Somehow it just seems fitting that consumers make travel plans while on the go devices—with the help of their mobile phones. From the first time someone starts thinking they want to get away for a while to leaving feedback on travel services, the mobile phone is the go-to tool to transport travelers in theory and reality.
Through every step of the customer journey from travel—plans, transportation, and on-site activity—a cell phone is a necessary tool for frictionless, engaging experiences. So, how can travel industry marketers tap into travel dreams and turn lookers into bookers? What is the best way to increase loyalty and build revenue? Smart mobile marketing tactics can help travel and hospitality companies increase revenue and build long-term loyalty.
Customer engagement starts long before guests step into a hotel lobby or buckle their airline seat. Savvy marketers know that every touchpoint provides the valuable potential for improved communication that can capitalize on more than just immediate revenue.
Appropriate mobile channel marketing is indispensable for all aspects of the travel business—improved operations, smarter marketing, and sales initiatives as well as better efficiency and reduced costs.
Consider some of these stats on the importance of mobile marketing for the travel industry:
- 80% of travel marketers consider SEM to be the most effective channel for delivering bookings.
- More than 50% of tourism website traffic comes from a mobile device.
- 66% of millennials book their trip using a smartphone—74% use it to research.
- 33% of users book their trips on their phones.
So, what does all this mean for travel marketers? Rule number one is that your website has to be responsive and optimized for mobile users—especially if you don't have an app. Content must be consistent across all channels. This is especially true if a brand is offering special rates or packages. You don’t get a second chance to make a better impression, and if mobile users can't get what they need, they'll be gone before you know it.
Travel marketing content is visually appealing and provides mini-breaks from routine for prospects and customers. It's common for them to browse travel information while doing things such as waiting in a doctor's office or riding the bus home. Travel companies need to make sure their mobile experiences are at peak performance to catch this type of decision-maker. Are you prepared to reach potential customers in those micro-moments when they have a few spare moments and are spontaneously daydreaming about their next trip? Do you have snackable, bite-sized morsels of mobile content ready to capture the attention of someone standing in line or taking a break from work? If not, it's time to start thinking about how you can capture mobile users in these all-important interstitial moments.
Personalization is key to any good marketing campaign, but this is especially true once you've made the sale. Travel marketers looking to reach mobile users can choose from apps, SMS messaging, and other push notifications for pre-arrival upselling and to provide richer guest experiences. Hoteliers can optimize guest information to improve stays and create a seamless check-out. Post-visit communications are also great opportunities to encourage loyalty and repeat visits via mobile channels.
Text messages can serve as the perfect channel for reminders or as a thank you to customers who have already booked. It's also a great way to be proactive about customer service, by making it easy for them to get in touch with you through a few swipes on their smartphones.
Other brands in the travel game—such as airlines, rental cars, cruise lines, and more—can follow suit in order to boost revenue and improve loyalty. Any type of customized experience works remarkably well both offline and on, but when you’re able to reach out to prospects and customers with personalized travel information on the device they never leave home without, you make huge strides toward creating a customer experience that impresses your guests and keeps them coming back again and again.
The travel marketer’s goal is to keep customers coming back. The momentum established by mobile marketing will continue to grow and savvy marketers will implement these mobile strategies that definitely turn lookers into bookers.