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, empowers hotels with solutions to drive more bookings and improve their hotel product. Through each phase of the guest journey, hotels can utilize guest feedback to enhance review marketing and achieve operational excellence. Guest feedback influences 95% of booking decisions. TrustYou Meta-Review, which incorporates hundreds of millions of hotel reviews, surveys, and social posts for over 500,000 hotels worldwide, powers guest reviews on dozens of travel sites, including Google, Kayak, and Hotels.com.* These reviews help hotels to manage and improve their performance along each step of the guest journey, from booking and pre-stay search queries to real-time guest requests via messaging, to post-stay feedback in the form of reviews and survey responses. Through the TrustYou partner program, PMS, CRM, IBE and other hotel software providers can integrate TrustYou"s guest feedback platform into their products to help their hotel clients positively influence bookings and revenue.
Find more information on TrustYou and the guest feedback platform on www.trustyou.com.
*TrustYou Meta-Reviews only contain verified reviews and do not include reviews from TripAdvisor