Last updated: 10:01 AM ET, Sat August 15 2015

White Paper Spotlights Mobile World, Mobile Messaging Developments

Travel Technology | Ryan Rudnansky | August 14, 2015

White Paper Spotlights Mobile World, Mobile Messaging Developments

A recent white paper highlights the mobile world today, and how travel agents, hoteliers and marketers can best tackle this burgeoning environment.

The white paper, “Hung Up on Opt-Outs? Time to Opt-In to a New Mobile Messaging Mindset” by OtherLevels, notes that 58 percent of consumers prefer a smartphone or tablet over a live person when looking for product information because the information on their device is usually more helpful than the person, per a study by the Consumer Electronics Association.

Now that you realize how much mobile travelers and other consumers value mobile devices, know this: An average of 50 percent of mobile app users will opt in for push notifications, while 50 percent will not, according to the white paper.

And, according to the white paper, app developers who focus on the 50 percent of users who are interested, rather than trying to win over the 50 percent who are not interested or on the fence, will have “the most repeat business, greater revenue, highest satisfaction scores and more word-of-mouth referrals.” This audience is “already on board, already converted.”

“The bottom line is simple,” the white paper notes. “The 50 percent opt-out rate on mobile apps is standard, and it’s a strong message from the user to the marketer and brand: ‘I'm not interested.’”

According to the white paper, the top 1-5 percent of users—the most active and most eager to spend—can produce a goldmine by themselves. The next 15-20 percent (active-but-not-avid users) are also worth pursuing, having “proven, by past performance and interactions, that they’re still interested.”

The remaining 75 percent, however, should be given the lowest priority for marketers. They should only be pursued later, if financially possible.

The reason why mobile marketing is “game-changing” today, the white paper notes, is because mobile marketers—in the travel industry and beyond—can easily determine which users are most interested using Internet data based on their interactions, loyalty program behavior and transactional records.

According to the white paper, “For the first time in marketing, brands can converse individually with the mobile-carrying consumer, gleaned from the consumer’s activities, location, current interests, known preferences and other interests based on available data. The smartphone, in effect, removes the guesswork of messaging.”

Speaking of messaging, Forrester Research, in an October 2013 report, found that push notifications “make the most of mobile’s unique benefits: intimacy, immediacy and context.”

Push notifications can also boost adoption and help reduce “app burnout.”

It’s also important for marketers to push (pun intended) apps that have social sharing abilities.

“Word of mouth behavior and peer influence is as strong and powerful on mobile devices as in other environments,” the white paper notes.

Based on traveler and user behavior, travel agents, hoteliers and marketers should also focus on loyalty program members, as they are “already a known quantity with high levels of brand engagement.”

And, interestingly enough, as beacon technology and other location-based technology become more popular among travel marketers and travelers, the white paper notes it’s important for marketers to “use location-based triggers or data.”

“Nearly every consumer today owns a smartphone and expects their favorite brands to be mobile-enabled too, ready to engage from any mobile device anywhere, and at any time,” the white paper notes.

And, according to Forrester, businesses that do not understand consumers’ use of mobile devices could become “irrelevant and vulnerable within a few short years.”

Despite all of this, according to Forrester’s 2014 “State of Mobile Technology for Marketers” report, 42 percent of marketers say they have had a mobile strategy for less than a year, and only 38 percent utilize mobile analytics and data to their advantage.

Part of this is because—if done improperly—mobile marketing can be expensive. Only about one third of marketers (35 percent) say their budgets are sufficient for mobile initiatives.

But the travel industry and other industries are certainly trying to accommodate customers’ desires.

According to the same Forrester report, in the future, travelers and consumers can expect push notifications to expand from the smartphone to mobile-enabled TVs, cars, game consoles, wearables and more.

And 75 percent of travel managers believe improving technology solutions will be “very important” to their role in the near future, according to “Travel Manager 2020,” a study the GBTA Foundation made in conjunction with Sabre.  

Click here for the full “Hung Up on Opt-Outs? Time to Opt-In to a New Mobile Messaging Mindset” report. Click here for an accompanying infographic.


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