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Having a website does not bring success. Having a great website will. Mobile will not help your business – But, using it effectively will transform it.
In brief this paper will provide the following: • A basic understanding of the mobile sector • Specific information on mobile issues that will affect the travel sector moving forward • Practical examples of how mobile can be utilised across all sectors of the travel Industry The information contained in this white paper will answer some of the more common questions asked by travel executives. SMS and Mobile Application actually mean? • What realistically can we use it for…now and in the future? • Do our customers want it? 02 . The ‘Internet’ received a similar billing and we all know what happened to companies that embraced that medium early…. to assist them in making an informed decision in the context of their businesses. innovations such as the Internet and now Mobile. operations. similar to that initially experienced by the Internet. “How. it is evident that new products or innovations that are specific to any one particular department (marketing. finance etc) are easier to manage. the important question is. given the fact that these innovations will influence a whole business means that they are also the ones that can have the largest impact. Speaking to Senior Executives across many industries. Unfortunately. you will no doubt have heard about the ‘Mobile Opportunity’ and how ‘Mobile’ will play an important role in the future of travel. However. can potentially get lost in the development process. such as: • How should we view the ‘Mobile Opportunity’ strategically? • Can it earn revenue for my business? • How will it improve our bottom line? • What do the terms WAP. as the relevant department will take responsibility to assess the opportunity and deliver against it.. commercial.Introduction As a Senior Executive within the travel industry. AN IMPORTANT CONSIDERATION A DEVELOPMENT ISSUE Mobile has a development issue. sales. why and where is the mobile medium relevant to your company?” and “How do you assess what the opportunities are for your business?” WHITE PAPER OBJECTIVE To evaluate the opportunity properly. or perhaps we heard more about the companies that didn’t! However. which are companywide and do not fall under any one department’s remit. one needs to be in possession of the full facts. The objective of this white paper is to provide Senior Executives in the travel industry with the facts in respect of the ‘Mobile Opportunity’.
3 billion people can pay by SMS! • 90% of European mobile users sent or received a text message in 2007. Bluetooth. bespoke Mobile information pages) FUNNY BUT TRUE……. They were the ones that.3 billion will happily pay to send a text message! • 200 million people use social networking sites when 3. Mobile network operators have now introduced similar packages. instant messaging and WAP.co.INTERNET GROWTH ……. On the Internet. that those who were slow in adopting the Internet.3. which is free whilst 3. • Growth accelerated following mass-market adoption of the Internet. It is now more common to give a mobile number as a point of contact than a fixed line number. turned out to be the person who was responsible for buying mobile phones for the Pilots!! It is worth remembering. DITTO ……..3 billion people actively use SMS. for some.. Whilst this does not mean it will have the same impact. hadn’t reviewed it fully and had decided that it was not for them. Examples of these similarities include: • Internet data charges were fixed (Internet usage exploded following the introduction of ‘All You Can Eat’ data packages). The Mobile used to be just a ‘voice communication’ tool but now it provides: • Communication not only through voice but through SMS.5 times as many people send a text than send an email! • 700 million people use Instant Messenger.: In one particular airline.4 billion people that use the Internet • 2.…. did not assess the opportunity fully or even assess it at all…. consumers started to give their email address as their point of contact rather than their home address.. MOBILE GROWTH It is interesting to see how the growth of the mobile sector has been similar to that of the Internet in its early days.3 billion communicate and receive information by SMS. and were then left playing catch up. More people now own and use a mobile than they do a PC or a TV. In many cases this was a very costly mistake….uk 03 .that’s over twice as many as the 1.travelbuddy. email. • 1.7 billion people have a credit card…. it was terminal! www. • The Internet lost its ‘Only for Youth’ tag. The Mobile has also now achieved this and is embraced by people of all ages. HAS THE MOBILE MEDIUM ARRIVED? • 3. perhaps for the reason detailed above. • Connectivity to Data (Web access on mobile. the person who had the title of ‘Head of Mobile’ and was identified by a senior executive within that company as the relevant contact to discuss the ‘mobile opportunity’ with. it does show how important it is for companies to assess the mobile opportunity and develop a strategy.
