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  • Meet Minneapolis: Travel to the Twin Cities this Summer for HITEC 2019

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Tech Innovation Helps Deal-Driven Travelers Take Off

Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council ·26 September 2018
If you are one of the hundreds of millions of people worldwide who will fly this year, your travel choices and selections are being influenced by the connected economy. Whether you are a smart and well-informed travel planner, a "relaxed nomad" ready to roam without stress or strife, or a deal-seeker on a budget, technology is transforming your travel experience, findings show, in a way that makes it even more accessible and frequent.According to new research - entitled "What's Changing the Way You Travel Today" - undertaken by the CMO Council's GeoBranding Center and AIG Travel, today's diverse leisure travelers are smarter, more informed and better prepared than ever before. Beliefs, values and interests are influencing where, how and why people travel. Technology and service innovations are making it easier and cheaper to discover, reach and enjoy travel destinations. While deals, specials and promotions are driving desire and action, visually enriched and personalized digital content channels are making travel experiences more alluring and exciting.Download report at: research, centered around a survey of more than 2,000 leisure travelers by Pollfish this summer, yielded some notable statistics. Nearly half of those polled say the Internet and device connectivity makes travel better. A further 42 percent believe technology innovations and advancements across all modes of travel have improved the experience, and 38 percent say these tech advancements have helped them find deals, discounts and destinations more easily.More than 51 percent of travelers surveyed say great deals and discounts are what prompts them to make a travel booking. Easier, do-it-yourself travel planning is also a major factor for 32 percent of travelers. Other influences are referrals from family and friends (29 percent), exciting images or video (21 percent), and interesting stories or articles (21 percent)."We're in the thick of a monstrous growth in global travel," notes Donovan Neale-May, executive director of the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council, which operates the GeoBranding Center. "The message from today's leisure traveler is clear: Travel brands from airlines and resorts to destination and location marketers need to be digitally empowered and data-driven in their go-to-market practices. The impact and influence of how people find, select, book, secure, share and rate their travel experiences in the connected economy has brought on record travel numbers that are not likely to slow."When asked to identify the top travel planning innovations and developments in recent years, 49 percent of those surveyed pointed to online travel booking sites and booking assurances, including insurance coverage. An equal percent highlighted deal or discount availability. Other marketing strategies and inducements that also rated highly by respondents included:Loyalty programs with upgrades, privileges, and travel benefits (34 percent)New ways to discover, source and receive personalized travel deals (33 percent)Promotional incentives and options (28 percent)A notable 46 percent of respondents said online travel aggregators and booking sites (Expedia, Travelocity,, etc.) did the best job of assisting and satisfying travelers today. They out-performed travel agents (32 percent), lodging and hospitality sites (hotels, resorts, B&Bs, etc.), as well as travel deal and savings sites (Travelzoo, CheapTickets, etc.), which both received a 19 percent share of the vote."Advancements in technology have revolutionized the way consumers can now customize travel to better suit individual trip preferences and budget, including how travel insurance is researched and purchased," said Jeff Rutledge, CEO at AIG Travel. "As consumers take more control over their travel booking process, all members of the travel industry must step up to deliver a seamless booking experience which, for the travel insurance segment specifically, means guiding travelers to the right products and services for their particular trip."Factors most influencing travel choices tended to be more about passions, self-interests and destination appeal, rather than travel issues or concerns:Special interests, hobbies and diversions (43 percent)Security, stability and friendliness of destination (36 percent)Adventure, recreation or sports pursuits (30 percent)Culture and history of the local people (29 percent)Destination geography and diversity (29 percent)Surprisingly, only 15 percent relied on their social media networks to help shape their travel choices, and just eight percent pointed to political ethics, human rights practices or prejudices in travel locales as a consideration when choosing travel destinations.When asked to characterize the type of traveler they were, most respondents selected more informed, relaxed and deal-seeking to best describe their approach to travel. Most prevalent travel types included:Smart, well-informed planner (31 percent)Relaxed nomad - easygoing and flexible (25 percent)Deal seeker on a budget (22 percent)Less common were those that felt nervous, stressed and anxious when traveling (13 percent) and fewer yet thought they were thrill-seeking and adventure-bound (5 percent). Topping the list of reasons why survey participants did not travel more frequently were:Too many distractions or obligations in my life (19 percent)Don't like crowds or discomforts of travel (17 percent)Lack time and a compelling reason (14 percent)Too much anxiety, stress and danger (10 percent)Hassles and headaches of travel (8 percent)Difficulty and complexity of planning for travel (7 percent)The research was conducted in Q3 of 2018 and highlights the results of a survey fielded to 2,000 adults in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. The report is available for a complimentary download via this link:

