Screens, Travelers, and Hotel Marketing in 2014
By Alan Young , SVP, Marketing and Strategic Partnerships at TrustYou
Since tablets came on the scene, we've talked about them as though they are smartphones, using the category of "mobile marketing" to address our strategies for non-PC devices. But it's not enough to talk about mobile vs. desktop anymore; in fact, "three screens" is already becoming a common phrase. Desktop/laptop, tablets, and web-enabled mobile phones are each their own category of device and are used for overlapping purposes but in different ways.
I offer this personal example, which seems to reflect the average leisure traveler planning process these days. We currently have two laptops, one Android tablet, and two iPhones, and here's how our last vacation shaped up across screens:
- recommendation from friend > no screen
- website research of hotels > morning > laptop
- date change, check availability > mid-day waiting in line for lunch > iPhone
- read a few reviews to be safe > evening > laptop
- final suggestion to my spouse to take a look > evening > tablet
- oops, room not available; review other room types > afternoon > iPhone
- final booking > evening > laptop (note: if I were booking on a tablet or phone, I'd be most comfortable doing it through an app. I don't have any explanation for this but research supports that I'm not alone.)
- post photos from hotel > iPhone x2 for each of us
- research attractions during travel > tablet in room and iPhone in car
Hotel marketing across screens is complicated. You, as a hotelier, must understand your traveler and how they're using screens in order to get the right information to them in the right format at the right time.
In my case, the hotel would need to have known that I'm booking a family vacation, so I have only little chunks of time to do this work (you know, because that's the way life with children works). It will take several days to not only carve out the time to do the research but to decide what will work best for our vacation. I will use my laptop and tablet for research in the evening and my smartphone for research during the day, but I will ultimately book on my PC at night because that's when I have the time to sit back and make decisions and commitments and, honestly, I'm tired of being on my phone by that point.
What's really important in this example, however, is that I'm not using my tablet like my phone at all. I'm using the tablet in the evening when I'm stationary, except when I'm traveling. It's time we must break away and consider how they function differently in order to market appropriately.
Head back for my next post to get some statistics on how travelers are using the three screens, so you can decide how to best reach your guests in 2014.
TrustYou, the world's largest guest feedback platform, provides hotels with insights to improve their guest experience and market to future guests. Guest feedback informs 95% of booking decisions, and TrustYou's guest feedback platform incorporates hundreds of millions of hotel reviews, surveys, social comments, and direct messages through SMS, email, Facebook Messenger and more. This information is analyzed along each step of a traveler"s journey, including booking and pre-stay queries, real-time guest request, and post-stay feedback, to generate actionable insights for 500,000 hotels. TrustYou"s platform is made up of various components, including TrustYou Meta-Reviews*, verified global review summaries displayed on travel and search sites like Google, KAYAK, and Hotels.com; TrustYou Messaging, real-time guest messaging service; TrustYou Stars, an advanced guest satisfaction survey tool; TrustYou Analytics, the world"s leading online reputation management tool and the accompanying app TrustYou Radar. PMS, CRM, IBE and other hotel software providers can make use TrustYou Connect, a partner program to integrate TrustYou"s guest feedback platform with its products to help their hotel clients to positively influence every stage of the guest journey. Find more information on TrustYou and the guest feedback platform at www.trustyou.com.
*TrustYou Meta-Reviews only contain verified reviews and do not include reviews from TripAdvisor