• The introduction of automatic ‘roaming’ (allowing mobile users to use their phones abroad) is now available to travellers worldwide. we can learn from that growth pattern as we move forward with the mobile opportunity. Mobile is a tool that can give the traveller access to the Internet.THE MOBILE OPPORTUNITY – AN OVERVIEW As the growth of mobile has been similar to that of the Internet in many ways. To explain this further.e. potential growth across the business as a whole will be severely restricted. The Internet is now viewed as integral to all businesses and is viewed as another channel to market and one that can deliver across the value chain from sales to marketing to operations and communications. MOBILE IN TRAVEL. it may pertinent to respond to some questions that have been asked by senior figures in the travel industry: The mobile medium provides this access showing how it will play a role in a company’s overall product and service delivery plans. they were either in retail shops or on the Internet but not both!). If the mobile opportunity is restricted to a single department. • The mobile phone is now the number one accessory taken abroad by travellers. • Extend communication time with the customer • Enhance customer service • Increase ancillary earning opportunities DO YOU THINK THAT MOBILE WILL BE AS BIG AS THE INTERNET IN TRAVEL? The traveller will not use one instead of the other.G: If a customer has their Itinerary delivered on the Internet (as a personal page from their travel company/airline or a confirmation email) how does that person view the information when they are travelling? • Reduce operational costs As one travel expert said: The companies that succeed in the travel industry will be those who figure out how to serve their customers better whilst learning how to decrease actual interpersonal interaction Interesting Fact – It does not cost to receive a text whilst abroad 04 .that would be like asking whether they will use a PC or the Internet! E. Initially. Mobile is not going to replace any other communication channel but will play an important part of the product / service delivery mix in the future and will only serve to enhance customer retention and satisfaction. the traveller will not decide to use a mobile instead of the internet…. All departments need access to the benefits and capabilities of mobile within their own working environment. The mobile opportunity should be viewed in the same way as the Internet. there was a tendency for businesses to treat the Internet as a completely separate entity. ahead of iPods/MP3 players and even cameras. WHY? – THE TRAVEL FACTS • 85% of travellers take their mobile phones abroad. detached from their core business function (i. • Mobile is the efficient and cost effective way to communicate MOBILE WILL ……. • 75% of travel companies surveyed confirmed that they want to make mobile part of their future communication/digital strategy.
if that user were online.Interesting Fact – A UK traveller whilst abroad can use a ‘shortcode’. If we look at the very successful example of Football Goal Alerts (providing mobile text alerts on football scores for one’s chosen team). the mobile user just wants the details of who scored? When? And for which team? However. on the next page is a useful synopsis when considering the type of content/ information a traveller wants delivered to their mobile. automatically without any need for human interaction. Without looking at the specifics of the example above and to assist in the general understanding of what works and what doesn’t. timely and above all concise information. On their mobile. (e. MOBILE AND YOUR BUSINESS? IDEA BOOK PRE-TRAVEL OUTBOUND FLIGHT DESTINATION RETURN The best way to view the ‘mobile opportunity’ in the context of your own business is to look at the various stages of the travel value chain.uk 05 . In one example. if it is used in the wrong way it can prove ineffectual. The second consideration is that the mobile phone is a unique tool and user expectations are very different from those of the Internet.travelbuddy. one needs to consider the requirements of your customer and whether the mobile medium can be utilised to deliver what those customers want. NB: The mobile. like the Internet is a phenomenal platform to embrace…. they could text the word ‘TRAVEL’ to shortcode 82345 and receive their itinerary delivered to their mobile phone. they would have a different expectation and would want an image of the goal. ENHANCE SERVICE – differentiate your company and increase customer service at a reduced cost. The wording was changed and 40% responded!! www. At each of these stages. relevant. a hastily put together text message was sent to all travellers in a specific destination using one example of wording and a 6% response was achieved. Wherever they are in their journey cycle. REDUCE COSTS – delivering information ‘proactively’ to customers can reduce operational costs significantly. as detailed above. TAP is a very simple acronym to remember. in a way that achieves one or perhaps all of the following objectives? These objectives are not independent of each other and all three can be achieved (see ‘Mobile Package’ later in this document as an example). the user wants clear. a more detailed description as well as perhaps even a video! MOBILE OBJECTIVES: GENERATE REVENUES – either directly from the information provided or through ancillary sales.g.but like the Internet.co.
