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Hotels Make Advancements in Mobile Marketing.
By Melanie Nayer ~ Exclusive Column
Wednesday, 12th October 2011
 
There's good news for hotels looking to attract the eye of business professionals: a new study by Sabre Travel Network shows that the technology and advancements hotels are investing in are paying off when it comes to business bookings.

The findings show that business travelers want to receive location-specific offers at their destinations, and many of them want to use their mobile devices to find and book hotels.

The bottom line: investing in mobile marketing is your key to booking business travelers.

Here are some of the findings:
  • 72 percent of business travelers are interested in the ability to view hotels on a map using their mobile devices, an increase of 26 percent from 2009.
  • 47 percent of business travelers use their Smartphone daily to view or receive advertisements, a 95 percent increase from 2009. 
  • 66 percent of respondents reported interest in the ability to add a hotel reservation to an existing itinerary using their mobile devices
Jessika Lynch, a hotel marketer with Sabre Hospitality Solutions, suggests the following to ensure your hotel is up-to-speed in mobile marketing initiatives:
  • Make sure you hotel has a mobile website and booking functionality for on-the-go travelers.  "While your Website and even booking engine may currently show up on a mobile device, it they haven't been specifically designed with the mobile audience in mind, the experience can become frustrating."
  • Use mobile websites and technology as a one-off to other promotions. Offer exclusive discounts to those booking through your mobile site.
  • Take advantage of SMS/Text message marketing programs. Guest can opt-in and receive messages pre- post- and during their stays at your property.
  • Work with location-specific sites, like Facebook and Foursquare, to allow your guests to check-in and make comments.  "Participate in the free marketing programs that many of these sites offer such as adding links to your Website and other social media accounts, uploading pictures or offering check-in deals and specials."
  • Optimize your location for mapping and mobile search and encourage users to write reviews of your business on Google Places. "An advantage there is that if you have a strong optimization strategy in place for the web search version of Google Places, you will also position well in mobile search."
My advice for hotels: keep up with changing trends!

Mobile marketing is only one piece of an essential marketing campaign that will cater to a variety of travelers, including business travelers.

But remember, mobile devices are constantly changing, evolving and upgrading, so it's essential you stay up to date, too.

Melanie Nayer is a hotel reviewer and expert on luxury travel around the world. She has covered all aspects of hotels including corporate restructures, re-branding initiatives, historical aspects and the best of the best in luxury hotels around the world.

Melanie writes a weekly exclusive column for 4Hoteliers.com
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