Duplicate Lead Notifications + Notification Downtime (RESOLVED)

Along with the rollout of the new lead inbox came a full data and architecture migration and once deployed, we noticed a bug that caused some vendors to receive duplicate leads notifications despite countless hours of QA and code review on staging prior to deploying where this issue did not surface.

In order to resolve the issue, we have disabled lead notifications for the next 36-hours to ensure that impacted companies will not continue getting spammed.

We apologize for any frustration this may have caused and appreciate your patience while we work to diagnose and resolve the issue as quickly as possible and get the patch live on production.

Current Status: RESOLVED, Lead notifications are back online as of 10pm PST Monday September 20, 2021 in the new system View announcement

View the full update




How do I know if we receive a new lead while lead notifications are disabled this week?

To make sure that you do not miss any leads this week while notifications are turned off, we recommend checking your dashboard once a day

When will notifications be turned back on?

We will send a followup as soon as notifications will be re-enabled but we hope to have them live by the end of the week

Will I still receive lead notifications?

No, lead notifications have been disabled while we work to implement a notification audit log that we will be monitoring closely throughout the week to try to identify, diagnose, reproduce and resolve the issue around duplicate notification emails. View announcement

πŸ† Let the 2022 HotelTechAwards begin!

Its September 1st and the annual HotelTechAwards officially kickoff today! 🏎  🏁 

This is arguably the most important HotelTechAwards competition ever. The last 18-months have seen the hotel industry undergo an unprecedented digital transformation.  During this same period, thousands of hotels around the world have changed ownership (or management) and the hospitality workforce has shifted dramatically.

This game of musical chairs amongst hotel tech buyers is creating opportunities for the top hotel tech companies to pull away from the pack.

What separates the best hotel tech companies from the rest?  That's where the HotelTechAwards come in: using data to measure customer satisfaction, partner ecosystem strength, customer support processes, peer trustworthiness and more to determine the most loved products in hotel tech according to the judges that matter most, hoteliers.

Almost every major hotel tech company from San Francisco to Sydney is registered to compete in this year's awards for a chance to win the most coveted award in hotel tech so make sure to start collecting reviews asap to increase your chances of winning.

Below please find a few tips to help you kick things off strong and as always, if you have any questions along the way feel free to reach out anytime via the live chat on HTR--we're here to help!

👇  Scroll down for week 1 tips 👇


Week 1 Tips and Announcements

  • Live leaderboard and coaching checklist activated: The live leaderboard and coaching checklist are now activated so registered companies can check your eligibility status and current standings in real time and get tips to pick up more points
  • Automated review manager is now unlocked for 30-days: Included with your registration is 30-days of unlimited access to the Automated Review Manager, a tool to help you save time, automate your outreach and collect more reviews.  The review manager is now unlocked in all participants dashboards so if you aren't a Premium Member and don't typically have access to the review manager--make sure to take advantage of it to save time and get off to a strong start
  • Coaching tips coming your way: We'll be sending out tips every few weeks to registered companies to checkin and help you focus your efforts on important milestones to stay on the road to victory.  
  • ✅  First target milestone target...Meet the minimum eligibility requirement of 25-reviews as quickly as possible to get a strong start and set your team up for success (you can check your status in the live leaderboard here)

Learn how to launch an automated campaign

30-day free access ends on September 30, 2021


Phase II: HT Score Poseidon Update is now live

Continued from Phase I: HT Score Poseidon Update

Phase II of the Poseidon Algorthim update is now live.  This means that the new rankings that were only vendor facing in the vendor dashboard in Phase I can now be viewed live on HTR throughout the entire site both the hotelier facing site as well as the vendor dashboard.

If you have any questions about the algorithm updates please refer to the scoring documentation or the Phase I announcement.  If you're looking for personalized tips to improve your reputation, rankings and visibility--check out the Report Card and Coaching Checklist in your vendor dashboard.

Phase I: HTScore Poseidon Update Rollout

Phase I of the HTScore Poseidon Algorithm update that was announced back in June is now live.  

Phase I of the rollout gives vendors a chance to see potential impact to their rankings and what they can do to improve before the site wide rollout to all users.  In Phase I vendors have the opportunity to see their new scores privately via their Reputation Report Card and Awards Live Leaderboard and get personalize tips to improve your score before the public rollout later this month (late August) via the Coaching Checklist in your vendor dashboard.

As a reminder, for the next few weeks during Phase I the updated rankings and scoring are only visible to vendors privately via the vendor dashboard and the awards leaderboard to make sure you have plenty of time to check your impact and take any necessary action (if needed) in advance of the update officially going live on the site.




FAQs

Will my ranking and scores be impacted?

While most companies' scores won't be heavily impacted, companies who don't have recent reviews of their products may experience significant drops in ranking and scores.  

