MarTech and AdTech News Headlines Update on December 03, 2021

Should you audit your content?

A content audit is a housekeeping exercise for your brand. It’s a reminder of every blog, video, image, or digital piece of content that you once decided was worth sharing. While it can be painful, it’s also useful to determine what content resonates, what bombs, and what’s missing.

Training for Singapore content creators

Singapore’s media regulatory organisation, the Infocomm Media Development Authority announced a partnership with YouTube at the Singapore Media Festival to help local content creators make inroads overseas. The opportunities for talented creators in the region is huge. Asia boasts two billion active social media users, the largest in the world, and it’s thought the global creator economy could be a trillion-dollar industry by 2026.

What you didn’t know about voice messaging

One of the more surprising revelations from the whistleblower released Facebook Papers was that Cambodian users accounted for nearly 50% of all global traffic for Messenger’s voice function. Turns out it was too hard to type in Khmer so users adapted the tech to something they could easily do — talk. Just goes to show how important different channels/platforms/formats are for particular segments of your audience.

Interesting Marketing Video and Report

Is this chicken real or a 3D animation? You decide.

Ever wondered what goes into making a classic James Bond chase scene with minimal CGI? #JamesBond #MoviesInsider #Insider

We’re not sure what took longer, creating the Sputnik V COVID vaccine or setting up this ad. #SputnikV

Travel News and Trends Headlines Update on December 04, 2021

Fundraising rounds

  • Hotel Engine raised a $65 million Series B round at a $1.3 billion valuation, nearly 9x higher than the $150 million valuation it achieved when it raised $16 million in a Series A round in 2019. Hotel Engine provides companies access to better lodging rates as well as tools and insights designed to “optimize their travel programs”.
  • Life House, a boutique hotel operator that builds software aimed at helping independent hotel owners and operators, raised $60 million in a Series C round led by Kayak. Other investors include Tiger Global, Derive Ventures and Thayer Ventures.
  • Convious, an Amsterdam-based startup that offers an AI-driven ecommerce platform to improve attractions guest experience raised a $12 million round.
  • The Australian accommodations booking platform Riparide announced a $4 million capital raise backed by iMacdoch Ventures and Upswell Ventures to help power global expansion.

Should you go solo or get co-founders?

You have a great idea, now how do you realize that idea? You need people to do that with you. Do you get a co-founder or do you go solo? If you are going solo, how can you get work done without doing it all yourself? Further, how do you ensure your chosen fellow travelers and you work well together and scale up the startup together for many years? These are some of the questions that Narayan Thammaiah from Accel addresses in this post.

And if you’re looking for a co-founder…

YC launched a co-founder matching platform 4 months ago. There are now 16,000 co-founder profiles on the platform. Potential co-founders have sent 130,000 matching invites through the platform, and, with a 25% acceptance rate, there has been total of 33,000 matches. In this post, you can find out who are founders looking for, what skills they’re interested in and what do they care about. It seems that founders on the platform are extremely active: 75% of all matches are accepted within 4.5 days of the initial invitation, and 50% of matches are accepted within 22 hours. Of the matches where founders indicate having met up either online or in person, 50% met within 6.2 days.

How Thailand is finding ways to support its travel industry

Thailand’s economy is heavily reliant on international tourism. International tourist spend was estimated at $61 billion in 2019. That year, Thailand recorded a record of 40 million visitors and ranked eighth globally in international tourist arrivals, with China being a key source market. And then Covid hit. This McKinsey article shows how the measures that the Thai government put in place to boost domestic tourism and support returning international demand. Even as the world addresses emerging variants of the virus, Thailand’s lessons can act as a guide for other tourism-dependent countries facing similar dilemmas as they prepare for the resurgence of international travel.

The near future of work

Tech companies have announced a wide range of policies concerning work: “work from home forever”, “remote first”, “digital by default”, “office-only”, etc… In any case though, remote work is here to stay, and every company will be remote (at least sometimes). Instead of debating whether any one form of hybrid work is superior, this article in a16z traces the evolution of remote work itself, paying particular attention to how the nature of work — with an emphasis on presence and collaboration — has been changing. These changes present greater challenges in hybrid models than in fully remote ones; overcoming them will open up a future of work that connects us seamlessly, no matter where we are.

Selina plans IPO via SPAC merger

Another data point of the growing confluence of travel, work and play: Selina, the fast-growing hospitality and experiential brand targeting Millennial and Gen Z travelers, will merge with SPAC company Boa at a $1.2 billion valuation. The transaction is expected to close mid-year 2022, after which the combined company will operate as Selina Hospitality, and its ordinary shares will be listed on the NYSE under the ticker symbol “SLNA.” More information here. And here is Selina’s deck detailing its financials, strategy and positioning.

Meet Derive Ventures, the new early-stage travel venture capital firm

Derive Ventures is a new venture capital fund spun out of Thayer Ventures and built to advance the Travel, Hospitality and Leisure industry. The two founders, Tyler Carrico and Mike Scott come from Thayer Ventures and KSL Capital Partners, two leading travel and hospitality investment firms. They are targeting companies raising early-stage capital in core travel sectors as well as sectors tangential to travel with innovative business concepts, ideas and technology that would support and gain from the global travel industry. Life House’s $60 million Series C round (led by Kakak) marked Derive Ventures’ first investment.