This is to use mobile as a vehicle to inform customers of last minute deals. part practical. even if consumers will not book in numbers via their mobile for some time.e. As you know the time and dates that the customer is travelling. The reason for this is part cautionary. Prior to booking complete holidays or flights on mobile. content can be delivered in accordance with that information. when one could buy online most were cautious in doing so and few actually did for some time. Youth etc). Deliver information or offers relevant to the profile of the traveller (i. Again. check-in prior to arriving at the airport or book additional ancillary services on their mobile. resort. region. similar to the Internet. specific airport and flight Information. country.e. The ‘TAP’ rule acts as a good guideline when delivering mobile content or communication at any stage in your relationship with the traveller. travellers will look for operational services from their travel provider/airline that will enable them to change their flights. generating revenues. This is an excellent way for travel providers to sell excess inventory and build a valuable mobile database. the travel research process is part of the fun and excitement pre-booking and the traveller wants to see pictures and videos of the destination or hotel and this type of content is not conducive to mobile. We can now look at a few examples of using mobile in the various stages of the value chain using the ‘TAP’ rule and meeting one or all of the objectives namely. during or post trip. you can deliver any information or offers relevant to that location. flight alerts pre return departure or post travel offer/message) Once you know the traveller’s destination. Can mobile play a part in a traveller researching a holiday and will people actually book their holiday or flight on their mobile? gain traction will be the booking of flight only where the consumer just needs a price and dates or perhaps where the customer just wants to book the same hotel as previously booked. specifically at the time that the traveller will be there) and where possible match their personal details (Family. there is less of a requirement for research and detailed information.departure. and accommodation. Couple. special offers pre-departure. In both of these cases. the standard mobile user is a long way from making bookings or researching travel on their mobile. However. In terms of practicality. reducing costs or enhancing service. give EVENTS happening in Rome. 06 . The answer to this is yes but not in any numbers in the foreseeable future. Although the advancement of the iphone. whether it is pre. IDEA It will happen but it will develop in stages.T = TIMELY A = AREA SPECIFIC P = PERSONAL / PROFILED Deliver information and/or offers at the right time for the traveller. The first sector to Q. the Blackberry and other similar devices are speeding up this process. there is an opportunity now that is attractive to travel providers/airlines at the ‘IDEA’ stage. (i.
there are additional opportunities to offer other relevant and timely services such as: Airport parking. If so. There has been no human interaction. PROVIDE FLIGHT DELAY INFOMATION Provide information on delays to the customer’s flight. The customer is sitting on the beach. as the travel provider you know where they are travelling to so you can provide them with automatic updates and snow alerts prior to departure. location relevant as well as personalised. applying the ‘TAP’ rules. OTHER REVENUE AND SERVICE OPPORTUNITIES As the travel provider you will know the customers route and departure airport. MOBILE VOUCHERS A straight revenue earning opportunity would be to deliver discount vouchers directly to the traveller’s mobile (Mobile Coupons) tailored to their specific area or departure airport.30hrs and their transfer pick up will be at 11.travelbuddy. airport transfers.PRE-TRAVEL A customer has booked their flight. The customer texts the word FLIGHT and they receive a confirmation text stating that their Flight Number 5643 is currently on schedule to depart from Terminal 1. holiday or business trip and we now look at a few examples. you know which flight the customer is on. Palma Airport at 14.30hrs. Again.co. This information can be chargeable to the customer as an additional service or included in their booking as a brand enhancer. priority boarding or even mobile check-in. coupons for suntan cream delivered specifically to customers travelling to hot destinations or vouchers for lip balm.e. This can then be read at the departure airport to ease congestion. Imagine how impressive and valuable that information would be. the information has been delivered in seconds and the enhanced customer experience is one that will be remembered when next booking a holiday or flight. this is timely information. SKI INFORMATION Every skier and boarder wants to have the latest snow report. Coupons can be delivered dependent on where the customer is travelling (i. TRAFFIC INFORMATION Mobile traffic alerts relevant to the roads surrounding the customers’ departure airport. or outdoor clothing for ski customers etc. As the travel provider. Again. Again this has proven to be an excellent brand enhancer but also a service that skiers and boarders will pay for. potentially enhancing brand awareness. Terminal 1 the next day at 14. ITINERARY The customer is delivered their Itinerary directly to their mobile giving them easy access to their details wherever they are. therefore this is an easy service to deliver and one that the traveller values highly. It may be that your company already incurs high costs of customers calling your UK contact centre for flight updates and information. www. of what can be delivered to the customer to achieve one or all of the objectives. It may be decided that services such as this will only be provided free to ‘premium’ customers as part of their booking but perhaps incur a charge for standard bookings.uk 07 . This information can be delivered as part of their holiday as an enhanced service or provided as a paid for service. reducing costs and generating revenues as it is proven that travellers are willing to pay for such a service.45hrs. to provide this service proactively as part of the booking process would actually reduce costs as well as enhance service delivery. VIP lounge access. With this in mind. This information can be delivered automatically prior to departure or the customer can request it when they need it. enhance the customer journey and reduce the costs at the airport for the airline. they text ITINERARY and immediately receive a personalised SMS text stating their flight number is 5643 leaving from Palma Airport.) MOBILE CHECK-IN The traveller can both check-in via their mobile phone or online and receive their check-in code delivered to their mobile phone.
