One of the mantras being heralded at the WebInTravel conference in Singapore this week is the idea of the "Five Ps" - taking the long-held four principles of marketing from the 1960s and adding "people".
The initial "Four Ps" - Product, Price, Placement and Promotion - still hold sway, of course, but the influence of always connected, opinionated and influential customers at the sharp end of the buying cycle has given marketers a pause for thought.
Perhaps more than any other sector of the industry, hotels are trying to understand this more so they can shape their marketing and, indeed, how they weave the original Four Ps into a wider strategy.
Place the blame squarely on the shoulders TripAdvisor or other social networks, but customers have a hell of a lot more power than they did just ten years ago.
Hotel chain Accor has been trying to get its head around some of these relatively new influences on its business, so commissioned a large study of consumers in Asia to understand more about how they use social media as part of their research and shopping for hotel stays, plus its role when they actually experience the product.
In a speech during WIT, director of hotel solutions in Asia-Pacific, Emilie Couton, outlined the results of the study which was carried out during July and August with 5,400 people from 11 countries in the region.
The survey was conducted with a combination of members of its loyalty programme (45%) and random guests at its hotels (55%).
Here are some of the results:
What types of travel brands do consumer follow or like on social media channels?
What motivates consumers to follow or like travel brands?
- Hotels - 46%
- Airlines - 40%
- Other travel-related (tourism boards, etc) - 39%
In terms of purchasing decisions, what motivates consumers the most?
- Discounts and special offers - 77%
- Get information and updates - 64%
- Show affinity - 38%
Where do consumers think is the most trustworthy place for reviews?
- Pricing - 60%
- Location - 58%
- User reviews and ratings - 28%
Where are consumers looking for information about hotels?
- Social networks - 40%
- Online travel agencies - 40%
- Hotel websites - 13%
Where are consumers most keen to give feedback on hotels located?
- Hotel websites - 57%
- Online travel agencies - 54%
- Review websites - 26%
- Asking friends - 14%
- Travel blogs - 8%
- Hotel accounts on social media - 8%
What are the most popular methods for giving feedback about a hotel?
- China - 74%
- Philippines - 73%
- Indonesia - 72%
- Thailand - 69%
- India - 65%
- Singapore - 62%
- Australia - 59%
- New Zealand - 59%
- Hong Kong - 58%
What are the favourite methods for giving positive or negative feedback during a stay?
- Satisfaction survey - 29%
- Comment card - 19%
- Online review sites - 14%
- Tell staff directly - 28%
- Complete satisfaction survey - 16%
- Send an email/write a review - 14%
NB:Laptop pool businessman
- Tell staff directly - 34%
- Send an email - 18%
- Comment card/satisfaction survey - 12%
image via Shutterstock.