11 Jan 2010
Coopertition attending the Urban Dictionary is a hybrid of cooperation and competition or the teaming up of two rival companies.
I can't see any viable alternative for small to medium vacation rental manager companies in the decade that just opened up.
By several measures growth is flat for managers faring the WEB 2.0. As a reaction vacation rental managers are cannibalizing their products in listing websites (copying and pasting their own content to third parties, paying to finally have Google take the listing sites as canonical and lose they're Internet presence altogether), tormenting their customer base (with that terrible email marketing that came back to fashion), pestering the apartment owners (with exclusive contracts and the like).
'The Innovator's Dilemma'
'Blindly following the maxim that good managers should keep close to their customers can sometimes be a fatal mistake'
I think we're suffering the Clayton Christensen Syndrome (if you hit on the link check out figure l.1 on XVI of the introduction). The global crisis only accelerated the change but it's not at the core of it. Web 2.0 brought about the disruptive technology which brought about the disruptive innovation (more specifically, on my opinion, we're looking at a low-end disruption), now we can embrace it or die. Is it really so bad?
'You're F***ing with the Magic'
says the boss of one big media company to Google’s founders in a memorable scene recounted at the start of Ken Auletta’s new book (see the Economist)
I've heard laments about the triumph of quantity over quality, the happy-gone-by times when you'd secure exclusive contracts to guarantee the CHOICE apartment to YOUR clients, the good-old-times when we could call apartments with names (MIMOSA, BLUEBERRY, I've also come through one called BLOSSOM in a recent past) instead of numbers.
'The Innovator's Solution'
As Karmazin in Auletta's book, what we're missing here is the aura we were selling. Will the clients be missing it too?
Some colleagues retort that we should just altogether abandon listing websites. Nonsense. We only need to bundle up and compete shoulder to shoulder with the large listing websites by merging our inventories, connect together in social medias, envision common marketing strategies. We should focus on giving the customer a better experience and value for money. Set them free to create content (UGC) and call your products names, automate your booking services to slash commissions, offer your most radical transparency. If we work it properly I don't see how listing websites could provide a better service than property managers on location.