Start Thinking Mobile Marketing

Posted on Feb 3rd 2011

In this digital age it’s important that hoteliers respond to the new needs of guests and offer them the convenience to select and reserve a room, access and change bookings and view hotel photos and information while away from their computers.

Mobile is making it more convenient for travelers to find places to go to, receive up-to-the-minute travel alerts, make travel arrangements and use their mobile web browsers to perk up their travel experiences. Industry reports state there are over 300,000 Android phones activated everyday, Facebook has more than 200 million active users currently that access it through their mobile devices, Twitter mobile usage had increased to 347% per year, and 70.1 million people are accessing email via their mobile devices.

Nowadays, hoteliers can pull an appropriately planned and implemented mobile marketing strategy to boost travel reservations and sales. With mobile marketing they can make simpler travel planning and reservations procedure, drive brand loyalty and engagement, and improve multichannel campaign endeavors. They can also develop customer service strategies, draw and maintain guests and fuel word-of-mouth as well as social media engagements. Businesses in the hospitality industry such as hotels, resorts and apartments can specially use mobile marketing to drive sales of products, services and events on property locations by keeping guests within their venue and not just to simply sleep there. They can use mobile marketing to encourage potential guests to book reservations via mobile web and apps. They can use this strategic tool to keep guests updated on special events and concerts. And they can drive consumers to participate in loyalty programs and to redeem their points through this effective device.

Additionally, almost everything you can do with traditional hotel marketing can be modified to work on mobile devices. Mobile device standards along with mobile marketing best practices are still emerging. Meanwhile hotels’ customer behavior and laws are rapidly changing. Because of this, adapting your hotels’ marketing strategy for mobile device should be a continuing endeavor.

Mobile marketing works for Hospitality industry

More and more travelers are using their Web-enabled handsets to interact with the hospitality industry. A Forrester study found that 54% of online business travelers and 48% of online leisure travelers who have Web-enabled mobile devices have used their mobile phones to search for travel-related information. They typically search for driving directions or hotel room information. For this reason, mobile marketing works for any type of business. Not only that there are mobile marketing solutions for almost every type of business that wants to increase recurring transactions as well as generate new customer flow. Travelers are using their mobile devices for local search with increased frequency. When they search for information, hospitality firms have to ensure they are present at the time of the potential guest’s expressed need. A leading publisher of mobile location based service (LBS) application company, uLocate Communications, has seen a 300% increase in the number of local mobile searches last year.

Mobile marketing is utterly engaging marketing strategy

Many leading travel companies such as Hilton Hotels, Hyatt Hotels among others are consistently using of mobile marketing for branding, client acquisition and retention of patrons or both. They make use of display and search advertising mixed with special deals and offers that proved to be very effective and aid online travel agencies to acquire and retain clients. Mobile marketing campaigns are typically launched by means of opt-in strategies, so it is highly targeted and almost always has 100% read rates. SMS (Short Message Service) messages are more likely to reach their target and be read compared to promotional e-mails sent via computer. According to the CTIA’s 2009 biannual wireless industry survey, clients exchanged more than 4.1 billion text messages per day. Mobile marketing serves a very valuable purpose when it comes to engaging current customers. It can assist with customer reinforcement, reassurance and linkage or connectivity. It is very engaging because it’s done with such a personal device. Mobile phones are a unique communication channel that can offer brands a direct and personal engagement mechanism with a customer. And nowadays social networking platforms had linked with mobile service providers and created mobile tools wherein you can update your Facebook Fans or Tweet then while you’re on the road.

Achieve high relevancy rate with mobile marketing

According to Forrester, 21% of business travelers and 18% of leisure travelers searched dining or restaurant info on their smartphones last year. Mobile interactions provide hoteliers with information (for example, the customer’s location, reservation time, events, and more). This way you can understand your customers’ requirements and preferences. Because of this you can tailor-fit your services relevant to clients’ background. For instance, if someone from Brisbane prefers multi-cultural menu then you can show them listings for restaurants or cafes that offer them just that and not send them to Townsville for that. Mobile marketing is highly relevant.

Every type of mobile device can adopt some type of marketing campaign

Digital marketing research firm InsightExpress found that mobile ad campaign norms were 4.5 to 5times more effective compared to online norms particularly in creating awareness, message association, brand preference and reservation intent. The research also found that mobile media outperforms online media in purchase intent (170% increase). Wireless enabled devices such as mobile devices and networks have become increasingly popular as a marketing tool ever since the rise of SMS. Currently, hoteliers use mobile advertising and mobile-enabled multi-channel promotions that encourage their guests to stay on property and to frequent related establishments and events. They also use mobile campaigns such as promotional Web landing pages that are mobile commerce-enable that permits direct transaction.

In addition, mobile advertising is currently used by the hospitality industry to build permission-based databases so as to deliver special deals and coupons to clients. They invested in generating applications that can be used to provide geolocation services that would help travelers to find nearby hotels. For example HotelsByMe launched iPhone and Android applications provide a list based on the distance of the user’s current location and map out the hotel’s location on an integrated map. Coupons had been included within applications that drive clients to redeem special offers resulting in higher repeat and referral sales.

Although there are mobile devices that have their limitations and thus cannot receive your marketing campaigns, you can carry out some sort of marketing campaign that is applicable for every type of mobile device.

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