Welcome to this week’s newsletter, where I share the latest hospitality news and trends.
In this week’s Hospitality Highlights Newsletter
- WhatsApp Launches Channels
- TikTok Launches New AI Ad Script Generator
- Twitter Experiments with Job Posts as Part of New ‘Twitter Recruiting’ Element
- Netflix Will Open a Restaurant That Serves Food From ‘Chef’s Table,’ ‘Nailed It!’ and More
- Smirnoff’s Big Brand Strategy Shakeup Is All About Inclusion
- Google Files Lawsuit Over Fake Review Scams
- LinkedIn Adds New Notification Filters to Help Prioritise Engagement
- Meta Showcases New ‘Voicebox’ Speech-to-Text Translation Tool
- #AskDawnGribble What is Black Hat Marketing?
- Industry Insights: Zero Trust
- Industry Insights: Bento Cakes
- Industry Insights: Overlanding
WhatsApp Launches Channels
WhatsApp has introduced a new feature called “Channels”, which allows users to follow updates from organisations and people privately. The new feature will be available on a separate tab called “Updates”, different from chats with friends and family.
Channels allow admins to send followers text, photos, videos, stickers, and polls. To ensure privacy, the personal information of both admins and followers will be protected. Channels will be available in Colombia and Singapore first before being introduced to other countries.
The hospitality industry can use this opportunity by creating channels to update customers about special offers, promotions, and additional important information. This will help to increase customer engagement and loyalty and ultimately drive more revenue for hotels, restaurants, and other hospitality businesses.
TikTok Launches New AI Ad Script Generator
TikTok has recently launched a free AI tool called Script Generator. It is designed to simplify advertisers’ lives by providing them with script ideas in seconds.
Advertisers enter basic information, including product name, item description, and relevant keywords, and choose whether they want a 15-30 second or 31-60 second clip. The tool generates video scripts with hooks, scenes, calls to action, and visual/audio cues.
Although AI-generated content has risks, Anton Reyniers, Google’s Head of Creative Partnerships APAC, praises the tool and TikTok’s understanding of the importance of creativity.
Hotels, restaurants, and the hospitality industry can take advantage of this opportunity by using the tool to create engaging and authentic content to promote their products and services on TikTok.
Twitter Experiments with Job Posts as Part of New ‘Twitter Recruiting’ Element
Twitter is reportedly working on a new feature called ‘Twitter Recruiting’ that would allow verified organisations to post job openings directly to the app. This new element comes after Twitter acquired job-matching start-up Laskie last month.
Once launched, companies can advertise job openings on their Twitter profiles, with a link to an application page on their website.
This new feature could allow hotels, restaurants, and the hospitality industry to reach a wider audience with job openings. By taking advantage of Twitter Recruiting, businesses could expand their recruitment efforts and reach active job seekers on the platform.
Netflix Will Open a Restaurant That Serves Food From ‘Chef’s Table,’ ‘Nailed It!’ and More
Netflix has entered the food service industry by launching a pop-up restaurant called Netflix Bites. The restaurant features chefs from various Netflix cooking series such as “Chef’s Table,” “Nailed It!” and “Iron Chef: Quest for an Iron Legend”.
The restaurant is located in Los Angeles and launched on 30 June, with a brunch menu available on weekends. Patrons can taste food from chefs including Curtis Stone, Dominique Crenn, Ming Tsai, Andrew Zimmern, Rodney Scott, Ann Kim, Jacques Torres and Nadiya Hussain.
This move is a unique way for Netflix to market and promote its cooking shows and gain more fans while providing a new experience to its audience.
Smirnoff’s Big Brand Strategy Shakeup Is All About Inclusion
Smirnoff is launching its new global campaign, “We Do We,” focusing on inclusivity to address the “joy recession” consumers are experiencing.
The new campaign, Smirnoff’s biggest change to its brand platform in over a decade, emphasises the importance of connecting with people from different walks of life and encourages a sense of community. Smirnoff has taken a digital-first approach to rolling out the effort in over 20 markets, with a hero spot running on social and audiovisual channels.
Diversity in marketing campaigns helps provide a sense of community to consumers and encourages inclusivity.
