Mobile-Commerce is making a Big Splash on the Hospitality and Tourism Industry

Posted on February 27th, 2015 by Jordan Suresky Categories Advertising


Businesses today are thriving on setting a goal maximizing Self-serve technologies. These technologies are becoming more prevalent forms of communication. These forms of communication are can be B2C or B2B.  This is especially true with the advent of the numerous social media platforms.

A mobile-app using SoLoMo Technology to reserve a hotel.


For example, the Cornell Hospitality Quarterly discusses a perspective on M-Commerce’s impact on intermediation. There are two terms that have been provided, the first being consumer engagement technology (CET) and the second being SoLoMo Applications. SoLoMo is an acronym that is abbreviated for a set of M-Commerce applications that satisfy customer’s social, location, and mobile-based needs.  The most widely used examples of this technology include apps such as Foursquare, Yelp and similar sites where users can check in at a destination point to their inner circle. This technology was innovated by a company with the same namesake in Wisconsin. The hospitality and tourism sector is benefitting from this type of technology in that it is easier to practice loyalty-marketing techniques. In terms of careers within the hotel segment, knowledge and successful execution of m-commerce is also significant.

The MGM Grand is an example of a hotel utilizing m-commerce technologies.
The MGM Grand is an example of a hotel utilizing m-commerce technologies.

The IHG Group, for example that runs multiple brands such as Intercontinental Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn are looking into what are called SMS Marketing personnel. These key people are responsible for driving those automatic text messages you may see when you check into a hotel or if your folio (bill) is ready to view.


All of this again is to help drive engagement and ultimately revenue. The ideal result is that the hotels and its systems are able to read into their guests throughout the customer lifecycle experience (reservation, stay, repeat stay, etc.). This is only the tip of the iceberg however with ‘SoLoMo’ and other related m-commerce advancements that hopefully will have a positive impact on marketing and tourism related organizations.


Tacos can be Messy and so can Social Media

Posted on June 12th, 2013 by Skye-Lynn Ferch Categories Blog

The Incident


These employees really took the company’s old slogan, “Think Outside the Bun,” to a whole new level! Recently, two Taco Bell employees thought it was humorous to post a photo of one of them licking a stack of taco shells and posted it on Facebook, via username “Jj O’Brian Nolan” and Reddit.


That’s the Way the Taco Crumbles


The general public response was not as hilarious as these employees expected. Instead, social media users began to question the cleanliness of Taco Bell’s food and facilities, well if they weren’t already. However, some social media users did enjoy the photo so much that it was continuously reposted and “tagged” as Taco Bell. Digg users created a list of the “Top Five Reasons Taco Bell Might Actually Be More Dangerous Than MTV’s Skins.”


Picking Up the Mess


Taco Bell responded with an official statement mentioning, along with all the standard company regulations and policies, “Our first question was, were the taco shells served to customers?  In short, absolutely not.” The company has extended its aggressive public relations fight back, responding via Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. The Facebook photo received over 900 “Likes”, however the comments were not so positive.


It has been suggested that Taco Bell’s error was in hiring the type of employees that would find humor in doing something like this. According to USA Today, “Unhappy fast-food employees will do disgusting things to the food they sell.” Only time will tell the ideal methods by which to navigate the complexities of social media from a brand image perspective.

Building Trust – Virtually

Posted on June 7th, 2012 by Tiffany Categories communication

We can sometimes lead you into tangents that talk about the warm and the fuzzy

aspects of business and communication. We believe that relationships, after they’re

established, are to be nurtured if they are ever to grow.


Corporate relationships are not unlike interpersonal relationships – after all, we

still deal with human beings at each end of the communication spectrum. And you’d

think that virtual communication and relationship building would assume a top-

down model by default.


Not particularly. When we’re not all being harassed by spam-bots, the driving force

behind virtual communication is still people. And it takes a lot of TLC to build trust

with your audience to bring them to a point where they will gladly approach you or

refer to you without thinking about it twice.



[The How-To]


1. Listen Yes, you’re in the market to provide solutions, and there’s a time and

place to offer those. But strong relationships are built on the foundations of

strong listening skills. If you don’t have them, then cultivate. Every once in a

while, stop sending active verbal and visual messages and just listen to what

your customers really need. They need the space to express themselves.

2. Be Your Values You may have strong company values written down on

paper, but they mean very little if they don’t translate into reality with

interpersonal interaction. If you value the quality of service you provide, then

the last thing an upset client needs from you is to be rejected or dismissed.

3. Instead of pointing clients to your FAQ page or handout, Respond to

queries, emails, Tweets, “Likes” and comments on Facebook posts, forums

and blog posts with custom replies. There is little worse than knowing you

are not welcome at the place you are seeking a service.



4. Keep Building You don’t stop caring once you know you have a good thing

going, do you? Corporate relationships are the same way, and good will

matters. Go the extra mile. Hand-write your cards. Do something for your

client that extends beyond the typical special-event discount, and do it just to

say thank you.


Your relationships with your customers will always be a reward-based two-way

street, and they will sense your transparency if you choose to display it. While the

process may take a little effort and be a little involved, the relationships you build on

the basis of mutual trust will be rewarding far beyond profit-margins.

Customer Service in a Web 2.0 World

Posted on March 8th, 2012 by Tiffany Categories Customer Service

With marketing and social media gurus advocating a 24-hour turnaround time for customer service requests – and some organizations following this advice – keeping up can very quickly go into overdrive. Especially since not every small business has the resources to dedicate to monitoring their social media channels around the clock.


It’s a harried world and burnout is always looming with our constant connections. However, timely and effective management of service requests aren’t as out of reach as we might think. We’d like to offer a few suggestions to help you get started. 
1. Get Acquainted Get to know who your customers are, what channels they frequent, how much time they spend there and exactly what they’re saying about you. Your demographic will most certainly be comprised of a mix of people who engage and interact and those who silently follow just to stay updated. Once you know where they are, tailor your customer service structure to pay more attention to meet the voices where they are.
2. Be Discerning When people come calling online, it’s not necessary to drop everything to respond right away. Twitter followers, especially, seem to expect very quick responses to their queries (and complaints). It’s an easy trap to fall into, but it’s important to take a moment to understand the level of urgency with each request. If the request can wait a while, then it’s perfectly okay to let it simmer. 
3. Stay “Traditional” and flexible. Because social media channels are more economical and elicit a much faster response and metrics, there’s no reason for traditional media outlets to be ignored or left by the wayside.  You can expend a lot of effort in humanizing your presence online, but very little replaces actual human contact and a live person handling customer service interaction.