Monday, November 23, 2015

WHITE PAPER: New guest experience is within proximity - the next frontier in marketing & guest engagement

Mobile phones and tablets have become the average traveler’s essential companions, whether it is to get driving directions, flash a boarding pass, find the best places to eat nearby, make hotel/restaurant reservations, shop online, or watch movies... Mobile technology is ubiquitous; it has changed the way we live and conduct our day-to-day personal business.

By embracing this shift to mobile technology, hoteliers can better understand and address the needs of their guests and engage them in more personalized, relevant and contextual ways.

With this whitepaper, our intent is to explore new solutions for proximity-driven mobile engagement, and educate hoteliers on how these solutions can be adopted to drive direct value (engaged guests tend to spend more) as well as indirect value (through increased customer loyalty).

Melanie, a 35 year-old mother-of-two and marketing executive in a large Midwest appliance company is flying to Seattle for an industry trade show to meet with customers. She has decided for once to arrive a day early and take a “day off” to unwind before this big conference.

She is glad she was able to confirm her arrival time 24-hours ahead in the hopes that her room would be ready as she gets in. When her plane lands mid-morning in Seattle, she wonders if she will be able to get into her room that early. As she hails a taxi, she gets a text message advising her that her room is ready.

She enters the hotel lobby and notices the long check-in line at the front desk. She smiles as her hotel app automatically detects her presence and checks her in right away, allowing her to skip the front desk and go straight to her room – only using her mobile phone as a key. As she opens her room door, she feels almost at home as the lighting and temperature are set to her likings, based on her preferences she set in her app profile. Even a bottle of Perrier is waiting for her in an ice bucket, as she had requested via the app the day before. Away from home and the family, but still in a personalized setting...

After a few hours of work to prepare for the conference starting in two days, she decides to go out for dinner, starving for local seafood. Having never been to Seattle before, she checks online quickly and finds a nearby seafood chain restaurant, unaware that at the back of the hotel is a hotel-run seafood restaurant with much better food and similar prices. As she is walking through the lobby, she receives a text message from the hotel about a special offer at the in-house restaurant. She decides to give it a try. She could have missed out an experience unique to the property.

The following morning, she decides to do some shopping and heads to the nearby mall. As she browses through stores, she notices a small pop-up massage store offering a 15-minute neck massage for a good price, which reminds her of the discount the hotel’s spa extended to her earlier through the app. As she heads back to the hotel, she makes an appointment at the spa for the afternoon from her phone app.

The hospitality industry is missing out on many opportunities to better engage their guests on property through direct, simple marketing and communication channels...

To read the full white paper, click here.