How To Use Your Own Hotel Lobby To Increase Mobile Engagement

Mobile has changed the way both consumers and brands think about travel. Because it’s no longer necessary to rely on intermediaries like travel agents to secure tickets or deals, and consumers can access discount codes, detailed recommendations or make bookings 24/7 — and on the go — online and mobile applications are used by 70% of all travelers when deciding whether or not to book.

In order to meet the demands of the mobile consumer, hospitality has increased technology spend past 5% of revenues — more than double the spend from just a few years ago. Best-in-class brands like Marriott and Ritz-Carlton have invested millions of dollars into mobile applications and social growth — with Marriott seeing significant increases in mobile revenue year-over-year post investment.

But for every Marriott success story, there are a myriad of brands investing in mobile that aren’t seeing their desired returns from mobile applications, digital content and social investments. In fact, the world’s most prestigious brands are seeing the lowest amount of searches on tablets and cell phones, even though mobile searches have grown 23% year-over-year, and 40% of 2017 digital travel sales are expected to happen on a mobile device.

An Easy Way To Drive Mobile Adoption and Engagement

One of the biggest blockers to delivering successfully on the promise of mobile is shopper awareness and engagement with your mobile apps and promotions. If shoppers don’t know about your useful applications and content, if they opt out of your SMS messages and push notifications, or if they don’t understand the benefits of your mobile applications, how can you hope to drive mobile engagement and sales?

Today, the hospitality industry primarily relies on digital advertising to drive customer acquisition and engagement, with almost $6 billion invested in online and mobile ads in 2016. But while the investment is great for Facebook and Priceline, advertisers themselves often lose their message in the overwhelming noise of competitive messaging.

So, what is the best way to educate customers about the opportunities to engage with your brand? It’s simple — your lobby.

Your lobby is one of the most underrated factors in turning first time visitors into loyal customers. Lobbies are where your guests experience their first moment of relief after potentially long or arduous travel. They’re where guests interact with your staff for the first time, wait for their friends and family and meet with their important clients.

The perception of your lobby is so critical that the majority of guests are more likely to stay with your hotel again if they perceive it to be energized and enthusiastic. But it’s not just about perfecting your aesthetics — it’s about treating your lobby as a touchpoint in the customer journey, where you can push the right message, launch promotions or encourage customers to engage with your brand in a new way.

To really capture the imagination and attention of new customers, it’s not enough to put up another boring sign — the most innovative hospitality brands are turning to technologies like humanoid robotics to transform their lobbies into fully optimized marketing machines.

Drive Data Collection, Customer Loyalty and Engagement In Your Lobby With Pepper

SoftBank’s humanoid robot Pepper is an incredibly attention-grabbing marketing vehicle that helps hospitality companies drive engagement with and capture data from guests in the lobby.

With the ability to identify and proactively reach out to guests to ask questions about their interests and travel plans, entice them with special promotions or engage them with games and music, Pepper creates a positive brand sentiment with guests. With the ability to capture data like email addresses and cell phone numbers, and send new customers text messages with links to mobile applications, loyalty programs and more, Pepper enables you to conduct targeted campaigns customized for your brand, and drive engagement with customers long after they leave your hotel.

By augmenting your lobby with marketing solutions like Pepper, hotels can capture guests’ imaginations, then drive a promotional message home.

How to Can I Leverage Pepper In My Hotel?

While adopting new technology can seem intimidating, it’s actually easy to get started with Pepper. She requires no engineering resources, and is easy enough to use that marketers can self-setup a plethora of campaigns, and switch out content agily.

For example, a hotel may want to promote a partnership with Uber. It’s easy to set up Pepper to tell guests about ride-share services, provide information about places to go eat in the area, and ask for guests’ phone numbers in exchange for an Uber discount code sent via SMS. This is a perfect example of a campaign that can benefit hotels and partners alike.

The ability to run creative campaigns with a form factor that gets attention gives brands an enormous opportunity to fuel brand loyalty and revenue growth by engaging minds and driving mobile application downloads.

Deliver Value With Mobile Engagement

79% of loyal customers want their hotel brand of choice to proactively engage with them. Your mobile app can fulfil this desire in a variety of ways — whether by helping guests make future bookings easy, conveniently check in, save money via special offers and promotions, enjoy an experienced tailored for their personal preferences and needs (e.g. dietary) or earn free stays, well-adopted mobile applications help hospitality companies turn guests into brand promoters.

But to be successful, you need to make it easy for customers to learn about your mobile applications, and there’s no better time to educate customers and encourage them to participate with your brand than when they are standing in your lobby. To learn more about how marketers are using creative vehicles — like Pepper — to achieve their goals, visit https://www.softbankrobotics.com/us/solutions/case-studies