When Google acquired ITA flight software a couple of years back, a group of competitors went ballistic warning of unfair practices by the Internet search and ad giant. Most people back then blew off what FairSearch was contending, this author included. As it turns out, a half dozen court cases won and a lot of water under the hotel search bridge, and potential guests really have no choice at all. Google has rigged the hotel booking game into an ad recommendation one.
For businesses busying themselves trying to catch the social wave, to engage customers via digital channels, the learning curve can be steep. All along the path to competitive edge in online marketing, the pitfalls of “not knowing” end up costing companies before the online lesson is learned. Nowhere is this more evident than in the hotel industry. Using the wrong communicative channels, or using them in the wrong way, can determine who does and does not survive.