Leveraging Location Based Marketing: Battle of the Brands
Last week I was invited by the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International to attend a webinar called Leveraging Location Based Marketing.
HSMAI is combination think tank, marketing organization and university with a strong travel industry and on-line presence.
While location based marketing or “proximity marketing” didn’t just happen overnight, judging from the reactions and comments (or lack thereof), the applications and concepts of location based services still make the mind spin, even among the travel and hospitality professionals participating in the webinar.
Regardless, the reality is that there is a 35% increase in traffic going directly to geo-based, social networking sites since last year; 91% of all traffic to these sites is coming from mobile devices vs. 78% from desktop computers.
While sending targeted messages to nearby people (texting) is not new, these geo-social services, with an opt-in, offer a newer, better way to connect.
What this means is an improved, faster more direct way to connect with hotel guests, increase foot traffic to a destination, and build customer brand loyalty by providing “timed” deals, discounts and offers to mobile device users.
Who are the players in this game-changing technology?
• Obviously, Facebook with its newly released Places and Deals dominates the venue with its 500 million users, 2 hundred million of which are on mobile devices
• Foursquare, only a few years young, boasts 4 million users
* Gowalla and MyTown have .5 million and 3 million users, respectively
What we can expect to see, said the presenters, is a “battle of the brands” as big LBS’s consume smaller ones, and smaller ones consolidate to become bigger.
Welcome to the dynamics of the World Wide Web.Continued on the next page