chatIcon
Live Chat

4 Marketing Strategies to Grow Your Business in the 2nd Half of 2017

We hope that 2017 has been good to your business so far. But no matter what happened, there is still time to grow in the 2nd half of the year.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecasted that global growth would recover from the slowdown in 2016 to 3.5 percent in 2017. Halfway through the year, 2017’s outlook remains optimistic, particularly for emerging economies in Asia and the Pacific.

There are plenty of opportunities to grow your business, but you should be using the right marketing strategies. Here are our top 4 marketing strategies to grow your business in the 2nd half of 2017:

Mobile Advertising – Marketing Strategies

According to the independent web analytics company StatCounter, mobile exceeded desktop by internet usage, for the first time ever in October 2016. If you make no other changes your business in 2017, you should ensure that your website is mobile-friendly.

Websites benefit from mobile-responsiveness for two key reasons. First, conversions typically increase when mobile users can navigate more easily. Second, Google favors responsive websites in its mobile search results. Check out Google’s Mobile Playbook!

Not sure if your website is mobile-friendly? Test this by grabbing the right side of your browser window and dragging it to the left. Responsive websites will properly deliver your content, while content on an unresponsive website will look cut off or jumbled.

You can also test the mobile responsiveness of your website and view statistics for mobile traffic with Google Analytics. This can be a good way to gauge the responsiveness of your website and identify any necessary changes.

However, success in today’s mobile-centric marketplace requires more than just having a responsive website. New technologies and marketing platforms come out every day and there is great untapped potential as businesses start to adapt. We identified two trending ideas in 2017:

Mobile app: creating an app is more affordable than ever and the potential uses are unlimited. Sell goods and services or improve your overall mobile experience with an app.

Mobile payments: enable customers to pay you with a simple tap on their smartphone. Mobile payment services like Google Wallet, PayPal and Apple Pay are becoming more popular this year.

International Marketing Strategies

The global gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to grow 3.5 percent in 2017. The Asia-Pacific region in particular, is estimated to grow at 5.5 percent. Meanwhile, there are booming economies and lots of money to be made all over the world.

New technologies and marketing tools enable businesses to transact with foreign market like never before. International marketing can offer a huge ROI – when it’s done correctly.

Brand awareness is crucial. However, building brand awareness doesn’t necessarily require a major investment – if you have a website. Considering its massive worldwide reach, advertising on search engines and social media is relatively inexpensive.

Accessibility is also important when doing business internationally. We wrote about 4 reasons to get a virtual phone number for your business, and accessibility is the first reason (LINK: https://www.globalcallforwarding.com/4-reasons-get-virtual-phone-number-for-business/). Customers feel more comfortable transacting with a business when the business offers a local phone number or support hotline.

Companies use international call forwarding to offer a contact point to customers and prospects in foreign markets. A local or toll free virtual number can serve as a sales or booking hotline or it can serve to let customers know that your business is reachable over the phone. Confused about international call forwarding? Allow us to explain here. (LINK: https://www.globalcallforwarding.com/international-call-forwarding-explained/)

Opportunities exist all over the world and there are new marketing strategies to grow your business internationally.

Email Marketing Strategies

Email marketing isn’t a new strategy by any means, but it can still bring in new business.
The key to a successful email marketing campaign is providing relevant, valuable and helpful information (think DIY guides, industry news, and blog content). Email marketing should not be used to blast out unwanted sales pitches.

With the help of eMailmonday.com (LINK: http://www.emailmonday.com/email-marketing-future), we identified four top email marketing trends for the 2nd half of 2017:

  • Responsive emails
    It depends on your industry and target market, but anywhere from 20-75% of emails get opened on a mobile device. By sending mobile friendly emails, you can reduce barriers to engagement.
    Adapt to the mobile trend by attaching by attaching interactive photo sliders and image galleries to your emails. It’s also useful to include promotional offers and implement buy-it-now functionality in your outbound emails.
  • Deliver an omnichannel experience
    An omnichannel experience builds brand familiarity and helps customers connect with your business. It involves an integrated multi-channel approach that allows customers to easily transition from emails to shopping online, on a desktop or mobile device.Walgreens and Starbucks deliver a consistent experience through email, websites and mobile apps.
  • HTML5 video attachments
    HTML5 video attachments help companies build connections with their audiences through providing high-value content.
  • Automation
    14.2% of people surveyed by a 2017 Litmus study believe that 2017 will be the year of automated emails. There are some tools like MailChimp and Active Campaign to help with email automation.
    Welcome emails and abandoned carts emails can generate a big chunk of revenue for a lot of companies.