Marketing Leaders Embrace Gdpr As Path To Trust And Improved Experiences As Compliance Laggards Shirk Responsibility And Fail To Champion Change

Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council ·13 September 2018
While some organizations saw the May 25 enforcement deadline for the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) as the finish line for compliance, leading edge marketing executives saw the day as a starting point of a journey to reinforce trust and actively improve the customer experience.According to data from the CMO Council, in partnership with SAP Customer Experience, marketers from organizations who took the lead in preparing to meet and exceed GDPR data standards noted increased trust and engagement levels with customers. While survey respondents agreed that the implementation of GDPR standards reinforced a responsibility to better protect their customer's data, the issue became whether or not an organization would seize on the responsibility and turn regulation into optimized experiences.For their part, GDPR leaders - those marketers who had not only established a plan but were also well down the path of execution and compliance - believed GDPR was an opportunity to deliver better customer experiences and to build customer trust and loyalty. Alternatively, GDPR laggards - marketers without a plan in place or far removed from process, having no idea if a plan was in the works - remained happy to see compliance as a burden for other teams to resolve or an issue for only EU-based companies to tackle."What marketing leaders have seized upon is the reality that trust is the currency of today's data-driven customer engagement - without trust, the customer will walk away from an experience, taking their loyalty and their wallets with them," noted Liz Miller, SVP of Marketing with the CMO Council. "GDPR, and more specifically the frenzy of activity surrounding the compliance deadline of May 24, 2018, was not the end of a security was the start of an experience transformation."The white paper entitled "GDPR: Impact and Opportunity - How Marketing Leaders Addressed GDPR Readiness and Compliance," is based on an online survey of over 227 senior marketing executives, taken at the height of GDPR readiness planning and activation. What emerges is a view of best practices taken by data and engagement leaders versus the attitudes adopted by the laggards.Among the key differences between GDPR compliance leaders and laggards:Leaders see opportunity to secure trust, loyalty and experience. Laggards assume GDPR is someone else's problem. 39 percent of marketers without a GDPR strategy felt the regulation did not apply to their business.Leaders lean in and take part in the strategic planning and execution. Laggards wash their hands of the burden.Leaders audit, assess and accelerate shifts needed across data and marketing and engagement's technology stack. Laggards stay in the dark. 55 percent of leaders had already initiated some form of data audit to fully understand where and how customer data was being stored and collected.Leaders champion change on behalf of the customer. Laggards stick to the status quo. 37 percent of leaders are planning to upgrade capabilities across all data management solutions.Leaders are empowered by an idea that trust and engagement are the reward for compliance. Laggards are being held back by a lack of understanding GDPR requirements."Savvy businesses already understand that to win customer loyalty they must lead with transparency and consent," said Patrick Salyer, General Manager, SAP Customer Data Cloud, SAP Customer Experience. "In today's landscape, companies are realizing that trust is the ultimate currency and it serves as the foundation of all meaningful customer relationships."The white paper is now available for download by visiting It is based on the input from marketers across a broad range of industries including retail, financial services, consumer packaged goods and consumer electronics and information technology. Some 40 percent of respondents hold a title of Chief Marketing Officer, Head of Marketing or SVP of Marketing, whose headquarters are primarily in North America. One in four is with an organization with revenues in excess of $1 billion USD.

