Today was our Mobile Marketing Travel & Tourism Summit, where we brought together travel & tourism brands with key thought leaders from the mobile marketing world to help explore the challenges and opportunities that mobile can offer businesses aiming to connect with travellers.
With such a constantly changing market, where innovations are occurring every day, brands need to develop a flexible but consistent mobile strategy that works in concert with the rest of its marketing efforts, and takes advantage of the technological breakthroughs that developers, technology providers and advertising platforms are making.
If you weren't able to make it to the Summit, you missed out on some fantastic guidance from leading industry figures, but you can still access some of the gems of wisdom here, with our top 10 quotes from the day.
"Everyone in the business has a role to play in building that relationship with customers" – Sarah Barrett, marketing director, Liverpool John Lennon Airport
The day kicked off with Sarah Barrett walking us through the digital transformation that Liverpool John Lennon Airport has carried out in the past few years, switching its marketing approach to a digital and mobile-first focus, and getting staff at every level involved in the social media conversation surrounding the airport to build closer relationships with passengers, engaging them and driving loyalty.
"Being able to react quickly to news across multiple channels is key in the tourism trade" – Dawn Williams, account director, Code Computer Love
Dawn Williams of Code Computer Love guided us through the agency's work with Chester Zoo, where they attacked two key pain points – queuing for tickets and navigating the zoo – with mobile-first solutions that would engage and inform visitors, gamifying their experience at the Zoo to build relationships, tell compelling stories and involve an increasing number of consumers in their conservation efforts.
"We as brands need to think about the ecosystem that we wrap around the user. No single company has all the parts to make a journey really magical. No brand will succeed by trying to be all things to all people" – Carin van Vuuren, chief marketing officer, Usablenet
During our panel discussion, Carin van Vuuren of Usablenet addressed how companies need to work together, integrating third party disruptors to truly provide an end-to-end mobile experience in what can often be an extremely fractured customer journey. By utilising specialist firms with expertise in particular areas, the whole experience can be improved.
"Travel is all about aspirations, and those aspirations can be tracked by behavioural data" – Fatema Handani, vice president of global mobile engagement strategy, Syniverse
Mobile doesn't just have to mean apps or responsive web, and Fatema Handani from Syniverse addressed the utility that brands can get from embracing a truly omnichannel approach to marketing, covering everything from SMS to digital wallets to virtual reality, and describing how they can all be used to compliment a consumer-centred approach to marketing.
"The most tricky projects are ones where everything needs to work in lock step" – Eduardo Aguilar Pelaez, mobile product manager, One Fine Stay
Diving into how companies can approach developing features and changing their fundamental attitude towards building their platforms, Eduardo Aguilar Pelaez from One Fine Stay gave delegates the lowdown on agile approaches to working, and how focusing on continuous feedback can create a virtuous circle that drives improves in large, complex systems.
"For us it's about understanding what customers want when they are in the shoes of that particular persona, and reacting to that, being different things to people at different times" – Sarah Barrett, marketing director, Liverpool John Lennon Airport
As part of our panel discussion, our experts talked about the difficulties of addressing the needs of the many kinds of travelling, and Sarah Barrett highlighted the importance of using mobile data to continuously adapt marketing to suit the needs of consumers for each individual journey, focusing on their needs at any given moment rather than presumptions based on their previous interactions.
"Guests don't want to sit in their room browsing a three-ring binder anymore, they want that same content but on their smartphone, accessible wherever they go" – Carin van Vuuren, chief marketing officer, Usablenet
Carin van Vuuren explored the key elements of mobile experience, usability and accessibility from a travel perspective, looking at how the industry is evolving as mobile becomes more and more central to the entire customer journey, from research to booking to mobile concierge services, as well as how design can impact online interactions for visually impaired people.
"Always ask why you're trying to solve a problem, rather than just leaping into solving it" – Imran Younis, former global head of UX, The LateRooms Group
Presenting several case studies from mobile-centred redesigns of the LateRoom.com website, Imran Younis provided insights into how to place a customer-centred design process at the heart of your approach, and how speedy development cycles can force companies to focus on what's necessary for customers, rather than what conventional knowledge may dictate they should be doing.
"Know your customers individually, and interact with them personally" – Barry Nolan, vice president of strategy, Swrve
Tackling best practices for influencing the customer journey between initial app download and becoming a loyal customer, Barry Nolan from Swrve examined how data can be used to streamline the onboarding process and personalise content to drive jumps in engagement of up to 400 per cent.
"If your phone can talk to your bank, and tell it that you're in Italy before you get to the point of sale and your card gets declined, that's showing the value that location data to bring, both for you and your bank" – Fatema Handani, vice president of global mobile engagement strategy, Syniverse
Location data is one of the key tools for travel and tourism brands, and during our panel discussion, Fatema Handani described how important it can be in ensuring seamless experiences for customers and for eliminating pain points that can lead to poor customer feedback, often in invisible ways.
These are just a few of the highlights from our Mobile Marketing Retail Summit. If you're interested in attending one of our events in the future, you can explore the range of verticals we cover here.