (2015) From the Internet of Things to the Internet of People. IEEE Internet Computing, 19 (2): 40-47. Stadler, G. (2015). colossal data – tömeges adatelemzés gyorsan. HTE Medianet 2015, Kecskemét. LLX. pp. 44-48 Pilkington, M. (2016). Blockchain technology: priciples and applications. Research Handbook on Digital Transformation. Edward Elgar Publishing, Northampton, MA. pp. 225-253. Sundararajan, A. (2014). Peer-to-Peer Businesses and the Sharing (Collaborative) Economy: Overview, Economic Effects and Regulatory Issues. NYU heart for Urban Science and Progress, fresh York. Zsarnoczky, M. (2017a). How does ersatz Intelligence finger the Tourism Industry? Vadyba Journal of Management 31 (2): 85-90. Zsarnoczky, M. (2017b). The future of sustainable pastoral tourism development: the impacts of climate change. Annals of the Polish Association of Agricultural and Agribusiness Economists. XIX. (3): 337-344. Martin Zsarnoczky, Ph.D. has several years of sustain in the huge tourism and hospitality industry. He has worked with P&O Princess Cruises, Intercontinental and Marriott Hotels in Budapest. Between 2005 and 2015, he was the founder, developer and CEO of Casa de la Musica Hostel and Event’s Hall, one of the largest multifunctional private tourism & hospitality businesses in Budapest downtown. He holds a BSc degree in Tourism and Hospitality from the Budapest commerce School, and graduated at MSc/Med level as Teacher of Economics in Tourism and Hospitality. During his studies, he had spent short a term mobility epoch at Utwente University in the Netherlands, and later earned his Ph.D. in Regional Sciences at Szent Istvan University. At the moment, he is soundless very energetic as an entrepreneur and is actively involved in community development. He is likewise a board member of the Budapest Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and works as a mentor for the adolescent Entrepreneurs Association Hungary. With regards to his academic career, he is a complete time helper professor at the Institute of Marketing and Media at the Tourism Department of Corvinus University of Budapest.
By Leora Lanz and Namrata Sridhar
In the Winter 2018 edition of the Boston Hospitality Review, they brought forth suggestions for the 10 Best Practices for Organic Visibility —ways to better search results through organic search, or achieve not cost the company a monetary investment. Rather, these rankings were based on elements such as keywords, location, and mobile friendliness. Suggestions for improving a company’s organic search include utilization of backlinks, hyperlinks between websites, and content enhancement in relation to local listings such as ensuring quick website load speed, towering character imagery, and conspicuous links to companionable media channels.
This second installation of a two-part sequence will speak to the subject of search engine functionalities as a result of paid queries. For independent or smaller companies, this brief but powerful set of tips obtained from industry experts can enable a commerce to become more “searchable” for optimal return on investment.Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Best Practices: 1. Understand the Paid Media Landscape:
According to the Associate Director for Organic Search and Content Strategy at Boston-based Connelly Partners, Dan Hurley, the most primary allotment of SEM is to comprehend the paid media landscape. It is captious to know who one’s competitors truly are and understand how they are marketing, from a tactical standpoint.1 It is likewise primary to research the types of ad crusade structures that are surfacing in the category of interest, on both desktop and mobile devices. Then one must adopt those that loom efficient and suitable commerce goals appropriately. For restaurants and hotel-related queries, “this strategy is especially pertinent because these searches generally transfigure very quickly; mobile searchers will likely patronize a restaurant within a few hours.”
In order to live the most efficient with a company’s paid advertisements, Todd Philie, president of Southcoast Marketing Group in Wareham, MA, likewise encourages companies to learn how consumers are searching for them on the Internet. For example, “utilize the query search utensil via the Google AdWords™ platform to learn what terms and phrases are used to reach your own site and then parade your ads.”
Additionally, Kym Parker, associate search marketing director at Connelly Partners, emphasizes the significance of using the company’s brand to ensure a stalwart search presence. By utilizing paid search bids, a hotel or restaurant can live the first result a web surfer sees when conducting a search.2
“Sometimes, competitors will bid on your brand terms – which means that if someone searches for your company name, for example, the competitor could interpret up ahead of you in the search results,” Parker notes. “You can preclude this by ‘protecting’ your brand terms. Always live bidding on them, at least a itsy-bitsy bit, to ensure that you occupy a better casual of staying on top of the results when someone searches your denomination and other brand terms.”2: expend of Google AdWords™:
The major player in the world wide web is Google, which has created various platforms to optimize searching. Using keywords, Google users can pay to promote their advertisements for a set budget. This Google functionality allows a company (hotel or restaurant) to understand how it ranks in comparison to direct competitors.
Also maintain ‘negative keywords’ in mind, adds Philie. “Negative terms generally means terms that you are not specifically telling AdWords™ that you achieve not want to loom in specific results for other searches. For example, suppose you are marketing a seafood restaurant that does not proffer steak on its menu. You want to bid on the phrase ‘best restaurant in Boston’ but you achieve not want to dissipate money on clicks from customers who want steak. You might set ‘steak’ and ‘steakhouse’ as negative terms so that if someone searched ‘best steak restaurants in Boston” you achieve not interpret up in that search.
