CRM: Fact vs. Fiction
CRM: Fact vs. Fiction — By Mikael Fries

NextGuest · 15 Nov

Some hotels have it, others do not. There is a lot of talk about it, but, unfortunately, there are many variations and definitions of what Customer Relationship Management (CRM) really is. Because today's customers are overwhelmed with options and information, it's more important than ever to build strong customer relationships and nurture them before, during, and after those guests stay on your property. Many CRM systems can be used to solve operational issues, as well as gather data on customers and then use that data to bring those customers back time and time again. In order to understand where CRM can take your hotel, we must first start with the basics of understanding what it is and why it matters.

The Top 5 Things You Need to Know Now in Hotel Digital Marketing: October Edition
The Top 5 Things You Need to Know Now in Hotel Digital Marketing: October Edition — By Margaret Mastrogiacomo

NextGuest (formerly HEBS Digital) · 30 Oct

The world of hospitality digital marketing is always changing, and the key to success is staying ahead of the curve. This month, the latest digital innovations include Google testing search results without URLs, the benefits of being GDPR-compliant, and the colors that will be making a splash in 2020 design. From SEO to design, find out the top five things you need to know now in hotel digital marketing to make sure your hotel is ready to reach your next guest.

Why Amazon Should Acquire Airbnb – and Not for the Love of Travel
Why Amazon Should Acquire Airbnb – and Not for the Love of Travel — By Jason Price

NextGuest Digital (formerly HEBS Digital) · 13 Jun

Speculation persists on the possibility of Amazon's entry into travel. The mighty e-commerce giant shuttered operations of Amazon Local and Amazon Destinations in 2015 after neither service captured traction with online customers and travel suppliers in the heavily discounted flash sales model and crowded last-minute getaways market.

Independent hotels: An action plan to win the direct booking
Independent hotels: An action plan to win the direct booking — By Max Starkov

HEBS Digital · 4 Jun

Independent hoteliers must understand that digital marketing consists of three distinct, but interconnected and interdependent categories, writes HEBS Digital founder Max Starkov, focusing respectively on guest engagement, guest acquisition, and guest retention. Hoteliers have no choice but to be effective in all of these three categories.

5 Unique Experiences Hotels Can Use To Attract Guests
5 Unique Experiences Hotels Can Use To Attract Guests — By Kerryn Gower

HEBS Digital · 21 Mar

We've all been there. You finally wake up from the dreaming phase of the travel planning journey and pick on a destination to visit. Now the planning begins. We all have our go-to travel booking websites and apps, and they each present a lot of information, packages, and special offers convincing you to make a booking. Beyond just rate, hotel shoppers consider plenty of other factors, such as amenities, activities, and nearby restaurants.

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Hospitality Digital Technology: Challenges, Priorities, and Buzzwords
Hospitality Digital Technology: Challenges, Priorities, and Buzzwords — By Max Starkov

HEBS Digital · 8 Mar

Today's typical online travel consumer is exposed to more than 38,983 micro-moments in a 60-day timeframe and visits an average of 18 websites via multiple devices across eight sessions before making a hotel booking (Google Research). With the explosion of the "digital way of life", the customer journey has become increasingly complex, forcing hoteliers to overhaul not only their corporate and marketing strategies, but also their technology stack in order to engage, acquire, service and retain these digitally-enabled travel consumers across multiple digital touch points and across all digital channels and devices. Today's hospitality is being transformed into a 100% digital technology-enabled industry powered by online, mobile, cloud, IoT, AI and blockchain tools and applications. Digital technology is making its way into every aspect of the industry: hotel operations, guest services, communications, revenue management, distribution, CRM and marketing.

The Mobile-First World Creates Tremendous Revenue Potential for Hoteliers
The Mobile-First World Creates Tremendous Revenue Potential for Hoteliers — By Max Starkov

HEBS Digital · 15 Feb

Hoteliers face a challenge in 2019: Creating and managing a robust digital presence in an increasingly mobile-first environment. This means investing in mobile technology and marketing that enables the best user experience while achieving maximum engagement, regardless of device. The explosion of mobile customer engagements creates a tremendous upside opportunity for smart hoteliers who invest in and take advantage of this rising tide of mobile-obsessed travel consumers.

