With 2016 right around the corner, now is a good time for a quick mobile status check. While mobile data consumption growth is now commonplace, it is easy to relax one’s focus with the assumption that you are advertising on mobile, so you must be covered. But the fact of the matter is that most advertisers probably are not doing enough.
Mobile isn’t just growing, it is dominating, and with the rise of younger, savvier generations, it’s poised to change the marketing landscape drastically. This certainly includes the travel category as much as any other. Below are some thoughts to consider as you evaluate your mobile marketing strategy:
In 2014, $96 billion, or 12.5% of global online travel sales (flights, hotels, etc.), was made via mobile device, and mobile travel sales are forecast to rise at a compound annual growth rate of 22% over 2014-2019, according to a report by Euromonitor International, as cited by a recent Reuters article.
In the first half of 2015, mobile searches in the hotel category were up 49% YOY, up 47% in the tours/attractions category, and up 33% in the airline category, according to the latest Think With Google trend dashboard. While mobile booking used to be hindered by a clunky experience that inhibited consumer trust in performing such a large purchase on a mobile device, the rise of responsive design sites (providing a seamless experience across devices) and mobile booking apps has alleviated consumer resistance. Consumers can now prioritize convenience in making travel decisions and purchases — as evidenced by the rapid growth of mobile travel queries.
Beacon technology, a concept long discussed but previously in a more hypothetical context, is poised to become a more widespread reality in 2016. While this technology has certainly been around and utilized by some, it is likely to become commonplace in the coming year. Over the summer, Google announced the launch of its open-source beacon technology — Eddystone — which will compete with Apple’s iBeacon and open up beacon technology to a wider audience. This will mean the ability to target travelers in real time as they explore new cities.
The rise of Generation Z: Over the past year or two, the concept of Millenials and how they have forced brands and marketers to completely change the landscape has dominated conversations, but a recent article on MediaPost raises a new focal point: Generation Z (those born in the 90s who are gearing up to leave college and enter adulthood). This generation is not only digitally savvy, but also “smartphone and social media native,” and they account for over 25% of the population. Ergo, the move towards content and mobile focus is permanent.