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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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?
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
HEBS Digital · 22 May
The hospitality industry is enjoying its longest expansion and healthiest growth in decades, yet there are some troubling trends beginning to surface that threaten profitability and overall performance.
HEBS Digital · 17 May
With over 4 billion searches happening every day, the Google ecosystem continues to be one of the best suites of products available for hotels to drive online users to their website, and then convert those users into guests. With ongoing optimizations and new products being released regularly, it can be easy for hoteliers to fall behind on trends and miss opportunities to get the most out of their digital strategy through the entire Google ecosystem.