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Posts Tagged ‘mobile advertising’

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. 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 to provide mobile info-on-the-go to all attendees during their annual convention via 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 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.


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 example


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.


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 was in a large part due to this.


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. 


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

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 »

Mobile Is A Separate Channel

Posted by TeamITI on July 17, 2009

cellphonesA new study from Universal McCann, reported in, finds that one out of every seven minutes of media consumption today takes place via mobile devices.

The study found that 80% of smart-phone users are satisfied with the quality of the Internet on their mobile devices.

19 million mobile Web users in the U.S access the Internet on a weekly basis, with mobile usage expected to grow by 60% over the next two years. According to the respondents:

  • 95% said they used mobile media to fill downtime
  • 82% said they use it at work
  • 81% while shopping
  • 80% at home
  • 65% while commuting to their jobs

The study concludes that those activities create an opportunity for marketers to transition with consumers as they move from activity to activity throughout the day. Among specific activities,

  • 73% of respondents reported searching for maps and directions
  • 55% said they participated in social networking or sought out restaurant and movie listings or reviews
  • 44% reported seeking national news and information
  • 55% of mobile users follow brands across multiple media
  • 56% said they have been driven to mobile from other media
  • 42% said they have been driven from mobile to other media

Graeme Hutton, director of consumer insights at UM, says that “Mobile is a separate channel” that allows marketers to talk to consumers wherever they go. And he notes that mobile users are surprisingly accepting of advertising, saying that:

  • 38% of respondents said they had taken action based on mobile ads
  • 30% said mobile ads had led them to share information
  • 22% said mobile ads had influenced a purchase decision

The study shows that  27% of the respondents said that they were “completely focused” when using mobile, slightly lower than the 33% who reported being completely focused when surfing the Web on computers, but higher than TV, newspapers and magazines (all less than 20%) and radio (6%).

Read more about it in Media Week.

Posted in Articles & Research, Mobile Marketing | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Applications are the new Web sites

Posted by TeamITI on July 15, 2009

corytreffilettiInteresting article by Cory Treffiletti. Key lesson for tourism marketers:

Marketers need to be cross-platform at this point and this seems to be the wave of the future.

Think about it; in a distributed media environment where syndicating content is the core of a user interaction strategy, applications can become as important, if not more important, than your actual Web site. This is especially true when you consider that mobile is rapidly growing in importance as it becomes standardized on three primary platforms: iPhone OS, Android and Windows Mobile.

As more and more people are becoming familiar with the various app stores from Apple and the phone carriers, more people are downloading and installing apps that provide them with access to their favorite content and services. If you peruse the Apple App Store on iTunes, you see some very familiar brands taking advantage of this new environment. Facebook , Google, Yahoo, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal; all of these big brands are establishing a regular user base with applications. And when people start using these applications, they dramatically reduce their time spent with the brand’s central Web site.

As a focus group of one I can tell you there are a number of brands and experiences that I only view on my phone through an app, never having visited their actual site. FML is a funny site that I’ve only viewed through my phone. Twitter and Facebook are viewed evenly through my phone and through a browser, but when it comes to Twitter I tend to use TweetDeck more than the actual site. All of these are examples of companies that have embraced the syndication of their platforms and recognize that consumer behavior is changing.

What this means for marketing is clear.

Marketing in this kind of environment requires more fragmentation and the addition of more tactics to clearly execute a strategy. In Web 1.0 and Web 2.0 it was possible for brands to focus their digital marketing efforts on two to three fundamental tactics. You could focus on search, display and one other component to execute effectively, but that doesn’t work as well anymore. You need to pick partners and work with them to execute across all of their platforms in order to sustain targeted reach. As a byproduct, you most likely achieve frequency as well. That means applications are even more important and potentially crucial as a vehicle for interacting with a consumer.

Back in the olden days of the Internet, brands did multiyear upfront deals with the major players like Yahoo, Excite and Lycos and they locked in multiple avenues to get their messages to the right target audience. In recent years those deals became fewer and far between because networks came into play and provided broad reach by aggregating many smaller publishers together. As fragmentation increases, I foresee those larger package deals coming back into vogue as marketers identify key partners and look to use those partners across multiple platforms, with the platforms including Web, mobile, apps and video.

Google apparently has already gone down this route and is including mobile and in-app advertising with its AdSense product. For me as a marketer, this provides a great way to start testing other platforms, but I can see how some marketers would get upset with this if they weren’t aware it was happening. As always, a policy of full disclosure tends to take care of any issues, but where Google is headed seems very logical to me. Marketers need to be cross-platform at this point and this seems to be the wave of the future.

If you aren’t examining the application space yet, you should get started very soon. It’s heating up quick, and the players with the most reach and the strongest units that can drive impact will win that race.

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

Mobile Marketing – Giving Legs to Traditional Marketing Channels

Posted by TeamITI on June 3, 2009

mobile2009As Mobile Marketer’s Outlook 2009 proves, marketers understand the need to integrate mobile into their multichannel branding, customer acquisition and customer retention plans.

Several trends are emerging as mobile matures into a medium that, while not without flaws, is a more palatable option than other marketing channels in use. The emphasis, however, should be on mobile’s complementary nature – it gives legs to other channels, including retail, online, television, print, coupons, radio, outdoor, direct mail and insert media.

Top of the trends list is the consumer’s growing comfort with consuming news and content on mobile phones, along with exchanging SMS text messages, shopping for products and services, checking email, playing games, conducting mobile banking transactions and searching for retail locations or driving directions.

Indeed, the mobile channel’s use as a location-enabling tool is quickly becoming evident to brands, ad agencies, retailers and, most importantly, consumers.

Marketing mobile
Marketers must remember that mobile cannot, and must not, be treated like other mass mediums out there.

Mobile is a highly personal channel, with attendant sensitivities and double opt-in permission requirements.

So it’s not the quantity that should matter for marketers looking to incorporate mobile into their multichannel marketing plans. It’s the quality – and that’s where mobile excels.

While the economy could be better, that hasn’t stopped consumers from quickly shifting to mobile many tasks that previously were conducted on computers.

The choice for marketers and ad agencies then is not to deliberate whether to have an SMS program or mobile banner ads or a mobile Web site or a mobile coupon program or a .mobi domain or an iPhone/BlackBerry/Android application.

Instead, the decision to be made is which one of these options – or a combination – is relevant for the brand in its efforts to reach consumers through multiple, relevant touch points.

Smart marketers and agencies will think like smart fishermen: fish where the fish are. Consumers have already moved to mobile, and are staying there for a long time.

Marketers should focus this year and next on using mobile – especially SMS and applications – to build databases of consumers who have opted in not once but twice to receive targeted offers, alerts and information from marketers.

A marketer without a mobile loyalty program in 2009 or 2010 will risk losing customers to competitors who have such efforts in place.

Please click here to download a PDF copy of Mobile Marketer’s Mobile Outlook 2009.

Posted in Articles & Research, Mobile Marketing | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »