In this installment of the Kahuna Mobile Innovators Series, we’re happy to share an interview with You Teck Lam, mobile marketing manager and growth marketer for HotelQuickly. HotelQuickly is a leading last-minute booking app that saves travelers time and money by offering dynamic deals at the best hotels in Asia-Pacific.
How do you (and HotelQuickly) think about marketing? Why does HotelQuickly focus on engagement-state marketing?
As a mobile-first company, mobile marketing is key to our growth efforts for both user acquisition and user activation. In “mobile marketing 1.0,” most of the mobile marketing efforts are driven around growing installs. That worked because cost per installs were much lower and there weren’t as many apps.
In the modern environment, it’s just not sustainable to only drive installs as a means to grow the active user base. We found that users who has received post-install engagement communication are more likely to stick around long term. They’re also less likely to uninstall the app.
What are some effective strategies you’ve seen work for mobile engagement marketing?
For onboarding campaigns, running specific campaigns to nudge users to complete certain in-app event has been very effective. We’ve identified the key events that drives user retention, and we then set up specific onboarding campaigns to help users complete those actions.
We’ve also found cart abandonment campaigns have been exceptionally important for us. We’ve seen tremendous conversion uplifts with these. The user has already shown intent to book a room—they were likely just distracted by something like a chat app.
For one-time promotional campaigns, we’re seeing great results by sending the messages at the time the person is most likely to engage.
HotelQuickly has very strong traction in the Asia-Pacific market. Can you speak to the unique characteristics of that user base and how that has impacted HotelQuickly’s marketing strategies?
Being able to communicate effectively and efficiently through mobile plays a critical role for all of our marketing campaigns because the HotelQuickly user base is mostly mobile-first Millennials. Asia and Southeast Asia as a whole are predominantly mobile-centric, so travelers are accustomed to be accessing content through their mobile devices.
If you want to be successful in Asia, being mobile-centric isn’t a choice, it’s a must-have.
How does HotelQuickly think about its omnichannel experience? What’s the balance between push, in-app message and email?
We value each medium equally because they play an important and different role in the user communication journey. Push notifications are great for getting immediate responses but emails are equally important for reinforcing certain branding messages.
Considering that a portion of the users will disable push or uninstall the app, email plays an important role in engaging your entire customer base. With each promotional campaigns, we always send out the communication on both push and email and tailor the message to the medium. In-app messaging is also an important piece of the communication journey and it can help provide a contextual continuation from the push and email message.
Finally, what’s some advice you’d offer for brands trying to deliver a great omnichannel experience in a mobile-first world?
It’s simple: focus on creating a great user experience and design the communication journey for it.