Digital Inspo: What Creative Hotels Are Doing Online
Digital Inspo: What Creative Hotels Are Doing Online — By Kerryn Gower

HEBS Digital · 11 Feb

Coming up with fresh and creative marketing initiatives is never an easy task. Hotels all over the world face fierce competition regardless of their destination. Utilizing creative ideas to attract guests can help hotels stand out in the crowd and help them to gain new and repeat visitors. Our new article series, Digital Inspo: What Creative Hotels are Doing Online, dives deep into a recent original campaign idea developed by a hotel brand.

Your Top 10 Digital Marketing New Year's Resolutions for 2019
Your Top 10 Digital Marketing New Year's Resolutions for 2019 — By Kerryn Gower

HEBS Digital · 18 Jan

After saying goodbye to 2018, we're starting the new year with fresh priorities and goals. January is a great time for hoteliers to reflect on last year's strategies and analyze results in order to create a blueprint for a successful new year. Determining your hotel's most successful digital marketing initiatives is the first step to executing a strong plan that will achieve greater results this year than last year.

Employee Spotlight: Patrick, Team Lead Digital Media & Creative Strategy
Employee Spotlight: Patrick, Team Lead Digital Media & Creative Strategy

Max Starkov | The HeBS blog · 13 Dec

I’m the team lead of the digital media and creative strategy department here at HEBS Digital. My department is responsible for launching, tracking, a

The top 5 things you need to know now in hotel digital marketing: November Edition
The top 5 things you need to know now in hotel digital marketing: November Edition — By Margaret Mastrogiacomo

HEBS Digital · 27 Nov

Staying innovative in your digital marketing strategy means staying up-to-date with the ever-changing digital landscape. From TripAdvisor evolving into a social travel platform with new research and sharing tools to Google Maps adding a follow button for businesses, learn more about the top things you need to know now in hotel digital marketing.

Top 5 Blog Posts Hotels Should be Writing
Top 5 Blog Posts Hotels Should be Writing — By Kerryn Gower

HEBS Digital · 20 Nov

The importance of having a blog on your hotel website can't be stressed enough. In addition to serving as a platform to share informational and inspirational content to past, current, and future guests, blogs can enhance your inbound marketing efforts—driving traffic to your hotel website and attracting even more prospective guests.

Coffee Chat: Panzano+Partners & HEBS Digital
Coffee Chat: Panzano+Partners & HEBS Digital

Max Starkov | The HeBS blog · 31 Oct

HEBS Digital’s Brand Marketing Manager, Garrick Lee, chatted with the President of Panzano+Partners, Bill Rubino, to discuss his career and how he cr

Just Back From: Havana, Cuba
Just Back From: Havana, Cuba

Max Starkov | The HeBS blog · 29 Oct

Maybe it’s something they put in the mojitos, but a trip to Havana is unlike any other. I recently took a trip to the beautiful Cuban capital, where

The Top 5 Things You Need to Know Now in Hotel Digital Marketing: September Edition
The Top 5 Things You Need to Know Now in Hotel Digital Marketing: September Edition — By Margaret Mastrogiacomo

HEBS Digital · 20 Sep

This month, Google's search engine algorithm update takes full effect, Facebook rolls out new video format to more advertisers, and animated typography helps website content pack a punch. From SEO to design, read on to learn the top5 things you need to know now in hotel digital marketing.

What is RFM? Top 5 Ways to Elevate Your Digital Strategy & Increase Direct Bookings
What is RFM? Top 5 Ways to Elevate Your Digital Strategy & Increase Direct Bookings — By Margaret Mastrogiacomo

HEBS Digital · 17 Sep

The digital landscape is constantly evolving. Hotel digital marketers continue to seek more effective and cost-efficient ways to reach the right audience, at the right place, and at the right time. But do hotel marketers truly know the value of each and every guest and, more importantly, do they understand what motivates guests to choose their hotel, then choose to stay again?

HOTELS Magazine Interview With Max Starkov: Three Ways Hotels Can Use Blockchain Technology
HOTELS Magazine Interview With Max Starkov: Three Ways Hotels Can Use Blockchain Technology

Max Starkov | The HeBS blog · 12 Sep

The hotel industry has long been scolded for being behind the times when it comes to adopting new technology. That largely dates back to the late 199

Just Back From: Edinburgh, Scotland
Just Back From: Edinburgh, Scotland

Max Starkov | The HeBS blog · 6 Sep

It’s quirky, it’s old, and it’s one of Europe’s most beautiful cities. Set on rocky hills overlooking the sea, Edinburgh is a city of history and hig

Technical SEO On the Hotel Website: One Of the Most Important Revenue Drivers
Technical SEO On the Hotel Website: One Of the Most Important Revenue Drivers — By Max Starkov

HEBS Digital · 30 Aug

It is really mind-boggling that after more than 23 years of SEO historical data and solid SEO best practices, technical SEO is one of the least understood and very much ignored digital technology and marketing disciplines in hospitality. Over 30% of hotel website revenues come as a direct result of SEO, and technical SEO plays a major role in influencing Google and the other search engines to rank your hotel website higher in search engine results pages (SERPs), which results in qualified website visitors and bookings.

