Travel Industry Marketing Conversations

by the folks at ITI Marketing, Inc.

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Archive for the ‘Travel Industry News & Trends’ Category

Travel Tech: How Smartphones Are Changing Travel

Posted by TeamITI on March 19, 2010

[tweetmeme source=”itimarketing”]

Technology has been changing the way we travel in myriad ways, but these days, the travel process is even more enhanced by mobile phone technology.

CBS Travel Editor Peter Greenberg sat down with CNET’s Natali Del Conte to talk technology and travel on The Early Show.

Find out what hotels, airlines and other travel companies are doing to use technology to make your travels easier.

Check out the video of their conversation and learn the latest:

Posted in Facts, Figures & Trends, Travel Industry News & Trends | Leave a Comment »

Travel industry trend: Mobile Marketing for hotels

Posted by TeamITI on December 10, 2009

Hotels increasingly notice the importance of a proper mobile marketing strategy for their business. In the artice “Making mobile work for your hotel”  Hotelmarketing.com states:

“Mobile mania is upon us, and as each year passes, consumers are becoming more and more reliant on mobile technology, only not just for the purpose of making calls anymore.

A recently published New York Times travel article, “Apps for the iPhone: A Traveler’s Companion, Pocket Size” summed up the growing dependence on these digital companions, likening them to an extra appendage that we can no longer live without.

And so is the case for millions of other mobile users. The fact is, we live in a connected world, and consumers expect an array of capabilities from their phones while in-transit. We want them for the convenience of day-to-day tasks, such as paying bills from the airport, we want them to entertain us while we are stuck commuting, we want them to make suggestions on where to eat or stay when we visit new locations, and now more than ever, we need them to make purchases while we are on the go. Consumers are already using the technology, so it is imperative to reach them where they are looking using the bevy of available mobile marketing tools to ensure that your brand is getting the attention you desire.”

Find the original article here!

Posted in Facts, Figures & Trends, Travel Industry News & Trends | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

MMA Revises Mobile Marketing Definition

Posted by TeamITI on November 30, 2009

Mobile Marketing

The Mobile Marketing Association has officially released a new definition of the term “mobile marketing.”

According to the MMA, mobile marketing is described 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.”

While easy to spot on the surface, there’s more to mobile marketing than digital coupons and the incessant ad campaigns that target our handsets.

During the Mobile Marketing Forum in Los Angeles, the MMA delved deeper into the existence, function, and, yes, the definition of mobile marketing – although the organization’s language has proven confusing to some, particularly when it came to discussing the “two parts of its taxonomy.”

  • The “set of practices” includes “activities, institutions, processes, industry players, standards, advertising and media, direct response, promotions, relationship management, CRM, customer services, loyalty, social marketing, and all the many faces and facets of marketing.”
  • To “engage” means to “start relationships, acquire, generate activity, stimulate social interaction with organization and community members, (and) be present at time of consumers expressed need.” Furthermore, engagement can be initiated by the consumer (”Pull” in form of a click or response) or by the marketer (”Push”).

To read the full announcement from the Mobile Marketing Association, check out their press release from last week.

Find the original article on Mobile Marketing Watch.com

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Posted in Articles & Research, Mobile Marketing, Tools & Tutorials, Travel Industry News & Trends | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Best Practices for Mobile Marketing In The Tourism Industry

Posted by TeamITI on November 24, 2009

What is the one device that people have with them at all times, whether they are at work, on vacation or at home watching television? More than 70% of the world’s population are mobile users and around the world more people use their mobile phones than PCs to access the Web. Mobile phones have evolved into much more than just communication devices. The mobile Internet is a reality. 

Tourism is an ever-evolving industry and this article provides an overview on one of the newest top trends – mobile marketing. Mobile marketing is the only media that allows direct, personalized, interactive and targeted dialogue between brands and consumers. This article takes a common-sense approach to explaining more about the key components of mobile marketing, how they can be used and what they mean to the tourism industry.

How Big is the Mobile Marketplace?

Worldwide mobile communications usage has increased dramatically since 2001. A significant number of cell phone subscribers now have access to the mobile Internet and use some kind of data service such as texting, email, Web browsing, etc. Mobile users expect instant access to information as well as an Internet experience that rivals the one via traditional PC’s and laptops.

Mobile is changing the way your customers search for, buy and enjoy your travel product!

  • Mobile phones technology advancements, economic cost and small size have made them a constant companion for people worldwide
  • Of the 6.7 billion inhabitants of Earth, 4 billion were cell phone subscribers worldwide at the end of 2008 – compare this to than 1 billion in 2002
  • Around the world more people are now using their mobile phones instead of their PCs to access the Web.
  • 26.3% of mobile phone subscribers will log on to the mobile Web at least once per month in 2009, for a total of 73.7 million mobile Internet users.
  • 67% percent of travelers and 77% of frequent business travelers with Web-enabled mobile devices have already used their devices to find local services (e.g. lodging) and attractions.
  • Over a third of travel companies will be investing in mobile this year

               Source: EyeforTravel, PhocusWright
Ways in which Mobile Marketing can be Used

Mobile Advertising

Mobile Websites, App’s and Text Messaging allow businesses to promote and market products and services. All businesses have a message to send. By utilizing mobile technology and text messaging you can market your message, product and/or service to the world’s 4 billion cell phone users. Mobile puts your message in the hands of your audience and by utilizing mobile strategies such as building a list of text message opt-in subscribers you will be able to stay in front of your audience consistently. GoChoice.mobi utilizes an informational on-the-go format in combination with SMS text messaging and money saving mobile coupons to provide travelers with a valuable tool which even facilitates mobile booking.

