A hotel mobile app is not just about enhancing the experience while on property; it can also be used as a marketing tool during the guest’s research process. When guests are in the research phase of their planning their trip, they are likely to be using their mobile devices to research and book. In fact, eMarketer predicts that there will be over 41 million mobile travel bookers in 2015. Guests researching your hotel will be impressed with your app.
Although the time before arrival is crucial to the success of your app, the time while guests are on property is undeniably the most important time for you and your staff to increase downloads. While guests are on property your hotel and local attractions are the number one thing on their mind and its your app that will provide all of that useful information. This blog post covers the more traditional forms of on property hotel marketing. Read more
The time before arrival is crucial to the success of your app because it presents a great amount of channels for marketing, some of which your guests need. In this posts you will find a variety of different ways to market your app before your guests are on property. These methods have proven successful for our clients and we hope knowing more about them will help you with your app marketing too!
Group Application Utilizing Uplay Software
OB Sports Golf Management of Scottsdale, Arizona, came to Mobile Media Applications in January of 2012 looking to secure the latest mobile technology for their consortium of 41, United States based Golf Clubs.
Known for their comprehensive and personalized services since 1972, OB Sports has become widely acclaimed as the leader in boutique-style golf course management. Developing a mobile application was the next logical step for them to stay ahead of their competitors.
Through their mobile application, OB Sports sought to keep customers informed of options and benefits, create a more efficient way to book tee times, increase online traffic, attract a tech savvy customer base and adjust to customer needs by offering mobile booking and mobile information.
To reach all of these goals we incorporated specific mobile functionalities: An online booking engine and tap-to-call capability into the application for more efficient bookings, provide detailed course and facility information of all golf clubs to meet the customer need for mobile information, tap-to-share content with friends and social media integration to attract social and tech savvy customers and to increase online traffic many of these tabs lead back to their website.
To further customize their application, they also included information and services relating to each course’s frequent player programs, current vacation deals, packages and reservations at OB Sports properties via OB Sports Golf Vacations. Additional custom features include the ability for app users to enter contests and sweepstakes to win prizes, club-specific news feeds and real-time Twitter feeds.
Their app launched in the Apple App Store on April 1st and in the Android Market, Google Play on May 4th. OB Sports waited until both versions of their application were live to start marketing the app. Without any marketing efforts OB sports received 160 downloads. Starting the week of May 14th, OB Sports began marketing their app and saw substantial growth.
On May 16th they sent out a press release about the launch of their innovative application that was picked up by Golf Business Wire and Fairways and Greens, both prominent golf news websites. That same day they also sent an email to their list of golfers. In total for that week, OB Sports received an impressive 1,226 downloads from both markets.
Once they established an app clientele through the email and press release, OB Sports used the push functionality of their app to inform users about an upcoming contest. Through the push notification sent on May 23rd the contest received 60 entries in less than 10 minutes and 340 entries total.
*Update: As of June 2013, OB Sports has 3,529 downloads.
See below for a sample of the collateral used by OB Sports to market their application.
Every so often, it’s a real treat to check iTunes or Google Play and read good reviews for the apps we’ve developed.
We want all of our clients to see great reviews so I thought it would be beneficial to share some tips for how to ask guests to leave you reviews. Leaving advice on Trip Advisor and Yelp has become second nature to many tech savvy travelers, but since the app market is still relatively new, the majority of comments left are bad ones. That is one very important reason why asking for reviews can be beneficial to the success of your hotel mobile application.
One of the simplest and low cost ways to ask app users to leave reviews is to send them a push notification. All of our apps come standard with Push and it seriously only takes a minute or two to send. Push notifications can lead directly to the app store so reviews can be left or you can put a link to an online survey and do whatever you want with the data. Here are a few examples that would work well:
- “We hope you enjoyed your stay with us. Did our app make a difference to your trip? Leave a review so future guests know how the app worked for you.”
- “Did our app have an impact on your trip? Let us know, good or bad, and we’ll discount your next stay with us!”
- “Which custom itinerary was your favorite?”
- “Take our online survey and be entered to win a free stay!”
From the research I did before writing this post, I learned that the reasons most businesses do not receive reviews is because they either don’t ask for them or because they make the process too difficult. A chain restaurant could have marketing collateral requesting reviews all over the restaurant but if someone goes to Yelp to leave one they are bombarded with restaurants of the same name (for example, when I search Yelp for The Olive Garden, I see the 9 nearest to me). Here are a few ways to make leaving the review easier for your guests:
- Provide a link directly to the iTunes store or Google Play.
- Use QR codes in place or links (especially if your app utilizes the scan feature).
- If your property has a computer for everyone to use, keep the site for leaving a review open and readily available.
- If you know a guest that is checking in booked with your app, ask them upon check-in to review it after their stay.
You can also use any of the ideas above when you are implementing an online survey. An online survey will provide you with candid feedback that you can use when your trying to decide what changes need to be made to your app and the more positive comments can be show cased on your website or in an email to subscribers.