Service) we can now look at a couple of examples of information made available to the customer ‘in destination’. For a few pounds. It is available now with little or no initial outlay or investment. However. this is when their requirement for information is at its highest and also more importantly when they are spending money. until it happens. or already at the airport. Mobile communication can be used at any stage of the travel value chain and it is proven to be a huge advantage to the travel provider/airline that can communicate with its customers in this way. MOBILE COMMUNICATION Mobile is an invaluable communication vehicle that is both cost effective and efficient. A travel provider may have hundreds of customers already on their way to. something serious happens but you are unaware of the impending danger or crisis looming. quickly. Mobile opens up a communication path for the travel provider to now take a slice of those valuable revenue earning opportunities. An airport announces that it is closing due to a security alert or extreme weather conditions. a personal code can be delivered by the travel provider/airline to their customer. As a customer. travellers want to be informed.DID YOU KNOW!! Over 80% of handsets now come with a built in. In this instance. The customer passes their mobile phone over the barcode and their itinerary opens up on their screen and is saved to their phone. Costs. the company can communicate with all affected customers via their mobile phone and keep them updated throughout the situation. which will potentially change many travel business revenue models going forward. the customer frustration level starts at a very high level but the swift mobile communication process diffuses the situation very quickly. One of the huge advantages of mobile communication is that it opens up a potential revenue stream that until now has been largely inaccessible to many travel providers. a great service differentiator and situation diffuser. Whilst a customer is in their destination and in ‘holiday mode’. efficiently and cost effectively. A number of travel providers are already delivering this service. The travel provider/airline reduces its overall cost of communication dramatically and the service scores very highly with the traveller. The process can be fully managed automatically. A travel provider will have access to their LOOK AT IT FROM A CUSTOMER PERSPECTIVE…… You are in destination. 2D barcode reader. other travellers in the same destination have booked with a company that uses a mobile system that can deliver them immediate information about what’s happening and what they should do. There are numerous opportunities and applications for the travel provider/airline to utilise this type of barcode. 08 . utilising the same TAP rule and considering the potential objectives (Revenues. For example. Embedded in this code to the right can be a URL for specific offers or information personal to a specific customer. who would your booking go to next time around? customer at the time of booking and perhaps during a flight but rarely does the relationship extend much further. IN DESTINATION Once again.
