Hello everyone and welcome to Hospitality Marketing the podcast, I am your host Loren Gray and this is episode #276 where each week we spend around 20 to 30 minutes sharing the most interesting tools, news, and techniques being used in marketing for the hospitality industry. We also do a quick recap of our weekly Live Video show “This Week in Hospitality Marketing” which also airs every Friday at 11:30 am Eastern US Time.. SO let’s get started;
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Hospitality Marketing THe Podcast Show 276 Transcripts (English U.S.)
Announcer — Welcome to this week in Hospitality Marketing. The podcast show number 276 with your host, Loren Gray.
Hello, everyone, and welcome to hospitality marketing the podcast. I’m your host, Loren Gray, and this is episode number 276. So each week we spent around 20 to 30 minutes sharing most interesting tools, news and techniques being used in marketing for the hospitality industry. We also do a quick recap of our weekly live video show this week in Hospitality Marketing, which also airs every Friday at 11:30 a.m. Eastern US time. So with that, let’s get started on now.
Announcer — Today’s new resource tool.
So, our tools for review this week and I say tools is being plural are going to be a little interesting as they are a little divergent. As I have often said, that is a disclaimer from my cohorts on the live show. Make sure all of your block and tackle are being done. Your proper s CEO content schema, navigation of the website, rich media content, ad campaigns, ad groups targeting demographics, geography, ease rate structures, all that stuff as a baseline. So please understand that these things I’m about to talk about as fun and as intriguing as they are as I find them to be that they are not.
Your first choice is stepping into trying to find innovative marketing ideas without having done all the basics first and optimizing them to the maximum capacity thes are on the fringe, which actually leads to our technique, which we’ll discuss in just a little bit. The tools I’d like to review is because I just recently got the new Oculus quest to VR headset. For those unfamiliar with it. It is amazing to be honest with you, not that VR sets haven’t been out in the market for a long time.
But they have progressively grown from being mandatorily, plugged into a very powerful computer and also being very expensive toe work with to being where they are now, and I know that they still have to come down in price. But the entry level Oculus quest to with great resolution a 64 gigabytes of storage all work from the headset themselves, like we’re in a very large goggle set on your head with some head straps on and two remotes, one in either hand and it puts you into a virtual world.
Now the difference between VR and A R R is just as much as the acronyms to stand for VR is virtual reality, meaning everything that you are seeing is being generated for you. You are seeing something that is put in place of your normal viewing. A ar ar augmented reality is Theo. Enhancement of what you’re seeing in your environment, with additional information considered a are being like a head of HUD display heads up displaying in the advanced new cars that around now where they show your speedometer and your directions.
If you’re taking directions from a map or what have you? Speed limits and whatever in the dialogue ghost image of that’s on your windshield. It also means things like Google Glasses back when they first rolled out, where they amplify stuff on top of. And for those that air geek is an adventure movies. It’s the heads up display, like a fighter pilot has that shows the compass and targeting and so forth of things that are in the real world with the enhancement of additional view of viewing. And I believe there has a huge life history coming into hospitality.
But I also believe er has a value as well. Albeit not as much as I think they are will be. But VRS. What will focus on today with the tools and three tools that I think are very innovative in the VR space for business and four engagement with teams and four with conferences and four with meetings is one is called Oculus venues. The other is engaged Oculus. Well, it’s actually not Oculus engaged, but it’s engaged. It works on Oculus and also spatial. They all have different reasons of existence.
They’re not all the same for the same reasons. Octus venues is a lot like going to a conference in VR. You are an avatar again terminology that if you’re not familiar with some things, basically like what? It’s a visual representation of yourself in this virtual generated world. Eso When people see you as them from their perspective, you represent some cartoonish looking figure. You could even put your own face on it if you want to, although it’s slightly spooky because it never really moves. Um, but you are a person that can navigate, literally walk, but again in the VR world.
