Travel Industry Marketing Conversations

by the folks at ITI Marketing, Inc.

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Posts Tagged ‘Customer Relations’

Ten Ways Social Media Changed Our Thinking in 2009

Posted by TeamITI on December 22, 2009

[tweetmeme source="itimarketing"]

This list was published by David Berkowitz, Senior Director of Emerging Media & Innovation at digital marketing agency 360i. Find out more about him here

In many ways social media managed to change our thinking about what happened, what’s going on, and how the world’s changing.  This list focuses on 10 ways in particular. Not all are exclusive to the past year, but many of the milestones from the past 12 months may well shape how we perceive the road ahead.

These four are probably the most interesting points in the list for marketers:

Sales: Dell has tracked over $6.5 million in revenue to Twitter. There are several  morals to the story: 1) It’s possible to track sales from Twitter. 2) It’s still in its infancy; Dell earned $61 billion last year, so its Twitter sales will barely cover the Post-it notes used at the 75,000+ employee company. 3) Those are only the direct sales, and every time the press reports on Dell’s model, some consumers will go to Dell’s outlet site without bothering to check what’s happening on Twitter. Bottom line, though, social media is making an impact on sales, and this year we finally started to measure that effect in earnest.

Searching: Google, Yahoo, and Bing committed to giving real-time search valuable real estate in their results pages. Sometimes it will be higher up and sometimes further down, and it will surely be much bigger than Twitter, but now it’s here. Most people aren’t going to think to search Twitter or Facebook or Foursquare, but they will visit Google or Yahoo or Bing, and they’ll access the real-time links if they’re relevant. We’re still learning when it’s relevant, but there’s little doubt now that it matters.

Local marketing: So, how did you find out about that restaurant? Did you see a special for mayors on Foursquare? Did a friend check in via Gowalla and share it as their Facebook status? Were you walking down the street with your iPhone out while you augmented reality with Yelp’s Monocle or Urbanspoon’s Scope? Okay, augmented reality may be more gimmicky, but the social services are starting to help people find each other — and help people find local hot spots. The fusion of mobile, social and local started to create real opportunities to change consumer behavior. What was true for early adopters in 2009 will apply to the fast followers in the year ahead.

News-sourcing: Journalists were among the first to embrace Twitter. Will they similarly lead the charge with Google Wave? They’re starting to, anecdotally at least. Mashable loves covering these stories, from the Seattle Times posting a Wave to find a suspected cop killer to town squares hosted by the Austin American-Statesman. Google Wave itself may or may not be the platform of the future, but it’s opened the door to news ways for the media to interact with their audience.

Six more in the list:

Democracy: The Green Revolution, Iran’s populist attempt to reject the summer’s election results, was a global eye-opener for how a tool like Twitter — so easily dismissed as frivolous — could change the world…..

Death: We now mourn in public. Michael Jackson inspired millions — billions? — to grieve openly….

Celebrity Access: In January, Ashton Kutcher joined Twitter. He was followed by Ellen DeGeneres in March and Oprah in April….

Fan participation: This summer, two amazing events happened in the arts world simultaneously…..

Gift giving: Thought you were doing something special for a Facebook friend by giving them one of those little icons as a gift?….

Gaming: In November 2009, over 6 million gamers (and their loved ones) bought the blockbuster “Modern Warfare 2.” That same month, about 70 million gamers played “Farmville”….

For more details and the original article please click here!

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Posted in Articles & Research, Customer Relations, Social Media | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

eTicket to Ride: Andy’s Radio Interview about Mobile Marketing Technology

Posted by TeamITI on December 15, 2009

Once again, Andy Uhlig, Director of Business Development at ITI Marketing, Inc., joins Sandy from the Business Travel Radio for another great radio interview. In this week’s program on the Travel Talk Radio Andy talks about Mobile Marketing Solutions for the tourism industry:

“Great mobile technologies are allowing organizations and business to effectively market and sell travel products and services anywhere, anytime. The smart phone rules – Andy tells us how and why! ”

Listen to the interview here!

Archives will be up directly after the program at http://www.traveltalkradio.com/businesstravelradio.shtml

Posted in ITI Products & News, Mobile Marketing, Social Media | 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 »

What to Tweet?

Posted by TeamITI on July 6, 2009

twitterby Dave Morgan Mediapost’s Online Spin

It’s hard — if not impossible — to escape Twitter these days. Not only has it been in the spotlight for its role in the aftermath of the election in Iran, but it’s on magazine covers, CNN and trade publications virtually every day. Is it overhyped? I don’t think so.

I started using Twitter several months ago and now believe that it is a critical tool for senior execs in emerging markets — certainly for those working in the media and marketing world. You can reach and involve so many critical folks so quickly, no other communication tool or platform comes close.

So, you’re ready to jump in and use Twitter, or ready to go from lurking to participating. What should you Tweet? Here are my thoughts:

  • Conferences. This one is easy for business execs. Tweeting about conferences you’re attending and insights that you hear from speakers not only connects you with peers at the event, but also provides a valuable service to those who aren’t there.

  • Questions. The Twitterari love to help each other. If you need something or have a question you need to answer, ask the community!

  • Opinions. Whether you want to float a trial balloon or find similarly minded folks, Twitter is a great place to do it.

  • What you are doing. This can be overdone, but it can add a degree of humanity to your communcations and Twitter realionships, helping you find others who share your interests.

  • Engage in a conversation. This is the best part. Twitter can enable you to talk online communities with Craig Newmark or venture capital with Fred Wilson. You only get what you contribute, but the exchanges can be extraordinary.

  • Announcements. Twitter can be a critical component of your trade publicity activities. But don’t abuse it — make sure that the news matters and that your community cares.

This is by no means a comprehensive list, but it should help you get started. For those of you who Twitter, use the Comments section here to tell us how you like to use it.

Posted in Customer Relations, Social Media | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »