Hotel Mobile Marketing & Reputation Management – It’s the Now!
I’m going to piggyback on the post from earlier this week to talk about hotel mobile marketing and reputation management for a minute. Mobile marketing and reputation management as a pair are critical to the future of hotel bookings online. While mobile may not be capturing the bulk of dollars yet, a significant 30 percent of all mobile users in the U.S. booked some kind of travel product online in the past year, and PhoCusWright predicts that 1 in 5 travel dollars will be spent via mobile devices by 2014.
So why is hotel reputation management so important in mobile search? Here’s just one example. I’ve got an upcoming trip to Portland, so I did a little research on my phone. I always start with a generic hotel search—in this case “Portland hotel”—so I can get some name recognition. TripAdvisor is the first hit followed by Google local listings, complete with user reviews. (If I do the same search on my laptop, I get TripAdvisor followed by two or three of the standard OTAs, then the Google local listings.)
As I mentioned in my post about hotel conversions and Twitter cards:
33 percent of mobile users searching for travel content are looking to book within 24 hours.
According to eMarketer:
57 percent of business travelers used a mobile device to book travel in 2012 (compared with 38 percent of leisure travelers).
That’s a significant number of travelers, and a fast buying cycle.
What travelers—especially those who are making quick decisions—really see on compact little devices are yellow star ratings and Google scores (23/25). Those who book with mobile (you know, that ones that purchase within the day) aren’t going to sift through a bunch of information; they are going to look for the best performing hotel that offers the amenities and location they need. If you’re not performing on TripAdvisor or in those Google reviews, it’s over early in the game for a the mobile traveler looking to book.
Stats show the mobile market increasing every single year, especially in travel. It’s most definitely the future, but, more importantly, it’s really the now.
Pick up here Monday for more about how to affect those yellow stars and user reviews.