You don’t wanna walk us in the real world, you run into things. But the the VR world allows you to create a space around you that creates a virtual fence. If you get too close to the physical distancing from where you started, a little red screen comes up and figure like a little force field shield of your sci fi saying, Hey, you’re about ready to exit out of your your shared space or your safe space And then it actually will turn on the cameras on the goggles to show you your your real world around you so you don’t run into the couch or the chair or the desk or whatever, Um, again, to experience it, just understand a little bit better.
What I’m saying, but these tools, venues is like going to a conference. Actually, the way I’d like to equate it is it’s like going toe Ah, movie theater and you’re in the lobby area and you have different theaters you can go to, and there’s a time start saying, Okay, this is going to start at such and such time, much like when you’re at a conference and there’s a session that’s going to start and you go in and you find your seat and literally in the virtual world, that’s what you do.
You go up to the door and you do this by moving the little joystick on your remote, and you go up to the door and go into the theater venue, and then you choose what vantage you would like to have toe watch this very large virtual screen off the presentation, which makes it very interesting. Um, and so you could have a virtual conference. People show up for now. Of course, the limitation literally is the fact that for those who you’re asking to attend your virtual conference would be they would have to have these VR goggles to do so.
It does allow you to engage one on one with people. You can actually walk upto their virtual virtual avatar and reach out to talk to them. They could talk to you or ignore you. You go into separate breakout rooms if you want to spend time talking to other people, which means vendors could be represented. They’re a swell, and you literally had a virtual conference, all while from the safety and Security and privacy of your own office or home. Now engage is a little bit different and that it allows for, uh, team for personal engagement.
This is this is a little bit like inviting people over to your living room and sitting around. You can share watching movies. You can, uh, talk with people. They all have their own virtual avatar you can play games with. There’s another game on another program on Oculus called Alcove, which is very somewhere, we play board games with people, even though they may not be physically in the same room with you. Virtually they have joined you, and virtually they’re playing checkers with your monopoly or whatever engages very much like that as well.
But from a team building spirit where you can hang out and watch movies together, play games together, just simply be in the same room and talk, so to speak virtually and then the other one is spatial. Spatial is very interesting for work team groups. Uh, this one allows you to to be able to have your team members together. You could just shared whiteboards, shared sticky walls, shared screens, shared video, shared presentations and allows you to collaborate on things without necessarily physically being in the same room. It’s like a replacement to a meeting room gathering where you bring in your team members and you hammer out your work and techniques and meetings on a white board or shared screen or shared presentation.
That’s the same thing only virtual and that its spatial. So the three Tools Air Oculus venues, Um, which is in beta and gray, engaged VR dot io and then specials B a s P a T i A l dot io. And those are the three virtual tours that lend themselves to their technique of the week
Announcer — now for this week’s hospitality technique.
So our technique of the week is to kind of collaborate on all of these interesting VR tools. And what does the bleeding edge look like? And what I mean by that is this stuff.
How does that equate to hospitality marketing? Well through the the cova pandemic? Ah, lot of technologies have become accelerated where perhaps it was going to take years for adoption years for development years for investment because of changes in needs and the fact that business travel corporate travel has diminished remote business working has been adopted remote ability to say You never actually have to come into the office again, which means there’s, ah bit of a migration of populations that no longer are staying around cities or paying for very expensive cities to stay in because of their work being in that city.
They can now live in a more affordable or preferred area of the country and still get their work done remotely. That’s technology. That was probably years in the transition that accelerated in eight months, and that will probably the continued trend for a lot of companies because of the cost savings. Number one number two, they’re able to actually just salaries and what have you, but number two is. It also has a quality of life for those that have the ability to do that. Obviously, not everybody’s job allows you to have this luxury, but for those that do this technology has proven to be very valuable, so V. R is a potential and growing alternative toe.
