Today’s (9 May) Travel & Connected Tourism Summit in London brought together representatives from a wide variety of travel brands with key thought leaders from the mobile marketing world and beyond to explore and discuss the challenges and opportunities that the evolving digital market space offers.
Mobile is the perfect device for travellers, helping them at every stage of their journey or holiday, from initial research and planning, to the trip itself. However, in order to meet consumers’ high standards, travel brands need to explore the most critical ideas, technological breakthroughs, and be flexible in building a lasting mobile strategy that embraces agility and innovation.
If you weren't able to make it to the event, here is a selection of the best gems of wisdom shared.
“From our perspective, our challenge is to help the companies really form a fantastic relationship with the passengers, the customers, and guests. Organisations that get this right are growing faster than any other organisations in the sector. There’s a real differentiator where companies really understand around the building of a relationship, and not just the features of a mobile app, those companies are leading the sector.”
“The ability to understand what’s going on and form a profile of your customers is critical. In order to better serve those customers, we need to understand what they’re doing, what triggers are happening inside the app as well, in order that we could perhaps have automated triggers going into the heart of your business which may trigger other things that are happening in the app.”
Nigel Arthur, managing director EMEA & APAC at Urban Airship, kicking off the event, let brands know how important it is for them to develop a relationship with their customers and get to the heart of their travel plans.
“Focusing on just successful app install campaigns, as in ‘I have had this many app installs’, is a little bit redundant. We need to go past that and understand there is a lot of fraud. So, looking at things like activation or monetisation within app is really important.
“If we were talking about pure transparency, it has to involve a third party. So, for mobile, if that’s Moat, if that’s DoubleVerify, if it’s IAS. Unless there is someone third party that doesn’t have a business that may be private, that may be public, if it doesn’t have the revenue of that business as its main interest – that’s where we’re going to get to a point where we can move away from this murky world of programmatic.”
Brands need to look past app installs and seek third parties to ensure we move away from the “murky world of programmatic”, according to Matt Wilkinson, sales manager at Iotec.
“It all starts with data… It all starts with understanding what consumers are doing. How did they get to your site, what are they looking to do, and really trying to give them a helping hand. The world of online is the world of self-service. You’ve got to give the tools to people if they want to make the choices by themselves.”
“A holiday is very considered purchase. Not many people have the opportunity to go on holiday several times a year, so it’s a once-in-a-year opportunity. There’s going to be a lot of thought and a lot of bouncing between channels on mobile, on desktop, between the booking form, different searches. So, giving people the opportunity to save what they’ve done and consider that at a later date [is an approach to take].”
Fred Crehan, VP EMEA at Yieldify suggests travel brands gain an understanding of their consumers through data and keep in mind how important holidays are for many people.
“The rise of the social media star has now been replaced with mid-tier and micro influencers. And brands, agencies, and clients are using mid-tier and micro-influencers to be their voice on social media. If you get it right, the rewards can be huge and I think in travel there’s an opportunity to have hundreds of mini ‘TripAdvisors’ introducing and promoting your product.”
“In travel, there’s an opportunity to bring to life the locations, the holiday, or the venue with amazing content and piggyback off the engagement levels that mid-tier and micro-influencers have with their audience.”
Travel brands should look toward mid-tier and micro-influencers to create the highest engagement with their product from consumers on social media, said David Saunders, brand partnerships director EMEA at indaHash.
“Lately, we’ve had the rise of smartphones, so the experience for users has become really different. What people are looking for on a smartphone is totally different to what people are looking for on a desktop. Most of the time, the user is on the go – they open the app on their phone, so they want something easy and fast… And location becomes really important because they are somewhere else that is not their house or their office. Also, curation becomes really essential because people don’t want to waste time using their phones and looking at their display.”
“We use both the app and the email channel to communicate with the user and share their experience through pictures or ratings or feedbacks that we’re going to share in the profile of hotels and reinforce this with emails.”
Giovanni Zacchia, engagement marketing manager EMEA at HotelTonight closed proceedings giving the audience an insight into how HotelTonight’s journey and its hotel app take advantage of the limited mobile attention spans of users.