In Depth: How mobile marketing is helping the travel industry explore new territory

By Rebecca McCormick, PR marketing manager at Textlocal.

As anyone working in travel services knows, this is an industry that never stands still. In the modern business arena, the marketing channels we use to tell people about our products need to be just as flexible and dynamic as the services themselves.

With consumers continuing to feel the economic pinch, finding and developing new channels for promoting value going forward is crucial too. Experts say mobile messaging can provide many of the answers, helping firms of all shapes and sizes boost sales, engage travellers and enhance their marketing activity.

With customers happy to switch between online and offline channels when they make bookings, talking straight to their mobiles is a canny move – especially when it’s to alert them to best prices.

A recent Thomas Cook survey revealed that a fifth of UK families now plan to reduce their holiday budget this year, with 5% admitting they will be choosing trips much more carefully.

Interest around this summer’s Olympics could herald a new influx of visitors too – all of whom are keen to bag the best London deals. It means travel agents need to be more competitive than ever, with mobile marketing offering endless opportunities to help them stand out from the crowd.

And as our phones become ever more central to all our lives – backed by more reliable and technologically-advanced handsets – communicating with clients via their mobiles can bring immediate, tangible benefits.

A staggering 97.5% of text messages are now read within five seconds, and research company Portico estimates eight trillion text messages were sent last year alone. While email promotions can languish in an inbox, one in three consumers now say they respond positively to SMS promotions.

For an industry that prides itself in putting its customers first, this type of marketing is ideal, providing a range of offerings to suit all sizes and types of clients and businesses. Bulk-buying means texts are available from as little as 2.4 pence a time making them affordable for even the smallest retailer.

Using a trusted company like makes the process a smooth, simple one. It only takes ten minutes to register your details and the in-house technical team are always on hand to guide you through the process. Bundles can be tailored to suit businesses’ needs but there are some other key areas of opportunity that are worth considering.

Jason Palgrave-Jones, business development director at Textlocal, is sitting on the Question Time Panel at the Travel Technology Event. He says, “Discounts, introductory offers and targeted discount deals all offer clients new reasons to engage and help agents maximise opportunity, while payment and check-in reminders can boost efficiency without costing a fortune.”

Mobile activity can also be tailored to dovetail with existing social media and QR code campaigns. And as phones continue to be central to managing our personal and professional lives, for the travel industry especially the possibilities really are endless.

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