All of this we’re now a $200 investment in goggles is not necessarily and out of the warrior place, I mean, gosh knows technology just from a laptop perspective, is quite expensive. Um, but the idea of thinking that you could have mawr of unengaged team from remote distance you’re saving on travel costs you’re saving on office leases. You’re saving on potentially salaries depending upon the city that you’re having. Anybody living work in you have, um, or interactive collaboration capabilities. It doesn’t fully replace those people from being physically in the same location.
But concerned that we’re just now on the precipice of vaccines, vaccines have to be introduced into our population. There has to be a critical amount of that population that takes the vaccines eventually subsiding. The infection rate of associated with the cove it we’re looking at and every projection that you see, we’re well into next year for that to be even the beginning off, some sort of return to I Wouldn’t you want to say normal? Because there is no normal at this point, a reflection to what travel used to be like before the covert pandemic, and that would be a continued growth we’re already talking to.
And here within the industry, statisticians and brains, that 2024 is a more realistic perspective of some sort of numbers that resemble what it was pre covert in the sense of occupancies eight ers and so forth. And in our news section today we’ll talk a little bit about some of the other impacts from the long term sense that this might be representing itself. So, um, with that in mind, what does the bleeding edge look like? Well, what the bleeding edge may look like is that you may have a conference in which, because of the very fast adoption of VR and the fact that it is now at a better price than before that having a VR conference as scoffed as it might have been even just a few months ago night but now might be seriously considered, um, sending VR goggles to, ah, high end client that you want to participate in a more direct way with is no longer and outside fringe idea.
It might be something of interest to say. Hey, look, we can’t travel to you. You don’t want to travel to us. Vice versa, whatever. But if you put these on, we can be together in the same room, virtually share and dialogue privately what it is we want to talk about and work on on our our project. Mutually, Uh, that creates that kind of capabilities. Your team can now gather in one room virtually and share ideas as if they were used to be casually not in the very two dimensional zoom where it’s so easy to talk over when your teammates or them talk over you or you can’t get in.
You have issues with with too many talking heads. This VR environment is very similar to literally the physicality of being in the same room also to conferences where now, perhaps maybe there’s a large adoption of these goggles that that continue going forward. And because of that, it is not outlandish to think that you can have a conference in which people would attend that have the capacity, technology wise, thes goggles being in particular to join the conference and they and garner the information that they’re running from and pay for it to be there.
That’s literally the key element to that process. Um, Also to is the collaboration between friends being able to gather together and share and keep that bonding of team members that collaborate and work together and talk together both during an off business hours in which you can socially engaged with your co workers without it being the physicality of being in the same room, we’re going to the same place. Of course, all of these things don’t replace the reality of doing it in person. But as your team does disseminate geographically and it is much more of an event to get them together in the future sense, where some team members may have traveled into different states or different areas that are farther away, that ability to go down to the local bar and have a beer and hang out may not be as relevant all the time.
And it turns into a special event when you gather everybody back to to the home base, so to speak, for everyone to get together well. In the meanwhile, this is a great Intermont opportunity. Within thes things comes advertising opportunities. We will be talking in future podcast about some of the O, T. T and videos and so forth that Netflix and Hulu’s of the world capabilities of being advertised. Right now, though, this is called game ads for lack of a better term Then fusion of your advertising within virtual environments.
The ability to put literally a billboard signed in these platforms that’s selling your product. UH, that somebody else may be having a conference on that. You can either go in as a vendor or going as an advertiser. Uh, these venues are beginning to open up to, for monetization sake ability to advertise within them so you can represent yourself if it’s not your own event or it’s not even your own room. The fact that you could be represented in other rooms to say, Hey, if you’re thinking about X y Z or if you need this product or you need the service or you need to be traveling, this is the place to go to um, thes virtual environments are are getting better all the time.
