The Next Phase of Online Reputation Management for Travel Brands

by James O'Brien + Skift Team - May 2014

Skift Research Take

With travelers increasingly influenced by online reviews, hotels & destinations are expanding their attention to more sophisticated strategies surrounding management, response, and analysis of consumer feedback. Meanwhile, tech firms are providing fresh approaches to online reputation management that foreground data, curation, and the mobile review experience.

Report Overview

When it comes to making choices about hotel destinations, travelers are deeply and increasingly invested in the online review. At the same time, hotel brands seeking consumer bookings have invested time and human resources in managing and developing the online review space as well. On both ends of the equation, the infrastructure surrounding online hotel reviews is becoming more sophisticated, its users more savvy, and the options for how, when, and from where reviews can be posted, consumed, and responded to is evolving toward new models.

The push for proactive approaches to online reputation management (ORM) in the hotel-review space is now augmented by third-party aggregators, big-data analytics, and the critical — if at times sensitive — notion that reviews need to be not only a two-way communication between brands and travelers, but also a curated experience, so that consumers see the feedback that is most relevant to them.

Furthermore, the very concept of the online review is entering the mobile space, where travelers are already — and developers mean them to be increasingly — employing apps to find site- and scenario-specific feedback that helps them to make in-destination decisions. Brands, meanwhile, are also working with new mobile interfaces, ones that allow their ORM teams to see and react to the reviews that consumers create. At a speed that is approaching realtime, technology is empowering brands to conduct ORM independent of where any given manager or hotelier may be located, whenever the need to respond might arise.