Digital Advertising

Advertising across several digital channels is one of the top marketing strategies in 2017. This is commonly referred to as cross-channel advertising, and it can be done through direct deals with publishers (think Google AdWords, Facebook for Business) and with cross-channel advertising software.

Top digital advertising outlets include paid search, social media and mobile ads. Paid search puts your product in front of a huge audience with high conversion rates, since visitors are already searching for similar products. Social media advertising is a fast growing segment which can significantly expand your reach and boost brand awareness. We predict Facebook’s continued ascent as a major marketing outlet in 2017. Lastly, mobile ads like banner ads, mobile video ads and in-app ads are becoming more targeted.

No matter what your digital advertising strategy, here are some things to keep in mind:

    • Cohesive data: it is important to document all available data points to form a cohesive, integrated consumer database across multiple channels
    • Consistent message: it is important to deliver a consistent message to build familiarity with prospective customers.

What marketing strategies do you use to grow your business?

3 Ways Airlines Use Call Forwarding to Increase Sales

I published an article a few weeks back, ranking the top 10 budget airlines in Asia and how to reach them. I noticed a trend amongst best in Asia: 60% of these airlines offer international phone numbers. The trend continues even further to major global airlines like Qatar Airways and American Airlines!

In this post, we take a look at how airlines use call forwarding to increase sales.

examples of how airlines use call forwarding
3 Ways Airlines use Call Forwarding

It can be expensive and complicated to make international calls. Your customers don’t want to dial a long-distance phone number just to book their flight. Instead, they are almost 3x more likely to make free calls.

Due to the industry’s nature, the customer base of any travel company is typically spread across many countries. The AirAsia Group, for example, services affiliates in Malaysia, Indonesia, Thai, India, Japan and the Philippines. (Source: AirAsia Corporate Profile)

Smart airlines provide local phone numbers in their target markets and forward inbound calls internationally. For example, Air Asia offers a local contact number in 15+ countries. This enables their business to maximize its potential in Asia – Pacific markets.

Click here to see how AirAsia makes themselves more accessible to customers, or follow this link to see how Qatar Airways makes themselves more reachable.

3 ways airlines use local numbers as a marketing tool to increase sales:

Call forwarding is a cost-effective marketing tool used by top airlines across the globe to increase sales. Airlines that list local or free phone numbers as a call to action in advertisements are guaranteed to receive more calls. The calls can then be forwarded anywhere in the world.

Here are 3 ways airlines use local numbers as a marketing tool:

  1.        Mobile: booking hotline

A local phone number can be used as a reservations hotline to attract more traffic from any target country. Many airlines offer booking hotlines that direct customer inquiries to call centres or sales offices. 

  1.       Print advertisement: billboards, signs, kiosks

Print advertisements are still very efficient at reaching mobile consumers in 2017. Especially in Asia, airlines advertise their free phone number on public transportation, billboards, kiosks and signs. As you might see in the image, a free phone number is an effective call-to-action. 

Lion Air Sales Desk in Bangkok Thailand
Lion Air Sales Desk in Bangkok Thailand
  1.       B2B sales and customer support

Travel agencies and corporate customers shouldn’t have to pay to call you. A local direct line can have a tremendous impact on B2B sales and customer support. Business contacts prefer a phone number that is easy to call.

Local or toll free contact numbers can be advertised on the website to make an airline more accessible and provide better customer support.

Set up call forwarding in 3 steps:

Global Call Forwarding offers a 15-day free trial to corporate users, so they can test as many as three local or toll-free phone numbers risk-free. Here are 3 steps for airlines to consider when choosing a call forwarding service:

  1.       Identify target markets and view rates

Which countries do most of your passengers come from? Airlines should offer local contact numbers in at least their top 3-5 markets.

  1.        Choose the best call forwarding service provider.

The best providers offer free trials and a money-back guarantee. A call forwarding service provider will package the local/toll free number and forwarding service as one monthly fee.

  1.       Forward incoming calls

Forward incoming calls to any destination in the world – sales offices, call centers, cell phones or business headquarters. The potential is virtually unlimited.

 

Things to Add to Your Marketing Strategy for the Hotel and Hospitality Industry

Industry Overview

There has been record-breaking growth in the travel and hospitality industry in recent years. In 2015, business travel grossed $1.2 trillion, five percent more than in 2014. In the US, the growth rate of leisure bookings was significantly better than that of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). This was due to renewed consumer confidence and a shift in household spending from goods to services. Deloitte projects travel and hotel industry growth to continue through 2017.

Factors that are helping to reshape the travel landscape include global economic shifts, innovation, geopolitical turmoil, pandemics, and rising consumer demands. In 2016, major hotel groups, including Marriott, Hilton and InterContinental, reported steady earnings. However, online purveyors, such as Airbnb, will present significant challenges to sectors of the industry sustaining growth in 2017.