Google Files Lawsuit Over Fake Review Scams
Google has recently filed a lawsuit against scammers who posted fake businesses and reviews on Google Maps and Business Profiles.
The lawsuit aims to stop the “complex and misleading scheme to deceive consumers, business owners, and Google by unlawfully manipulating Google’s industry-leading business listing services.”
Fake reviews and listings can harm the reputation and lead to a loss of customers for companies in the hospitality industry. Hotels, restaurants, and other businesses should ensure that they report fake reviews and listings to Google to protect their reputations against fraudulent reviews.
LinkedIn Adds New Notification Filters to Help Prioritise Engagement
LinkedIn is updating its notification feature to allow users to prioritise their engagement. The new update will enable users to sort their notifications based on post interactions or mentions specifically.
Users can now see new ‘My Posts’ and ‘Mentions’ filters in their notifications stream, which makes it easier to quickly sort through engagement indicators and prioritise key interactions based on each.
Hospitality professionals can use this feature to streamline their in-app engagement. By having additional, simple filter tools, they can ensure they stay on top of key daily interactions, which can help boost their personal brand and engagement on the platform.
Meta Showcases New ‘Voicebox’ Speech-to-Text Translation Tool
Voicebox is a new generative AI from Meta that can perform speech generation tasks such as editing, sampling, and stylising. This breakthrough technology can produce high-quality audio clips and edit pre-recorded audio, all while preserving the content and style of the audio.
The model is also multilingual and can produce speech in six languages. The versatility of Voicebox enables a variety of tasks, including in-context text-to-speech synthesis, speech editing and noise reduction, cross-lingual style transfer, and diverse speech sampling.
Hotels and restaurants could use this tool to their advantage by creating multilingual audio guides, podcasts, and videos more representative of how people talk in the real world. This technology could also help visually impaired customers hear written messages from friends in their voices and enable them to communicate naturally and authentically even if they don’t speak the same languages.
By incorporating Voicebox into their marketing strategies, hotels and restaurants can create more engaging and personalised content that resonates with their customers.
Each week, I answer your question and provide expert tips and advice to help you stay ahead of your competition.
What is Black Hat Marketing?
Not all marketing techniques are created equal. There is a dark side to marketing known as “Black Hat” techniques.
The term “Black Hat” originated from the world of hacking, where malicious individuals exploit vulnerabilities for personal gain.
In marketing, “Black Hat” refers to unethical and deceptive tactics to manipulate search engine algorithms or social media platforms for immediate, short-term benefits. These tactics violate the guidelines set by search engines and social media platforms, compromising the integrity of marketing practices.
Keyword Stuffing: The Art of Overloading
One of the most common black hat techniques in SEO is keyword stuffing. This involves excessively and unnaturally cramming keywords into website content, meta tags, or hidden areas to manipulate search engine rankings. Marketers hope to increase their visibility and attract more organic traffic by doing so. However, search engines have become smarter in detecting keyword stuffing, and this tactic can lead to penalties or even complete removal from search engine indexes.
Cloaking: A Deceptive Disguise
Cloaking is another black hat technique used in SEO. It involves presenting different content to search engines and users. By showing search engines optimised content while displaying other content to users, cloaking aims to deceive search engines and boost rankings. This technique violates search engine guidelines and can result in severe penalties.
Link Buying: A Shortcut to Nowhere
Link buying is a black hat technique that involves purchasing backlinks from other websites to improve search engine rankings. While backlinks from reputable sources can enhance a website’s authority and visibility, buying links is considered unethical. Search engines, like Google, have sophisticated algorithms to detect paid links, and websites engaging in this practice can face penalties and loss of rankings.
Content Scraping: Stealing the Spotlight
Content scraping is a black hat technique where marketers copy content from other websites and publish it as their own. This unethical practice not only violates copyright laws but also dilutes the quality and uniqueness of content. Search engines prioritise original and valuable content, so websites engaging in content scraping may face penalties, loss of rankings, and damage to their reputation.
Social Media Spamming: The Dark Side of Engagement
In the realm of social media, black hat techniques are prevalent as well. Social media spamming involves flooding platforms with irrelevant, repetitive, or misleading content to gain visibility or followers. This can include excessive posting, automated likes or comments, and fake accounts. Social media platforms have strict guidelines against spamming and accounts engaging in these practices can be suspended or permanently banned.