The Google AdWords™ functionality likewise offers companies the casual to enhance the listing. An incredibly important, yet often overlooked, input is the “click to call” functionality and its presence on a mobile site, likewise known as the convoke extension. “These additional factual details, known as “ad extensions” likewise include location, information from different pages on your website, and even testimonial reviews,” adds Seth Cargiuolo, director of communication strategy at Chestnut Hill, MA-based D50 Media. “Making expend of ad extensions is essential because it helps the customer learn more about the commerce with a quick glance pre-click, and can abet differentiate a hotel or restaurant (or any product) against its competitors.” Ad extensions likewise augment the visual footprint of an ad, which can thrust competitors’ ads and organic listings down the page and out of view, particularly on mobile devices.
For marketers just starting to utilize SEM and Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Google AdWords™ likewise offers free tutorials and trainings. Zachary Azar, D50 Media’s senior manager of paid search notes, “These tutorials provide clients with the break to merit the most out of the program and create efficient campaigns.”
To properly manage an efficient AdWords campaign, Google Analytics can live a helpful utensil as it reveals which content on a website is most useful and inviting to customers. This will abet in the creation of resonating ad copy and can likewise live a usher for aligning keyword selection and website copy to augment the “Quality Score” of an ad campaign.
However, Philie likewise cautions individuals not to live completely reliant on Google’s suggestions for keywords. “Often times, these keywords are pluralized and can reason companies to spend more or not live as effective.” He warns companies to choose how to build their key words “out there” when bidding. Companies must choose best matched keywords for their ads and choose between “exact match,” “phrase match,” “broad search” and “modified broad search” – faultless of which will yield varied returns. Campaigns should utilize a equipoise of faultless match types, but should “skew more heavily towards exact and phrase, utilizing broad match only for keyword prospecting and expansion opportunities.”3. Always Start with Non-Paid Efforts or SEO
When optimizing a company’s searches, Cargiuolo and Azar imply the first thing that the company should focus on is actually the SEO. First and foremost, it is primary to ensure that a website is user- and mobile-friendly. Another primary factor is a quick load speed. “Google has organize that sites that buy longer than three seconds to load lose 40% of their traffic, and for mobile traffic, that jumps to 53%,” reports Azar. This is primary for paid search as well; Cargiuolo adds, “It’d live atrocious enough for a user to abandon your page when it’s an organic search – but now imagine if you’d paid for that click and those dollars were totally wasted.”
In order to reduce the load speed, it is primary to not occupy “big” images—think kilobytes, not megabytes. Web copy should live concise and “bandwidth-hogging” scripts and plugins minimized. “Additionally, given that over half of web traffic is on mobile devices, ensure that pdfs (which you want to avoid anyway) peek acceptable on a smart phone too,” Cargiuolo says.
Kristin Metzler, Print and Web Marketing Coordinator of Frasca Design Group, likewise echoes that mastery of SEO is the first step in a successful digital marketing campaign. Websites built with a stalwart attention to keywords and content will minimize spending on pay-per-click campaigns.4. Don’t spend on Paid Search if You Can’t Afford It
Hurley cautions that one need not spend money on advertising to merit traffic. Because so much information is provided in the search results, there may not live any clicks on your page during the search process. Companies should never build any money into paid search, parade advertising or paid companionable that the company cannot afford to lose.3
Cargiuolo emphasizes that when a company starts advertising, it should not anticipate an immediate return,4 which is oftentimes an assumption that businesses make. Initially, many may not live chummy with the bidding process; keywords; or how to build, optimize, and manage an efficient campaign. live cautious not to spend money needed for other resources. Start behind and spend time learning before committing colossal budgets.
One final word of caution: There are easily incurred expenses that can foster from paid search marketing, such as additional costs from agencies that buy a portion of a monthly budget. Being conscious of your daily budget is captious in avoiding overspending.
When taking the steps to build a search campaign, it is captious to achieve research and sail slowly at the beginning. Understand how the market is reflected in consumer searches and what keywords are being utilized. Before jumping into methods that require payment, a company should ensure that its website is optimized for searches and never spend more than what can live budgeted, as it will buy time to survey a return on investment.
As Cargiuolo reminds, businesses must remember that Google serves the user first. Thus as the marketer, one must believe as a user would when edifice a paid search campaign. People foster to Google with questions. The marketer that best answers the user’s questions, both pre-click and post-click, is going to live one that is most successful.
PDF Version Available Here1 Inc. Staff. “How to Conduct Competitive Research.” Inc. Magazine. May 2010 2 Ratcliff, Christopher. “What is PPC and Why achieve You need it?” Econsultancy. 13 November 2013. 3 Kumar, A.J. “SEO vs PPC: Knowing Which is Better for Your Website.” Entrepreneur. Editorial. 21 May 2012 4 Steimle, Josh. “How Long Does SEO buy to Start Working?” Editorial. Forbes. 7 February 2015. Namrata Sridhar is a marketing communications coordinator at LHL Communications and a rising senior at Boston University’s School of Hospitality Administration (BU SHA). She has likewise previously worked in marketing communications capacities at RealFood Consulting where she helped design an internal marketing arrangement to rebrand their company. Namrata likewise serves as the President of the Student Government of BU SHA. She is an energetic member of the National Society of Minorities in Hospitality, the American Hotel and Lodging Association, and the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International. Leora Halpern Lanz, ISHC, is principal of LHL Communications, a hospitality-focused marketing communications, branding, and media relations advisory. She is likewise a complete time faculty member at Boston University’s School of Hospitality Administration (SHA), teaching advanced strategic marketing and digital marketing for hospitality at the undergraduate and graduate levels. She was named among the Top 25 Minds in Hotel Marketing for 2016 by the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International and was named 2017 Professor of the Year by the student government of SHA.