Global Ecommerce Communities Inspiring Brands To Rethink And Reinvent Go-to-market Strategies

Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council ·21 May 2018
Large, global eCommerce communities are disrupting the retail marketplace by bringing together vast numbers of buyers and sellers in frictionless transactional environments. Inspired by their success, brand marketers are rethinking go-to-market strategies to better integrate digital advertising with personalized shopper engagement and more effective conversion programs.New research by the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council--entitled "Ingenuity in the Global eCommerce Community"--explores how the massive scale, data quality and customization capability of online marketplaces are bringing new levels of customer insight, enriched experiences and added value to brands. Digital commerce accounts for about 10 percent of the $5 trillion in total annual sales across all retail channels.According to a CMO Council survey of nearly 200 brand marketers, well over 50 percent believe that large eCommerce communities are revolutionizing and reinventing the global retail marketplace. They are also forcing them to rethink every aspect of how they go to market. In a telling self-assessment, 60 percent report that they need to embrace a more cohesive, integrated, multi-channel digital retail strategy to improve their own eCommerce business.The CMO Council study, conducted in collaboration with eBay, revealed the top five ways in which big eCommerce channels were impacting the go-to-market planning and strategies of major product marketers. According to the marketers surveyed, these included:Putting pressure on them to lower pricingRethinking monetization and customer revenue modelsForcing them to seek greater brand differentiationRecalibrating and allocating digital marketing spendShifting toward an agile, real-time marketing mode"The millennial-driven shift to digital retail shopping is prompting the evolution of the old 4P model of marketing--now, more notably, we need Precision, Personalization, Persuasion and Perfection of execution to multiply purchases," notes Donovan Neale-May, Executive Director of the CMO Council. "Exemplifying this are innovations in customer attraction, convenience, conversion and consistency of experience that are behind the success of eBay, Amazon and other digital commerce communities."For its part, eBay is using advances in technology, such as augmented reality (AR), artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, to improve search relevancy and make buying and selling on eBay much more gratifying."eBay has made it even easier to shop and sell on the platform by leveraging new technology to redefine what online shopping means today," notes Bridget Davies, eBay's Vice President of Advertising and Marketing Activation. "We use AI and big data to learn how people move at a granular scale to better connect with consumers, brands and businesses."Davies points to eBay's AI-powered, personalized homepage and more than 1.1 billion listings using structured data. "More than 80 percent of eBay users are logged in when they access our platform, allowing us to deterministically identify users across channels, browsers and devices rather than relying on cookie-based probability models," she adds.The CMO Council report notes that marketers today are challenged to evidence how they are using data and real-time insights to "gain greater satisfaction from every customer interaction" and determine whether they have the ability to "scale the way they track the digital buying trail."The CMO Council's new thought leadership initiative gathered insights from nearly 200 global brands and their physical and digital retail partners. This included category leaders like Lenovo, LEGO, Puma, Casio, Serta, Bosch, Brooks, PERRIN PARIS and Fruit of the Loom/Spalding. The resulting best-practice report (available here) accents how brands are using proprietary data and insights to execute smarter customer acquisition campaigns that key off of seasonal, event-related, price-based and more personalized offers and promotions.Areas of exploration covered by the CMO Council research included:How marketers view the disruptive and transformative nature of global eCommerce communities and online marketplaces like eBay, Alibaba, Amazon and othersTo what degree these always-open, price-driven shopping, trading and auctioning channels are impacting and influencing go-to-market strategies, transactional margins and traditional retail distribution modelsThe percentage of manufacturer revenue that now comes from online commerce and how marketers expect this will shift in the year ahead in terms of resource allocation and business resultsThe benefits that global eCommerce communities offer in terms of how a brand or channel partner can reach, engage, convert, support, satisfy and repeatedly sell to target customersWhat might worry brands about the enormous economic clout and market-making capacity of giant online retailers and large, aggregated communities of predisposed buyers and motivated sellersHow well product advertisers are sourcing "shoppergraphic" insights, mass-customizing and localizing digital ad messages, and evaluating campaign effectiveness

