Mobile Strategies to Engage Travelers

HSMAI

Today, communication with your guests when they are on the road (and spending the most) is not just commonplace, but essential.  It is estimated that in 2014, 40% of leisure travelers and 36% of business travelers use mobile search engines to find hotels, and 58% of spending on travel is done once the travelers has left home.

By the end of 2016, there will be more online searches on mobile than on traditional desktops.  People now treat mobile devices as extensions of themselves, communicating with friends, family, companies and brand whenever and however they choose.

This adoption of mobile devices gives hotel marketers a plethora of opportunities to engage with guests and potential customers at the time of booking and throughout the traveler’s journey.  A recent HSMAI white paper examined how these marketers attempt to engage travelers in real time.  Here are a few of the key points discussed in the white paper.

Three Stages of Mobile Marketing
When some hoteliers consider mobile marketing campaigns, they are too focused on generating bookings, when in reality this is only a small part of the mobile marketing process.  These are the three primary states of hotel-guest interaction:

1) Booking and Departure

2) En Route, At Check-In, and During Stay

3) Post-Stay (Once the guest has left the hotel)

Traditional pre- and post-communications have been the norm for years in the hospitality industry, but these possibilities have been exponentially enhanced by mobile.

Booking and Departure
A key strategy during this stage of the hotel-guest interaction is to display redeemable special offers via text message, mobile applications or your mobile website.  Everyone loves a good deal – and mobile shoppers are no different.  In fact, the number of active mobile coupon users in the U.S. is expected to exceed 53.4 million by the end of 2014.

To appeal to smartphone users wherever they are in their travel journeys, ensure you have offers that will appeal to them.  Even if they are not ready to buy on the spot, they may come back to take advantage of an offer for a spa package or dinner that caught their interest.

  • Feature promotions that add value such as free parking, complimentary breakfast, bonus loyalty points or happy hour specials at your restaurant as well as special offers for tickets to local attractions and upcoming events.
  • Ensure it is easy to redeem your offers by linking directly to your mobile booking engine with the appropriate offer code populated.
  • Draw attention to your offers making it easy to find and click through to them from your main navigation.
  • Enhance the way your offers are displayed by using large and relevant visuals.

To read about mobile marketing strategies during check-in, throughout a traveler’s stay, and post trip, or to access the full white paper, click here.

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