Another Move By The OTAs That Is Harmful To Hotel Profitability – What You Need To Know
Another Move By The OTAs That Is Harmful To Hotel Profitability – What You Need To Know — By Max Starkov

HEBS Digital · 22 Aug

Two recent events in hotel distribution created a mild media buzz, but unfortunately were ignored by some hoteliers and quickly forgotten by the industry: Expedia's Add-On Advantage and Booking.basic. Below we will discuss the issues with these two new initiatives by Expedia and Booking.com, reminiscent of the old Wild West times of hotel distribution and the early years of unruly OTAs, before rate parity and best rate guarantees. Both OTA initiatives use package or wholesale rates in clear violation of package and wholesale rates contract terms. We feel compelled to remind hoteliers how detrimental these new OTA offerings are to the hotel bottom line and suggest several action steps hoteliers must undertake to remedy their negative impact on profitability.

Why Offering Local Tours and Activities Is A Huge Revenue Opportunity for Hotels
Why Offering Local Tours and Activities Is A Huge Revenue Opportunity for Hotels — By Max Starkov

HEBS Digital · 7 Aug

Offering local tours and activities - i.e. experiences in the destination - is a multibillion dollar business, with the OTAs having shown a growing interest in this sector. Expedia alone is looking to grow its local tours and activities sales fivefold - from approximately $400 million a year to over $2 billion. Expedia currently has 4,000 suppliers providing 27,000 tours and activities worldwide. Airbnb, through its Experiences offering, has been rolling out tours and activities in many of its key destinations with the goal of bringing its offerings to 1,000 cities. Recently, Booking.com acquired Fairharbor.com and TripAdvisor acquired Bokun.com, both cloud-based software platforms that enable local tour and activities operators to make their services bookable online.

Top 5 Things You Need to Know Now in Hotel Digital Marketing: June Edition
Top 5 Things You Need to Know Now in Hotel Digital Marketing: June Edition — By Margaret Mastrogiacomo

HEBS Digital · 22 Jun

This month, Google nudges SEO marketers in the right direction with clarifications to the mobile-first index as it rolls out to more websites; Bing pilots in-market audiences; and Instagram gets more serious with Stories by adding e-commerce features. From SEO to design, read on to learn the top five things you need to know now in hotel digital marketing, and stay informed.

How Hotel Managers Can Generate Profits Above and Beyond Owner’s Expectations
How Hotel Managers Can Generate Profits Above and Beyond Owner’s Expectations — By Max Starkov

HEBS Digital · 19 Jun

The economic collapse of nearly ten years ago brought not only havoc to the hospitality industry, but also created a new type of hotel owner: the activist owner. These owners are knowledgeable, curious, involved, and demanding. There is a lot happening in 2018 that hotel owners should be happy about. After the best Q1 on record earlier this year, it is shaping up to be another stellar year in hospitality with demand (2.4%) outweighing supply (2%); occupancy increasing by 0.4%; ADRs growing by 2.6%; and RevPAR increasing by 3% (STR, PWC).

Debunking the Impact of Blockchain on Hotel Distribution
Debunking the Impact of Blockchain on Hotel Distribution — By Max Starkov

HEBS Digital · 13 Jun

A recent article on the Nasdaq website called "How Blockchains Are Changing the Hotel Industry" claims that blockchain-based platforms "offer promising solutions" to particular areas of difficulty in the hospitality industry, including blockchain-based hotel booking platforms. Before we jump on analyzing blockchain technology's impact on hospitality, let's quickly review what this new technology and some of its more popular applications are all about.

The Top 5 Things You Need to Know Now in Hotel Digital Marketing: May Edition
The Top 5 Things You Need to Know Now in Hotel Digital Marketing: May Edition — By Margaret Mastrogiacomo

HEBS Digital · 31 May

This month, the latest digital innovations include big announcements from Google regarding shortening the length of search result snippets and new features for Google My Business listings; new Google responsive search ads taking up search real estate; and Facebook adding new friends by expanding its list of marketing partners. From SEO to design, find out the top five things you need to know now in hotel digital marketing.