Use Mobile DNA to Build Better Relationships with Customers

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Stay In or Go Out?

There are few things travelers value more than convenience. While smartphones and tablets have become indispensable travel tools, travelers must still research, plan and figure out the best areas to visit, things to do, and places to eat. By taking advantage of context-driven engagement, hoteliers can conveniently provide such information directly to the traveler. Hoteliers can use time of day, location, area dwell time and even app usage to provide relevant recommendations and offers to their clientele for onsite restaurants, cafes, bars, spas and other services.

For example, between the hours of 6 p.m. and 8 p.m., location services – such as beacons – detect hotel guests dwelling near lobby couches and the lobby bar, while on-device software detects the Urbanspoon app being accessed. These combined events indicate that guests are waiting to meet people for dinner. This real-time context (time of day, area dwell time and app open) triggers a proactive message to be sent to guests' devices about restaurant offers, chef specialties of the day, or a new wine list to persuade guests to remain at the hotel for dinner.

Not only is this an opportunity for hotels to increase total revenue against total available rooms (TRevPAR), but it also represents an opportunity to increase customer satisfaction and loyalty. The convenience of staying onsite and getting a special deal (or special treatment) in response to a mobile offer could be exactly what travelers or guests with little time want most. For guests who prefer to eat out, hotels can monetize recommendations through restaurant partners who are accustomed to paying for ad placement in magazines, Google AdWords™ and reservation systems such as OpenTable.

As the competition to capture consumer attention on mobile devices grows, marketers must know their customers inside and out, in order to effectively engage with them. To do this, mobile cannot be treated as simply a channel, but as a relationship and an ongoing, ever-changing one at that.

If you're always talking and never listening, observing and remembering what people like, what they do, and where they go, you won't keep relationships very long. Given this, loyalty apps need to be smarter - they need to observe more than location, and they need to combine a series of events over time to understand consumer context, preferences and intent, in order to open the door to real engagement.

Relevance is key as each individual and their device are personal. Each individual has a unique way of wanting to relate to and interact with brands and retailers. If location is the only criteria triggering an offer, brands run the risk of annoying consumers much like the guy handing out lewd postcards on the Vegas strip. Just because you walk by doesn't mean you're interested.

Wireless industry leader Smith Micro asserts that retailers must ask themselves how each individual consumer wishes to interact with them via their mobile device. Once brands evaluate preferences, circumstances, patterns and history over time, they begin to map their customers' unique mobile DNA and build a genuine, mutually beneficial relationship.

The following are hypothetical scenarios that model ideal mobile marketing instances that successfully personalize their offerings and take a positive first step at mapping their customers' personal mobile DNA.


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