Guest Post: Unleashing the potential of mobile-first travel

Guest Post: Unleashing the potential of mobile-first travel

As generations shift in behaviour towards mobile, Lizzie Tearle, client services director of 26PMX, walks us through the new way to travel

Omnichannel planning is widely considered to be the modern, efficient, and best-practice method of orchestrating digital media. To that end, we know that brilliant digital media planning comes from forming a holistic digital strategy.

It's all very clever, but are we missing a trick if we’re not considering the devices themselves? Sure, there are obvious benefits to omnichannel planning – but are we omni-obsessed? Should we not plan for the devices that users actually browse on?

The way we use a laptop and mobile phone are different – obviously. So why do us marketers so often plan a campaign with total device agnosticism?

Take the mobile route

This is particularly important in an industry like travel, where according to SupplyGem, mobile phones already account for 44% of completed sales. Having a mobile specific approach to your advertising and digital customer experience (DCX) is vital.

Flashback to 10 years ago and every approach to marketing was single channel, as it was almost impossible to create an omnichannel marketing experience. However, the introduction of cookies and cookie-based targeting changed everything, by allowing marketers to target potential customers wherever they were on the internet.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not slating an omnichannel approach to marketing: there are significant benefits. But I’ve seen so many instances where focusing on omnichannel results comes at the cost of your mobile advertising and DCX.

It’s not necessarily about planning for your audience to be less omnichannel. It’s more about prioritising how your content is going to render and appear to a mobile user – something that is so often overlooked. Even something as simple as ensuring that your creative and logo is small enough for a mobile device can make a huge difference.

There’s nothing worse than going on a website and seeing some weird, pixelated advert clearly designed for desktop. As a consumer, it puts you off that brand almost immediately.

And with most people now relying on mobile devices for trip planning, booking and on-the-go assistance, ensuring you have a mobile specific approach is a necessity for all travel brands. By offering a user-friendly experience optimised for smaller screens and touch interactions, travel businesses can enhance customer satisfaction and gain a competitive edge in an increasingly crowded market.

Furthermore, a mobile-first strategy enables personalised experiences, leveraging data insights to tailor offerings and marketing campaigns to individual preferences – something that will become even more important as we enter a post-cookie world. 

There are new ways to travel

The way we plan and prepare our holidays has changed dramatically over the years. Nowadays when researching a hotel, the majority of people find their destination, then head to social media to have more of a nosy around.

And this is reflected in the stats, with TravelPerk reporting that 60% of people now doing their pre-trip research via mobile. 

It’s this research period that offers unique opportunities for travel brands when advertising. 

Imagine a prospective customer Googles Santorini and clicks through to a news article about how great Santorini is. This provides the perfect opportunity for a travel brand to land grab that contextually relevant ad slot with an advert about holidays to Santorini.

But instead, you are often faced with an advert for an unrelated product – let’s say, a printer. Even on the rare occasion that the ad does happen to be from a travel brand, then it’s low quality as it hasn’t been adjusted for a mobile device.

So many businesses are missing out on vital opportunities to engage with their target demographic by not having a mobile-first strategy as a part of their tactical planning.

Every digital display or social plan needs to have a mobile consideration. It can’t just be limited to social media videos. Particularly within news articles, where consumers typically scroll far slower than social media and are more likely to be a part of your target demographic, digital display adverts need to be adjusted to a mobile device to catch the consumer’s eye.

You’re far more likely to click through to a business’s website if the advert is clear and aesthetically pleasing, compared to a poorly loading advert that sticks to the bottom of the screen. And this is even more important in an industry like travel which relies on mobile as its primary function of research and purchasing.

Having a mobile-first approach is only going to become more vital. For younger generations, we didn’t think that screen time could possibly get any higher, but the rise of TikTok and other social media platforms have offered new ways for consumers to research and purchase holidays on their mobile devices. 

Because of this, it’s the brands that embrace a mobile-first approach that will see their advertising, customers and revenue take off.