Skift Report: Online Reputation Management Excerpt

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  • 1. The Next Phase of Online Reputation Management for Travel Brands With travelers increasingly influenced by online reviews, hotels & destinations are expanding their attention to ever more sophisticated strategies surrounding management, response, and analysis of the feedback consumers create. Meanwhile technology firms are additionally providing fresh approaches to online reputation man- agement that foreground data, curation, and the mobile review experience. SKIFT REPORT #16 2014 This material is protected by copyright. Unauthorized redistribution, including email forwarding, is a violation of federal law. Single-use copy only. If you require multiple copies, contact us at trends@skift.com. By James O’Brien and Skift Staff WWW.SKIFT.COM
  • 2. Get the twice-monthly Skift Trends Report for the latest intelligence on the travel industry. Each edition in our new series of reports will brief you on a specific trend, providing insight into the current state of the market, the context around the trend, and where the industry is heading in the near future. After you subscribe, you will receive 24 reports direct to your inbox for an entire year. Reports are delivered as a downloadable PDF. For any comments or questions, email us at trends@skift.com. For more information on past reports go to Skift.com/travel-trends. Subscribe to the Skift Trends Report
  • 3. When it comes to making choices about hotel destinations, travel- ers are deeply and increasingly invested in the online review. At the same time, hotel brands seeking consumer bookings have invested time and human resources in managing and developing the online- review space as well. On both ends of the equation, the infrastruc- ture surrounding online hotel reviews is becoming more sophis- ticated, its users more savvy, and the options for how, when, and from where reviews can be posted, consumed, and responded to is evolving toward new models. The push for proactive approaches to online reputation management (ORM) in the hotel-review space is now augmented by third-party aggregators, big-data analytics, and the critical — if at times sensitive — notion that reviews need to be not only a two-way communication between brands and travelers, but also a curated experience, so that consumers see the feedback that is most relevant to them. Furthermore, the very concept of the online review is entering the mobile space, where travelers are already — and developers mean them to be increasingly — employing apps to find site- and scenario-specific feedback that helps them to make in-destination decisions. Brands, meanwhile, are also working with new mobile interfaces, ones that allow their ORM teams to see and react to the reviews that consumers create. At a speed that is approaching real- time, technology is empowering brands to conduct ORM independ- ent of where any given manager or hotelier may be located, when- ever the need to respond might arise. Executive summary The Next Phase of Online Reputation Management for Travel Brands SKIFT REPORT #16 2014 3
  • 4. Table of contents About Skift Skift is a travel intel- ligence company that offers news, data, and services to professionals in travel and professional travelers, to help them make smart decisions about travel. Skift is the business of travel. Visit skift.com for more. Executive Summary 3 Introduction 4 Traveler behavior: online reviews in 2014 8 Creation, reception, and trust of online reviews 8 Brand response and the traveler review 9 Developments in online reputation management 11 Aggregation, curation, and analytics 12 Reviews and the mobile traveler 13 Social media and the online review 14 Insights and strategies 16 Endnotes 17 About Skift 18 The Next Phase of Online Reputation Management for Travel Brands SKIFT REPORT #16 2014 7