By Sarah AndersenAfter completing the senior capstone Hospitality Leadership course at Boston University, I had the casual to reflect on the class topics and apply the teachings to my personal life. The course explored several different levels of leadership, from the head of a major corporation role to developing self-leadership. I scholarly the significance of a mission, vision, and values in an organization, better understood the components of change management, and worked with a group throughout the semester to develop my teamwork skills. I was able to critically dissect concepts and models presented in leadership literature as well as better my own leadership skills. I then interviewed three prominent leaders in hospitality and organize connections between their industry insights and my leadership class discussions. Dan Donahue, President of Saunders Hotel Group, Len Wolman, Chairman and CEO of Waterford Hotel Group, and Geoff Ballotti, President and CEO of Wyndham Hotel Group kindly shared their experiences and explained their personal values and company’s culture, revealing the five keys to successful leadership.
“Leadership is the capacity totranslate vision into reality.”
-Warren G. BennisEstablishing Shared Beliefs, Values, and Goals
When an organization wants to achieve its goals, it needs a vision. Effective leadership starts with the aptitude to recognize and outline those goals and inspire others to follow. Leaders paint a picture of how that vision will finger the company as a whole, as well as each individual. A leader’s aptitude to articulate that vision into a mission statement corresponds to the energetic implementation of goals and the company’s bottom line success. A productive vision goes beyond a written organizational mission statement, but instead permeates throughout faultless levels of a company and manifests into actions and beliefs. John P. Kotter, author of commerce Leadership, writes, “A vision says something that helps clarify the direction in which an organization wants to sail [and] is relatively light to communicate, appealing to customers, stockholders, and employees.”1 It is therefore up to hospitality leaders to set and clearly communicate a vision, and to inspire those around them to participate and implement it.
A vision does not belong only to a leader. It must live a shared vision that attracts everyone to sustain towering levels of motivation and withstand challenges. According to The Leadership Challenge, by James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner, leaders can envision the future by imagining the possibilities and finding a common purpose.2 In addition, leaders must spark a sense of significance and purpose in those around them. Dan Donahue agrees that, “My job, as someone who has the vision, is to merit you inspired and committed to sharing that vision and sharing that creativity to the point where you occupy buy-in.”
After seven years of rigorous research, a landmark study of the observations from more than 100 CEOs and over 8,000 employees organize that “leaders who were transparent about their values delivered as much as five times greater returns for their organizations as did leaders of debilitated character.”3
So how achieve illustrious CEOs and successful leaders in their industry shape the parameters for success through a shared vision for a future? How achieve they empower and inspire those around them to gain decisions and labor towards their goals?
Balancing Accountability and Autonomy
When asked what his core values were, Len Wolman responded, “First and foremost, their organization has been built on integrity and transparency. They occupy four core values that they live by on a daily basis which are to (1) to wow the customer, (2) to continuously improve, (3) to live a passionate and committed team, and (4) to participate and sustain their bottom line success.”
Dan Donahue, established that, “Our values are simple. Their values are people. They allow them the flexibility and latitude to achieve their jobs under the usher of taking supervision of the guest, but likewise taking supervision of themselves as well.” To strengthen others, exemplary leaders augment people’s credit in their aptitude to gain a difference. They sail from being in control to giving over control. Developing associates into leaders and enhancing self-determination creates a culture of empowerment and confidence. Geoff Ballotti agrees that, “In terms of motivating others, it is letting them gain decisions. It’s not micromanaging, but rather letting them foster up with the solutions.”
Geoff Ballotti continues, “Our core value statement is three words, ‘Count On Me,’ which is faultless about accountability. It is about people being able to live counted on at any time, for any issue, any question, any decision, and any back that their owners, franchisees, and associates need. It is built on the principal of integrity in terms of taking personal responsibility for your actions.” Accountability is primary because it results in an extremely efficient and productive team. According to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, accountability in the workplace is linked to higher performance and increases in commitment to labor and employee morale.4
Dan Donahue, states, “A vision has to live fluid. To merit to an achievable goal and vision, whether short term or long term, you need to live present, you need to understand that if you want it to live successful you need to live there, you need to live accountable to it, and you need to live accountable to the people that want to participate that.” When accountability becomes embedded into culture, company’s are able to set meaningful goals, develop team buy-in, build faith through back and encouragement, and celebrate successes together. Accountability is about creating a culture where people value responsibility. When associates understand that accountability involves a inevitable degree of autonomy, mutual respect develops between faultless levels of an organization.
Mr. Ballotti adds, “The third leg of their values is faultless about respect. Respecting everyone everywhere both on their ownership side and the community side.” When leaders develop mutual respect, associates are more likely to labor harder to accomplish shared goals. Harvard commerce Review examined employee needs and determined through a query of more than 19,000 workers that most employees desire renewal, value, focus and purpose.5 feeling a sense of value and respect can instill an employee with aplomb and motivation. Len Wolman adds that, “I’ve been in the industry for many years, I was educated in the industry and then worked my route up through the industry, so I’m fortunate in that I occupy the perspective of having worked in various positions. So I occupy empathy, understanding, and respect for each position. Everyone needs to live treated with mutual respect and understanding.”