well it’s big enough for GOOGLE to take a very keen interest and place ‘mobile’ and ‘location’ at the top of their future strategy and plans. they decide they want to rent. Now. they had little or no communication opportunity with the customer. Pre-mobile. their length of stay and potentially other profiled information about them. it is clear why businesses like GOOGLE are interested in the ‘mobile location’ business. Again. being a travel business has huge advantages. this is lost revenue for you as the travel provider. your children ask…” What are we going to do tomorrow?” and you reply “It depends on the weather?” Mobile enables your customer to text the word WEATHER and receive an up-to-date weather forecast for their destination. you can easily make this information available to them (already very popular for ski customers). This service is already live with some companies. you not only know your customer’s location but also how they are getting there. you can deliver the ‘actual’ cost of airport parking to their personalised pages as well as maybe the real time rates for car rental in their destination and their dates of travel. the only way for a company to promote to visitors was through normal advertising channels. As a travel provider. you already know where they are and for how long they are going to be there. PARKING. In this case it deals with the hiring of a car but this type of ‘keyword’ (CAR) request can be used for many other travel services ( i. but now in destination.e. automated. mobile can enable you to take that booking. Your business has the opportunity to deliver to your customer everything that they need whilst in resort. This document does not and cannot deal with every prospect for mobile in travel but here are a few practical examples of ‘indestination’ opportunities. Examples of this are that as you know what airport the customer is travelling from and how long they will be away for. All the traveller needs to do is text the word ‘CAR’ to you. via mobile and you can commercially benefit from that unique relationship.e. when you’re deciding what to do the next day. There are many businesses in destinations around the world. The pay per click ‘GOOGLE’ model will come to mobile too. If one looks at the example of personalisation above. www. Potentially. generating a new revenue stream. add revenue and provide a great service to the customer. as a travel provider. HOTEL. with mobile. visitors can be targeted directly in location via mobile. earn the revenue and deliver greater customer satisfaction. However. Once again depending on your objectives. Prior to the advent of mobile. their travel provider via a short code (short codes work abroad i. 82345) and the relevant information can be ‘automatically’ generated and passed to your contact centre or your car rental partner for the specific country/destination to fulfil the request. However. EXCURSIONS).uk 09 . Personalised Travel Information.travelbuddy. wanting to advertise events or promote products and services to travellers in specific destinations.co. not targeted or particularly measurable. The author of this white paper believes that it will be sometime before the mass market is ‘surfing’ the web on mobile for destination information (it’s difficult enough searching on a PC or a Mac!) However. UK travellers list a necessity to know what the weather forecast is in their destination as one of the most popular items of information requested.How big will this ‘mobile’ opportunity be?…………. via mobile you can take that rental. Mobile media has changed this and opened the market up completely. The opportunities with this particular mobile vehicle are huge from both a revenue perspective and a customer service perspective. you can deliver this as a brand enhancer free to the customer or make a small charge. You have a head start over non-travel businesses like GOOGLE. in your brand with no human interaction and completed within seconds. Your customer did not book car rental at the time of booking their trip. This service is not a vision for the future but one that is already available with a very low cost to entry. unless a company had representation in each destination. As a travel provider you are perfectly placed to take advantage both financially and from an improved service delivery perspective. you know where and when your customer is travelling and so you can deliver mobile Internet pages that are completely personalised to the customer. How many of you go on holiday and in the evening. As you know the customer’s destination. The customer doesn’t want to search locally for a provider. which proved very hit and miss. their dates of travel and their destination.
if you have customers going to Barcelona or New York. So. Everybody wins! A number of travel providers have launched this simple service and it is already seen as integral to their product/service offering. Mobile provides this opportunity. Area Specific. retail or restaurant vouchers to be RETURN FLIGHT Very similar to the customer outbound journey. Businesses in the travel sector tend to fall into the following categories with regard to customer service delivery: • Businesses that have a customer service department and want/need to continue to provide a service but want to reduce costs. for example for seafood restaurants. 10 . Using mobile as previously detailed. it will be the travel business that embraces mobile NOW that will grab market share. A similar ‘PPC’ model can work. how long they are in that destination and perhaps even a customer profile. with a pay per delivery model. most travel providers stated that 40-50% of their inbound customer service calls revolved around very similar issues and questions regarding in particular. Take the example of the customer on a beach holiday. To deliver on mobile not only saves the travel provider money. This means that highly specific content can be delivered to the customer mobile which will have huge value for the future and it is very important for travel businesses to be building their mobile databases now as this will prove to be a huge asset moving forward. mobile vouchers can be sent to the traveller’s mobile to be redeemed anywhere. they can receive. tickets. or UK airport traffic updates brought to you by “BMW’ and tour operator ‘Y’. A traveller in destination requests local information via SMS text on their mobile. it will be the businesses that determine how to serve their customers better whilst understanding how to reduce interpersonal interaction that will achieve success. flight timings and weather. How many travel businesses in the UK in 2009 still do not capture their customer mobile number? Are you one of them? The mobile market is young but as with the Internet. Travel providers that build their mobile databases now will see huge benefits from technology that is now readily available to travel businesses in the UK. As our ‘travel expert’ quoted earlier. Personalised) opportunities to deliver to the customer that are linked to their return flight. • Businesses that do not have a designated customer service team but would like to offer a service without incurring the significant cost associated with doing so. Soon we will see the local weather information brought to you by ‘Nivea’ sun cream in association with airline ‘X’. • Businesses that have a customer service department and want to increase/improve their customer service offering to enhance their brand but are aware that this will mean an increase in costs. these responses can be automated and thus dramatically reducing costs. the customer receives a superior service (they are not making an expensive call from overseas and being kept on hold). This is not a ‘future’ technology. itinerary. it can be delivered now and this market will build in value significantly over the next 5 years. increase revenue per customer and grow margins considerably.HOW CAN MOBILE ASSIST IN SERVICING YOUR CUSTOMERS? Discreet advertising alongside pertinent content delivery will prove to be a very successful model for travel businesses in the very near future. where restaurants will pay to be further up on the list of restaurants delivered back to the customer. another valuable revenue stream and very targeted. When asked. for example. flying back from Palma (in ‘ITINERARY’). traveller feedback has been excellent. The value that the travel provider has now is that they know where the customer is. Looking back at 2d barcodes and future destination opportunities. all delivered by mobile. in addition to providing a better service to the customer. redeemed specifically for the dates they are there. there are a number of TAP (Timely.
