Tuesday, March 2, 2010
When a company develops a Mobile app it generally aims to answer on a couple of questions: Would my content be relevant, entertaining and real-time engaging? Would it drive more interest, traffic or demand? At this stage in time companies are primarily offering information-based content which would ideally lead to a purchase-aimed one(which is yet likely to happen in the nearest future).
Expedia launches 1st Mobile App aiming at Modern Travelers: TripAssist. The application is made available for iPhones, BlackBerry, Android and Windows phones. The company already has a highly ranked online presence, so why would it invest in mobile applications?
The reason is: an on-the-go marketing solution, offering consumers real-time brand interaction: consumers may research flights, destinations, hotels also manage and update their itineraries.
Additionally, the application provides SMS and email updates free of charge. That may be a convenience offer as explained by Adam Anderson, director of public relations at Expedia:
“The strategy behind TripAssist is to give travelers a tool to help them manage their travel from any point – at home, on the road, or anywhere in between,” said , Bellevue, WA.
MobileMarketer gives its own explanation: "TripAssist is a simplification of the travel process" to which I'd add that its' main asset is to conveniently reach the customer via his/her Mobile device:
Purchase-aimed content is also an option for TripAssist: users will be able to shop and book via a convenient stripped-down interface perfect for small screens and phone-based Web browsers.
It may not be a surprise now, but Expedia will mainly rely on social communities when promoting its product: using tweets, posts and video production geared towards the web and the blogosphere.
Obviously, mobile and social media marketing are meant to go Hand In Hand.
Concerning the results: the company claims that approximately 55,000 trips were booked via smartphone browsers using its site in 2009. Expedia has high expectations towards the growing audience now that the mobile-optimized Web interface is launched.
We may expect that the main audience of the service would be seeking for data-fulfillment, rather than mobile-based purchases. So the question is: will it pay off the efforts and the overall investment? However, at this stage - the company has an obvious competitive advantage - the ease and convenience of its travel services. Any comments?
Curious to hear,
Digital Lunch Team
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