Their quality and engagement are getting better all the time. And from that comes an amazing opportunity of putting yourself in front of people that might need the fact that they have to travel to your location, stay in your hotel, come to your restaurant and things gives you opportunity. Remind people of that in virtual environments, in addition to using the platforms themselves for your own purposes, so that is our technique of the week. What does the bleeding edge look like? That brings us to now this week’s hospitality
Announcer — News that you should know.
So our news and show review. Great show. We had detachment with base Camp Manifest Search Marketing Ben Hanley from three and six media over from across the pond in England. Stuart Butler would flip two out of the Carolinas. Every Saint Ange. Look it up in Orlando with flip to Tammy Carlson with Milestone Internet on DMA. Slowly mock Carmen from things of enterprise in TC Armed Services. We had a great open dialogue. Fun chat. Uh, how do you market with the biggest time consumption of our discussion really was?
How do you market for travel when it’s being so outwardly discouraged with us coming into the Thanksgiving travel week and everybody, CDC and everyone is discouraging travel, cautioning the fact by gathering even in small groups the potential of, uh, spreading the pandemic before we actually have a means of controlling it as we have. And, of course, the massive numbers of the growth of what’s happening right now and the discouragement of saying, Please stay home. We’re fighting against this and we’re fighting against other areas that are being a little bit more robust in there.
There, uh, restrictions by creating curfews and shut offs and early closed times and so forth and restaurants flat out not being able to operate eso. The reasons to travel to come to that area go down as well. It’s not just whether they allow the hotel to operate. It’s the fact that once they’re at the hotel, there’s no place for them to go or do anything. So why travel if that’s an even an option to consider without it being unnecessary? Tropical moment based on work, which we know is very thin and on right now for most people, corporate travel on business travel is almost non existent.
It is there and you have to be very granular is to finding it. But it is not the volumes anywhere close to what it was when it was more remain stay. So we have those conversations. We also talked about Pebble works, creating a soft brand and how and who should be concerned about that. I threw in the fact that preferred, which should be of consideration but really was pushed down saying really, that that that they’ve never been strong, what they were doing, anyway, that people like Marriott Hilton Hyatt should be more concerned because here this is the first strong play for a loyalty program for an independent hotel group.
Compared to a branded hotel that’s allowing into an independent hotels operating with, like the autograph Collection, what have you with Marriott and so forth and so on. So great discussion about Pebble Brook and its impact potential impact as it moves forward. Amazing Click, Click Grant combination off brands and ownership groups that gathered together to create this opportunity. Eso wait and see as to how that progresses, but definitely something that looks like it may have a very large impact into the industry in general, on the North American side of things.
Um, also, we started delving into how to create a future loyalty program, what that should look like not making it a frequency program or carried on a stick program, but rather how do you really reward and create value for your guests that they want to be connected to you rather than the agnostic? I signed up for everything. So at whatever benefit any one of them derived. I’m already connected to them. Um, then we went over invented into an area that we wouldn’t think would be something but needed to be said and definitely brought up the need for it.
And that was, uh, Depression, anxiety and hospitality. The very riel impact of job loss. Job stress for those who are still working job confusion, goal, confusion, lack of identity, depression, Weah’s hospitality. People tend to always wanna have that good, positive facade off warmth and welcome for those who are dedicated to the industry. But we may not be feeling it internally. Uh, concerns, worry and certainty. Doubt what have you and that can create a very bad combination of basically a hollow center to, ah, shiny facade. And I recorded it with our conversation much to Robert Williams, or somebody gave so much joy but was so sad on the inside that he ended up taking his own life.
Um, never to allow it to go that far. Uh, didn’t announce the fact that we’re starting that we are hospitality program again. At noon every day of the week, I’d go over and turn on unopened form conversation, which you could go to at bit Lee forward slash were hospitality at noon, and there is no agenda. There is no topics other than it’s a commonality of were within the industry and just really want to talk to another person for that. You don’t normally see or can’t go on socialized with.
It gives you an opportunity to go and hang out and talk talk hospitality. Great. If you want to talk about the weather, just is fine. So I talked about it as well. Um, for my news item, I wanted to hit on the topic came out coming out of focus wire. It was called Innovation Recovery, Renewal. What the travel industry can expect in 2021. I bring this in kind of collaboration with what we just talked about with a V R and A are even, and that is, you know, there’s certain impact that will come from this.
We’ve accelerated a lot of technologies because of the need for it in the past 898 months, Um, but business travel in per se will begin to resume responsibly. When it does begin to come back, it won’t be in potential, um, based on the lowest cost denominator as it is the safety of travel denominator. What is being done for the safe and secure travel premise of business travelers for are those who have to travel. What is the consideration is being given to their travel safety concerns, not just what is the best rate for what they’re being offered to stay with themselves.
Also to would be the potential that that travel would, um, be connected to a longer length of stay. That, if you’re going to make a trip for business to a destination that you would be, is inclusive about every reason that destination would prove valuable while you’re there rather than Oh, I’ll bang, you know, up over there for a day for X y Z client and jump back over to Central. And I’ll go back to them again two weeks later because of ah ABC client. Know if it is and you’re gonna get X, Y Z client and ABC client, you’re gonna spend longer time there so length of states have the potential of being modified as well.
In addition to the safety considerations also to they talked about in the article, AI at work will accelerate. This goes very much into what we just talked about with the VR experience went having but even reemphasizes what was brought up by Stewart and by Robert Cole. And by s and on and on and on and on, Aunt Imputed that the third most considered aspect of a stay at a hotel eyes WiFi and the strengthened and access to it. And that’s gonna become a very prominent future as people travel and they based their business from their hotel room that, yes, they will go to clients and or possibly offices, that is their home office or their their their company’s offices.
But because the downsizing potential of these business offices there’s no additional or free space for them to necessarily worked within. So even though they may be at their home office, that Home office no longer has all the extra cubicles or spaces or meeting rooms that they once had because of downsizing. And so when they called everybody back to the mother ship, so to speak, those people don’t have all places to work from in the office space. So maybe ah, lot of the work will be done from the hotel rooms even though they’re in the proximity of the Home Office, and they only make the Home office services based on the necessity for they individually to be there, which means that their duration of your hotel is longer.
Their usage of your WiFi is greater, and because of that, both of those have to be strong, clean, safe and capable for that many people to be using them. And who knows? Marv Er, conversation come into play as well that there are those who are physically in the main office in a meeting. And then there are those that Air V are available in the office, looking at them from a VR perspective and contributing to it as well. But they’re virtually in the offices well, so because of that, there may be this mix of AI and that is accelerating that technology.
Other conversations they did have what they did, talk about diversity, equity and inclusion. Progresses will take a while, uh, with the current affairs of what’s going on. A lot of women have left the workforce because they have become responsible for their families more so than men. And so a lot of women have left the workforce that’s gonna have to come back also to any, uh, ethnicities that are in the workforce for business travel. There would be, uh, potential impacts of the of the diversity of those people is Well, um, and again, it goes back into the consumer travel again, looking at longer stays, looking at duration of the trip itself than going into you know, um, aviation, aviation usage less touch things like as in, um, whether or not there you you have Ah, your boarding pass.
People have gotten familiar with using, um, their boarding pass without having to print it out. They’ve looked at being with a key less entry in, and that’s a great person to store butler with because they have a great app that does keyless entry into your hotels, investing in the technology that have the doors to do that so forth and so on. So that was our news article that I like to make sure was featuring that his innovation, recovery, renewal, what the travel industry can expect in 2021. So remember you can find us on Google play apple iTunes I heart radio soundcloud stitcher, Spotify Pandora.
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And we’ll look forward to talking to you next week.
Announcer — you have been listening to this week in Hospitality Marketing The Podcast show 276. Brought to you by Hospitality Digital Marketing in support of the HSMAI, the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International rights reserved copyright 2020.
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