Giant Online Travel Agency consolidation

While flight specialist OTAs like eDreams were posting $600 million in yearly revenue and $140 million EBITDA, many trade commentators and pundits had been opining for decades that there was no business in being a flight specialist. It turns out that there is indeed value in being a flight specialist. ETraveli Group was just acquired by Booking Holdings for $1.84 billion. Air travel is Booking’s fastest growing product, up 131% in Q3 2021 compared to Q3 2019. This is the second major acquisition for Booking Holdings in the space of two weeks, after it bought hotel distributor Getaroom for $1.6 billion. ETraveli and its consumer brands will remain independent and the existing management will continue to operations.

Why the future of work is the future of travel

Nilay Patel had a great interview with Brian Chesky, founder/CEO of Airbnb. One of the significant advantages that Airbnb has over other large travel companies is that it is still founder-led. This generally leads to more innovation and a higher likelihood to take risks and make bold investments. It also translates into more focus and less internal politicking. This is reflected in this interview.

Connect&GO has just closed a $3 million funding round and will use the capital to expand internationally. The startup’s ambition is to become “the preferred operations management partner to the attractions industry by 2025.”

Jongyoon Kim, the CEO of Yanolja, has a big ambition to innovate the African market, and he talked about this and more in this great interview with WiT.

Airbahn is one of the newest startup airlines in the US, and just announced that they will start operating their first flights from March 1st, 2022.

Very interesting to read about the findings from Google’s latest research on what are three main travel trends that will shape the recovery of the industry as well as what we can expect for 2022.

Music and Grocery Experience with Actionable Data to Solve Challenges

With actionable data on how music solves many of grocery’s common employee and customer challenges. The moment they cross your doorstep, consumers are having a brand experience. That goes for your employees as well. Get practical advice on how music can enhance in-branch satisfaction, boost loyalty, unify your brand voice, and boost employee retention.

Music and Grocery Experience with Actionable Data to Solve Challenges

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5 Questions You Need Answered Before Launching a Premium Loyalty Program

It’s harder than ever to maintain brand loyalty, even with loyalty programs in place. Online shopping has made it easy for consumers to find what they want at the best price, fueling brand switching. But one strategy is succeeding at keeping consumers loyal — premium loyalty programs.

5 Questions You Need Answered Before Launching a Premium Loyalty Program

81% of traditional loyalty members say they would join a premium loyalty program at their favorite retailer if the benefits were valuable. Premium loyalty programs provide customers with immediate value, like shipping discounts or experiential benefits. But once you decide to offer premium benefits, how do you position the program for overall success?

Read this article for the answers to these five questions to consider before launching a premium loyalty program:

  • What are the right benefits to offer?
  • How do you price your program?
  • How can you maintain long-term success?
  • What infrastructure support do you need?
  • Can your existing program and a premium program work together?
Continue reading “5 Questions You Need Answered Before Launching a Premium Loyalty Program”

From Contact Center to Impact Center: Best Practices for Operationalizing Omnichannel VOC Insights

Your contact center is THE place for gauging the health of your relationship with customers – and identifying and prioritizing improvement opportunities across the enterprise.

From Contact Center to Impact Center: Best Practices for Operationalizing Omnichannel VOC Insights

The contact center is the heart of your customer experience and has the ability to inform and improve the rest of the business. Learn how you can use holistic Voice of the Customer (VOC) insights in order to transform your contact center from a cost center into a revenue driver – and turn customer feedback into actionable strategies that move the needle for your brand.

This article will unveil how you can use holistic Voice of the Customer (VOC) insights to transform your contact center from a cost center into a revenue driver — and turn customer feedback into actionable strategies that move the needle for your brand.

Read this article to learn:

  • How VOC can help to uncover blind spots in customer service
  • Why digital-first strategies rely on contact centers
  • What bottom line benefits can flow from holistic VOC insights

Continue reading “From Contact Center to Impact Center: Best Practices for Operationalizing Omnichannel VOC Insights”

Clinically Intelligent NLP helps Health Plans reach Performance Goals

As Medicare Advantage (MA) plans improve their performance, enrollment rises—along with the need for quality data to help plans understand their member population. MA plans depend on medical payment data and patient data as part of medical data sets to maximize reimbursement, manage risk, and implement quality improvements.

Clinically Intelligent NLP helps Health Plans reach Performance Goals

But critical clinical data such as medical history and clinician notes may be locked in unstructured text. Not having access to this data puts health plans at risk of having an incomplete picture of their members’ health.

That’s where NLP (Natural Language Processing) comes in. Clinically intelligent NLP, is an important application of artificial intelligence (AI) technology, and the processing of natural language in clinician notes can help MA plans extract clinical meaning from unstructured data.

To tap the wealth of information in unstructured data, health plan executives need a strategy and solution for adopting this powerful technology in their organizations.

MA Plans can Extract the Meaning from Unstructured Data with NLP

Read the article to learn:

  • Why value-based-care requires health plans to leverage unstructured data from medical data systems
  • The importance of having a complete picture of members’ health
  • How clinically intelligent NLP can help health plans achieve performance goals
  • Six key steps health plan executives can take to implement NLP within their organizations

Continue reading “Clinically Intelligent NLP helps Health Plans reach Performance Goals”