Modeling by Example
An primary allotment of being an efficient leader is educating others on what the organization stands for and why it matters. When leaders sincerely express a commitment to their core values, they’re likewise making a commitment on behalf of the entire organization. Therefore, leaders must gain certain there is collective agreement on the shared values amongst everyone they lead.So how achieve leaders become a role model for what the organization stands for?
The retort is pretty simple. They set the example for others to follow. Holding others accountable to values and standards means leaders must live the values themselves. Dan Donahue responds, “I would never anticipate an employee to achieve something I wouldn’t achieve myself.” Len Wolman agrees adding, “You always want to set an example and never want to anticipate anyone to achieve anything that you wouldn’t achieve yourself.” Researcher on behavioral integrity demonstrates that the alignment between a leader’s words and actions has a powerful repercussion on how much constituents faith the leader and on their subsequent performance levels.6 considerable leaders effectively translate intent into reality by acting on the values they educate and the things they drawl to those around them.Showing Vulnerability and Visibility
Confidence is an primary skill to possess as a leader. However, having vulnerability as a leader is just as essential to recognize and appreciate. Every leader has vulnerability, but great leaders have the self-awareness to recognize this fact and feel snug expressing their weaknesses. Showing vulnerability is a relatable trait and Geoff Ballotti finds that, “The greatest leaders I know out there are very snug talking about their weaknesses, about what it is that they need to labor on, to better upon, and to achieve better.” efficient leaders invest the thinking, the time, the energy and are prepared for the vulnerability of connecting with others.So how achieve these leaders merit trust, inspire, and build bonds with those they lead?
Great leaders inspire their associates and guests by genuinely connecting to them through a consistent presence and visibility. Visibility as a leader not only includes having a physical presence, but likewise aligning everyone to the purpose behind their shared vision through natural conversations and casual exchanges on a daily basis. When asked how he communicates company goals and the overall vision, Dan Donahue replied, “If you occupy a presence, it happens organically. It doesn’t need to live contrived.” The purpose of this heartfelt visibility is not about the need to “check on employees,” but rather an honest desire to interact with associates in order to gauge motivation and learn if employees need back or help. Mr. Wolman agrees that, “It is captious to operate with an open door policy and listen to everyone’s perspective and ideas, particularly the people who are executing the day to day functions, and I believe you’ve got to live constantly evaluating that.”
Mr. Ballotti adds, “I likewise believe showing empathy is key and the best route considerable leaders achieve that is through the knack of storytelling when they’re up in front of their associate ground or leadership team, being able to reiterate stories that connect and engage and inspire and motivate in terms of the culture your want to set and want to build.” Storytelling is a powerful route to participate knowledge, thrust information at people or haul them into a company’s vision and mission by reinforcing the intent behind genuine leadership. According to Edgar Schein, Professor Emeritus at the MIT Sloan School of Management, “[Stories] likewise strengthen the framework and the significance of an organization’s culture by establishing norms and values.”7 grandiose stories compel, persuade, and unify others around the leaders’ vision.Creativity Breads Adaptability
“Hospitality isn’t about a product on the shelf. Hospitality is about creating something that changes day to day, hour to hour, or minute by minute.” – Dan Donahue
IBM’s 2010 Global CEO Study, which surveyed more than 1,500 CEOs from 60 countries and 33 industries worldwide, concluded that creativity is the most primary leadership character for success in business, outweighing competencies such as integrity and global thinking.8 Geoff Ballotti agrees that, “Creativity is critical, especially in the commerce that we’re in. We’re trying to redefine and reposition their brand from a creative standpoint in terms of experience.” What defines one brand from another and what makes one brand more successful than another is the creativity that it delivers as well as the sustain it delivers to its guests. Understanding how to generate considerable ideas is a crucial leadership trait in hospitality’s innovation-driven industry. Successful leaders create an environment where associates can contribute their fancy and insight, which is captious because most innovations draw upon the contributions of many.
Today’s commerce environment is unpredictable, changeable and increasingly complex. Therefore, the aptitude to create something that is both innovative and applicable is on the top of leader’s minds. Mr. Donahue states, “Nothing in their commerce can live or should live cookie cutter. It’s about curating an sustain for each person who spends to live with you.” Len Wolman adds, “If you’re not creative and open to change in todays world with the disruptors that exist in their industry, particularly with technology, you will not live successful. You need to live creative in terms of staying ahead, staying current and relevant, and merit managing the costs associated with change in a route that your organization can soundless live successful and profitable.”