CAN’T WE JUST MAKE OUR WEB PAGES ACCESSIBLE TO MOBILE USERS? For the reasons detailed later in this document relating to handset optimisation. regurgitating web content on mobile is not the way forward. However. which is what you may get in published generic guides and internet searches. where and for how long). the mobile user wants a different experience than they would receive online and they want it optimised and delivered specifically for mobile. travel providers are sitting on a huge and unique library of untapped data and it is why mobile businesses. club. mobile video etc) and should a travel business decide to develop mobile solutions internally then they would have to make a fairly significant investment in staff and research to have the expertise to develop the capability as well as being able to look at developments such as ‘Bluetooth’. the two relevant questions are: 1. to enable them to take full advantage of their unique position. there will be new delivery options as well as new technologies (e. it should at least give a glimpse of the huge potential that mobile can now bring to your business. barcodes. Generally speaking. ARE PEOPLE SURFING THE WEB ON THEIR MOBILE? Figures in the UK show that around 25% of mobile users ‘surf the web’ on their mobile. you want bespoke information delivered to you in the most accessible way (mobile) with content such as your Itinerary.travelbuddy. Whilst it can sometimes be frustrating for a traveller to view an internet page on their phone. this work is carried out by external suppliers and in the case of Travel Buddy. optimised for their specific mobile handset and delivered to them.uk 11 . As the mobile market expands and develops. Given that whenever someone buys a ringtone or screensaver for their mobile phone they generally have to open a WAP/INTERNET session to receive it means that perhaps the 25% of users identified as surfing the web on mobile aren’t necessarily doing so in the same way as they would on a PC or a Mac. having access to this personal travel information (when. Will it increase your margin on each sale and deliver additional profits by developing it internally or are the costs prohibitive? Whatever you decide. not only from a technical perspective but more importantly. Will building the technology add value to your business as an asset? 2. The 25% figure is actually the number of people opening up a WAP/INTERNET session on their mobile. all systems and content have been specifically designed and developed www. again. as the travel provider you know where the traveller is going and when. tailored by you and with you brand identification. there are a number of important things to consider. Delivering the same web content on a mobile is a little like making a TV show and then without changing it’s format and content. so that their ‘searching’ and accumulation of pertinent content can already be done for them automatically. not a market. coupons.It is also evident that travel providers are looking to ‘differentiate’ their offering to that of their competitors. from a traveller perspective. putting it on the radio. Mobile now means that they can provide a service without the need to invest in expensive systems. there will always be areas that you will definitely not want to develop internally. particularly Travel Buddy have been the pioneers in developing and rolling-out a full ‘white labelled mobile solution’ to travel businesses. And. local events. weather and tickets for example that are available in your destination on the dates that you are there. this can be misleading. When assessing whether to make the investment into developing mobile expertise internally. concert or show that is scheduled to finish two weeks before you arrive. There are many other ways of creating revenues and adding value by differentiating your business using mobile and whilst the above examples only scratch the surface of the full breadth of opportunities available to you now. ‘Mobile Internet Page Services’ and assessing the right mobile operator partners etc.co. SHOULD WE OUTSOURCE OUR MOBILE STRATEGY OR DO IT OURSELVES? This is a question that many people ask and whilst each company will make their own decision based on their own infrastructure and resources. for example having to optimise ‘content’ for use on all mobile handsets (as detailed later in this document under the ‘Jargon’ section) an important factor to bear in mind in your decision making process.g. Again. with current mobile business models.