How will I know if my HTScore or ranking will drop significantly due to the update?

Head to the Reputation Report Card in your vendor dashboard to check your HT Score and ranking relative to what you see on the front end (ie. your profiles or category pages) of HotelTechReport.com. 

See how to check your score impact


If our products look like they will drop in score or rank after the update goes live, what can we do to mitigate this?

Not to worry, this is exactly why Phase I exists to give your team time to know what to expect and pre-empt any unexpected or undesired changes.  The first thing you'll want to do is review the Coaching Checklist in the Reputation Report card which is sorted by potential impact (most important at the top).  The main reason for companies dropping in score or rank with this update is due to inactivity and lack of recent reviews so this is an easy one to fix and HTR has several resources available to help Basic Members and Premium Members quickly and easily collect recent reviews.

When will the update officially go live to the rest of the site (Phase II)?

Phase II will go live towards the end of August providing vendors several weeks of additional prep time leading into the official rollout to check their impact and collect reviews to mitigate any potential drops in scores/ranking due to inactivity.

Review form translation pages (RESOLVED)

It has been brought to our attention that there is an issue with the new translation feature on the review form and that we are working to resolve.  Please note that this issue only appears to be impacting the review form and all other translated pages throughout the site are operational.

  • Status: Under investigation (this post will be updated as soon as a resolution has been reached)
  • Timeline: Resolved
  • Related to: 🇧🇯 HTR is now available in four new languages!
  • Impact: The english version of the review form is working and browsers like Chrome that have built in translation will be able to auto translate.  The only impact is to users who try to toggle to a different language on the review form.



πŸ‡§πŸ‡― HTR is now available in four new languages!

What do Spanish, German, French and Italian all have in common? 

They're all now native languages on Hotel Tech Report! 

That means users can seamlessly browse native translations right on HTR across reviews, partner recommendations, articles and more!

While HTR's audience has always been global, with the recent milestone of surpassing 140k+ monthly hoteliers and with over 50% of our traffic coming from outside of North America it became even more critical to ensure that the browsing experience was tailored to a global audience.

This update was strategically planned to roll out as travel begins to boom and hotels all over the world are starting to ramp back up to impressive numbers and as they do they continue to look to technology as a key enabler of progress and growth in for the recovery and beyond and this update will help ensure that HTR is able to serve them frictionlessly in their native language.

The software industry is a global one and we are excited to rollout this update along with massive traffic growth even during COVID to position Hotel Tech Report to serve as the go to resource that helps hoteliers across the globe discovery the best tools to run and grow their businesses.

Lastly, if you have any feedback about the translations or ideas to improve the site for your native speaking language please don't hesitate to reach out.


Note: This update auto-detects language based on the user's browser settings and can also be manually switched.  The review form is also translated so that it is easier to collect reviews from non-english speaking users who may have older browsers that don't auto translate.


HT Score Poseidon Algorithm Update (Q3 '21)

Hotel Tech Report consistently improves the HT Score ranking algorithm to incorporate variables and mechanisms that set out to productize buyer research and decision making criteria considered by savvy hotel tech buyers during the research, vetting and due diligence process to help hoteliers make better decisions, faster.  Similar to Google's algorithm updates, HTR periodically rolls out updates to build upon and improve the scoring methodology over time.

The core purpose of this update is not to change the importance/weighting of the various quality signals in the scoring system, but instead to provide a more dynamic, consistent, and long-term scoring methodology that ensures an accurate, fair and current perspective of products in the market based on key buying decision criteria and real time data in the HTR platform.  

The Poseidon algorithm update is outlined below in addition to tips for companies to optimize their presence, rankings and visibility.  The Poseidon update will go into effect in mid-July '21 ensuring that all vendors have time to review the update and understand the potential implications that it might have on rankings.

 

All Reviews Are Not Created Equal...

Generally speaking, this group of updates takes into consideration something that has never been factored into the HT Score before which is that all reviews are not created equal.  Old reviews aren't as important as new reviews, shallow reviews aren't as meaningful as in-depth reviews, lots of reviews from a small subset of clients aren't as representative as a few reviews from a large subset of clients and collecting lots of reviews at once tends to increase bias relative to a more sustainable long term feedback collection strategy.  Below are additional details about the new criteria that will be factored into scoring in a dynamic way:

