We recently had the opportunity to connect with Dr. Lalia Rach, who will be delivering a presentation on Navigating the Era of Disruption at the HSMAI Digital Marketing Strategy Conference 2016, to talk about disruptors, digital marketing, and the hotel horizon.
HSMAI: As we get in to 2016, what do you see as the biggest disruptors in the hotel industry?
Dr. Rach: Whatever the next disruption, it will be from outside the industry, a company and idea that simply reimagines a service or product in response to client desires. When this has happened (OTA's and AirBNB), hotel companies have not moved to combat the disruptor early on. Rather than address client desires, the companies debate legal ramifications of a disruptor which accomplishes very little and allows the disruptor to take market share by addressing service and convenience gaps that have been ignored by legacy hotel companies.
HSMAI: How can hotel companies be more proative now?
Dr. Rach: The first order of business should be a response to disrupters as they enter the marketplace. To accomplish this, business models must be modernized to a 21st century reality which includes using client data to produce targeted, customized experiences. To become a 21st century company requires a willingness to risk, to move away from traditional thinking in order to bend where previously there was only a straight line response.
HSMAI: How do all of the recent mergers and acquisitions among hotel companies and industry supplier companies change the landscape?
Dr. Rach: Well, I wish I could say that it would push the industry forward, out of the past into today and tomorrow, but I am not convinced that will be the result. The need for progressive, thoughtful difference has never been more pronounced yet too often what we see is bigger companies doing the same thing.
HSMAI: With all marketing seeming to have a digital angle these days, is digital disruptive or now main stream?
Dr. Rach: Main stream. Really what else would it be given the new normal of a world driven by technology? Take a test -- see how long you can go without accessing your digital devices (all of them). And then you realize you are no longer connected to information and what can you do. Go to the TV? Find a paper (really old school). I know we still print and someone reads circulars and catalogs but what do we then do -- go look it up, find reviews online, etc. This and so much more is the reality of life and so maybe the better question is why do we refer separately to marketing and digital marketing?
HSMAI: What can conference attendees hope to take away from your session?
Dr. Rach: An ability to think differently, to question our linear processes and views. To be willing to risk, to strive to be more creative and innovative. And oh yes, have fun doing it!
Be on hand to hear more from Dr. Rach at the HSMAI Digital Marketing Strategy Conference, February 17 at the New York Marriott Marquis.
Dr. Lalia Rach, Founder of Rach Enterprises and a member of the HSMAI Americas Board of Directors, is a trusted business consultant, experienced moderator, and professional keynote speaker. Her messages stand above the rest for their relatable honesty and timely nature presented in a practical and entertaining manner.