In an industry of constant change, considerable hospitality leaders need to capitalize on the opportunities that are ripe for the present context and arrangement for the likely future state. Change requires creating a fresh system, which demands efficient leadership. It is crucial that leaders first avow how difficult it can live to drive others outside of their console zones and thrust for change. When asked how he responds to change, Len Wolman replied, “A crucial ingredient is feedback. They merit daily feedback that is current and relevant, whether it live Trip Advisor, direct contact with their guests, or direct contact with their associates. They need to listen to it, they need to respond to it, and they need to adjust to the things that people are looking for whether it live the consumer or the labor environment.” Those who create fresh initiatives, programing, design, and brand essence are the ones who succeed. By supporting creativity and commanding change, leaders can augment workplace satisfaction and build driven teams that craft original, valuable ideas.Figure 1: Interview Questions
It has been made transparent through the interview process of these three prominent industry leaders that establishing shared values, balancing accountability with autonomy, modeling by example, showing vulnerability through visibility, and having a creative mindset that is open to change are faultless essential factors to being a successful leader. The common theme amongst faultless these traits and elements to successful leadership, however, is each leader’s dependence and faith for their associates. At one point during the interview, Mr. Ballotti pointed out that, “Great leaders are those who encircle themselves with considerable people…who are brighter, and smarter, and more diverse in thought than they are. And who are able to build a team that knows how to back and faith each other.” It is transparent that efficient leadership boils down to a leaders aptitude to unlock the complete potential in those around them. Len Wolman adds that it “We buy supervision of their associates so that they buy supervision of their guests, which keeps the guests coming back and is the reason they are in business.“ Dan Donahue likewise notes, “You occupy to realize each individual employee’s needs. gain a connection with your employees every unique day.” faultless grandiose leaders were once followers themselves and occupy scholarly to establish and foster faith over time. A just leader passes extol and shares the blame, lifting up those around them.9 Without followers, considerable leaders cannot lead.
PDF Version Available HereSarah R. Andersen is a senior at Boston University’s School of Hospitality Administration. Her areas of interest include integrated marketing communications and actual estate development. Beyond her studies in hospitality, she is a member of the BU Women’s Lacrosse team. She plans to continue her studies at Boston University after graduating with her bachelor’s degree by enrolling in the School of Hospitality’s Master of Management in Hospitality program. References
By Juan Lesmes and Leora Lanz
It wasn’t that long ago when digital marketing surfaced as requisite practice for the hospitality industry. As time moved forward, hotel marketing departments established roles to manage the digital positioning and visibility of the property. Thus, they witnessed hospitality brands which were ‘present’ on companionable media outlets, adopting paid search as a permanent component of their marketing mix and abiding by well-known website best practices. They advert to this epoch as facet I of the Hospitality Digital Marketing Revolution.
Phase II quickly blossomed, and hotels realized that the competition to penetrate the digital space was stalwart and arduous. Brands started focusing on and investing in the internet user-experience (UX), negotiating partnerships with online travel agencies (OTAs), understanding the landscape of search engine result pages (SERPs), separating high-value budgets exclusively for search engine marketing (SEM), and delving into the intricacies of search engine optimization (SEO) for their own websites. companionable media served as a competitive advantage and quickly escalated as paramount for marketing, branding, reputation management, and organic visibility. Paid search, via Google AdWords platform, is not to live confused with the organic approaches detailed here.
As they delve into 2018, facet III emerges clearly. OTAs dominate and in some instances engross Google searches with first page results. Consequently, hotels are realizing that digital marketing efforts should live shifted from a haphazard online presence to one that is strategic – one that capitalizes on each micro-moment of the guest travel planning journey (most of which, if not all, occurs on the web). As companionable media forces Instagram and Facebook solidify their roles as prominent search engines, paid ‘posts’ within users’ ‘feeds’ continue to convey the power of personalized sponsored content.
With a myriad of stakeholders now involved in the simple act of searching for hotel rooms, is it a battle worth fighting? The retort is absolutely. But before addressing the how, it is crucial to identify and differentiate the digital marketing scope of branded and non-branded hotels. Branded hotels, especially those flagged with hospitality powerhouses, profit from a more powerful domain authority coming from the parent chain, making it easier for them to rank higher on the SERPs. buy Marriott.com/hotel vs. hotelname.com for example. Domain authority is the overall power of the domain denomination considering traffic size, popularity, and number of links to the site (backlinks). It is likewise a top ranking factor for Google.
Branded hotels likewise attend to occupy significant budgets to spend on Pay-Per-Click (PPC) and paid search, ensuring top first page visibility for valuable destination and branded queries. In addition, branded hotels occupy wider access to digital partnerships, including listings, local directories, event sponsorships, travel influencers, and online features – faultless of which provide authoritative backlinks to the hotel’s site, further contributing to its domain authority.
Because independent and small-scale hotels rarely profit from domain authority, maintaining and monitoring digital marketing best practices to boost Google rankings should live a requirement, not merely a recommendation. Digital marketing practices command their own dedicated efforts. Yet online marketing should live well-equipped with its own strategy and utilize expertise in the nuances and intricacies of hotels, restaurants, leisure activities, and attractions – overall, hospitality.
The question then becomes, how can hotels strive for visibility in this Wild West of a digital landscape, particularly if they are competing against each other, the OTAs, and a powerful sharing economy?1. Execute a Carefully Crafted Keyword Strategy
Optimizing for search queries, likewise known as keywords, is perhaps the core of any digital marketing tactic aiming to build visibility – both organic and paid. Identifying those keywords with the highest search volume, such as ‘Miami hotels,’ is the intuitive process. Presence on Google’s first page for towering search-volume keywords requires a robust SEM budget, an ongoing and long-term SEO strategy, or both. This puts independent and small-scale properties, which often achieve not occupy the necessary budget and fundamental team, at a notable disadvantage.