There is also a vital piece of information that you need to be aware of at the same time and it comes under the heading of ‘Mobile Handset Optimisation’. This document has provided brief. pictures and video clips to other Bluetooth enabled handsets. which holds relevant information for them. When they click on this icon it automatically opens up the phone line and updated information is downloaded to that application. systems. This gives a potential zero cost of entry to the market and enables travel providers to use mobile as part of their product and service mix leaving them to concentrate on their core business of selling flights and holidays. which can be self funding. MOBILE DELIVERY IN THE TRAVEL SECTOR: Below is a summary of the methods of how content or communication can be delivered through mobile to the customer. This mobile business model also means that travel providers can already access mobile technology. MOBILE APPLICATIONS (JAVA) – The user downloads an application to their phone (generally a JAVA application). can deliver entry to the mobile arena with minimum or no outlay.e. the author will be only too happy to discuss with the recipients any aspect of it and answer any questions that may arise as a result of it. When a business develops their internet pages. room only or package holidays. that in the current economic climate. BLUETOOTH – Bluetooth is short-range wireless technology that enables one to send and receive messages.after consultation with. businesses within the travel industry. Tour Operators and Airlines can be very different in their business approach as well as their approach to customers and should look at the opportunity in context of their own business model. The most important aspect of this document is that we hope it shows that mobile already is and will continue to play an increasingly important role within travel and it is important for businesses. delivering a special offer to the handset. Mobile Handset Optimisation is basically doing exactly the same as this but has to ‘Optimise’ its content for all mobile handsets and their browsers. This technology has also been used to deliver marketing messages or offers to people. the cost of investing internally in new areas such as mobile will prove prohibitive and external solutions like the one supplied by Travel Buddy. whenever you communicate with your customer via their mobile. WAP/MOBILE INTERNET – Providing users with access to mobile internet pages on their handset. and specifically for. It is also relevant to note. 12 . with more and more companies adopting it as part of their communication and product mix and extending the communication time with the customer. information on mobile in travel. saving costs. Given the limited distribution of this document. if a company is a Tour Operator that sells escorted tours. ready-made strategy and services for a very low cost or on a revenue share of the income derived from mobile activity.160 characters (including spaces) of basic text. For example. WHAT DOES ‘MOBILE HANDSET OPTIMISATION’ MEAN? Very simply. whether for sales. Internet Explorer. SUMMARY: In summary. Firefox etc) optimises the web page you want to see so that you can view it on the screen clearly with the right dimensions and colours etc. then they will use the mobile in a very different way than the business that sells flight only. but hopefully thought provoking.Text messaging. when browsing the internet on a PC. It also delivers an ‘Icon’ for their screen. it will be generally done by one of the following methods: SMS . they make sure that they work (or are ‘OPTIMISED’) to work with all Internet browsers. that don’t have one already. the browser (i. Briefly. for example in shopping centres as they walk past a restaurant or shop. the mobile medium is already playing a role in the travel sector and future plans. increasing ancillary sales and enhancing customer service. marketing or operational purposes. to have a ‘mobile strategy’. Above are the main types of mobile content delivery. Travel Agents.
