October 2018, Las Vegas
IS YOUR CX HELPING OR HURTING YOUR BRAND?
Understand how data, digital and partnerships can make your marketing work again
Wedded to mobile and making it work
The battle to drive mobile engagement throughout the travel journey and connect with customers in an intelligent way is not won yet
For better or worse, one of the big love affairs of the 21st century has been between people and their mobile devices. Whether they are searching, gaming, socialising or shopping, people everywhere - from baby boomers, to millennials, teenagers and even toddlers - are glued to their screens.
According to a recent EyeforTravel report - Driving Intelligent Interconnected Mobile Engagement Throughout the Travel Journey - today 4 billion people are using smart phones, and the only way for that number is up. Quoting London-based global information provider, IHS Markit, the SAP-sponsored report estimates by 2020 there will be 6 billion smart phones in circulation, while at the same time, messaging and communication apps will add another 2.5 billion accounts.
For travel marketers using mobile to reach customers this is good news but like any relationship there is always room for improvement. Here are just five insights from the report, which you can sign up to receive here.
1. Engaging with empathy is the path to happiness
In any good relationship, you want to help each other, and the good news for travel brands, according to Google research, is that people want to hear from firms who are providing them with useful information. Better still if that information is genuinely tailored to the traveller’s history, preferences, social interactions and more. ‘Empathy’ marketing is something that brands should consider; in other words giving individuals what they need ‘in-the-moment’.
2. Not all mobile moments are equal
“For the traveller, there are no mobile stages. Mobile is everything and everything is mobile…it is no longer fair to call out mobile as a separate category. It is no longer a case of ‘Do you have a mobile strategy?’ Instead it’s, ‘what are you doing to embed that deeper into the consumer lifecycle or purchase journey?’” says Rohit Tripathi, general manager and head of products, SAP Digital Interconnect.
However, the report notes that while travel brands should certainly be looking at their digital strategies in an omnichannel manner and trying to accurately reflect the fact that consumers move fluidly between devices, some mobile moments are more important than others in the travel journey and different markets have different behaviours.
3. Sweet messages are a win-win
Done right messaging is a win-win for both customers, who get queries answered quickly, and travel companies, which have more loyal customers. Of the travel brands surveyed, 83% said customer loyalty had risen as a result of reaching out to customers through mobile messaging channels.
“Messaging is a way to deliver contextual, practical and relevant information about the destination and is the only way to compete with Google and TripAdvisor,” says Marcelo Fabeni, head of mobile at Brazil’s CVC Turismo e Viagens.
4. Two’s company and video is an opportunity
Search and social still dominate travel brand spending patterns. Says the EyeforTravel/SAP report: “Of those organisations that are spending on mobile marketing, search is the largest component for 34.8% of respondents and social for 32.2%.”
Two words: Google and Facebook.
By comparison, just 4.4% of mobile marketing budgets put video marketing on top. Given the growth of mobile video consumption in recent years, this would seem to be a major missed opportunity. Indeed, a multi-country study by AOL estimates that 57% of consumers watch videos on mobile daily. Given that consumers are more reliant on mobile for inspiration than in any other pre-booking phase, could video and Multimedia Messaging Services (MMS) be a target for mobile marketing budgets?
What brands really need to do is offer value, where others can’t, says Michael Bayle, head of mobile at Amadeus.
5. The courtship should never be over
The report also finds that travel brands are also starting to see the value of mobile for post-booking and post-trip communication. Over 40% of respondents to the EyeforTravel Mobile Industry Survey 2018 said they were already sending automated messages via mobile, or were developing this capability. Interestingly, firms in Asia Pacific were most likely to engage with customers post stay, followed by Europe and North America.
These are just a few insights from a 35-page report, which includes the results of an EyeforTravel Mobile Industry Survey of 293 respondents from all corners of the travel industry