However, niche keywords present a different scenario. These queries are typically ’long-tail’ significance they hold more than four words. Though niche keywords achieve not occupy the highest search popularities, it is much easier to actually capture their search volume, which then results in higher click-through rates (CTR). Hotels can leverage niche keywords by identifying their unique amenities and value propositions, and turning them into valuable keywords. For example, ‘Miami hotels with a rooftop bar,’ ‘Miami hotels with free breakfast’ and ‘Miami hotels with nightclubs’ are terms to utilize as they leverage a more specific travel intent that easily turns into conversions (booked business). It is crucial to believe as the customer would.
Some independent hotels, because of the virtue of their uniqueness and often niche-market, can occupy the upper hand in this situation. A property which positions itself as a refer for health and well-being could therefore pursue niche terms such as ‘wellness resorts’ and ‘fitness getaways.’ The key is to identify the brand’s top performing unique selling propositions (USPs) and translate them into humanized search queries, faultless while keeping the guests’ travel planning journeys in mind.
Finding a balanced mix of both high-search volume terms and niche queries secures strategic keywords. Nevertheless, actually optimizing for them by ensuring they are naturally or comfortably present throughout the website’s titles, content, metadata and bidding efforts likewise abet secure a carefully crafted keyword strategy.2. Optimize for Local Search
Our termed “Phase II” likewise build the spotlight on search engine commerce directories such as Google My commerce and Bing Places for Business. In facet III, hotel listings on these directories is no longer a recommendation, it is a necessity. Optimizing for local search entails driving the visibility of a property’s commerce listing via a two-part process:
3. Attain and Maintain a Star Rating on Google
One of the key components of local search results is the Star Rating associated with a commerce listing. In fact, star reviews on SERPs are an efficient route for hotels to augment digital visibility by standing out from the competition. Star ratings abet augment the site’s CTR and provide an influential benchmark for online reputation management (ORM). Once an exclusive impute for paid results, star ratings now likewise loom on organic results through Google’s ‘Rich Snippets.’ These snippets are a configuration of structured data which Google extracts from multiple websites and presents it as a ‘preview’ in search results, likewise known as Google’s information Graph.
Therefore, obtaining and retaining star ratings involves safeguarding reviews on trusted and authoritative review sites. Google then aggregates this rating data and displays an average star rating. Hotels (restaurants, attractions, etc.) should embolden satisfied guests to submit reviews to their booking channel (i.e. Expedia) because they are by default ‘trusted’ sites. However, they should likewise embolden reviews for their own Google My commerce listing in an attempt to augment the hotel’s chances of being featured on local search results.
It is primary to clarify that there is a technical component to obtaining a Google star rating. Codes build onto the website to abet search engines return more informative results to users. Hotels need to ensure that their web developers likewise include star rating information within the markup code.4. Enhance Content on Local Listings
A hotel’s content for its local listings should live strategically optimized. Whether it is in Foursquare, CitySearch, or any other listing, valuable keywords should live incorporated throughout the copy – including local search ‘near’ queries such as ‘hotel in Miami near Brickell’. If the brand image is mischievous and tongue-in-cheek, the content on local listings should likewise reflect that. Some listings even allow for a featured message. Rather than a generic ‘Welcome!’ hotels can expend this space to promote current offers or highlight special amenities (complimentary champagne, sunset yoga, free breakfast).
Other content elements such as images should live of the highest quality, showcasing provocative yet realistic visuals of the property’s exterior, interior, and overall ambiance. Links to faultless the property’s companionable media channels should live present in the listings, which allows the user to access other hotel assets including brand personality and online reputation.5. Optimize for Voice Search
With increasing utilization of smart personal assistants such as Alexa and Google Home, voice search is a prime topic of conversion within the digital marketing realm. In order to live visible in results derived from these devices, hotels need to ensure they are optimizing their site and keyword strategy for voice search too. Since users are more likely to expend longer natural queries via voice, employing niche, long-tail keywords is an efficient system to optimize for this trend.
Long-tail keywords are fruitless without the pertinent content on a hotel or restaurant’s website. Hotels need to occupy specific landing pages that parallel the niche keywords. If a hotel seeks ‘Hotels in Miami with rooftop pools’—a keyword likely used by the voice search user—it must loom in the pertinent landing page.
Incorporating questions and answers within the site, perhaps via the ever-popular Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page, is another efficient route to accommodate voice search. With this strategy, hotels can provide answers not only about the property itself, but likewise about their destination and local attractions as a result of quick detection by voice-activated devices.
It is primary to note that recently, numerous hotel properties and companies occupy been contacted by law firms representing travel consumers with disabilities. These law firms report that websites are not abiding by accessibility guidelines in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). If a guest is unable to expend a hotel website to find information or gain a reservation, hotels can in fact live fined. Today hotel websites must enable these assistive technologies to allow travel consumers with disabilities to merit the information they need and complete any necessary transactions.6. Adopt a ‘Mobile First’ Mantra
Much has been said about Google’s ‘mobile first’ index. This means Google will start to rank its search results based on the mobile version of the content, even in desktop search listings. If one thing is certain, websites need to live optimized to live mobile-friendly (responsive). Hotels need to ensure they launch a fully-responsive website that serves users of any device the same consistent content. The more ‘mobile-friendly’ a site’s user sustain is, including factors such as typography, navigation map, and website design, the higher the site will rank on Google’s search.7. Leverage Google Hotel Ads
Google Hotel charge Ads (HPA) showcases a hotel’s real-time (dynamic) rates on Google search across faultless devices. Users will survey the hotel’s ad when they are actively looking to bespeak a scope in the area. However, the hotel only pays when the ad generates a click or a booking.
