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Hotels recognize mobile’s revenue potential, increase budgets: TravelClickBy
Half of hotels are increasing mobile marketing budgets and 77 percent are already doing some sort of mobile marketing, according to a new survey from TravelClick.
The survey also found that hotels plans to hire staff specifically for social media. The results show that hotels are recognizing how important mobile and social media are to guests, and have begun to put more resources towards creating and maintaining these channels through staff additions and marketing increases.
“While mobile marketing is still relatively new for hotels – technology and best practices are continuing to evolve – it is increasingly becoming a more important revenue-generating channel and will only continue to grow as mobile payments become more prevalent over time,” said Josh Graham, director of ecommerce solutions at TravelClick, New York.
“Hotels realize that their clients are increasingly using mobile at the transaction stage of the purchase cycle, and are even interacting with hotels in between purchases using mobile devices,” he said.
The results of the TravelClick suggest hotels recognize the growing penetration of smartphones and the need to optimize their Web sites for mobile to increase direct bookings from travelers that are using their mobile devices to select rooms.
While 50 percent of hotels plan to put more marketing dollars behind mobile, the survey also found that 22.5 percent of hotels are not engaged in mobile marketing.
“As this is a growing booking channel, a mobile presence will enable hotels around the globe to capture those customers booking rooms on their smartphones,” Mr. Graham said.
The survey also found that 43 percent of hotels are planning to increase their overall marketing budgets for 2012. Of those surveyed, 34 percent expect to keep their overall marketing budgets the same and only 3 percent plan to decrease their marketing spend.
Additionally, 50 percent of respondents plan to increase their workforce and 45.3 percent plan to keep their workforce the same. Of the respondents planning to increase their workforce, 30 percent plan to hire staff specifically for social media.
Hotels should be creating a mobile-optimized site at a minimum. The site needs to have key information about the property, contact information with click-to-call functionality, an interactive map and a selection of photos.
A mobile-enabled booking engine is also recommended so that the property can capture revenue.
“Right now, we believe that many hotels are interested in dipping their toe into the mobile space, but are waiting for early adopters to pave the way,” Mr. Graham said.
“At TravelClick, we expect these attitudes towards mobile marketing to evolve as more research on the revenue-generating power of mobile bookings becomes available,” he said.
“Like most smart marketing strategies, mobile marketing is not one size fits all. Hotels need to take into account who is travelling to their property and their booking trends/patterns.”
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York
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