Cyber attacks and data breaches are expected to increase. Food safety incidents in hotel restaurants, will also be more common due to the demand for locally sourced, organic foods. Hotel personnel should expect consumers to have increased expectations in the coming year. Non-travel brands like Amazon, Starbucks and Seamless feature innovation and speedy services to consumers, and they will be expecting the same from their travel hosts.

Hotels need to harness the power of mobile for their guests to remove pain points and improve their travel experience. Streamlining business processes will help in that regard and result in reduced operating costs. In addition, hotels should shift to enabling technologies to benefit from the Internet of Things (IoT), which is the internetworking of connected and mobile devices, smart devices, sensors, electronics, computers, machines, etc.

Stay Connected to Your Markets

Stay connected to your markets using virtual phone numbers. Virtual phone numbers are local phone numbers and toll free numbers. Your customers call these numbers, and international call forwarding services connect those calls to your virtual call center or virtual phone number.

Global Call Forwarding provides its core service to various luxury hotel brands. One particular subscriber has two toll free numbers in North America and six local phone numbers servicing the following areas around the world.

  • Caribbean, Mexico, and Central and South America
  • Europe, Middle East and Africa
  • Asia Pacific
  • China
  • India
  • Japan

When club members call local phone numbers or toll free numbers, they feel they are dealing locally. However, they may be connecting to virtual call centers or virtual phone systems halfway around the globe, through the “magic” of international call forwarding.

Global Hotel Rankings by Rooms

In 2016, Marriott acquired Starwood Hotels giving Marriott the largest number of rooms in the world. The following table shows the top 10 hotel groups worldwide at the end of 2016 and their respective number of rooms.

Hotel Group Number of Rooms
Marriott + Starwood 1,108,852
Hilton Worldwide 751,350
IHG 744,368
Wyndham Hotel Group 678,042
Jin Jiang + Plateno + Vienna Hotel Group 572,340
Accor Hotels + & FRHI 554,517
Choice 507,483
Home Inns 321,802
Best Western 311,870
Huazhu 278,843

2017 Tourism Outlook for Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand and the United States

Here are the latest projections for these hot tourism areas.

Philippines

Business Mirror projects an upward trend of the hospitality industry in the Philippines until 2018. A vibrant influx of foreign investment is partially fueling this trend. According to the Department of Tourism, foreign tourist arrivals have been rising since 2015. Much of the increase is due to Korean and American travelers.

Business and domestic market travel are also increasing. The business portion is due to meetings, conventions and exhibitions. The gaming industry is also generating growth. For example, Entertainment City in Parañaque City by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation is helping to make the Philippines a top tourist destination in the world.

Foreign hotel brands are moving into the country to capitalize on this business increase. The aggregate supply of rooms may reach 18,000 in 2017 and 20,000 by 2018.

Indonesia

Indonesia has 12 major hotel markets: Bali, Bandung, Bintan, Bogor, Jakarta, Lombok, Makassar, Medan, Palembang, Semarang, Surabaya, and Yogyakarta. Market performance varies from market to market. However, from 2015 to 2016, Revenue Per Available Room (RevPAR) had been declining because room supply was outpacing demand.

However, HVS Indonesia Hotel Watch 2016 predicts that demand will surpass incoming room supply in the leisure and upscale market segments. For Jakarta and Bali market segments, the Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) in RevPAR was 5.1% and 5.8%, respectively. Secondary markets (Bogor, Makassar and Surabaya) will suffer a RevPAR performance dip due to the addition of branded midscale and budget rooms. Bandung, Lombok and Palembang will become hot markets due to their short-term demand outlook. Considering all Indonesian markets, room supply in 2015 was 71,970 rooms. In 2018, there will be 93,930 available rooms. That is a 14.2% increase in CAGR.

Thailand

According to the US News and World Report, Thailand ranks high in the following categories: Business Opportunities, Heritage, Best Country for Investment, Adventure, and Rising Economy. Thailand is Southeast Asia’s second largest economy because of tourist spending mainly from China. The six major airports in Thailand are handling a record number of travelers. Furthermore, for newcomers to Bangkok, Ritz Carlton Residence Bangkok, Waldorf Astoria, and Novotel Bangkok Sukhumvit 20 will be adding 5,500 additional rooms to the city.

United States

STR Hospitality Net sees slower growth for the US hotel industry through 2017. Projections suggest a drop in occupancy but increases in demand, supply, RevPAR, and Average Daily Rate (ADR) for rooms.

Have you had good experiences traveling to these countries? Any travel plans for 2017? We would love to hear your thoughts.