Google has recently introduced a unique call-to-action (CTA) button for booking hotels in its search results. A keyword can trigger a ‘BOOK A ROOM’ button to appear. Clicking this will activate a sub-menu to browse faultless enlisted HPAs for the hotel, which includes booking direct and via OTAs.
This feature, which likewise appears in Mobile and Maps, demonstrates Google’s determination to grow its charge Ads service. The increased exposure provides more incentive for hotels to capitalize on this configuration of pay-per-click in order to promote direct bookings.8. augment Backlinks, Actively
A backlink is as simple as a hyperlink to a website from another website. Yet, it carries a lot of weight when it comes to a hotel’s organic digital visibility. Each backlink tells the search engine that a hotel website has a ‘vote’ from another entity, which in return builds credibility and domain authority. Branded hotels occupy the upper hand here since the company usually has a corporate parent site that a plethora of other websites will link to (such as Marriott.com or IHG.com).
There are technicalities to backlinks, including the character of the backlink determined by elements such as anchor text and link context. These technical factors play a role in the algorithm the search engine uses to determine the value of a backlink. In theory, the more character backlinks a hotel website has, the more chances to rank higher on search engines.
Actively pursuing pertinent backlinks should live imperative for hotels to obtain first page ‘real-estate’. Obtaining links from local directories, current hotel vendors, editorial publications, and .EDU and .GOV sites should live the gateway for enhancing the site’s link equity. However, to continuously grow the number of backlinks, hotels need to live generating quality, shareable content that interlinks with companionable media initiatives.9. remember Optimal companionable Media = (Quality + Authenticity) x Engagement
Much has been contemplated about what comprises a successful companionable media strategy. Although there is no ultimate recipe for the faultless companionable media post, three factors that boost performance are quality, authenticity, and engagement. Optimal companionable Media = (Quality + Authenticity) x Engagement. Each piece of content maximizes visibility, both organic and paid. When posts are genuine and of towering quality, users are more likely to relate and validate them. When posts are authentic, of towering quality, and facilitate some sort of user engagement, the content becomes shareable.
When content generates more likes, followers, and overall visibility it establishes an influential ranking factor. Therefore, search engines attend to rank higher those brands that occupy a robust organic companionable media ground (not paid or ‘spammy’ followers). This is why it is primary for hotels to intertwine their companionable media strategy with their SEO efforts by creating quality, authentic, and engaging content that increases overall digital exposure.10. reckon the Technicalities of SEO
Technical SEO is a science of its own and deserves its own team of specialists, budget, and time. Technical SEO means optimizing a website so search engines can successfully crawl and index its content. It lays a powerful foundation to give a hotel’s website the best casual it can to rank higher for pertinent keywords. Technical factors include site speed, removing unnecessary tags, cleansing duplicate metadata, adding tags to images, and implementing proper redirects to maximize the site’s link equity. Whether there is a one-man team or a staff of professionals continually optimizing the website, there are tools to abet provide the technical support.
Hotels, restaurants, museums, attractions, and leisure activities faultless need to assertively compete online to grab the attention of potential guests. Those who attend to the organic visibility occupy a notable competitive. This and integrated paid search campaigns that mutually back organic search strategies will abet secure first page visibility. Overall, while the need to upkeep search engines’ potent algorithms and ranking methodologies will always remain, an understanding of the process will abet smaller or independent hospitality businesses gash through the clutter in today’s complicated digital landscape.
PDF Version Available HereJuan Lesmes is a digital marketing strategist specializing in SEO at HEBS Digital the leading hospitality technology, full-service digital marketing and website design firm. A 2017 graduate of Boston University’s School of Hospitality Administration (SHA), Juan’s previous sustain includes labor at hospitality marketing advisory LHL Communications, The Ritz London, and Lets merit Weddy in London. Since his time at SHA, Juan has been recognized as a thought leader in hospitality marketing, with energetic contributions to the Boston Hospitality Review, HotelOnline and HospitalityNet. Leora Halpern Lanz, ISHC, is principal of LHL Communications, a hospitality-focused marketing communications, branding, and media relations advisory. She is likewise complete time faculty at Boston University’s School of Hospitality Administration (SHA), teaching advanced strategic marketing and digital marketing for hospitality at the undergraduate and graduate levels. She was named among the Top 25 Minds in Hotel Marketing for 2016 by the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International and was named 2017 Professor of the Year by the student government of SHA.
By Nick Cohen
The year is 2001, and the world is soundless recovering from the tragedy of September 11th. The travel industry is in a downward spiral as fears of flying and terrorism ripple across the United States and beyond, and hotels occupy lost significant occupancy due to a lessen in demand.
Simultaneously, a fledgling technology is emerging which will eventually buy advantage of the internet explosion, as well as hotel management’s desperation to fill rooms. It will reshape their industry forever, and this platform now commonly referred to as Online Travel Agencies, or OTAs, will allow hotels to easily sell their rooms on the internet through fresh consumer facing websites such as Expedia, Travelocity and Orbitz.
