Embracing the mobile platform: How should the hospitality industry go about it?

One step at a time: What should the hoteliers do?

The stakes are high and the transition to mobile platform inevitable, yet the hoteliers are far from getting a clear picture of this directional shift. With surveys and statistics clearly pointing towards the next decade belonging to M-commerce, the mobile migration is taken very seriously at all the frontiers of the hospitality industry.

The ubiquity and internet compatibility of mobile phones have created unprecedented opportunities for both experimenters as well as seasoned web marketers. Some of the major items in the mobile marketing menu for the hotel and resort owners are….

 

  • Mobile site – Functional, Optimized and Fast loading: As in the online world, creating a face for the business is critical to the planning and success of any future marketing initiative. With mobile browsing experiencing a quantum jump, travelers and deal seekers are constantly looking for hotels, resorts and the best travel deals online. In the absence of a mobile site, your hotel might just be losing out to your competitors. Many hoteliers have experienced the disadvantage of starting out late in the online marketing world. In addition to having a fully functional mobile site, in equal measure it is also important that the site is compatible to the mobile search engines and is optimized for the mobile search. The performance (time taken to load and perform other vital functions) is also a major factor in the ranking process of search engines.

 

  • Site Information – Keep it short & sweet: Most of your customers are in a hurry and may be at their wheels – The only things on their minds are your location, rates and vacancy. If your site’s visitor page have these information right where the customer is expecting it, then who have hit the jackpot. If the customer moves on to your customer’s website, then it is time to align the mobile landing page of your site.

 

  • Don’t forget the auxiliary mobile-based services: Taking the information to the next level on your mobile site is the key to a successful Mobile Marketing Program – what I mean is that ‘give the power of instant transaction’ to the consumers. Let them make room reservation with a single click, or make all the pre-check-out paperwork available on phone itself, or alert the help-desk for a taxi or airport shuttle – and why not have a simple shopping cart on your mobile landing page?

 

  • Go for Mobile Managed Advertising: The screen might be tiny in comparison to the traditional internet-enabled computing devices, but the mobile devices do pack a punch when it comes to grabbing the attention of a traveling customer. The engagement levels in the mobile space is a result of the pin-pointed marketing message coupled with the exact timing (or location) of delivery. The advertising dashboard in the mobile space might be comprised of the following…

 

                      i.        Paid mobile listing (Mobile Adwords) + Mobile banners Ads + Mobile barcode advertising
                     ii.        Location based advertising + Location based service + Location based Engagement
                    iii.        Mobile message marketing based on either opt-in list (more targeted) or based on rental m-list
                   iv.        Mobile applications based on customer participation
                    v.        Anything M: M-coupons, M-booking, M-check-out….

 

With increasing number of travelers already dependent upon their mobile devices for their planning, movement and communication, the stage is set for the marketers to tap this small but conversion-centric platform.

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