A Decade Later, CMOs Still Struggling To Optimize Routes To Revenue

Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council ·16 May 2018
Despite a mandate to drive growth, chief marketers are still stuck in a decade-long rut that has yet to see them fully optimize the lifetime value of existing customers. In 2008, when asked if brands were fully realizing the revenue potential of customers, 76 percent said no. Ten years later, 77 percent of respondents to the same question in a new Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council audit still say no, and 10 percent say they are not even sure.This failure to capitalize on customer revenue potential does not come as a surprise as the majority of marketers are missing an opportunity to leverage opt-in, triggered communications, including transactional email, to further relationships with customers. According to the latest study by the CMO Council and communication management platform Sendwithus, just 36 percent of respondents are leveraging transactional emails as an opportunity to further the value of relationships. While 30 percent believe they are engaging through triggered emails, it is only to reaffirm or acknowledge a past transaction, not to intentionally develop a more meaningful customer relationship. This occurs despite 94 percent of respondents' belief that delivery of personalized communications across all customer touchpoints is critical to achieving profitable customer experiences.The new report, titled "Gaining Traction With Every Digital Interaction," reveals that collaboration around the channels of choice for the customer is critical to turning an automated touchpoint into a revenue-producing opportunity. According to 34 percent of marketers, transactional emails are not leveraged as a relationship and revenue driver because they are created outside of marketing, with little opportunity to collaborate or align across functional areas.Following the inability to collaborate and align as a roadblock to success, meetings and manual processes emerge as additional gaps between the growth strategy and real-time delivery. When asked to detail the state of collaboration across key stakeholders in customer experience, 29 percent of marketers reveal that collaboration comes in the form of meetings to align on strategies and timelines while 26 percent say that collaboration is left to team leaders who collect input and feedback as needed."Collaboration around the customer should not be an afterthought," noted Liz Miller, Senior Vice President of Marketing for the CMO Council. "Consumers are triggering communications, quite literally giving brands the go-ahead to continue communications. According to the BMA, 75 percent of revenue attributed to email is generated by triggered campaigns versus the traditional marketing campaign. Yet far too often, we view the triggered email as an operational byproduct of an action...a functional task that can be automated and not a valuable opportunity to continue a dialogue. To overlook this touchpoint is, quite plainly, to overlook revenue and growth opportunities."Marketers plan to realize revenue through key strategies to optimize profitable relationships. Among the top strategies are personalizing communications across all touchpoints (64 percent) and identifying new ways to improve upsell and cross-sell opportunities for existing customers (64 percent). Marketers will also commit to continuous cycles of testing with the specific goal of improving individual communications to create more contextual and relevant experiences while 26 percent have committed to better leveraging opt-in communications like transactional emails."For marketers to execute on their commitment to optimize value across all touchpoints, they will be required to take specific and intentional actions to close the gaps that exist across functional silos," noted Matt Harris, Co-founder and CEO of Sendwithus. "This means facilitating efficient collaboration between teams, from marketing to product to engineering--teams committed to the common goal of delivering individualized, real-time, relevant and insight-driven email experiences. Transactional and triggered emails represent a massive opportunity to improve the customer experience and fuel growth, and effective, cross-functional collaboration is the key to unlocking that opportunity."The report is based on research conducted by the CMO Council though an online audit, which collected insights from 179 senior marketing leaders in the early months of 2018. Some 43 percent of respondents represent organizations with revenues more than $500 million USD per year, with 38 percent holding titles of CMO, senior vice president of marketing or head of marketing.The 25-page white paper also includes an investigation into how only 13 percent of marketers feel they are fully exploiting customer revenue opportunity strategies and engaging differently, including how these leaders are driving deeper relationships, collaborating across stakeholders and leveraging data to uncover new opportunities and options for engagement. To download the complimentary strategic brief, click here.About SendwithusSendwithus has been helping leading brands, including Microsoft, Autodesk, and Zillow craft exceptional communications experiences since 2013. Dyspatch by Sendwithus is a cloud-based, communications management platform that allows Enterprise organizations to centralize email security, compliance, and reputation management while streamlining collaborative creation, revision, and approval work flows. The GDPR-compliant solution empowers teams to deliver powerful, global communications that engage customers, drive growth and increase revenue. To learn more about Sendwithus, visit To learn more about Dyspatch by Sendwithus, visit To join the Sendwithus team, visit


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