Fast forward to 2017. The OTA’s occupy gained the majority of market participate for online reservations, and digital platforms fancy Booking.com and Ctrip.com occupy loyal member volumes that far surpass brand websites. In many cases, the OTA companies are valued well beyond traditional hotel brands (as of May 2017, Priceline Group has a market capitalization of nearly USD 92 Billion). They occupy likewise helped to create a fresh concept as they grew in popularity and scale over the ultimate number of years, and it was the precedent of transparency. Pricing that was once hidden to the everyday user, could now live exposed to the entire world, publicly, with a few clicks online. As OTA channels grew enormously with time, so did the access to actual time rates and availability for virtually every hotel around the world.
With this concept in mind, from the OTA’s they occupy seen the rapid expansion of ‘meta search’ channels. These are one-stop charge comparison platforms where a customer can view a charge for a unique hotel scope across multiple websites (without having to browse those websites one-by-one). Sites within this category include Kayak, Trivago, TripAdvisor, Qunar and Google, and they are faultless working to simplify the travel research process for consumers.
With the OTA channels continuing to grow through massive marketing efforts and superior technology, and with meta search sites following their lead, a relatively fresh challenge has emerged for hoteliers. It represents a very complicated dynamic between one of the most traditional ways to sell a hotel room, and one of the most modern ways to sell a hotel room. This once again faultless comes back to the concept of charge transparency. Wholesale has been a core commerce driver in hotels for many years, helping properties build ground commerce through private negotiated rates and partnerships. Historically, these wholesalers would sell their inventory offline to their own private networks of contacts. Even though the pricing would typically live lower than publicly available RACK rates, it was a dependable foundation of occupancy for hotels to build off of.
As technology has become more sophisticated with Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) readily available, they occupy seen the rapid growth of wholesale rates being sold publicly, online, through some of the powerful meta search channels mentioned above. This means that wholesalers are selling discounted rates, which directly undercut brand websites and OTAs, to anyone who has access to the internet. Beyond just meta search, some OTA websites are now even positioning themselves as ‘online marketplaces,’ where they too will sell wholesale inventory directly instead of the inventory provided by the hotels. To remain competitive and augment market share, online channels want to sell the lowest charge possible, even if it means reducing their own margins by selling a cheaper scope to the customer.
You would believe that hoteliers would want to fix this problem immediately. Online wholesale commerce undercuts channels which are much more profitable such as their direct brand website. This issue however is multi-layered and is not light to remedy for the following key reasons:Hotels soundless want wholesale business!
Hotels soundless maintain stalwart relationships with a number of wholesale partners, colossal and small, and they rely on these partnerships to generate ground business. Turning off these channels would potentially denote the loss of significant revenues, at least in the short term. Although wholesale channels can undercut other websites when sold online, they likewise soundless generate incremental commerce when sold offline through the traditional methodFinding the source of entire commerce online can live very difficult
When wholesale rates appears online, it’s generally very difficult to know which wholesaler specifically is providing that inventory. The wholesale partners themselves don’t generally sell rooms through their own websites, but sell their rates through wholesale aggregation channels such as Amoma.com. It’s channels fancy Amoma who then sell the rates online through their own interface, and promote their rates through larger meta search intermediaries such as Trivago and TripAdvisor. Generally the only route to find the just source is to gain a test booking online, and then track how that reservation comes into the hotel’s central reservation system (each reservation is typically flagged with an inventory source). Many hotels are reluctant to achieve this since a booking requires expend of a credit card and sometimes even pre-payment, and then cancellation of that test booking is not always light to do. The test booking process is both cumbersome to manage at scale, and is likewise financially risky for a hotel if those booking cannot live cancelled.Employee incentives are at stake
Within hotel sales departments, team members are soundless incentivized to drive wholesale volume, regardless of where that volume is being sold (offline or online). Wholesale partners generally don’t provide specifics on how they are selling their inventory, and as long as scope allotments are sold, the amenable sales team members are satisfied. This is creating an unavoidable rift between the direction of some sales leaders with the revenue management and digital strategy teams.So what’s next?
Hotel companies are dealing with this situation in a variety of ways. Some are cutting off wholesale altogether since they simply can’t control where their inventory is ending up. Others are maintaining the partnerships, but are working to sail away from static scope allotments and over to dynamic pricing and availability where the hotels occupy more control over the inventory they transmit to the wholesalers. This is a major problem facing the industry that very much remains unsolved.
If they buy ourselves back to the 2001, charge transparency was a challenge for hoteliers. Properties simply didn’t occupy direct access to a big enough segment of customers, therefore traditional partnerships fancy wholesale was an absolute necessity. With the growth of the OTAs though, and the emergence of fresh technologies such as meta search, that access is no longer an issue. The world is accessible for each hotel with a few quick key strokes on a computer. It is now only a matter of time until hoteliers gain one of the following decisions:
PDF Version Available HereNick Cohen is based in Hong Kong and leads digital strategy for Hyatt Hotels in Asia Pacific. He oversees online marketing efforts for faultless Hyatt brands and properties across the region, and manages a variety of e-Commerce and digital platform projects to abet augment online revenues for the company. Prior to joining Hyatt, Nick held senior e-Commerce and digital marketing roles at Langham Hospitality Group, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group and Sabre Hospitality Solutions. Earlier in his career, working on-property for various hotels he developed extensive information in operations, along with Sales & Marketing and Revenue Management expertise. Nick likewise holds a graduate diploma in Hotel and Tourism commerce Management from Boston University. Sources:
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