How to Get in Your Customers’ Pocket

Mobile commerce grows upYour customers increasingly browse, shop, and buy their travel via mobile devices. Unfortunately, getting your product in front of customers seems harder than ever. The diversity of choices available means you have to continually find new ways to attract and engage customers. Travel, in particular, faces the additional challenge of representing a “sometimes” purchase for your customers, that is, one that they typically make just a few times a year—if that.

But… it ain’t all bad news. The key word in the paragraph above is “seems.” The diversity of options mobile provides your customers also offers you creative, innovative ways to engage your customers not just once a year, but every day. And that’s the subject of this week’s Travel Tuesday post How to Get in Your Customers’ Pants… Pocket over on Tim Peter Thinks. Check it out if you get the chance.

Interested in more? Register to receive a free copy of my new special report, “Digital Hotel Marketing in a Multiscreen World,” produced in conjunction with Vizergy, here. You might also enjoy some of our past coverage of mobile, including:

The Future of Travel Search and Mobile (Travel Tuesday)

Android smartphoneI posted my regular Travel Tuesday piece over on Thinks this week, highlighting remarkable comments made by Google’s UK head of travel about the where the growth in search volume is coming from. You can read all about it in this post The Future of Travel Search and Mobile.

Oh, and it’s worth noting that this shift will affect what you must do to reach customers going forward. If you want to learn more about how you can adapt to the changing realities of customer behavior, you can register to receive a free copy of my new special report, “Digital Hotel Marketing in a Multiscreen World,” produced in conjunction with Vizergy, here.

Why Mobile Matters for Travel Marketers

App use on iphoneAnyone who’s read this blog (or the main blog), knows that I think mobile’s going to be huge. All signs point to that fact.

Not “forecast.” Or “prediction.” Or “guess.”

Fact.

Whether it’s Booking.com tripling its mobile business last year or (according to Business Travel News), Choice getting 10% of its bookings from mobile or La Quinta getting 23% of its traffic from mobile, mobile is beginning to represent some meaningful numbers.

And as the Business Travel News article linked above highlights, the growth these players shared “…does not take into account the growing volume of bookings from third-party mobile sites and apps, available not only from the legacy online travel agencies but the ever-expanding list of startups targeting the hotel sector.”

Guests and passengers and travelers in general use mobile because it helps them accomplish their goals. Both research and my experience suggest that consumers no longer care about “channels” or, for that matter, devices. They’ll use whatever’s handy — desktop, laptop, tablet, or mobile phone — to meet their needs. In fact, Pew notes that a growing number of people use their mobile phone as their primary means of accessing the Internet, bypassing the desktop altogether (while some of Pew’s research in this area refers primarily to teens, A. it’s also true many older demographics use “cell-mostly” internet, and B. Gen Y and Millennial demographic cohorts represent your customers in just a few years).

Why do travelers use mobile so much?

Because it’s always at hand.

Literally.

So, the fact remains, your guests and passengers increasingly rely on mobile to research, shop, browse, and buy travel and related services. The question is: Are you helping them?

Interested in more? Sign up for our free newsletter to get more information on how to build your social, local, mobile marketing strategy. You might also enjoy some of our past coverage of mobile, including:

Booking.com just announced something amazing

The growth of mobile So, I don’t normally cover press releases, but this one’s worth mentioning:Priceline subsidiary Booking.com reported late last week that their mobile booking revenue tripled last year. Which would be impressive, until you consider that it tripled to $3 billion from $1 billion in 2011. That’s billion. With a “b.”

Um… wow.

I gave a talk this morning to a group of travel and hospitality companies about how big mobile’s going to be. And I referenced items like the growth of the millennial market, how to handle the iOS/Android debate, and all that jazz. But, by any standard, those are some impressive results. I’m thinking there might be something to this mobile web business after all.

Interested in more? Sign up for our free newsletter and get more information on how to build your social, local, mobile marketing strategy. And, if you’ve got a minute, you might enjoy some past coverage of mobile, including:

Tuesday Travel: Weekly Marketing Roundup

Online marketingLooking to improve your hotel’s marketing going into 2013? Here’s a quick round-up of this week’s best hotel marketing and distribution tips and techniques:

Don’t forget to check back here regularly for additional hotel marketing tips and techniques. And take a look at my main blog for additional online marketing and e-commerce news and info.

The Rise of Mobile and What You Can Do About It

The rise of mobileTravel Industry Wire has a must-read on five online travel trends set to explode. Here’s their take on mobile:

“…mobile services must fulfill a basic need. So apps may not be for everybody but firms should be optimizing for mobile. Before doing so they must carefully consider their target audience.

You can’t really talk about mobile without thinking about social and of course local. If any further proof is needed: in March this year 350 million Facebook users (who are also consumers!) had accessed the social network via a mobile device.

Hotwire President Clem Bason argues that: ‘A number of companies have integrated social media into their mobile offerings, but no travel company has completely nailed it yet.’ ” [Emphasis mine]

Additionally, recent research from the Pew Internet & American Life study suggests that mobile has reached its tipping point while Google provides clear insights into the mutli-screen world. So, if mobile’s so important, why aren’t more travel companies — a sector where mobile’s a no-brainer — nailing it?

The worst part? It’s not actually that hard. Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to belittle the work needed. It’s real. But the fundamentals of a mobile strategy remain clear. For instance, check out the following:

If you’re looking at how mobile can work better for your brand in 2013, give me a call or drop me a linel. I’m happy to help.

IAB Study on Travel and Media

The IAB has an interesting study outlining trends among travelers and their media use. Some of the key findings?

  • Travel is their top “big ticket” purchase. 23% of Americans are planning vacation travel in the next six months, making the category the top “big ticket” item they plan to purchase in the period
  • Internet use almost equal with TV. On weekdays, internet weekly reach among intended travelers approaches parity with TV (91% internet vs. 95% TV)
  • Media use grows when they’re ready to travel. Soon-to-be travelers are more likely to surf the internet (91% vs. 82%), listen to radio (77% vs. 69%), and read magazines (61% vs. 51%) and newspapers (58% vs. 50%) than the general population
  • Heavy use of email. They are far more likely to send and read emails than the average American (94% vs. 83%)
  • And of mobile phone apps. Their rates of app usage is much greater than the average American The six most popular categories more than those in the general population:
    • Games (70% travel intenders vs. 66% general population)
    • Weather (69% travel intenders vs. 57% general population)
    • Entertainment (60% travel intenders vs. 54% general population)
    • Social Networking (58% travel intenders vs. 52% general population)
    • Radio (45% travel intenders vs. 39% general population)
    • Travel (53% travel intenders vs. 38% general population)

You can retrieve the whole study from the IAB here [PDF link].