Fake Reviews: A Web of Deception
Fake reviews are a common black hat technique used to manipulate consumer perceptions and influence purchasing decisions. Marketers may hire individuals or use automated tools to generate positive product or service reviews. This deceptive practice not only misleads consumers but also undermines the credibility of review platforms. Businesses caught using fake reviews can face legal consequences, damage to their reputation, and loss of customer trust.
Monitoring for Black Hat Techniques
Brands must be vigilant in monitoring for black hat techniques to protect their reputation and maintain ethical marketing practices. Here are some strategies to consider:
- Regularly review and analyse website traffic, rankings, and engagement metrics to identify suspicious patterns or sudden fluctuations.
- Use online tools and software to detect potential black hat activities, such as keyword stuffing or unusual link-building practices.
- Monitor social media platforms for excessive or suspicious activity, such as automated likes or comments, fake accounts, or spammy content.
- Conduct periodic online reviews and ratings audits to identify any signs of fake or manipulated feedback.
- Stay informed about the latest trends and updates in search engine algorithms and social media platform policies to adapt your marketing strategies proactively.
Tips to Avoid Black Hat Marketers
To protect your brand and ensure ethical marketing practices, here are some tips to avoid black hat marketers:
- Conduct thorough research and due diligence when hiring marketing agencies or professionals. Look for reputable companies with a proven track record of ethical practices.
- Communicate your expectations and guidelines to external marketing partners, emphasising the importance of ethical marketing techniques.
- Regularly review and monitor the work being done by your marketing team or agency, ensuring they adhere to industry best practices and guidelines.
- Stay informed about the latest marketing trends and techniques to understand better what is considered ethical and what should be avoided.
- Foster an ethical company culture that values transparency, honesty, and integrity in marketing and business operations.
Black hat marketing techniques may offer short-term gains but come at a high price. Brands that engage in these unethical practices risk damaging their reputation, losing customer trust, and facing penalties from search engines and social media platforms. By understanding the dark side of marketing, monitoring for black hat techniques, and adhering to ethical practices, brands can build a sustainable and trustworthy presence in the digital landscape.
Remember, success achieved through honest means is the true measure of a brand’s worth.
Got a Question? Simply Reply to this email #AskDawnGribble
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The Zero Trust architecture is a growing trend in the IT world due to the increasing number of cyber threats and the need for a more secure system to protect sensitive data.
This security model assumes that no user or device should be trusted by default, and every access request must be verified before granting access to any resource. This approach ensures data privacy, integrity, and availability—the three pillars of data security. It is important to consumers because it can prevent cyber-attacks and data breaches leading to identity theft or other financial losses.
Hotels and restaurants can implement this framework by considering revising all access and network flows from or to vendors and restricting to only those necessary. Hotels and restaurants should regularly monitor and analyse their network traffic and implement access control policies to minimise the risk of unauthorised access.
Bento cakes originated from South Korea and are packaged and eaten inside takeout boxes, making them perfect for gifts. They are typically made up of 2-3 layers of cake stacked, iced, and decorated with messages or simple piping. The size cakes should fit inside the takeout box, with each layer being 3-4 inches in diameter and the final height depending on the icing design.
Bento cakes are versatile and can be customised to suit the needs of different customers. With a variety of flavours to choose from and the ability to add personalised messages, they can be a unique and attractive option for customers looking for something special.
Hotels and restaurants can add bento cakes to their F&B offering by incorporating them into their dessert menu or as part of their gift options.
Overlanding is becoming popular among adventure seekers who prefer to explore the world on land, usually over long distances and often across multiple countries. With overlanding, travellers can experience the thrill of exploration, the freedom of being on the road, and the chance to discover new cultures and landscapes.
Hotels and restaurants can capitalise on this trend by offering services and amenities that cater to Overlanders. These services may include secure parking, reliable Wi-Fi, laundry facilities, and comfortable rooms. Restaurants can also offer meals that are easy to take on the go or provide outdoor dining areas for overlanders to enjoy a meal while taking in the scenery.
By catering to overlanders, hotels and restaurants can tap into a growing market of adventure-seeking travellers.