Above: Hilton Unveils smartphone apps*
HEADS UP ELITES!
Is Marriott On Your Move?
For business or leisure, when I'm on the road, mobile communications is absolutely essential. As an avid smartphone user, Marriott Mobile needs rethinking from the ground up.
With smartphone adoption exploding and spilling over into every industry nook and cranny, why not reach out to the business traveler through a preferred lodging brand? That's Hilton's approach with brand-specific smartphone apps that enable travelers to check-in and out remotely.
Here's the challenge. For business and leisure, I am loyal to multiple Marriott brands. The last thing I need on my smartphone is brand clutter. The smartphone enables two-way product innovation - fast. Marriott has the capability and muscle to drive loyalty in new ways. Why not ask ELITE how they would like to be reached out to by smartphone? Anyone agree?
If you think Marriott listens, VOTE for the brand with the best loyalty program!
* Transformation Checks-In p14
I may be old fashioned but an app is less preferable for me than a phone call. I find the Marriott reservation phone system to be efficient and effective for me.
I am one of those folks who has a simple cell phone and does not need additional clutter on a hand held device. Anyone in my boat or am I alone on this?
"an app is less preferable for me than a phone call"
Regrets if the thinking about a Marriott mobile app suggests in any shape, size or form a replacement for the excellent communication channels Marriott currently has in operations.
After taking home the Best Website Award, Marriott reserves bragging rights for leveraging the internet to drive reservations. With market forces reshaping business in favor of mobile, Hilton's approach is merely a sneek peak at what we can expect.
More to the point, after taking home the Best Customer Service Award, Marriott reserves chest-pounding rights for constantly striving to deliver at check-in and check-out. I prefer having a conversation with a person at the Front Desk!
I have every confidence that Marriott has the capability and the muscle to innovate on a mobile platform and engage their Elite in the process - fully recognizing the need to enhance service delivery and most importantly deliver guest satisfaction.
So, you're not in the boat alone. If you think Marriott listens, VOTE for the brand with the best loyalty program!
Update: 4/28/10: No need to worry about Smartphone clutter, just yet. In order to justify large scale implementation, it's more efficient to standardize on a platform with the highest adoption rates. By standardizing on the iPhone, IHG and Hilton are betting on rapid adoption but cost of the iPhone is a major barrior.
Above: Mobile Metrics from MobCast
Intercontinental Hotel Group announced earlier today that they will give 1000 Priority Club Points for all bookings and stays for the rest of April through 15 June 2010 made using the new IHG iPhone reservations app.
IHG claims that it's mobile strategy has been very successful garnering the company over $1 billion in revenue this year, IHG launches Priority Club Rewards iPhone app. One article by Mobile Travel Technologies claims that 50% of those contacted via SMS in a trial in Germany responded and 30% followed through to book a reservation.
According to a USAToday article posted in February 2010 at Hotel-Check-In, IHG's BlackBerry and Android apps are in development, but iPhone users can enjoy a dozen plus features now:
Like Marriott, IHG is among the hoteliers hosting an online community. Marriott Mobile is already available on the BlackBerry and sports many of the features of IHG's iPhone app.
Mobile Travel Technologies is IHG's mobile solution provider, the same company working with Hilton. See the m2bed demo.