  • Decay factor on review volume. Previously review volume in the category minimum review threshold was based on all time reviews with no difference between the important of a review from years ago to a review left today about a users current product experience.  Now, the impact of reviews towards HTScore variables will evenly decay overtime over a 36-month period meaning that reviews older than 3-years will not be counted in terms of category average volumes.  As a result, recent reviews will carry more weight than old reviews since they are more reflective of the current product and customer experience.  This decay in weight will be gradual to avoid drastic and sudden changes.  
  • Review depth.  Companies that build outstanding products that customers love develop strong communities of passionate customer advocates and product mavens who have insightful feedback about the product and take the time to engage in ways to support the development, growth and success of companies they love.  Additionally, in-depth reviews provide more value to users by painting clear user scenarios, pros and cons to help buyers on HTR better understand the product offering available to make a more informed decision.  For these reasons, in-depth reviews will now be factored in as a weighting variable (relative to review depth from peers in the same category) and an indicator of customer engagement and likelihood to recommend.
  • Client bias. Hotel Tech Report’s policy has historically been to accept reviews from multiple users at a single hotel due to the fact that every user has a unique opinion/viewpoint on software.  Having said that, collecting lots of reviews from only a handful of customers that aren't representative of your overall customer base indicates potential risk of bias.  Therefore, we will be implementing a maximum limit of  5 reviews/property that can be counted in scoring to eliminate potential bias from a small subset of customers that may not be representative of the overall client base.
  • Customer centric processes. Companies who create a sustainable process to regularly collect reviews organically and steadily overtime indicate that customer feedback is at the heart of their organizational processes.  As a result, companies who show stable review collection will be rewarded as a key indicator of organic review collection, strong internal feedback loops and customer centricity.


Static-->Dynamic Quality Signals

Last year the v1 additional bonus quality signals were introduced to the HT Score with binary static determination.  This v1 implementation did not factor in the vast differences across products and categories ultimately rendering the quality signals with relatively little importance due to the fact that they were not dynamic.  This update takes the old static variables and makes them dynamic within each category to ensure more accurate comparisons and assessments between products.

  • Dynamic scoring updates. The following bonuses will move from binary fixed points into a dynamic scoring system relative to other products in the respective category for more accurate comparison: Global reach, partner recommendations, staying power, company resources
  • Global coverage bonus.  Historically the geographic reach bonus only factored in # of countries with 5+ reviews.  The issue with countries is that some regions have dozens of countries (eg. Europe) and some only have a handful (eg. North America) but ultimately the key factor is likelihood that a vendor will be able to service a user in the global market place.  To improve the effectiveness of the geo bonus and remove potential country inequality, a regional coverage variable will be added to the global reach bonus to provide a more accurate view of global market coverage.  Regions include: North America, Europe, APAC, Middle East/Africa, South America
  • Ecosystem health bonus. A new variable will be added for app ecosystem health that factors aggregate HTScores and ratings of all verified integration partners.  Products with the highest quality app ecosystems not only have a higher probability of being able to effectively service more users in the global market place, but ecosystem health also serves as an indicator of engineering resources, company reputation and ability to deliver a more seamless customer experience through a holistically integrated tech stack of world class products.


The Good & The Bad (Examples of both)

Good🚫 Bad
Showcase lots of recent reviews and customer feedback on your profiles that is reflective of the current product experience and customer relationships.Few or no recent reviews with most reviews from a long time ago making it difficult for prospects to learn about the current user experience.
Collect reviews from a wide array of customers that provides a representative and unbiased sample.Collect lots of reviews from only a handful of customers that isn't representative of your overall customer base and indicates potential risk of bias.
Create a sustainable process to regularly collect reviews organically and steadily showing that customer feedback is at the heart of your organizational processes and that hoteliers aren't pressured to leave reviews.All of your reviews are collected within a short period of time indicating that feedback collection is not part of your team's internal processes and that hoteliers may have been bombarded with requests creating a stressful experience for users that can lead to bias and frustration.
Collect reviews from customers in each of the key regions you serve geographically to increase chances of having strong customer feedback that is relevant to HTR's global audience of hoteliers.Collect reviews from hoteliers in a single geography which signals to the algorithm that you are a regional provider that may not be able to service many of HTR's global audience of hoteliers.
List and verify all of your integrations and collect recommendations from lots of your partners to show that your product and team are highly interoperable and come highly recommended by other top partners in the global ecosystem.Only list and verify a few of your integrations and have minimal recommendations from other vendors in the community indicating to the algorithm and buyers that your company may be fairly nascent in the market and lacks a strong partner ecosystem.


