The PRWIRE Press Releases https:// 2010-10-27T23:51:40Z How To Lose & Alienate Online Travellers in 9 Ways 2010-10-27T23:51:40Z how-to-lose-amp-alienate-online-travellers-in-9-ways Online travel is a competitive.Just look at the number of websites all competing for the same online travel dollar. From online travel agencies like Priceline to hotels and airline direct sites, meta-searches like Kayak and a host of travel review websites, travel recommendation websites. And of course, lest we forget, Google is also jumping into the fray with the acquisition of ITA.In this ultra competitive, connected online travel world, there are so many ways to lose and alienate a potential travel consumer and you can do it as quickly as it takes to type a 140 character tweet.... Not convinced? Here's how travel companies are turning off travel consumers:1. A poor online presence2. Lack of responses to onlinetraveller comments& feedback3. Responding to online travel reviews/ comments & responding poorly4. Onlinetraveladvertisements – banners orsearch marketingor otherwise– that mislead5. Hidden surprises in a form of taxes or fees charges6. Not rewarding loyalty7. Poorly written content& text8. Spamming customers with travel offers they don’t need9. Failing to communicate instantly A poor online presentationA website is the online presentation of the travel company to its online users. Given that the website is likely to be the first interaction point with a potential travel customer, website functionality and usability is absolutely critical. I could point out different usability mistakes (but that’s deserves a different, more detailed article) but a sure way to lose customers is a website that loads slowly, difficult to navigate and lacks information to make travel purchase decision.A lack of response to online traveller comments& feedbackGrowth of social media sites as well as travel and hotel review websites like Facebook and Tripadvisor means every traveller can publish their thoughts, opinions and grievances. Travellers who publish their thoughts go online to be heard. Other travellers will hear them. It’s as simple as that. A travel company that offers silence to negative negative comments are perceived in 2 ways – they are guilty or they don’t care enough to respond. Both are not images travel companies want to embody.Responding to online comments& responding poorlyThere is only one thing a hotel, airline or online travel agency (OTA) can do that is worse than not responding to online travel comments and reviews. That is to respond to the comments and to respond poorly – be it emotionally, subjectively or defensively. A poor dialogue can add fuel to fire. The rule of thumb is respond early and objectively. Remember be sympathetic, diplomatic and fair goes a long way.Online advertisements that misleadEver responded to an advertisement that promises hotel prices from a low rate of $25, clicked on it and failed to find it because there was only 1 room type (which has long sold out) with that price? We’ve all been there as consumers and the result is normally one of disappointment …and a developed cynicism that will prohibit us from responding to said company’s future promotions. Don’t coach your potential customers to stop responding to your ads. Make sure you can deliver what your ads promised. If the room type or flight is sold out, remove the ad or replace the message.Hidden surprises in a form of taxes or fees chargesTravel fees and taxes are confusing to even the most well-travelled of consumers. The amounts are never fixed and differ by website, by country and even by state. There is nothing nastier than hidden taxes and fees showed to customers in their last step of the online booking path after they have made up their mind. It is actually intentionally deceitful - the primary reason why companies hide their travel fees and taxes is because they hope that consumers won’t notice. Well, deceit is not a good way to build a relationship with consumers.Not rewarding loyaltyWhile we are on the subject of forming relationships with customers, another way to lose online travellers is not rewarding them for their loyalty. I use loyalty not in the traditional, purest “I love apple product” sense but in a continuing to “visit and patronise the site” , building customer relationship management type of way. Every travel company and marketer knows that it is more cost effective to retain a consumer than to win a new customer. Recognise and reward users who come back to your travel or hotel website over and over. It can be a rewards program where you pass your savings to them or even as simple as personalising a greeting when the customer next visit your website.Poorly written content& textSsearch Engine Optimisation (SEO) may be to blame for this. These days, many travel websites take SEO to the extreme and write content focused on search engines and not people. In a similar token, internationalisation also contributes to the issue where sites are translated into multiple languages in a poor fashion. Frequent typos, grammatical errors, sentences that don’t make sense will impact a customer’s perception of the quality of your website and service.Spamming