Jeffery Boyd from Priceline

So, I had a great dinner conversation with James from Steamboat last night. It’s always neat to get the opportunity to sit and throw random thoughts and ideas back and forth with others in your industry in a relaxed atmosphere. Thankfully, this kept me from staying out too late and allowed me to easily make the breakfast “Bloggers Breakfast” where I got to chat more ski biz with PhoCusWright’s VP of Sales and Marketing, Bruce Rosard. There was a good chat about thoughts on the future of travel and I think most of us agreed that mobile is the future, but as to how it develops…hard to say! Here are the notes I jotted from this morning/early afternoon – great stuff, loved listening and learning!

PhoCusWright Conference Day 3

Rob Solomon – Groupon

Groupon travel is anytime you leave your front door            .

Gone from 1 million to 30 million subscribers

1 to 30 countries

Huge growth!

One weekend period, sold about $500k of hotel rooms for Fairmont SF.

Groupon is the fastest growing company ever (at this pt)!

Social, local, global, real-time is their focus.

Started out by optimizing on Facebook.

Social Network Optimization (SNO)

No travel brands in top 20 followed brands on Twitter or FB.

Unless you’re Priceline, Expedia, or HomeAway “re-think everything”, it’s the perfect time for it and it needs to be done.

Ecommerce is only about 6% of all commerce, so FB coming into the local deal space is no big deal.

Groupon has a wall of fame/shame in which there are magazine covers of Groupon with the fastest growing company, but also Friendster, Napster and other next big things that have disappeared.

Very hard business to do at scale even though it’s easy to start.

Groupon is looking to get very personalized in their offers – but will still only send one per person per day.

Pete Stein – Razorfish

How chaos has changed the world of marketing.

  1. Social Landscape is Growing
  2. Digital is Everywhere
  3. Price is now Transparent

Job of marketer has shifted from creating customers to creating ambassadors.

Verb your brand. (Best Buy – Twelpforce)

Make some signature moves (Hyundai – lose your job promo)

Move to always on (Ann Taylor Loft)

Need to build a fanbase ie Nike and then figure out what is relevant to those fans (Write the future campaign).

What sort of behaviors can a brand reward? Don’t need to be monetary…

Digital Darwinism – challenges

Budget

Lots of disparate groups have to work hand in hand – marketing, customer service, IT etc.

Marketers still get hooked on certain things like TV, PPC which stifles innovation.

Round table – courting chaos

Location based companies

Dara Khosrowshahi – Expedia

Not wanting to splinter content. Sees ancillary products as an opportunity. Job is to organize information in a useful way for consumers that only look for utility on a long term basis.

Tailwind of internet adoption is blowing very strongly around the globe.

Expedia is experimenting with social and looking for solutions to look in their core customers via it.

Interesting that Dara says that they are seeing mobile booking behavior that is different from desktop – booking in-market and with shorter lead times.

Bernard Solomé MassiveGood

Nice way to donate to worthy causes via micropayments. Interesting opportunity to tie-in for travel brands.

Private Sale sites

Bundling additional products with travel packages is popular. Example of doing so with ski packages and skis was brought up.

Airline panel

Have to say it’s a pretty big bummer to have this panel replacing the ITA keynote, would definitely been interesting, but certainly understandable that this isn’t offered in light of the pending Google acquisition.

The airline panel was pretty dry to me, but was interesting in light of the fact that it was AA, US Air and United talking about how they were ok with the ITA/Google deal, just concerned about the potential for Google to influence sales by virtue of their search sorting…

Jeffery Boyd – Priceline

Once again, when looking forward…most excited about mobile – it represents a unique opportunity for travel. Just need to take advantage of the unique opportunities that mobile devices afford.

Packages area great product and a differentiated one, but ex of Europe is one where people are using low cost carriers and building their own.

Priceline has an understanding w/suppliers that they (PL) has primarily customers that are leisure and looking for deals.