 Customer Relations Services

Finding ways to strengthen your customer relationship is crucial to a business’s success. NTA is using Meetings2Go.mobi to provide mobile info-on-the-go to all attendees during their annual convention via GONTA.mobi. By developing a list of opt-in mobile user numbers, NTA can regularly communicate with all attendees utilizing text messaging. NTA’s SMS alerts notify meeting attendees of upcoming meeting sessions and events; and they can even distribute mobile surveys for instant response.

Viral Marketing

Mobile and text messaging is an ideal viral medium. Creating and deploying a viral mobile strategy can generate a big buzz. America’s Premier Shopping Places utilized a viral component for a national sweepstakes. Sweepstake subscribers were given the opportunity to register via SMS for a chance to win the grand prize. Subscribers could also forward a text to win text message to their friends so that they too could enter for a chance to win the sweepstakes. You can imagine how quickly this campaign spread.

Marketing Support Tool

One of the biggest challenges of advertising is enabling an immediate response to a call-to-action. People are constantly enticed with outdoor and print advertising on-the-go; however, despite their interest they usually forget to act on it later. By including a mobile or text call-to-action response method, organizations can ensure that the interest sparked by print media is translated into action. Recent SMS integration by The Official Interstate Guide into their printed coupon guide is a good example. By including text message information in their publications hotel print ads, travelers are able to text the mobile id for any hotel they are interested in and be sent to a custom hotel page on TheOIG.mobi with descriptive information and photo’s telling the traveler more about the property. Travelers can then click to call their hotel of choice and book in real time on-the-go.

Mobile as Part of your Marketing Strategy

Can you see ways that mobile marketing could be used as part of your marketing strategy? Here are some of the areas you should be aware of.

Simple  

Mobile marketing strategies must be very simple. If the consumer does not get it the first time, they may not use it again. Mobile websites, App’s and text message campaigns need to be intuitive and easy to navigate. This is well demonstrated by the GONTA.mobi example

Targeted

Campaigns must be targeted and tailored to the audience. One of the most valuable components of  mobile websites, App’s and text messaging campaigns is the ability to provide users ‘urgent now’ information that is relevant to them on-the-go. For tourism mobile sites, the emphasis should not be marketing. Instead it should be on rapidly allowing users to navigate to information they are interested in to facilitate an immediate buy decision.

Permission Based 

People consider their mobile phone an important personal accessory and value their privacy. Ensuring that you are targeting users in ways which comply with the Data Protection Act is a must. Unwelcome intrusion into a user’s personal space runs a high risk of eroding your brand. A recent poll shows that when users gave permission to receive mobile marketing messages, 61% identified SMS as their most preferred way to be reached ahead of TV and radio. By using permission-based marketing best practices you can help ensure the success of your mobile marketing strategies.

Interactive

Mobile marketing should engage consumers in a true two-way dialogue. To best take advantage of the mobile medium, give users the opportunity to interact. Mobile website, App’s and text messaging campaigns should create interactive experiences for the user including location based searches, click to call phone numbers, text to win contests, surveys etc. The success of major brands such as GOChoice.mobi was in a large part due to this.

Measurable

Mobile marketing campaigns are very measurable; It is one of the huge benefits of mobile marketing. However mobile is not a medium of isolation and all mobile marketing should be integrated into your overall marketing mix to produce the desired return on investment. In the case of The Official Interstate Guide, one of goals was to drive more hotel bookings utilizing the publications coupons, which it did through close integration with participating hotels’ marketing efforts. In the case of America’s Premier Shopping Places the goal was to increase brand awareness, which it did overwhelmingly. Both examples demonstrate very different return on investment success.

Cost Effective

Mobile marketing is much more cost effective than other marketing channels such as Internet marketing, advertising and direct mail. Cost effective mobile website setup costs can range from a few hundred dollars to several thousands of dollars depending on the size and complexity. Text messaging credits available for a few pennies each are an economical communication tool to support your mobile marketing efforts. 

Summary

Mobile marketing for the tourism industry is here! It is no longer cutting edge, untested technology. Throughout the last 10 years mobile marketing has benefited from increased technical development and market testing and is now considered a proven and valuable medium. Most importantly, mobile demonstrates an attractive return on investment and is affordable and can be used by small and large business alike.

As you consider your future in mobile marketing, remember, there are many services that need to be brought together and the easiest route is often to contract with a experienced company who specializes in mobile marketing and who can navigate between and manage your various Mobile, App and SMS technologies as well as implement effective mobile strategies.

 

About ITI Marketing

ITI Marketing, Inc. is a leading provider of mobile marketing solutions within the tourism and hospitality industry. As one of the first agencies to apply Mobile Marketing inside a tourism environment, ITI Marketing’s unique experience of being marketers first, technologists second allows us to provide specialized proven mobile marketing solutions. The business model is simple – ITI Marketing helps organizations increase the effectiveness of their advertising, marketing, PR and CRM campaigns utilizing Mobile websites, text messaging and other cell phone features such as Apps and location‐based services, resulting in more successful marketing strategies. Having worked with hundreds of clients of all sizes, including: Choice International, The Official Interstate Guide, America’s Premier Shopping Places, NTA, The State of Georgia and Jacksonville, FL., ITI’s integrated marketing capabilities allow us to stand out among larger agencies, while our intimate size allows for a true marketing partnership. Contact ITI Marketing at (912)267-1558 or Info@ITI-Marketing.com

This article was published in the November E’Newsletter of the Destination Marketing Association International.

Posted in Articles & Research, Mobile Marketing, Travel Industry News & Trends | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »