I am pleased to announce the launch of the new Travel Tech Consulting Website at http://www.traveltechnology.com. With the launch of the new site I will be discontinuing my blog at traveltechnology/blogspot.com as the new site incorporates my blog, Twitter feed and company information. Here is the new RSS http://traveltechnology.com/wp-rss.php. Please visit http://www.traveltechnology.com for more information on Travel Tech Consulting.
Monday, April 12, 2010
Monday, March 22, 2010
Travel Tech Consulting, Inc. and Connected Action Consulting Group LLC have put together a brief video presentation that provides insight into network analysis for airline Twitter feeds using the open source tool NodeXL. Network analysis goes beyond simply monitoring brand or promoting specials using social media. Network analysis allows travel companies to understand who are the key influencers in the network and how they connect with others. For example, it is not necessarily the user with the most Twitter followers or Tweets at a travel company needs to follow, but it is how the user is connected to others. The video uses United Airlines and Delta Airlines Twitter feeds as an example.
Monday, March 08, 2010
My wife's Facebook friend recently posted this message declaring that she does not fly UA because they break guitars. I recently spoke at the EzRez Thought Leadership Conference and I mentioned the now famous YouTube video which has received over 8 million viewings. A question from the audience was simply whether people would change their flying preferences because of this type of video. As evidenced by this blog entry, it has changed some people's attitudes.
Social media has been so hyped it is easy to forget that it is in some ways an extension of the most effective type of advertising, word-of-mouth but on steroids.
In a recent article, Travel Weekly columnist Richard Turen stated that United now uses Dave Carroll's video as a training device. Another recent story mentioned that David's bag was lost on a recent UA trip. (I guess he returned to United after all). So though the songwriter seemed to have forgiven UA, his video legacy lives on and continues to influence the blogosphere. Of course David's next song may be, "United lost my bag" considering his most recent experience.
Friday, March 05, 2010
Forrester analyst Josh Bernoff recently posted a blog regarding the end of the golden age of the Web and the rise of the Splinternet. As it name implies, the new environment consists of multiple devices with content and audiences fragmented across these platforms.
What does this mean for the future of travel distribution? This represents both a challenge and opportunity for travel marketers. The splintering of platforms and content means that a travel supplier or intermediary can no longer expect their single Web presence to be enough to communicate with their customers. The opportunity comes in the ability to personalize the experience based on the customer segment and platform capabilities. We've seen this already where unique iPhone apps have functionality such as augmented reality that only applies to a smartphone device. The whole downloadable app phenomenon provides the delivery mechanism to enhance this personal relationship with the customer.
New platforms such as the iPad and other tablets coming to the market will continue to cause the need for multiple development paths but providing unique experiences that are only possible based on the nature of the device is also a new opportunity. In a talk this week at Stanford University, Chris Anderson, Editor and Chief of Wired Magazine predicted that the tablet would eventually replace the lap top as the primary mobile computing device. As part of the Conde Nast publishing group, Chris was very bullish on how the tablet provides the immersive experience of a magazine while the flexibility and endless content of the Web. The true power of these devices will come in new applications that have yet to be developed.
The traditional travel industry players has always been slow to embrace new technology allowing new entries to capitalize on it and build solid businesses. One just needs to look at the dominance of the four major OTAs to see how this has happened on the Web. Why didn't American Express become one of these major OTAs? A similar phenomenon is happening in the mobile world with new entries such as TripIt gaining momentum (and investment) offering itinerary management and mobile travel services. With the advent of the Splinternet, the travel industry must embrace this new multi-platform and multi-content world and drive innovation or be a victim of losing control of the the customer to new market entries that understand this opportunity.
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
With eWeek reporting that 70% of the Fortune 500 are evaluating iPhone for the enterprise, the corporate travel industry needs to take note. From my view the debate is over regarding download verses mobile Web. Transcoding your Web page for the mobile browser is still important, but the value of a downloadable app for a company's brand and the ability to personalize the interaction with the customer is unmatched. The phone is becoming more and more of a sensor (accelerometer, compass, temperature, etc..) . The penetration of the iPhone in the corporate market is making a downloadable iPhone app for travel companies a priority. Apple has announced record profits and the iPhone is a big part of this. Apple's success in the corporate market is directly due to the consumer acceptance of the device.
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
With the growth of Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, social media monitoring and promotion have become a major activity for most travel companies. The goal is to listen to the social networks and respond to issues around a company's brand. The other major effort is to use fan pages and Twitter feeds to offer limited-timed promotions. Both these activities are essential social media 1.0 tasks, but there is a lot more analysis that can be implemented to identify connectivity among community members, key influencers within the community and overall community trends. To achieve this next level of analysis BI tools that examine social networking are required.
As mentioned in a previous blog, one such tool is NodeXL. This is an open source Microsoft Excel plug-in that can be used to create a visual community map of everything from your Outlook contacts to your Twitter feed. The visualization allows you to understand relationships between community members. Are there individuals who everyone connects to, but who connect to few? If so , these people may be key community influencers, but how do you influence them? As you can see this only touches the surface of social networking analysis.
I am pleased to announce a new strategic alliance, with Marc A. Smith, PhD of Connected Action Consulting Group. Not only is Dr. Smith the creator of NodeXL, but he is an experienced social scientist who uses his sociology training to offer clients a deep understanding of their online communities with specific recommendations on how to implement strategies to protect and grow a company's brand within their community. Travel Tech Consulting is pleased to offer Dr. Smith's services in conjunction with our travel technology and online expertise to offer clients the next level of analysis of social networks.