Tips to Optimize Your Rankings for the Upcoming Update

  • 💡Tip #1: Make sure you have recent reviews that are reflective of the current product experience for buyers (Related to: Review decay)
  • 💡Tip #2: Make sure you diversify your review collection and don't have all of your reviews from only a small number of hotels (Related to: Client bias)
  • 💡Tip #3: Make sure you have a consistent and organic review collection process built into your team's workflows and avoid large burst campaigns that inundate and overwhelm clients (Related to: Erratic Collection Penalty)
  • 💡Tip #4Make sure you diversify your review collection across your customer base's geographic regions to maximize your global coverage and geo bonus (Related to: Global Coverage Bonus)
  • 💡Tip #5: Make sure all of your integrations are listed and verified and you have as many recommendations from partners as you can to maximize your partner ecosystem bonus (Related to: Ecosystem health bonus)

Note: Please note that as with Google or any other ranking methodology, HTR's algorithm is proprietary and full disclosure of exact calculations has the negative consequence of leading to users attempting to game the system which is why the exact algorithm is not shared publicly.  That said, HTR is committed to providing detailed documentation as well as the Reputation Report Card in the vendor dashboard to make sure it is simple and easy for your team to quickly assess the key drivers of the ranking methodology and identify ways to quickly and easily to optimize your rankings and presence.

2022 Budget Season Buyer's Guides Sponsorships Now on Sale

TL;DR

  • What is it...Once a year limited availability sponsorship opportunity for a single vendor to be the exclusive sponsor in each category of HTR's official budget season buyer's guide
  • What's included...High quality turnkey co-branded content, exclusive native advertising placement in your category for a full year on Hotel Tech Report and 1-year content license to leverage the guide throughout your marketing to generate leads
  • When is it available...2022 Budget Season Buyer's Guides are open for sponsors to reserve beginning June 1, 2021
  • Limited availability...Since there is only one spot per year in each category, guides are offered on a first-come-first-served basis
  • A few reasons to become a sponsor...Buyer's guides are one of HTR's best value offerings because they not only include turnkey content production but sponsorship also includes year round exclusivity as well as targeted native advertising front and center to own your category for a full year on HTR.  Budget season is still a few months away so now is the time to solidify brand visibility.  Standing out with a clear message to buyers this budget season is going to be absolutely critical in what is sure to be a noisy world of COVID recovery marketing.

👉 RESERVE YOUR CATEGORY 👈



Related article: Buyer's guide sponsorship FAQs

What is a buyer's guide?

The goal of the budget season buyer's guides is to create a living document that continues to evolve year over year becoming the ultimate primer for each category.  HTR partners with one sponsor per category each year to be the exclusive sponsor of that year's budget season buyer's guide.

While the design and production of each buyers guide is handled by HTR, sponsors are featured prominently throughout the guide and on Hotel Tech Report for a full year through the following year budget season and additionally are able to contribute ideas, insights and content to infuse the guide with their unique expert perspective on the category.

Key Dates & Deadlines

*Underlined = sponsor involvement

  • May 1 -June 1: Premium Member early reservation period
  • June 1-June 30: Regular registration period
  • June 14 - July 6: Partner questionnaire completion period
  • June 15-July 15: HTR designs and produces buyers guides drafts
  • July 15-July 30: Sponsor feedback and content collaboration period (Round 1)
  • August 1 - August 8: HTR implements round 1 feedback
  • August 8 - August 15: Sponsor review period and final revisions (Round 2)
  • August 15 - August 30: HTR implements final revisions
  • September 1: Guides go live as they finish production and begin being promoted on HotelTech Report and sponsors receive hard copy along with 1-year content license
  • Sept 1, 2021-Sept 1, 2022: 1-year buyers guide placement and promotion on Hotel Tech Report through 2022 budget season


Buyers guide sponsor FAQs

  1. What does it mean to be a sponsor?
  2. What are the benefits?
  3. What is the process once my company registers?
  4. How much does it cost?
  5. Is there a performance marketing model available?

Performance Improvements

We're excited to announce that we recently completed a ground up backed rebuild and optimization of core pages throughout HTR including the home page, category pages, profiles and the blog dramatically improving page load speeds and user experience across the site.  Enjoy!

πŸ’§New eBook Drop: What do telemedicine, remote work and NFTs have in common?

Telemedicine, remote work, cryptocurrencies, NFTs, mobile ordering...what do all of these have in common?

Each of these trends were inevitable tech enabled shifts in the way we interact and collaborate as a species whose adoption was vastly accelerated by COVID-19.

But while rapidly changing regulation, limited staffing and required physical distancing highlighted the importance of technology to survive in the face of uncertainty, what hoteliers across the world realized is that the benefits of leveraging technology to attract more customers, communicate more seamlessly and improve efficiency stretch far beyond COVID.

👉 Download the 2021 Market Leaders Report

We created this free report packed with data driven insights, product rankings, trend analysis and tons of additional free resources to serve as a primer to all things digital to inspire HTR’s global community of hoteliers as you prepare for the recovery.

Whether you’re looking to adopt contactless checkin to make guests feel more at ease upon arrival, find a channel manager to tap into new distribution channels, upgrade to a modern PMS so you don’t have to kick the hood three times and blow on the steering wheel to check a guest in (joking…kind of) or you're just looking for a resource to share with your team to help them get more familiar with the top tech tools that are available—this report has it all.

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