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People today expect to be connected always and everywhere; sometimes it’s hard to believe that there was a world before smartphones and Wi-Fi. In the time since Wi-Fi became ubiquitous in hotels, apartments, and public spaces, it has fueled the evolution of connectivity in a lot of ways. Just like Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, the most basic needs start at the bottom, and you can’t get to the next level without a strong foundation. 

By now, everyone is aware that hotel giant Marriott International announced on Friday a massive data breach that goes back more than four years and may have affected up to 500 million customers worldwide. 

After two years of preparation, the FlyZoo Hotel — a futuristic property that uses interactive technologies to do everything from greet guests to deliver room service — is ready for business. 

Mobile technology is fast becoming central to the entire travel experience. Consumers are increasingly using their smartphones to research trips, book accommodation, check in at the airport, and access their hotel room. But one of the next big roles mobile has to play in the travel process is mobile payment. The idea of an entirely cashless society might still seem some way off, but mobile payment is gaining popularity. As it becomes more widely used, its fast and frictionless nature will bring benefits before, during and after a trip. 

Digital marketing, also known as internet marketing, plays a significant role to boost hotel website traffic and online bookings. Recently, many big announcements were made in the digital industry, for example when Facebook introduced a new video format for marketers, or when Google announced a board core algorithm. If you are a new hotelier and want to stay ahead in the industry, then you should know what’s going on in the hotel digital marketing industry. 
 



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Jon Inge's 2013 Technology Year in Review - Integration and Marketing

01/20/2014
Part 6 of 8 - Check back daily for each section of Jon's Technology Year in Review.
(excerpt from full post - 01/09/14 Siegel Sez Newsletter)
 
Tomorrow - RFID
Part 6 - Integration
     It was interesting to see the growth in formal ties between vendors of complementary systems, especially in the reservations/distribution/revenue management area.  InnLink integrated RateGain’s PriceGain rate intelligence software into its CRS, and Denihan Hospitality integrated Duetto's revenue strategy software with Sabre Hospitality's SynXis CRS. The impact of reputation management was shown by IDeaS integration of data from Brand Karma’s iO reputation analytics tool into its RMS pricing analysis, and by Genares’ partnership with TrustYou.  Genares also integrated Flip.to’s social-media referral engine into its CRS.
Marketing
     The importance of managing guest feedback and of personalizing offers grew even more last year.  To help gather feedback ReviewPro unveiled a guest survey tool in partnership with Market Metrix, ZDirect integrated its survey engine with ReviewPro’s reputation management software, London Brand Management announced its RoomComment real-time hotel feedback service, and IDS NEXT launched its Salesforce-based Guest Dynamix loyalty and feedback management application.   
     Reputation management is clearly still critical.  TrustYou launched its Reputation Machine, a combination of on-line review monitoring, surveys, content distribution and marketing, as well as its TrustYou Comp Index, which compares hotels with their competitive set in reputation across multiple relevant sites in the market.  Sonesta International picked TrustYou for 55+ of its properties, while ReviewPro picked up AZIMUT Hotels (21 properties) and Compass Hospitality (45 properties).  ZDirect announced its Guest Dashboard guest sentiment analysis engine for guest comments and survey responses.  Trying to ensure that on-line reviews can be trusted, USA TODAY’s Travel Media Group launched HotelMe, an authenticated hotel review site that displays verified reviews from hotel guests who paid and stayed at the hotel, and Traxo launched a "verified reviews" platform for flights and hotels.
     Nor1’s upsell software gained new clients, including Louvre Hotels Group (all hotels), Loews Hotels & Resorts (19 properties), Kempinski Hotels (80 properties) and Principal Hayley Group (23 hotels).  Serenata IntraWare now offers Nor1 as part of its e-mail marketing service @mail, and Passkey and Nor1 extended the three-year-old integration of their GroupMAX and eStandby Upgrade products.
   Finally, casting a wider net to gather in useful data for marketing campaigns, nsight for travel launched its service analyzing search and booking patterns from multiple international and regional Web sites, and Travel Tripper integrated air traffic booking data from Forward Keys into its Revup revenue management platform. 

Come back tomorrow ro read about RFID. Come back Wednesday for Mergers and Aquisitions in 2013.

 
To read part one: click here
Part two - Mobile
Part three - GMS
Part four - CRS
Part five - Distribution
About The Author
Jon Inge

Jon Inge and Associates


Jon Inge is an independent consultant specializing in hotel property level technologies. Jon is a regular contributor to Hospitaity Upgrade and writes a bi-monthly technology newsletter covering technology in the hospitality industry that appears on Hotel-Online.com.

 
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