Mobile Marketing: A Help or Hype?
By Robert King General Manager, Travel & Hospitality, ClickSquared | January 23, 2011
Mobile Marketing is "top-of-mind" among travel & hospitality industry marketers, and for many, it's a bit overwhelming. It goes into that same black hole as social media – too ubiquitous to ignore, potentially promising, but somehow too challenging to map a clear course of action. And even for those who recognize the importance of including mobile within an integrated cross-channel marketing strategy, where do you begin; how do you do it; and how do you know if you are successful? Regardless of which camp you fall into, what follows are some thoughts that should help you move forward confidently.
What's Going on in the Mobile Marketing Space?
So what is mobile marketing? The Mobile Marketing Association defines it as, "…a set of practices that enables organizations to communicate and engage with their audience in an interactive and relevant manner through any mobile device or network." That means mobile marketing encompasses all communications via a mobile device, whether they are standard email messages, digital content viewed on a mobile device, or SMS (text) messages.
According to MarketingProfs, more than 61% of people rely on their cell phone for up-to-the-minute information. Their research found that 33% of people regularly check their email on their cell phones while 59% do so occasionally. The same study also found that almost half of individuals cite text messages as their preferred way to receive information.
If there is any industry that is well suited to mobile marketing, it would have to be travel and hospitality. After all, customers are often en route to, on site, or returning from, their destinations. In a Forrester Research report focused on European travel practices (Forrester Research, December 2009, Travel Firms' Initial European Mobile Strategies Should Focus on Convenient Services), analysts found that consumers are routinely using mobile devices to consume travel information.
While only a small minority are utilizing mobile to book travel, it is clear that interest in innovative mobile travel services is growing rapidly. Beyond checking flight status on mobile devices, consumers are beginning to look to airports, hotel chains, car rental agencies, train systems, tourist destinations and even travel insurers to provide mobile offerings, and in particular, text-based communications.
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