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Mobile search gains pace in hotel marketing

Google estimates that in the United States alone, some 65 billion calls will be made from smartphones by 2016. For most of those calls, it’s consumers using their phones to search for goods and services like hotel rooms. As a result, mobile search will eclipse desktop search by early next year, which means new marketing techniques for hotel marketing.

The reason mobile search will drive all these hotel reservation calls is simple – better conversions. Unlike the web, where a search is still a few steps away from an action or conversion; in the mobile search world, a hotel reservation is literally one click–or tap–away because over 60% of mobile searches lead to a phone call.

Market researcher BIA/Kelsey estimates mobile search conversion rates are 57% versus 7% for desktop because mobile users are, “more ready to buy, in the right location and with a device whose core function is to make phone calls.”

As a result, the rise of mobile search and vastly superior conversion metrics of a phone call will see the hotel reservation industry re-shaped in a direction very few hotel executives have anticipated. The amount of money in play in the move to pay-per-call marketing is staggering. BIA/Kelsey estimates that $68 billion is spent each year on advertising that is placed with the intention of driving phone leads.

Over the next few years much of that $68 billion will move over to mobile search and the hotel industry will be one of the big winners from this scenario. According to researcher, eMarketer, 65% of all same-day hotel room reservations are made on a smartphone.

Hotel room marketers that get into mobile search driven pay-per-call marketing will make a huge and profitable jump into the fastest-growing category of mobile marketing, driving new revenues and profits.

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