Food

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August 12, 2014

How to Devise a Mobile Marketing Strategy in the Hospitality and Travel Industries

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Nowadays, consumers expect a great deal from travel and hospitality companies, particularly when it comes to ease of access and information in utilizing their mobile devices. Travelers are using their mobiles for all of their needs: booking flights and accommodations, researching events and local hotspots, as well as restaurant reservations, of course. Mobile engagement is at an all-time high for these travelers, with an estimated three out of four people using devices while on a trip – that’s more than four times as many people using their mobiles to enhance their travel experience since 2009.

Corporations in the travel and tourism business have been at the forefront of keeping travelers connected via their mobile devices. The level of engagement is unparalleled. The mobile platforms in place can empower customers to find local, real-time information, and they allow these corporations to make recommendations for customers according to their preferences. Customers, in turn, can read reviews, compare prices and amenities, and score loyalty points. Best of all, customers may send and receive immediate feedback from their purchases and their experiences, increasing customer spend and attracting repeat business. And the best companies in this business are now rising to the top, managing to give the customer that “ideal experience” throughout their travels.

Creating a Mobile Marketing Strategy: Incentive, Experience, and Rewards

Devising a mobile marketing strategy requires an adherence of three specific best practices. First, a business must focus on incentives: travel deals, discounted fares and hotel stays, even parking coupons. Promotion codes are an excellent way to track advertising, offering free upgrades or deals on dining out. Second, businesses must enhance customers’ experience throughout their travels. In the age of Yelp, several bad reviews can spell disaster for a business. Cater to guests needs: update them on local events and when rooms are prepared, keep them apprised of new offers, and be sure to warn them of any potential trouble (i.e., bad weather, directions to locations, etc.). Finally, customers expect rewards for their loyalty. Give them points and coupons with detailed information about their membership: list their mileage balances, what they’ve purchased, their reservations and confirmation codes, as well. For repeat business, offer them discount codes and find out how their trip went by asking for their feedback.

Every aspect of a mobile device goes into this mobile marketing strategy. Marketers should incorporate all kinds of communications, from SMS, push, and email, to a good old-fashioned phone call. By carefully designing a targeted strategy according to your customer’s individual preferences, marketers can thereby properly execute the right level of customer engagement. The benefit to the consumer is right up-to-the-moment information and access, while travel and hospitality corporations may track customers and market to them directly in order to maximize their reservations and revenue. All in all, the key to a good mobile marketing strategy in the hospitality and travel industries is to increase and enhance customer engagement. The best in the business practice this and – with a little ingenuity and the right direction – your travel or hospitality business could also benefit from the latest in mobile technology.

August 01, 2014

Hospitality Industry Divided Over Mobile Marketing

 

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New research from Omnico indicates that UK consumers are less likely to use mobile devices to engage with hospitality service providers when compared with other industries. Just 13% of consumers said they would use mobile to interact with hoteliers and travel agents.

This reticence is understandable when examined from the consumer point of view. People ultimately want a better user experience, but with so many metrics to consider when booking a holiday, it’s possible that small screen devices are given short shrift. Filling in multiple fields – car rental, flights, hotels etc – is a hassle even on a desktop. Even on a mobile-optimized site or app, there’s simply too much information to divest for a quality user experience. 

Thankfully for the industry, the point of purchase is just one step in the process. There is still plenty of scope to create a compelling mobile marketing campaign that simply hands off to desktop at the point of sale. 

And despite the apparently-negative data collated in the UK, mobile usage has been steadily increasing in the world of hospitality. A Forrester survey from last year identified a 450% increase in mobile bookings since 2009. Some analysts predict mobile sales will be worth $26 billion by the year’s end. That’s one in five online travel dollars! 

The biggest mobile marketing strides have been made post-purchase, with 75% of travelers using a mobile device to shop and book activities while on holiday, according to Forrester. Clearly, this is where the hospitality industry is benefitting most: reaching consumers who are already on vacation and for whom smartphones and tablets are the only readily-available web-connected device.

If you’re trying to create a mobile marketing campaign that works, focus on enriching the entire experience, not just selling vacations. Offer portals for booking restaurants. Provide information on local tourist sites. Gather user reviews that could help future customers. Break your mobile marketing strategy down into three key practices:

  • Promotion. Offer last minute deals, hotel discounts or coupons. Mobile – and especially SMS messaging - is perfect for issuing time-sensitive information.
  • Loyalty Rewards. Offer loyalty points with personalized incentives attached. Track data to give reward customers with the things they like. If they’re clocking up thousands of miles, offer air miles. If they use the same hotel chain around the world, try to partner with that hotel to offer discounts.
  • User Experience. Keep customers up to date on new destinations. Send weather forecasts, or travel directions. Stay engaged throughout their trip and solicit feedback in the form of reviews.

