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Motel 6 furthers mobile booking initiative with iPad app

By
January 24, 2013

Motel 6 has launched a new mobile application specifically designed for Apple’s iPad to let consumers book and manage their hotel reservations.

Motel 6 also has apps available for iPhone and Android devices. Similar to other accommodation brands, the goal behind the app is to drive bookings as consumers increasingly turn to their mobile devices to manage travel information.

“The reason that we developed for the iPad is that we wanted to be respective of the platform,” said Lance Miceli, executive vice president and chief marketing officer at G6 Hospitality, Dallas.

“The percentage of iPad usage is growing, and we needed to add it,” he said. “Mobile as a strategy for this brand has been early adopters because it is treated as a distribution and engagement channel.”

G6 Hospitality owns and operates the Motel 6 brand, which includes more than 1,100 company-owned and franchised lodging locations in the United States and Canada.

Mobile bookings
The Motel 6 app is available for free download from Apple’s App Store.

When users open the app, they are prompted to use their device’s location in order to find the closest location. Motels are then plotted on a map or can be viewed as a list.

When users click on a location, they can view details about the motel such as amenities, maps and nearby attractions.

Additionally, a bar at the top of the page lets users scroll through photos of the motel.

To book a room, users can click on the ‘check rates’ tab and enter the days that they want to stay. If the time slot is open, consumers can fill out a My Motel 6 profile to confirm their reservation.

My Motel 6 is the brand’s loyalty program. Once a profile is made, users can log-in to view details about their Motel 6 stay via the app.

To support the new app, Motel 6 plans to launch a marketing campaign that will span online and offline channels and will promote all of the company’s mobile platforms.

Mobile past
Motel 6 has steadily been building up its mobile repertoire since 2011, per Mr. Miceli.

For example, in 2011 Motel 6 rolled out both an iPhone and Android app to let consumers book stays while on the go (see story).

Additionally, the company has a mobile site that lets users book stays from their handsets.

Social media also plays a big role in how the company uses digital to drive sales and reservations. Using the Motel 6 Facebook app, consumers can plan and book trips and also access additional information about Motel 6 motels, such as the pet policy.

“Through tracking and research, the iPad is a platform that many of our guests use and we wanted to make sure that were including every platform that our users are on,” Mr. Miceli said.

“We have seen very encouraging reservations and revenue from mobile and quite frankly we know that as the guests tell us how they want to book we will be there,” he said.

“We look at digital, mobile and distribution in a 360-degree view and what we can do for our guests.”

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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