customers with generic travel offersAirlines, hotels and travel websites all have good reasons for requesting a consumer’s contact details. This is a way to communicate to consumer about his/her hotel or air booking. And frequently, if the consumer elects to opt in ( or in many cases, forgets to opt out) the company’s mailing list, the customer is set to receive all types of non-targeted travel promotion. It’s not wrong to build a marketing database. The folly here is to assume all customers are the same and send them the same offers. In this age of analytics, it’s not an unreasonable request to send a targeted, personalise offer to a user.Failing to communicate instantlyIn an age of tweets and real time search, instant gratification is everything and not responding in time is a carnal sin. If a customer sends an email query, ensure he/she gets responded to promptly or set a clear expectation on when they will receive a response. Better yet, utilise tools such as “live chats” or provide a telephone number. This will satisfy customers needing immediate attention.For further information please contact:Chloe Lim aoom – art of online marketing – consultancy Tel: 1300 916 154Email: chloe.lim@aoom.com.auWebsite: www.aoom.com.auAbout aoom consultancyaoom – art of online marketing – consultancy is a specialised online marketing consultancy dedicated to help businesses establish and optimise their online presence through creative online marketing strategies and tactics. aoom is a full service online marketing consultancy offering expertise from high level marketing strategy through to hands-on implementation across a range of online marketing services including affiliate marketing, CRM, search engine marketing, social media marketing to website usability. aoom consultancy balances the art of marketing with the science of online to drive the best online results for businesses. 9 Social Media Marketing Sins 2010-10-12T23:32:36Z 9-social-media-marketing-sins Social media marketing is hot. It’s the biggest buzz in marketing at the moment with every business looking to try its hand at it. Trying is well and good – but how do you avoid making mistakes and hence optimising results during that process? Here’s a list of the top 9 social media marketing sins to watch out for. Social Media Marketing Sin #1 - Not thinking before speaking: In the online social media world, almost every conversation is transparent – that’s one of the beauties of social media marketing as a marketing and communications tool. However, the flip side is – whatever you publish will be remembered, publicised and possible held against you. Add to that the real time nature of social media, there’s a real dangerof speaking before thinking. For companies, this can lead to damaging consequences – you may unwittingly anger your audience, publish inaccurate information or state opinions that undermine the company’s values and brands.Social Media Marketing Sin #2- Lacking a plan and focusThe danger of buzz is that businesses jump to leverage the new kid on the block without really understanding what they want to achieve with social media marketing. Too often, businessesget involved simply because others are doing it.Any marketing tactic should always start with business objective – start there and decide if social media is the right route to proceed with. Once you have defined your objectives and plans for social media marketing( is it promotion, online reputation management, customer communications?), you can work on the specific social media initiatives –this is far more effective than using a scatter gun approach. There is a difference in wanting to test what social media marketing can do for your businessversus not having a plan and trying everything and anything randomly. It’s a waste of resource.Social Media Marketing Sin #3 – Not ListeningA key purpose of social media isunderstanding your customers– you can be part of the conversation or just a fly on the wall. Understanding customers actually starts with listening. It pays to listen to listen to the discussions and conversations your consumers are having in social media networksbefore jumping in. Understand what your target audience and influencers are concerned about as well as the topics that they care about. Listening provides insight to what's interesting and what’s not to your potential and existing customers. This will help establish a better flow of conversation when you start with social media marketing.Social Media Marketing Sin #4 – Not being truthful There’s a saying – fake it until you make it. Well, that perspective leads to one of the biggest sins in social media marketing – not being truthful. This is a sure fire way to turn people off the company and its messages. There were companies that led users to believe that their blogs were created by brand evangelists and supporters when they were actually authored by employees or PR agencies. Such acts of manipulation will always be found out. And it’s a turn off!This isextended to all areas within social media. So when in doubt, just be upfront and honest. Social Media Marketing Sin #5 – Letting Social Media Go Alone While social media marketing is relatively new, it