Techtalk.travel recently hosted a podcast exploring the state of content management for hotels today. They addressed questions like, Which technology solutions are currently supporting effective distribution across all critical channels of content such as imagery, videos, product and rate descriptions? What are the challenges and opportunities? Why is the term ‘static content’ and the distinction between static and dynamic content outdated? What does ‘Content per Channel’ really mean? Content should be thought of by channel as it is managed differently for each (Brand.com, Call Center, Third Party OTA/Wholesale/Meta, Third Party GDS, etc.) – how do we break this down? How is or should content be audited across all channels? What’s the difference between curating vs. distributing content?
If you enjoy this recap, be sure to take a look at other recent roundtable recaps here and here.
Sarah Fults – VP Distribution at MGM Resorts International
Gianna Rivera – GVP Distribution & Connectivity at Wyndham Hotels & Resorts and Board Member at HEDNA
Natalie Kimball –Vice President, Strategic Account Management – Shiji Distribution Solutions & Board Member at HEDNA
Static vs. dynamic content
The discussion began by examining the distinction between the terms “static content” and “dynamic content.” The panelists seemed to agree that the terms, originally defined by the systems used, are outdated today.
Sarah Fults: Today, we just need to look at content as snippets of information that users want to use to find out information about the hotel. We need to look at how we distribute the content differently, how we curate it, and how it’s displayed on the channels.
Gianna Rivera: Those two paths are just two terms that describe the path by which different types of content get to and from the consumer. It’s more about answering the call of the consumer when they’re looking to shop.
Hotels are not only managing the way that the customer sees and digests the information, they then have to manage the expectation of what is out there. Natalie Kimball, shiji’s VP of Strategic Account Management
The importance of having the right data
The conversation then turned to the importance of having high-quality data to inform what content is used when– an element often overlooked by those not closely involved in content management for hotels.
Natalie Kimball: It may not matter to someone booking on a third-party site versus booking on brand.com, so you have to drill down into what your customer actually wants to see. Hotels are not only managing the way that the customer sees and digests the information, they then have to manage the expectation of what is out there.
When you think about how we have data that’s dispersed across so many different platforms within a hotel tech stack, it’s very difficult to bring all of that data into a single point of access, so that all systems can access it. That’s when you have potential bookers coming to your site, they know what they have to put in front of that person.
Sarah Fults: The challenges are going to be different depending on the type of hotel that you have, right? The bigger brands have an advantage. Many of them have content systems that they’ve developed. And then we have the core systems, whether it’s the Property Management System or a Central Reservation System, your content would need to go in that system for brand.com on the booking engine. It comes down to what content you are putting into those systems.
The third parties, mostly the OTAs, are constantly adding and changing content fields because they want to have the advantage over brand.com. So they’re pushing us every single day to make sure we’re in their systems and we’re adding those new fields.
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