People are using their mobile devices more and more, for a wide range of tasks, yet the travel industry faces some challenges that need to be overcome if brands want to benefit from the mobile trend and harness its power.
First of all, travel companies need to target their audience. Today's traveller has all the information in the world at their fingertips and can research and book their trip at any time from anywhere, commented Peter Dennis, chairman of the Travel Technology Institute, as quoted by Huffington Post. Travel agencies need to be able to identify existing and potential customers across all channels and to make sure that they offer relevant and easy-to-book deals in order to attract new customers, as well as to retain existing ones.
Next comes mobile. Travel companies can no longer afford to ignore the technology, because those managing to adapt and harness its potential will perform better than those that lag behind, and have higher sales, said Jesús Parrilla, vice president of international business strategy at Titan SEO. Having the technology in place is essential, and by technology Parrilla means a website that is multi-device friendly.
Regional differences must also be addressed. Mobile technology is evolving faster in some places than in others. Access to high-speed mobile technology varies across the world, so travel brands should keep this in mind, Dennis said. But regional variation might also present an opportunity, according to Parrilla. Brands that embrace the latest technology in countries that are still behind in terms of mobile adoption can stand out from the crowd and beat the competition.
Another important factor for travel agencies is online visibility. If travellers are unable to find your website, they will not find you and additional technology will not help. This means that travel marketers must ensure their online presence is visible through search engine optimisation, Dennis commented.
The future is in mobile marketing, but also in voice recognition, biometrics and cloud-based content tools that have the ability to move content to cloud-based outlets and make them more convenient and easily viewable. Travel marketers should prepare for future advances in technology.
Finally, however, never forget that we are all human. Fundamentally, regardless of the channel, it's important to know who your customers are and what they want at the different stages of research, purchase, prior to departure, while they are away and when they get home, Dennis concluded.