should not be cornered off for “experiments” or planning and implementation from the rest of your marketing activities be it PR, CRM or SEO. Letting social media go alone would make it harder for social media campaign to succeed. A good social media campaign ( think - Australia’s Queenland govt’s The best job in the world) requires all the different elements of marketing to come together. Integrating social media marketing intothe broader marketing mix would enhance the opportunity of success. Conversely, lack ofintegration will increase the chances of failing.Social Media Marketing Sin #6 – Going for the hard sellIt’s hard to break the traditional mould of selling and marketing. However, a hard sales tactic doesn’t quite fit or work in a social environment. Remember: Nobody likes unsolicited sales messages – few people think an endless streams of conversations that sound like commercialsas beinginteresting. Constantly barraging users with sales messages will lead to posts being ignored or worse, viewed as spam. Be more subtle in the approach, provide information that will influence or help people make purchase decisions.Social Media Marketing Sin #7 – Be persuaded that ROI does not matterThere’s no 3 letters that divide marketers more when it comes to social media marketing. There are online marketers who believe that you cannot put a value on relationship and in essence, social media marketing. However, the truth is, all investments, social media marketing or otherwise, must produce a tangible result to the bottom line and a return to investment. ROI would be easier to calculate if there is a proper plan, objective, KPIs and monitoring defined before starting the social media campaign. The results may not be immediate but do not be persuaded that ROI does not matter.Social Media Marketing Sin #8 – Lacking consistency in messagingCompanies participate in different social media websites. It is also not unusual to find the same users on different social media websites. Similar to a brand building exercise, companies build their image through the messages made throughsocial networkingsites. There needs to be consistency in messages portraying the company, its brand and its values so that the company maintains its identity. Conflicting messages may confuse users and ruin a company’s credibility.Social Media Marketing Sin #9 – Putting all eggs into the social media basketMost companies are not built with 1 single marketing tactic and it would be simply nave for any company to put all their eggs into the social media marketing basket. It is not necessary to abandon other marketing strategies and campaigns that have served the company well. Treat social media as another channel to promote your business, engage your customers or solicit feedback. Think about how social media can add on to the business and the total marketing mix – not about it can completely replace how you currently market. For further information please contact:Chloe Lim aoom – art of online marketing – consultancyTel: 1300 916 154Email: chloe.lim@aoom.com.auAbout aoom consultancyaoom – art of online marketing – consultancy is a specialised online marketing consultancy dedicated to help businesses establish and optimise their online presence through creative online marketing strategies and tactics.aoom is a full service online marketing consultancy offering expertise from high level marketing strategy through to hands-on implementation across a range of online marketing services including affiliate marketing, CRM, search engine marketing, social media marketing to website usability. aoom consultancy balances the art of marketing with the science of online to drive the best online results for businesses. 5 Ways Changing How We Market Travel 2010-10-08T06:46:05Z 5-ways-changing-how-we-market-travel Change is in the air. After a challenging 24 months, innovation and technology updates are moving in cracking pace as if making up for lost time. Much like how zero commission on airfares changed the dynamics in the travel industry and internet created a new breed of super travel retailers (Online Travel Agencies like Expedia, Priceline and Orbitz), there are 5 trends that are shaping huge changes in the way travel is marketed. 1. Mobilecommerce has a breakthrough 2. Social media brings a new social dilemma 3. Analytics is king 4. Selective outsourcing to get the best talents5. Customer relationship management back in focus as loyalty pays 1. Mobilecommerce hasa breakthrough Mobile marketing has been on the verge of a breakthrough…well, almost every year for the last 5 years. 