Tag Archives: hotels

This Week In Market Research: 8/31/15 – 9/4/15

One of the most important things in market research is finding out what makes a consumer trust specific brands and in turn, remain a loyal customer to that brand. This week, Adweek released an article that discovers the CPG brands men and women trust the most. According to the article, male consumers ranked Band-Aid No. 1 with Heinz Ketchup and Neosporin Antiseptic following close behind. Comparatively, women placed Band-Aid second behind Ziploc bags. Reynolds wrap and Neosporin, respectively, came out to third and fourth. In analyzing this data, Mike de Vere, Managing Director of Consumer Insights as Nielsen, stated that ”For men, brand trust is a bit more diversified’ [than it is for women.]” And in remarking on the choices from women, he claimed that the majority of the products on their list helped to make their lives simpler in different ways. ”For women, trusted brands are tried and true and have stood the test of time.’” These surveys on consumer insights open up doors to learn more about the way a product can be more marketable and trustworthy to the consumer.
An infographic that was released this week on Adweek, discusses and details the various purchases of the very wealthy in America. According to market research, these individuals are reviving the business of luxury goods and keeping it alive. ”The good news for luxury marketers, their agencies and the media alike is that consumers with really deep pockets are digging into those pockets with gusto, even more so than their merely affluent counterparts. According to Bob Shullman, the Shullman Research Centers founder and CEO, these high income and wealthy consumers are not just purchasing, but they are also purchasing with more frequency. So what are these people purchasing? The infographic shows that among other things, fine wine/beer/spirits, fine jewelry, and home furnishing/antiques are some of the top items bought by these wealthy individuals. The infographic itself is extremely detailed and details numerous purchases that you may or may not have assumed.
As many of the ‘baby boomer’ generation begins to retire and those business hotels are no longer required, how should hotels respond to this newer generation? According to an article on AdWeek released this week, hotels like Marriott are shifting their marketing approaches in order to reach the ‘millennial’ travelers. ‘So how does a tradition-rich lodging brand stay relevant in a changing marketplace? For Marriott Hotels, the signature brand of lodging giant Marriott International, the answer was simple: If you want to know what next-generation travelers want, just ask them.’ In their new marketing strategy Marriott is crowdsourcing the client’s ideas and opinions on what would make their business hotel experience more enjoyable. Already, this strategy appears to be working well for Marriott, as the grassroots approach generated 2,000 from a suggestion to provide vending machines that stock healthy snacks. This move by Marriott is an excellent example of why market research is crucial to innovation and business growth.
This week Entrepreneur released an article written by contributor Matt Mayberry, Maximum Performance strategist, which discusses the three best ways to develop a healthy mindset. The first point discussed is to build a grand vision for your life. Mayberry states that one of the many reasons people struggle with controlling their minds and realizing the beauty in life is due to a lack of vison. ‘It’s important that we create a grand vision for our lives because that’s what pushes us forward despite whatever hardship or negative situation may be present at the moment.’ The second tip he suggests is to make a ‘trigger card.’ In other words, write down two of your most important goals on a notecard. The way you write these goals however, will be written in the past tense as if you’ve already conquered them. ‘When Jim Carrey was a broke, struggling actor, he took a blank check and made it out to himself.’ Finally, Mayberry suggests that you sit down and ‘answer some of life’s biggest questions. Now this last one may sound like an impossible task, however the meaning of this last task is what’s important here. ‘What do you want your life to stand for? How do you want to be remembered? What do you want your contribution to the world to be’? For those of you who were worried about answering questions like ‘what lies in the deep depths of the unexplored ocean floor’, you can take a deep breath. These ‘big life questions’ really pertain to the person you want to be and how you want to be remembered in life. All three of these tips, according to Mayberry, should result in a healthier mindset.

Nichole Dicharry, is a Digital Marketing Assistant at IIR USA, Marketing and Finance Divisions, who works on various aspects of the industry including social media, marketing analysis and media. She can be reached at Ndicharry@iirusa.com

Smartphones: A Perfect Way to Reach Stranded Travelers

IHG’s Holiday Inn Express iPhone App

Mobile is a booming channel for travel companies. For my company, Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG), annual gross mobile booking revenue has risen from $2.5 million in 2009 to over $130 million in 2011. Most importantly, it is letting travel companies reach a new segment of customers: same-day bookers, those that are buying transportation and travel lodging the same day that they are going to use it.

