Mobile Marketing – The New Frontier in Hotel Marketing Strategies
The hotel marketplace is more competitive today than ever before. Between the proliferation of booking and price comparison websites hotels struggle to maximize occupancy at the highest margins.
The digital evolution has provided hotels with added opportunities to market direct to consumers. Smartphones, ipads, Kindle Fires as well as the proliferation of mobile devices have provided a rich mobile platform from which to generate income.
The mobile culture has penetrated society worldwide. The development of high-speed data transfers over 3G networks (EDGE, HSDPA, etc.) and through mobile internet has created such an on-the-go lifestyle for those who can afford it. As it turns out, these people are also perfect for the role of potential hotel guests-over a billion potential clients, to be more exact.
Many hotels are building up their web presence aggressively to court online and mobile consumers. For example, Starwood Hotels, has launched a major location based strategy as noted in a recent press release:
Starwood, who will soon release a groundbreaking location based program strategy, has continued to demonstrate its commitment and participation in the digital space by recently launching the most expansive company-wide social media infrastructure to date, encompassing more than 1,000 properties, nine brands, 125,000 employees in 100 countries, all operating under one consistent strategy.
“With a global foundation in place across multiple platforms, we have established a strong base for doing business in an ever-changing field, which allows us to meet the evolving needs and expectations of our guests whether in stay or not,” said David Godsman, Vice President, Global Web.
Starwood Hotels is of the largest hotel companies in the world, with 1051 properties in 100 countries and territories with 145,000 employees at its owned and managed properties, was formerly headed by brand expert Steve Heyer.
Mobile is very attractive to hotel companies as the information is not only location based but it is delivered in real time right to the browsers or mail clients of users’ personal mobile devices. Not merely an extension of social network marketing or internet marketing, mobile marketing transforms into an altogether-new undertaking that happens to benefit from already-established strategies.
Hotels can utilize WordPress to get their mobile efforts started quickly. Using BuildMySiteforFree.com’s free blog setup program hotels can hit the ground with a mobile website immediately.
“Just as the Internet completely revolutionized the way consumers book travel, now the immense, growing reliance on mobile devices is causing a second shift in how travel is purchased,” said TIG Global Chief Executive Officer Fred Malek. ‘Today, rarely anyone leaves their home without their mobile phone, and twice as many people are using SMS globally compared to email.”
Malek added that it is “imperative for hotels to tap into this growing market,” something that his company is hoping to provide by being able “to leverage the power and revenue potential of this new distribution channel.” With that, it is clear that people are already aware of the untapped resources that mobile marketing is capable of providing.
Truly benefitting are hotels that earn more revenue by having customers book rooms from out of home locations on their mobile phone. Designing apps and websites to be mobile friendly to enhance mobile user experience is truly the key to maximizing revenues from these “on the go” professionals and individuals.
The new frontier for hotel marketing is location and mobile based. Providing leisure and business travelers access to real time information on hotels and facilities as well as offering the vital information that they need right at their fingertips, will not only enhance user experience but will translate to higher bottom lines for these hospitality participants.
Although while Mobile marketing is truly the newest opportunity, it is no easy task, though. There is tons of work to be done, even outside of the marketing itself. Tons of research and studies need to be done to formulate effective strategies as well as to generate the desired results.