Interacting and Marketing with the Mobile Guest
By Mike Murray Co-Founder, TripCraft | February 20, 2011
Mobile commerce or "mCommerce" has created a whole new mindset for interacting with mobile consumers and hotel guests. Never before has so much communication power been in the pockets of so many people, and never before have hospitality brands been faced with so many opportunities to engage guests and offer better services, products, and brand experiences.
When marketing through typical channels like the desktop Internet, you have to broadcast special offers, brand messaging, customer service responses, etc., and hope that guests see (and react to) your dialogue. The obstacles are that guests have to be at their computer, and they actually need to see your message in the jungle of eMails, ads, and general spam they receive from other companies trying to engage them.
Mobile on the other hand, provides a more direct and personal means of communicating with customers. This is due to the simple fact that mobile devices are already in the pockets of your guests and (usually) always on. You therefore have many more chances to engage them - especially important during a stay at your property.
Options for Mobile Interactions
The real mobile question is not if, but how you utilize this channel. This should be guided by your overall mobile strategy and which options meet you and your guest's needs. If you don't have a mobile strategy - you need one. There are almost endless possibilities for communicating with mobile guests, but your business needs to adopt a strategy to be successful. It goes beyond simply identifying all possible revenue and service touch points. You need to understand guest preferences for interacting with your brand and what they expect in return. Mobile guests are maturing quickly and have high expectations. So the longer you wait, the greater the chance someone else will fulfill their needs.
Defining a mobile strategy is beyond the scope of this article, so I will simply present a quick overview of typical options available. Just remember these options can be combined into an overall strategy and are not meant to be a list of disconnected possibilities.
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