HITEC Presentation: Mobile Distribution – No, It’s Not Billboards and Neon Vacancy Signs

It was great to see that attendance rebounded healthily at the annual Hospitality Financial & Technology Professionals HITEC conference, held in Orlando, Florida June 21 – 24, 2010.

The hospitality industry needs to discover what its guests want and figure out what combination of Apps and devices should be supported

There's not only an App for that, but there's also a device and operating system as well, plus a bunch of travel industry complexities...

The good news was that I had been selected to speak on a subject that combined two of the hottest topics in technology and travel: Mobile Hotel Distribution. It’s always fun to speak on a topic that should attract a good crowd…

The bad news was that the session was scheduled for 8:00am Wednesday morning – A time slot generally not conducive to strong crowds, especially following a second straight late night of highly entertaining client parties…

Rather amazingly, the early start time still produced a good sized audience that was sincerely interested in the monumental changes taking place in the mobile space and its impact on the hotel distribution landscape.

Many thanks are owed to to Rob Torres of Google, Flo Lugli of Wyndham Worldwide and Brett Keller of Priceline who generously provided some great graphics and data points regarding mobile and hotel distribution in presentations at the Association of Travel Marketing Executives Conference the previous week in Boston. Several of the statistics included are staggering.

The session was titled “Mobile Distribution – No, It’s Not Billboards and Neon No Vacancy Signs”

If the presentation is not embedded above, try this Slideshare link.

Here’s a quick rundown of what I consider the top 10 takeaways:

  1. Google’s new credo is: Mobile First
  2. Purchase intent for Mobile ads is 5 times higher than for desktop ads
  3. Adding a telephone number to in mobile ad text increases CTR 5-30%
  4. Mobile has a shorter booking window – more last minute
  5. Separate campaigns required & mobile landing pages needed for SEO
  6. Must be attuned to traveler persona & appropriate phase in travel process
  7. Splinternet now requires execution for OS, device & channel for success
  8. Mobile web & mobile apps serve two distinct purposes
  9. Strategy, execution & measurment remain foremost considerations
  10. Lots of disruptive technologies coming – Anticipate more complexity & higher stakes

There was a broad mix of backgrounds & experience levels in the audience crossing marketing, technology and general management, so the presentation could not get too deep into the marketing or technology nuances. Wish I could have covered more territory, but was limited to an hour including time for questions, so the presentation needed to stay relatively high level.

Hopefully the audience got the message: Mobile is Big; Mobile is Important; Mobile is Different; Mobile is Complicated.

Would love to hear your comments – please let me know what you think

About Robert Cole

Robert Cole is the founder of RockCheetah, a hotel marketing strategy and travel technology consulting practice. He also authors the Views from a Corner Suite Blog and publishes the Travel Quote of the Day. Robert speaks regularly at major travel industry conferences, authors articles for leading travel industry publications, advises travel-related startups and the equity investment community. He is an evangelist for the global travel industry.