Thursday, April 07, 2011

Search, Social and Mobile- pre Eyefortravel thoughts via eHotelier

I am speaking this year at Eyefortravel May 18-19 in Singapore

I have put together some pre-conference predictions for 2011 (based on by full 2011 predictions). They were picked up and published in a post on eHotelier along side predictions from Robert Bailey of Abacus and (Professor) Timothy O'Neil-Dunne of LUTE technologies (and so much more). Check out the full text here.

My predictions are:

  • Search changes (again); Search already changed forever in 2010. There is more to come in 2011, especially in the measure of authority. The old measure of inbound links will be enhanced with input from social networks, context and location, expert advice, preference matching and more. Search marketing will have to change to encompass content, social, information syndication and data mining. All suppliers and all OTAs will need to ensure that their SEO experts and agents are on top of this change. In addition to the changes in authority, search will change in how results are displayed;
  • Social media will challenge search and retail: the parallel rises of social media, customers asking more complicated (and open) questions online and consumers willingness to discuss and share everything openly and freely will drive through 2011 a change the way the industry attracts and retains customers. The traffic numbers of Facebook, Twitter, foursquare etc are all but unprecedented. But it is not their rise that is the story. The story is the consumer behaviour behind the rise of these products. Pick your metaphor - consumers have opened the kimono, dropped their pants or invited everyone in to their lives. Nothing is sacred. Everything can and will be shared. Marketing channels will need to be adjusted. Communications techniques changed. Customer care models and response times adjusted. Even sales channels will need to be reworked. Get ready for social search, book and buy; and
  • Mobile becomes a distinction without meaning: iPhone did for the smart phones what diet coke did for soda. It created a category, lifted other categories with it and made people buy more of everything around it. The consequence is that people are using their phones (and now tablets) while they are on the move and as a replacement for laptops. Mobile no longer means mobile. By that I mean people will sit in meetings, on couches as home, at the desk...anywhere...everywhere...expecting to be connected. Not caring if a device is called a phone, tablet or netbook. Just caring that it gets them the content or experience they want. The result is device platform discussions will move from "which product is this built for" to "is this compatible for all displays". Much like we now say that a site has to be web ready rather than differentiating between its readiness on FireFox, Chrome, Safari, opera and IE. The type of the device and whether or not it is mobile is now irrelevant. Mobile/PC/Tablet will be the different "browsers" of 2011. All code will need to be written in preparation for this.
For a reminder of my thoughts on last year's Eyefortravel check out this post.


Carl said...

Hi Timothy

Thanks for your post.

The privacy question interests me. You talk about consumers opening their lives and, indeed, younger Gen Y folks and so seem to be sharing in ways thought unthinkable a few years ago.

But then we read people like the Prof talking about "Privacy. This is becoming a hot topic."

Do you think it's hot?

Or might it just go away as the youngsters don't even, in some cases, seem to know what all the fuss is about?



France said...

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