A balanced mobile marketing strategy is of vital importance in an aggressively competitive industry. The beauty of mobile is the ease with which you can subdivide customers according to personal preference, so even if your primary booking platform is your desktop website, stay plugged in to mobile and you’ll reap the long term benefits.

June 04, 2014

Starbucks Brewing Summer Campaign

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As life slows down and the summer heat turns up, the need for that morning hot cup of joe may not be as necessary. By that same token, the quiet lull and warmer weather make it the perfect time for Starbucks to brew a new marketing campaign pushing its summer menu of cold drinks to an audience with less on its plate (Yes, even this ubiquitous beverage giant needs a helping hand to draw business). So, ladies and gentlemen, we enter the age of the Frappuccino.

These chilled delights are currently the star in the coffee store chain’s galaxy of beverages. And, like its new and unique menu of icy blended drinks, Starbucks is taking unique steps of putting their brand in customers’ hands - sans cup sleeve - by using the power of SMS and MMS text message advertising.

Having depended on the typical concoction of signage and other conventional ads to get the word out about new products, Starbucks has weaved a web of multiple touch points, once again using a mobile marketing campaign as a means to bring more customers into their stores.

Using Twitter and Facebook to lure fans, Starbucks has also made this campaign front and center on its website. In fact, the moment you go to the starbucks.com home page, the campaign is hard to miss, “Say Yes to What’s Next...Text SMILE to 22122.” As SMS marketing goes, once customers opt-in using the ‘SMILE’ keyword to the shortcode ‘22122,’ they will receive text messages delivered directly to their cell phones about new products and other promotions.

This latest mass text campaign is similar to one Starbucks did last year. This time, customers will be treated to an SMS trivia contest where they can win prizes. The contest is also a vehicle to incentivize subscribers to take action and recognize devices for personalized future content. But, rather than going for the ‘Venti’ approach to texting, Starbucks is limiting the number of texts to just six per month. However, with more than six million followers on Twitter, nearly 37 million likes on Facebook and 23,187 stores in 64 countries, including 12,973 here in the United States, this newest campaign is sure to off-load a few million Frapps.

While this might be a monster of an example for business owners grappling with the idea of taking their brand mobile, there are a few facts about SMS marketing to know:

  • 91% of adults keep their smartphones within arm’s reach
  • 9 out of 10 mobile searches lead to action
  • 90% of text messages are read within three minutes of delivery
  • 70% of mobile searches lead to action within an hour
  • Mobile coupons/offers receive 10 times higher redemption rates than print coupons
  • 33A% of U.S. mobile users prefer offers via text
  • 50% of recipients respond to text offers


Understanding the power of mass SMS text marketing, businesses everywhere can take advantage of the convenience, affordability, personalization, immediacy and efficiency that SMS has to offer. Like Starbucks, by connecting with customers on the single device that has the most dependable reach, more businesses can watch their cups runneth over.

 

May 09, 2014

Starbucks Announce SMS for Summer Drinks

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An increasing number of businesses today are using mobile technology to help boost sales. Starbucks' new “Frappuccino Fun All Summer Long” SMS and MMS campaign launch, for instance, is just the latest way that mobile technology has been helping to increase revenue for the world-famous coffee empire.

How the “Frappuccino Fun All Summer Long” Mobile Marketing Campaign Works

The new summer digital marketing initiative sends consumers up to six MMS and six SMS messages per month in exchange for opting in. The company is issuing calls-to-action through these text messages as well as through the company's mobile app. Starbucks' Twitter and Facebook posts also contain similar consumer calls-to-action.

Once they are signed up, consumers first receive a welcome message introducing them to the “Frappuccino Fun All Summer Long” SMS and MMS program. This new marketing campaign features humorous scenarios attempting to demonstrate just how much some Starbucks customers love their Frappuccinos. For example, one scenario features an eagle who is holding a drink and dancing, while another shows a cat holding a Frappuccino. The drink disappears and leaves in its place a kaleidoscope of colors that shoot from the cat's paws.

Texting Keywords to Short Codes and Other Key Mobile Strategies

Asking consumers to text a keyword to a short code is a simple way of getting potential customers to opt in, and Starbucks is using this strategy in a variety of ways. One summer mobile marketing campaign message on Starbucks' Facebook page features a Frappuccino that has had eyes drawn onto it. The message encourages consumers to text the keyword STRAW to short code 22122. “What has a green straw and wishes it had thumbs?” the ad says. The answer: “This guy.”

Within the iPhone app inbox, one marketing message prompts consumers to text the keyword WOOHOO to the same short code. Once consumers have done so, they will continue to receive the “Frappuccino Fun All Summer Long” marketing campaign's messages.