Same day bookings account for nearly 65% of the bookings that are made on the InterContinental Hotels Group mobile apps and mobile websites and other travel companies are reporting similar numbers through their mobile products. In contrast, same-day customers only account for a small percentage of bookings made on desktop websites. A large portion of these same-day customers are likely stranded travelers. Travel companies can now reach these stranded travelers through their smartphones using mobile apps and mobile websites in order to turn the anxiety of being stranded in an unfamiliar location into a positive experience, resulting in revenue and great impression of the travel company.

IHG has developed some best practices for how we approach crafting apps and mobile websites that willl meet the needs of stranded travelers:

  •           Focus on 2 to 3 Core Tasks

    Smartphones dont have the large amounts of screenspace that a desktop computer has, travel companies must decide on the 2 to 3 most important tasks for the stranded traveler and focus on delivering those.

  • Empathize With the Stranded Traveler
    The best way to decide what those 2 to 3 tasks are is to walk in the shoes of a stranded traveler. On your next trip (if you’re brave enough), wait until you land at the airport to make a hotel reservation. What information do you need to make the booking and what are the pain points?

  • Make the Purchase Path FAST and EASY
    Travelers will have their hands full of luggage and tired children. They will be rushing to find a hotel room before the last shuttle leaves the airport. They may be in foreign territory with spotty or expensive data connectivity. The purchase process must be highly streamlined or customers will abandon the purchase. IHG’s mobile apps open directly to a map of nearby hotels with prices for that night.
  • Don’t Forget the Post-Purchase Experience
    The strength of the smartphone is it goes with the traveler once the booking is made. How can it assist in not only booking, but every aspect of the travel experience. For example, provide real-time driving directions from the user’s current location to the hotel.

The opportunities for travel companies to reach stranded travelers is growing fast and the risk of frustrating an already frustrated user is high, but if travel companies start with these basic guidelines to drive their mobile apps and websites then the end result should be positive travel experiences for their customers.

Darin Wonn is Product Manager for Mobile Apps at InterContinental Hotels Group. Follow him on twitter @darinwonn.

To hear more about IHG’s work in the mobile marketing space, join us this March at The Mobile Marketing Conference. Darin will be speaking on The Mobile Traveler on Tuesday, March 20th, 2012. Download the brochure here to learn more.


Mobile Marketing for The Travel Industry

January is a big month for the travel industry: with the holidays behind us, many consumers are dreaming of that getaway to escape from the long winter ahead. I see the evidence of this trend every day as my inbox fills up with sales and specials from various travel sites.

So, with this in mind, how should travel brands ramp up to 2012 marketing? Stephen Gates of Starwood Hotels & Resorts (who will be leading our workshop at The Mobile Marketing Conference “Best Practices in Creating Mobile Websites”) recently shared the video interview below with mobithinking.com.

Starwood Hotels and Resorts is one of the world’s largest hotel groups focused on luxury brands, and Gates discusses here how Mobile and HTML5 allow Starwood to create a mobile brand experience that stays true to the unique personality of each of their brands.

Some key takeaways: Travelers are more likely to turn to mobile for information, as it is easier to access in a distant location than traditional internet.
Travelers are looking for largely utilitarian, transactional information (a reservation number or address) and are in a hurry to find it, make it easy to find this information via your mobile site.
Mobile provides an immediate conduit to your consumers while they are currently using your service, users largely access information via mobile while they are staying or just before.

Stephen also shares some ideas about how HTML5 will impact the future of Starwood’s mobile presence. Head to mobithinking.com for more or to view their full series of mobile expert interviews.

Or, to hear more from Stephen Gates, join us this March at The Mobile Marketing Conference. Download the brochure to learn more about his workshop. Save 15% when you register with code TMMC12DIGITAL here.

P.S. Join our social media community! Our new LinkedIn Group is a place to share expertise and brilliant ideas on anything mobile marketing and you can also follow us on Twitter or on Facebook for conference updates and industry insider news.

Michelle LeBlanc is a Social Media Strategist at IIR USA with a specialization in marketing. She may be reached at mleblanc@iirusa.com