2010 is proving to be the year of mobile and mobile apps. Much of thatcould be attributed to the success of the iPhone (and proliferation of smartphones) where almost every telecom and tech giant (google, Microsoft) scrabbled to deliver new phones, new OS and new apps. In 2009, about 4.2B was spent on mobile applications, according to figures from Gartner, a US technology research firm. This figure is set to grow.This evolving mobile marketing landscape signals big changes to the travel industry. Travel companies are starting to develop apps to market its products and services, travel consumers are using apps to research travel and share information and there is a blending of social and mobile apps to take the social aspects of travel further with the mobile. On the horizon, there are increasingly more ways to pay via the mobile. Most travel companies are already allocating marketing budget to test mobile marketing. It will be critical for travel companies to understand how touse mobile media effectively to reach or engage travellers and to be ready to enable mobile commerce to facilitate travel purchases.2. Social media brings a new social dilemmaMobile would have dominated most of the headlines in the past 12 months, if not for the othersocial and marketing trend– the growth of social media networks. Social media has a particularly potent fit with travel industry given travel asan experience of the unknown, lends itself to much discussions and debates. Travellers looking to visit a destination trust the opinions of other travellers far more implicitly than that of the travel industry (looking to sell them something) and travellers who have completed their journeys are keen to share their views, thoughts, photographs and more.Social media and social media marketing is not a fad – it is here to stay. Having a social media strategy is no longer optional and is a legitimate part of the marketing mix. As travel companies start to think about social media as part of the long term strategy, the marketing approachwillchange. Social media marketing will be a legitimate part of the marketing mix and a clearer social media plan and policy will merge. There will still be trials and tests on how best to utilise social media marketing to meet different objectives but it will start to evolve into a more analytic, bottom lined approach. Which brings us to the next point….3. Analytics is king The growth and growth of online marketing created a new paradigm in travel marketing – ability to track marketing investment in great detail and ability todetermine marketing channels with the best return on investment. The new marketing challenge is how to make sense in this explosion of data sets.A new breed of marketers has emerged and the composition of the marketing team in travel companies will change towards being more analytics driven andless sales-y. Travel marketing teams will be equipped to analyse and gain insight about travel customers and about the business. Train or hire. However, recognise that there’s also the danger of knee jerk reactions. Consumer behaviour is changing very quickly and data sets are reflective of these swift changes.Smart analytical marketers will realisethat not all changes require action.4. Selective marketing outsourcing to get the best talents Traditionally, outsourcing is used when a company is looking to cut cost and be more efficient. Many companies that downsize, expand or restructure find that outsourcing certain functions could prove to be a cost effective and flexible solutions. High quality seldom figures in the outsourcing equation.However, as technology changes are moving at a faster pace, new online marketing tactics require more specialised skills and experience. As the cost of hiring, training and retaining talentsbecome more expensive, there willbe a trend towards selective marketing outsourcing to get the best marketing talents to best meetbusiness objectives. As the core business focus of many travel operators from airlines to hotels is to manage and create the ultimate travel experience, many will start to look at acquiring specialised marketing skills and expertise externally.This will help reduce the cost of hiring permanent employees in the near term while the business map out more define marketing strategy and goals. External experts may also assist in providing an external perspective to the business and assist in accelerating the learning process. 5. Customer relationship management back in focus as loyalty paysInternet created many new forms of marketing techniques. However, creation of new marketing tactic also put otherson a backburner. One of the most common phrases overheard - there is just no such thing ascustomer loyalty out there. As such, seemingly a large focus of online marketing is centred around acquisition of traffic or customers. One of the big lessons learnt during the global financial crisis was that it is companies with the most engaged users/customers that were most apt to survive and even grow in the crisis.It has been reaffirmed to businesses : Loyalty Pays In addition, armed with improvement in technologies, companies are now equipped with better tools to engage consumers as well as to more intelligently gather and interpret information/data about their users. When it comes toexperiential product like travel, customer relationship management is even more critical. Consumers have higher expectations– they want to know that companies care and that they matter to the company. A good CRM, Rewards or Loyalty program reinforces this.Travel companies are starting to collect data and information about travellers, from who they are to how they useproducts/services. Travel companies armed with these information are using them to betterengage customers,creating a preferred way to communicate