In the USA 185 million people own a smartphone. The average person looks at it about 46 times in one single day. Especially young adults between 18 and 27 years check their phone about 74 times daily and persons between 35 and 40 years check their phones about 35 times each day. (Eadicicco, 2015)
Already 2002 Matt Haig saw the increasing importance of mobile marketing. Haig explains the phone use as something highly personal used for communication between friends and family. He mainly concentrates on messages, which offer a form of branding based on interactivity. (Haig, 2002) Since then, a lot has happened especially in terms of smartphone use and high-speed wireless connections.
“Mobile marketing is considered as a viable means of marketing communication because of the inherent features such as personalization, localization, ubiquity and interactivity.” Through personalized apps to be downloaded on phones, tour operators are enabled to communicate and engage with their customers directly. Also with personalized text messages the customer has a more engaged feeling in the topic. Nowadays the most popular mobile marketing methods to engage clients is via mobile telemarketing, text messaging and push messages through websites. (Kushwaha & Agrawal, 2016) Through mobile marketing the tour operator integrates themselves into the everyday lives of their customers. Also through different segmentation techniques the personalized messages offer more possibilities of an engaging experience to the customers. (Peelen & Beltman, 2013)
“Flixbus”, a tour operator established in Germany in 2011, uses many different mobile marketing strategies and is a good example for engaging their customers. Their mobile app is downloadable is different stores (Android, Apple, Microsoft) for free and allows the customers to book tickets, save their trips and to use it as their ticket at the bus entry. Additionally, the company sends out text messages to their clients if something has happened, such as shown in the picture on the left. With this they notify not only the customers within the bus, but also the customers waiting for the bus in different locations. The direct announcement to each client, gives them a good feeling of being involved in what is happening further. Moreover, they use push and pull marketing to engage their customers. They send out newsletters and therefor approach clients directly according to their interests with deals and engage in social media and on their website by initiating competitions that show the involvement and engagement of other clients.
In contrary, it can also be said that “the lasting success of mobile applications is dependent of the relevance of the service” to a client and the price charged. (Peelen & Beltman, 2013) Furthermore, the number of apps are increasing steadily, which offers a wide variety for the clients and harder to choose from. But still, mobile marketing is turning out to one of the biggest marketing sources to engage clients, as most people still see their phones as a personal space.
Eadicicco, L. (2015, December 15). Americans Check Their Phones 8 Billion Times a Day. Retrieved October 07, 2016, from TIME: http://time.com/4147614/smartphone-usage-us-2015/
Haig, M. (2002). Mobile Marketing. London: Kogan Page Limited. Retrieved October 07, 2016, from https://books.google.nl/books?hl=en&lr=&id=2gGo7kiZc4MC&oi=fnd&pg=PA1&dq=mobile+marketing+tour+operator&ots=jOCiFDDEH6&sig=ORjzlMOVILmItcPki4NfS6RImjY#v=onepage&q&f=false
Kushwaha, G. S., & Agrawal, S. R. (2016). The impact of mobile marketing initiatives on consumers’ attitudes and behavioural outcomes. Emerald. Retrieved October 07, 2016, from http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/JRIM-06-2015-0041
Peelen, E., & Beltman, R. (2013). Customer Relationship Management (Vol. 2). Boston: Pearson Education Limited. Retrieved October 07, 2016