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Published on Monday, August 24, 2009

Mobile Advertising – The Next Big Thing in Travel Marketing



The importance of the Internet as a medium of marketing today is undeniable. However, now a new medium to access the Internet has begun to gain un-surpassing popularity – the mobile phones. With about 90% of the American population using mobile devices, the numbers of mobile internet users have begun to see an exponential increase. The travel industry needs to tap this huge market to the fullest. Forrester projects that the mobile marketing industry shall grow form 2009 through 2014 with an annual compound growth rate of 27%. This growth rate is second only to the rates projected in social media.


The important thing to note about mobile advertising is that the mobile internet system is starkly different from the traditional internet. While marketing on the mobile internet, the advertiser does not only replicate the traditional advertisements, but rather optimizes them and makes them viable for viewing on the small screen of the Internet.


In fact, many travel companies that merely translated their traditional web page for the wireless mobile world, did not achieve any significant increase in the page views and conversion rates. This is mainly because the mobile internet adheres to different rules than that of the conventional internet. When a viewer is viewing your advertisement on the mobile internet, he does not have a lot of time at his disposal and at the same time, his attention span would be lesser. Thus, your mobile advertisement needs to hook the viewer within the limited time and space that is available to you. The mobile advertisements should deliver real value to its viewers and should also provide real convenience for the mobile travel consumer.


The Traditional approach to mobile advertising


In a traditional mobile advertising format, the time tested advertising initiatives are transformed into a format that shall be suitable for the mobile net. For instance, sponsored search engine listings, banners and bar-code type advertisements are all optimized for the mobile. Due to the limited space available to the advertiser, creating a short, but effective and appealing marketing message can be a challenge. But if you can come with a strong message for your mobile advertisement, you shall become an m-marketing success.


The travel and tourism businesses have to be fully equipped to handle the conversion rates and campaign tracking technology that are used in the mobile advertising, since they are very different form the conventional internet world. Interestingly, DoubleClick Mobile has come up with reports that list the impressions, clicks, jump pages, display ads and third-party metrics that are used on the mobile internet.


Location-Based Services, a unique marketing initiative


The LBS or Location-based services make unique use of the internet service in the users’ mobile, as well as the GPS facility to find out the location of the user. This information of the location is then used to send advertisements to user that shall be of interest to him. For instance, he shall be informed about any upcoming events in the location, or about any discount or promotion that might be in the offing in the vicinity.


Marketing through mobile text


Mobile text marketing is somewhat similar to e marketing. However, the only difference here is that the privacy issues are more stringent and few people are ready to disclose their mobile phone numbers to the travel agencies for marketing. For this reason, it is important to come up with marketing strategies that shall make the clients willing to reveal their numbers. Marketing campaigns that offer mobile discount coupons, contests, quizzes and sweeptakes shall help you attract customers to your business.


Marketing though mobile applications


With the rapid increase in the use of iPhones and BlackBerries, advertisement through mobile applications has become a rage in the travel industry. Such applications include almost anything that a traveler shall need in his journey - Lonely Planet travel guides, interactive maps, restaurant and hotel reviews, flight rates and status, personal tours, currency calculators and a host of other similar applications.


A number of hotel brands have launched their own applications that include interactive games that are themed around a travel brand or destination, personal tours of the destination that ends at hotel or resort, interactive contests and other applications that act as powerful marketing tools, serving to enhance the business prospects of the travel and tourism company.

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