and also anticipating behaviour to better meet consumer needs.Metrics that define travel “loyalty” such as customer lifetime value, frequency of purchase, frequency of communicationand the list goes on will be created. CRM will get back into focus. #ENDS# For further information please contact:Chloe Limaoom – art of online marketing – consultancyTel: 1300 916 154Email: chloe.lim@aoom.com.auAbout aoom consultancyaoom – art of online marketing – consultancy is a specialised online marketing consultancy dedicated to help businesses establish and optimise their online presence through creative online marketing strategies and tactics. aoom is a full service online marketing consultancy offering expertise from high level marketing strategy through to hands-on implementation across a range of online marketing services including affiliate marketing, CRM, search engine marketing, social media marketing to website usability. aoom consultancy balances the art of marketing with the science of online to drive the best online results for businesses. aoom Consultancy Zooms In On Travel Online Marketing 2010-10-06T05:26:39Z aoom-consultancy-launches-and-zooms-in-on-travel-online-marketing Sydney 6 October 2010 - aoom - art of online marketing- consultancy, an online marketing firm, officially launches today. The brainchild of former online travel executive, aoom specialises in full service online marketing services for travel companies and companies looking to expand their online presence.“Online marketing has become part of the mainstream marketing mix and accounts for 60B dollars globally but still forms only about 14% of total advertising spend. This seems to indicate that companies are still struggling to fully understand different online marketing tools and how to utilise them to its maximum potential. We hope to provide them with the missing puzzle.” Chloe Lim, Managing Director of aoom, explainsaoom consultancy offers online marketing strategy planning and execution support for a full range of online marketing tactics including search engine marketing (paid search and search engine optimisation), customer relationship marketing, social media marketing and affiliate marketing. “Everyone knows the type of online marketing tactics available but many are struggling with execution and achieving the right results. Companies looking to expand their online presence are also often faced with task of building a team which can be potentially costly, not to mention time consuming. aoom consultancy aims to address these frustrations.” Chloe Lim adds.aoom consultancy will provide companies immediate access to experienced but affordable online marketing support.“This scenario is particularly evident in the travel and hotel industry where many suppliers have traditionally relied heavily on different 3rd parties to extend their distribution including online. Using online marketing tactics to attract customers (domestic and international) and secure sales directly should be accessible to all companies including suppliers. Online marketing is about knowledge. This is the aoom difference – we aim to deliver to coach and transfer online marketing knowledge and expertise to our clients”Chloe Lim is an online veteran of 13 years and is best known in the online travel industry for building and leading HotelClub marketing team for 6 years before managing the Orbitz’s HotelClub business globally. During her 9 years stint with the business, she was an integral part of growing the company into a multi million dollar company using innovative online marketing tactics. She pioneered the launch of HotelClub’s world first online hotel rewards program, expanded the company internationally by providing the services in 15 languages and 19 currencies and increased company traffic 4x to 8 million visitors per month.aoom has devised a simple 4 step engagement process. First, it starts with a free marketing consult to evaluate a client's business goals, objectives, and current marketing and activities. Next, the best strategies and online tactics are devised in-conjunction with the client’s marketing team or agency to achieve client’s business goals. Then, aoom helps establish the KPIs for the initiatives and implements or support implementation of approved initiatives. Lastly, aoom undertakes the critical step to anticipate problems, analyse results & refine future tactics and strategy. #ENDS# For further information please contact: Chloe Lim aoom – art of online marketing – consultancy Tel: 1300 916 154 Email: chloe.lim@aoom.com.auAbout aoom consultancyaoom – art of online marketing – consultancy is a specialised online marketing consultancy dedicated to help businesses establish and optimise their online presence through creative online marketing strategies and tactics.aoom is a full service online marketing consultancy offering expertise from high level marketing strategy through to hands-on implementation across a range of online marketing services including affiliate marketing, CRM, search engine marketing, social media marketing to website usability. aoom consultancy balances the art of marketing with the science of online to drive the best online results for businesses.