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Marketing is Changing as a Result of the 5th P, Part I.
By Morris Sim, CEO, Circos Brand Karma
Friday, 8th November 2013
 
The traditional 4Ps of Marketing surrounding Product, Pricing, Placement, and Promotion has undergone a major update and at Web In Travel this year I, as the moderator, along with a wonderful set of expert panelists, examined the impact of the 5th P People, and how they're fundamentally changing the rules of marketing as we know it.

4Hoteliers Image Library(Pictured right: Morris Sim)

Summary and Thoughts of the Product Panel

Emilie Couton from Accor started with a presentation based on Accor's research into the way people travel, and the highlight was that Asian travelers place three times more trust in non-branded sources when researching where to stay (40% for review sites or OTAs vs.13% on hotel's own website).

In terms of sharing, travellers from emerging markets like China, Indonesia and Philippines were more likely to write reviews than travelers from developed markets like Hong Kong, New Zealand, and Australia. And of those surveyed, a whopping 65% of APAC travellers provided feedback on their last trip. (See full findings here)

How are brands dealing with it? Benjamin Jost from TrustYou (extreme left on panel below) and RJ Friedlander from ReviewPro (second from left) both agreed that in this age traveller reviews provide the context for prospects doing travel research, and that it's important for brands to respond and have a voice.

4Hoteliers Image LibraryHowever, given the number of reviews, Emilie gave a goal of 30% response rate for Accor hotels, whereas Kittisak Pattamasaevi from Trisara (of Montara Hospitality) thought the framework that would work for independent hoteliers was to focus responding to the negative reviews and the positive ones that accrued to the core brand value.

Both Emilie and Kittisak represented the supplier side, and felt that reviews gave travelers a credible view of what to expect, and that the operational team had a responsibility to either fulfill that promise or to improve if the outcome of the review didn't match the brand value.

My personal thoughts after having moderated the panel is that review management is now a standard hygiene factor in brand management. Brands receive feedback from three primary sources: social media, guest satisfaction surveys, and directly (either via email or in person) and they will need to stay on top of all feedback.

To not do so is to operate with one eye closed. Secondly, there are other interesting applications of the review data in the form of social search and revenue optimization that could help with suppliers' business but as with all things, the devil is in the details.

Read the full story HERE
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