How to Approach Your Mobile Content Strategy

Explore how to leverage user context along with research and analysis to define the strategic value of your property's mobile web presence.

By Lucas Cobb VP, Integrated Planning, MMGY Global | January 15, 2012

To be successful on the mobile web, like anything else, you need a good strategy. You need a strategy that is built from knowledge and insight and guided by measurable goals. In this article, Lucas Cobb from MMGY Global, explores how hospitality marketers can leverage user context along with research and analysis to define the strategic direction of their property's mobile web presence.

Understand Mobile User Context

The intentions and experiential expectations users have when interacting with your website via a phone or tablet device are not the same as those they have when visiting you from their laptop or office PC. The content they seek may not be different, but the expectation for how it's delivered will be. Release the phrases 'mobile friendly' or 'optimized for tablet' from your vocabulary. Both are descriptors of approaches that short-cut a true strategy. Mobile web sites, phone and tablet versions, require a distinct presence in order to be most relevant and effective.

The user's interface establishes initial requirements for your content. When formatted to fit a smaller screen we must be strategic in design, layout, and architecture of navigation. You should also consider that the majority of devices used would have tactile navigation. A good design will make this a primary user experience consideration.

Technology used to develop your sites is also important. Many conventional web techniques do not translate to mobile, so leveraging standards such as HTML5 is recommended to assure the broadest compatibility with smart devices. HTML5 also provides the opportunity to leverage device functions in much the same way native applications do. There are many functions to leverage, but the one that should have primary focus is location. For instance, how does the initial page of your mobile site render if the user is viewing it from out-of-state versus from within five miles? How would site content be reprioritized to appear most relevant to them? What would you lead with?

This method of utilizing device and location data can be compared to how direct marketers have leveraged database indicators for decades. If the presence of a certain data point is an indication of potential action then it should be used to trigger messaging when such messaging will be most impactful. Offers, incentives, and other calls-to-action can all be dynamically served based on these, and other, contextual indicators. Device capabilities define form and function. Location implies intent and helps us target our content to the perceived needs of the user. Combined they provide context from which you can build an effective, targeted content strategy.

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Coming up in June 2019...

Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.