For Starbucks, Continued Success with Mobile Marketing

Starbucks recently announced its second quarter 2014 results, which are extremely promising. In fact, the company's success may help other food and beverage retailers who are hesitant to embrace mobile technology realize that doing so is a smart business decision. All in all, Starbucks has been pleased with the effect that mobile marketing has had on its bottom line, especially when integrated with other strategies such as the company's highly successful loyalty and gift card programs.

The company's recent marketing efforts have also included its Teavana business reinvention attempts, as well as partnering with Oprah Winfrey. Just a few months ago, the coffee giant also unveiled an enhanced mobile app which enables digital tipping and digital receipts. Previous Starbucks mobile campaigns have included an SMS trivia contest and last year's summer campaign, which was similar to “Frappuccino Fun All Summer Long.”

February 25, 2014

Successful Mobile Valentine’s Day Campaigns

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Several brands made effective use of Valentine’s Day mobile marketing campaigns this year. Let’s check out a few of these campaigns and why they were so effective as mobile marketing strategies!

Expedia “Find Yours” Dream Location Ads

Travel brand Expedia created a four-day burst campaign that allowed potential V-Day travelers to imagine experiences in Las Vegas and New York City, two important romantic holiday destinations. This mobile marketing strategy encouraged users to book Valentine’s Day vacations through Expedia in addition to downloading the app. The latter was particularly useful in terms of brand awareness and repeat business. Users clicked assorted Las Vegas and NYC travel ads and enjoyed easy “landscape interaction” that also highlighted the benefits of booking with Expedia.

The result was a near-double increase in mobile users’ time-in-ad, as well as an average engagement rate of 21 percent, including both hotel bookings and app downloads. 

Pandora Jewelry: Mobile Ads Targeted to Men

Pandora Jewelry appealed to men this February with a mobile marketing strategy used on key dates, including Super Bowl Sunday! Featuring the theme, “Create a Valentine’s Gift in Minutes,” the ad targeted men on the hunt for unique Valentine’s Day gifts. Ads ran on mobile sites and apps on Sundays leading up to the Super Bowl as well as the big game day. These ads even ran in between plays, and some featured additional categories interesting to men, including games, entertainment and weather.

Over 2,000 men used the campaign to create gift lists, and the number of users on Super Bowl Sunday was 17 times the number of clicks the campaign received in the previous 16 days.

Pizza Hut’s #CommitToGreatness Campaign

This fun and funny Valentine’s Day campaign invites users to create an Instagram or Vine video where they “proposed” to Pizza Hut! Submissions are welcome until February 21, with the top three user proposals receiving chances to compete in “meet the parents” and other challenges. The winner, selected on March 14, will receive free Pizza Hut pizza for the rest of his or her life.

Pizza Hut even created an Ok Cupid profile to showcase the proposals!

ProFlowers Coupon Codes

ProFlowers teamed with Uber to create a unique mobile marketing strategy for Valentine’s Day. Consumers receive a 15 percent ProFlowers app discount when they use the code “Uber,” available through March 31. The flowers company also provided Uber riders in 28 cities with some 150,000 flowers on Valentine’s Day!

This mobile marketing solution undoubtedly appealed to anyone looking to send holiday flowers, as who doesn’t like a good discount? The chance to receive beautiful flowers for being an Uber rider was also an effective mobile marketing strategy.

Coming up with unique and effective mobile marketing solutions is a cornerstone of the business world these days! The above companies certainly demonstrated their ability to execute effective, consumer-friendly campaigns that garnered fantastic results. What’s not to like?

 

November 02, 2013

Restaurant Marketing Strategies to Gain More Customers

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When thinking about marketing for your restaurant, SMS text messaging should be the main course for the affordability, reach and effectiveness that it offers. 

While traditional means of advertising has its place ie. fliers, newspaper advertisements, commercials, etc., mobile marketing via text messaging has the ability like none other to put your brand into the customers' hands in an instant, at any moment and for just a few dollars per campaign. And, because the time and cost of creating a mobile SMS marketing campaign is so miniscule, the ROI has the potential of being exponential.

What makes text message marketing the successful alternative is the fact that mobile devices have become more and more prevalent around the world. It's also proven that text messages have a nearly 100% open rate making the message virtually guaranteed to be received and read. For the user, creating text campaigns is simple enough for anyone to use, quick and easy to track results.

As a business owner, simply serving your customers as they come and watching them walk out the door when they're done is like money passing through your fingers because the opportunity to turn those same customers into loyal clientele is missed. There is tremendous value in collecting contact information of your customers and growing your client lists as this allows you to create a built-in audience for your mobile marketing strategies, which becomes a go-to income source in addition to new daily traffic. 

But, in order to start building these lists, you need your customers to Opt-In. Simply advertise a special promotion on a menu, receipt or other obvious place along with a shortcode and keyword(s) such as, "Text FREE PIZZA to 41414." Once customers text the keyword(s), they've opted in to receive future offers. 