different ways of using the mobile buttons for navigation. on the other hand. The upside of Applications is that when you download an application with all the information required.Simple for a PC but with mobiles. can be easier for the customer as there are fewer optimisation issues than with downloading applications so the customer experience is generally better as the travel providers’ pages will be optimised already for the browser.OTHER CONSIDERATIONS AS PART OF YOUR OVERALL MOBILE STRATEGY: Mobile Search: Without going into too much detail in this document. That is why you will find that a number of applications cannot be used with certain handsets. However. their request identifies the make and model of their handset and so the mobile pages can be delivered with the right colours and screen dimensions for that specific handset. it will be illegible. there are not only more browsers but also different screen sizes and colour combinations and as a consequence.travelbuddy. So each application has to work with (or be ‘Optimised’ to) all of these operating systems as well as the different screen sizes and colours as detailed above. the market for mobile search will grow exponentially over the next three years and it is important to have a strategy in place. Mobile Social Media: We all saw the power of mobile social media with the aircraft emergency landing in the Hudson River and the event being broadcast globally on the Twitter network even before the TV Networks could cover the story. perhaps start with promoting last minute deals with a telephone number or website for the consumer to book through. These networks have opened up huge opportunities in marketing for travel and airline companies.uk 13 . This is why a company cannot just provide a customer with access to their website from their phone as it simply will not work. Mobiles can have different operating systems and as many of us have probably found out. Every request is ‘washed’ through a ‘mobile optimiser’ and delivered correctly to the specific handset.co. APPLICATION OR MOBILE INTERNET DELIVERY? They both have their advantages and disadvantages but perhaps the downloading of mobile Applications has been the more problematic. (Blackberries for example). ‘OPTIMISATION’ – HOW IT WORKS! In essence. when a customer accesses a service on their mobile. you are only paying for the DATA charge for downloading it but once the download is complete. www. as with the internet these data charges have not only reduced dramatically but users can now fix tariffs for unlimited data in a monthly period for example. These will all have to be considered at the time of assessing your mobile strategy. an Internet page on one mobile handset can look superb whilst on another handset. This opportunity for mobile will only grow and needs to be considered as part of an overall marketing strategy. whilst the customer is surfing they are paying the data charges whilst they are online so the costs can add up. IN BRIEF . receiving their ‘tweets’ on a daily basis. This can be very difficult and given that a new handset is launched every day. you can close the data line and read the content on your handset at no further cost. you will need to look at mobile search from a marketing perspective but this will eventually move to transactional opportunities and as detailed previously. it can cause operational issues. One travel company has set up on Twitter and now has over 1500 followers. In the initial stages. The downside is. Legalities: There are a number of areas that will need to be considered from a legal standpoint and items that will need to be integrated into your T’s & C’s. Mobile internet. Mobile ticketing & boarding: Delivering travel tickets by mobile to be scanned at airports and destinations. until you open the data line again to update the content.
for example. • Generate ancillary revenue • Enhance customer service • Reduce costs ABOUT TRAVEL BUDDY Travel Buddy is the innovator of ‘White Label’. However. This ‘white labelled’ package can be integrated into the host booking system and is seen as an integral part of the travel providers’ overall offering. is transacted on a revenue share basis. These packages can deliver all of the following objectives: and timing is managed by Travel Buddy. Commercially. CITY BREAKS. In some cases this can add up to 30% on the margin per booking. insurance policy number and emergency phone number etc). Travel Buddy will work on a revenue share basis and its objective is to act as an ‘internal mobile department’.co. snow dump alert. the package enhances the service to the customer as it delivers relevant and timely information specific to them and their location but also can reduce costs as it proactively delivers relevant information to the customer before they ask for it. FAMILY. giving travel providers a zero cost of entry and it is available NOW. adam@travelbuddy.The travel provider selects which of the mobile services they wish to deliver to their customers and the delivery. repeat. Travel Buddy has delivered strategic assistance. This mobile business model means that a packaged service requires no investment by the travel provider. content THE UNIQUE TRAVEL BUDDY MOBILE PACKAGE Travel Buddy is the market leader in white-labelled mobile services to the travel industry and was the first to develop and launch systems to deliver mobile services and white-labelled destination content to the traveller. packages can also be delivered free to the customer if they are a valued. If you wish to find out some more information or would like us to assist in defining your mobile strategy then please contact us. that can all be completely tailored to the travel providers customer profile and requirements. assisting the travel business to deliver mobile services. tailored to companies within the industry and rolled-out services that are live and have been tested over the last 2 years. The costs of such a package are totally flexible and can be set by each travel provider. To date Travel Buddy have delivered information to over 4 million travellers and have a unique delivery system which is completely flexible and can be tailored to the requirements of the travel provider. mobile content and communication systems for the travel industry working with major travel companies and airlines as well as the main travel regulators. There are different ‘Mobile Packages’ for different travellers such as SKI (Flight updates. The unique ‘MOBILE PACKAGE’ pulls together a selection of the above outlined services (plus others not highlighted here) and delivers it to the traveller at specific times throughout their journey under the brand of the respective travel provider. or ‘premier’ customer. As well as generating revenues. BUSINESS etc. content and technical systems to travel businesses and their customers. next day forecast.uk Mobile: 07808 940060 Office: 0208 939 8714 .
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