by Scott Zeller
"Gather round people, wherever you roam... for the times, they are a changin'."
These famous words, written by a young Bob Dylan in 1964, are as appropriate today as they were decades ago. Even more so in the world of travel and tourism marketing.
We stand in the middle of an ever-evolving digital revolution, my friends, and that revolution is being delivered via emerging mobile technologies, apps, smart phones, and tablets. We continue to see massive growth in the digital world. You probably already know that the way people are accessing this information is changing rapidly. But do you know that a disparity between this massive growth and current marketing practices are leading to missed opportunities? I'm speaking specifically about mobile marketing, and how it works hand-in-hand with tourism marketing.
If you're in the tourism industry, and your website and marketing efforts aren't optimized for mobile platforms with a fully focused mobile strategy in place, you're missing the boat! Travelers are increasingly using their smart phones and tablets (instead of their laptops) on business trips and vacations to find hotels, flights, places to eat, things to do, and to check-in, access maps, take photos, shoot videos, and post on social media. The list goes on and on.
This should be an obvious focus for companies in the travel and tourism industries, but many companies just aren't there yet. And if you're not, then I recommend it be your number one priority for 2015 and beyond. If your website is not optimized for mobile access and viewing, using GPS/location-based marketing strategies to reach your audience right at the moment they need you the most, then you're going to lose market share. So adopt a “mobile first” mentality for your marketing, or you’ll miss out on all the opportunities available to your brand. And you're going to miss out on all the opportunities available to your brand. Because while you're missing out, your competitors will be cashing in.