Now that you're growing a nice long list of customer names and phone numbers, your imagination is the only limitation to creating fun and valuable campaigns for you and your customers.

The Philadelphia-based Couch Tomato Cafe used mobile text marketing to offer a limited-time promotion of a free dish with purchase of a dinner. By the end of the promotion period, the restaurant estimated nearly 100 extra orders on a single day compared to the same day in a previous week. The value of the extra orders exceeded any cost associated with running the campaign, making the ROI a success. Read more about this case study here.

The simplicity of a quick and easy-to-read text message offering something for free or at a discount, for example, will grab the customers' attention enough to whet their appetite and bring them through your doors. 

There are other ways of using mobile text marketing. Dominos Pizza uses mobile marketing trends to draw more attention to its social media platform. In order to get more college students to like its Facebook page, it advertised a keyword and shortcode during a basketball game offering a free pizza to anyone who texted the keyword and then "Liked" their page. By the end of the semester, Dominos collected nearly 2,000 fans on Facebook, which is used as another marketing tool, and ran more successful promotions that resulted in selling more pizza. Read more about the Dominos case study here.

SMS text messaging can also be worth its weight in gold on those rainy days. When business is slow and needs a boost, texting allows restaurants to quickly blast out offers within minutes. Devise a simple promotion offering a discount for lunch or introduce a new menu item and watch the orders roll in. Also, personalize your texts to create customer loyalty and sense of community by sending out special offers for birthdays and other special occasions.

Text messaging is the streamlined solution to your restaurant marketing needs. It's simple, fast and delivers results instantaneously, which is why so many businesses are turning to SMS marketing.

November 23, 2010

The Pepsi-Coke Rivalry Goes Mobile

Pepsi and Coca Cola are two of the largest brand advertisers in the world so it is only natural that they are both diving into mobile:

PepsiCo and Coca-Cola have both introduced new mobile marketing programmes, each using location-based services to engage consumers.

For its part, PepsiCo has partnered with Foursquare to offer members rewards premised on habits beyond "checking in" at a set time or place.

If participants earn a "Gym Rat" badge, achieved by regularly exercising at sports centres, they could receive a bottle of SoBe Lifewater.

Should users work out early in the mornings, they are likely to be provided with items more suitable for breakfast, such as Quaker Oats and Tropicana.

...

Elsewhere, Coca-Cola has allied with SCVNGR, which specialises in delivering mobile "challenges", running a campaign primarily targeting teenagers.

It will "seed" ten shopping centres operated by Simon Malls on 26 November, Black Friday, asking customers to undertake challenges, like visiting certain stores or taking photos.

American Express gift cards and branded Coke merchandise are just some prizes up for grabs as part of this effort.

Online and print ads are to be supplemented with signs in malls, carrying taglines including "This mall has secrets. Unlock them."

Read more at warc.

August 19, 2010

McDonald’s, MasterCard and Whataburger Announce Plans To Sponsor Houston Texans’ Mobile Marketing Promotion

The Houston Texans, a national football team, have recently announced a two year promotion which ranges from sending injury notifications to updates regarding who just landed a touchdown via SMS messages.  McDonald’s, MasterCard and Whataburger have signed on to sponsor this mobile marketing program and their advertisements will be broadcasted across the field.

Here is a screen grab from one of the McDonald's sponsored polls. 

Screen grab

To read the entire article, click here.

To learn more about mobile marketing, visit Ez Texting.

August 18, 2010

Pizza Hut Executives Expect That Mobile Marketing Will Account For 50% Of Future Orders

Being one of the first companies to offer both mobile web and SMS ordering options back in 2009, Pizza Hut is no stranger to the growing popularity of mobile marketing. So far they have offered games to iPhone and Android users, as well as chances to win bread sticks and an application which allows users to order menu items from their mobile phones. This is only the beginning; Pizza Hut expects that the use of mobile will account for 50% of their future sales!

“We want our pizza to become a favorite memory,” Mr. Niccol said. “When I came on board five years ago, Pizza Hut didn’t even have a Web site where people could order pizza. In the future, I see mobile accounting for almost 50 percent of our orders,” he added.

To read the entire article, click here.

To learn more about mobile marketing, visit Ez Texting.


August 05, 2010

KFC Doublicious Challenge

KFC recently launched a new marketing campaign that includes a football game, SMS messages and a delicious new chicken sandwich. KFC's new campaign includes a free game available to everyone who has an iPhone and includes banner ads that promote their new sandwich.

‘The objective of the campaign is to drive awareness of KFC’s Doublicious sandwich among adults 18-49 years old, while focusing in on adults 18-24 years old. KFC wanted to secure placement in highly relevant consumer areas to drive awareness for Doublicious and help drive lunch-time decision-making among the target audience.’

To read the entire article, click here.

To learn more about marketing via SMS messages, visit Ez Texting.