Best Practice Mobile Strategies for your Business in 2014
Mobile marketing has exploded in the hospitality industry over the last few years as most of its potential customers are browsing on-the-go, and hoteliers and travel suppliers have to respond adequately to this growing demand for mobile travel services. With a 46% (Google Insights into Hotel Vertical In Irelands- Q4, 2013) increase in travel shoppers gravitating towards mobile browsing, marketers have no other option but to rethink their strategies,as it is poised to become the most conversion-centric marketing technique in a couple of years. Fifty percent of U.S. adults and 80% of business travelers already have smartphones. Twenty-four percent of leisure travelers and 36% of business travelers have already purchased travel via their mobile devices (PhoCusWright).
The travel and tourism industry is one of the most aggressive innovators and users of internet-centric technologies. All sizes of brands are now plugged into the online world as they have realized the marketing potential of internet based visibility campaigns.
Ranging from M-reservations to M-inquiries, established hotel chains have already embraced the mobile browsing spectrum to the fullest. M-commerce presents a great opportunity for utilizing the great pool of customers who are not only available 24×7, but also the largest conversion potential and for players of all sizes and interests in the hospitality segment. The opportunities of ‘AAA’ marketing (Anywhere, Anytime, At-once) has taken the world of mobile marketing by storm.
Travelers are always on the move and the one apparatus that keeps them connected to the world is their mobile phone – it has become a hub of information, research, inquiry, commerce and other location-based services, with just a couple of touches. Some of the top hotel chains who were the earliest proponents of M-commerce have reported a 70%-90% surge in their traffic.
How do you guarantee success for your business in 2014?
Below is a key essentials checklist that you should have in your business:
- Have a Mobile Website – it is no longer a luxury, but a necessity! Content quality is the biggest “must-have” for a mobile site. The Google Panda algorithm updates favour mobile websites with richer visual and textual content that is not only deep and relevant but also fresh, engaging and optimized for the search engines.
- Create Mobile Specific Rateplans – Mobile Bookings are poised to grow exponentially over the next few years and with this comes a need to have mobile specific rateplans. It is predicted that by 2015, 20% of all hotel bookings will be made via mobile devices.
- Upload Quality Images – Image galleries receive the 2nd highest interaction on a mobile device.
- Develop a Mobile Marketing strategy – With exponential growth in mobile traffic and bookings, consider having a mobile marketing strategy to be found via paid and organic search results. Google Search Mobile queries grew by 46% in 2013, with 43% of all hotel search queries now made via a mobile device.
- Hold availability for last minute mobile bookings – Mobile bookings lead time is getting shorter; to grow your mobile revenue, try holding some last room availability where possible. Currently 31% of Mobile Hotel bookings are made for a stay within a 72hr period.
- Go Social with Mobile – 2015 is the year to leverage Social media via mobile, Ensure you are encouraging social media interaction via your mobile website. Mobile monthly active users on Facebook increased by over 45% YOY to 874m and Twitter increased by over 37% YOY to 184m.
What’s in store for the future?
Mobile bar-code hotel room activation – Mobile payments for on-site charges – Mobile valet service – Mobile airport pick-ups and much, much more!