PhoCusWright Conference 2010: Accelerate (your) Mobile Strategy…

…don’t just repurpose (y)our Web site!

This was one of the key messages of the 2010 PhoCusWright Conference last week in Phoenix, Arizona. The conference was a great event to me and presumably to everyone of the over 1.000 high level management attendees. The organizers of PhoCusWright did a great job and as an Executive in Travel Industry one must attend the show or otherwise lose connection of what’s new.

From my point of view, the US is more innovative in Mobile Travel than Europe is, although until 2008 North America was a non-innovative area in respect of Mobile (technology [with the exception of RIM] and usage). Japan, Korea and Europe dominated the progress. However the US dominates the Internet and Software Industry and the arrival of the iPhone turned the Mobile Device into a powerful Internet machine, a perfect combination of an industry changing piece of hardware and the ability to easily use the Internet with it. So US players became strong in the Mobile space too. But I also learned there are opportunities for European Online (and Offline) Travel companies, you only have to be quick and not trapped in your known patterns…

In order to summarise the event I will separate the story into several articels beginning with Philip C. Wolf, President and CEO, PhoCusWright Inc. and his view of Mobile in Travel.

The facts:

  • over 40% of iPhone users access the web more often on iPhone than on PC (in the US)
  • over 60% of Mobile Users own a device less than 12 months old (in the US)
  • disparate devices and channels (globally)
  • devices and interfaces have become increasingly visual and touch oriented (globally)

The behavior:

  • connecting with friends
  • updating locations
  • input: our coordinates –> changing all outputs
  • local check-in services are hot: where you are, who you like, what you want
  • virtual status
  • invisible graffiti

The message:

The mobile social web is the most powerful collaborative tool in the history…

One example:

A user checks-in at a hotel desk. The receptionist wants to have additional information from the guest. The guest itself is annoyed and responeses: “Don’t you see that I already checked-in on Foursquare and that the information you are now asking me is (already) there?”

My conclusions:

And yes, I said that years ago and now it’s been verified by a well known research company (PhoCusWright): Mobile has already and will have a changing and remarkable impact on Travel company’s strategies.

Coming up next: Steve Hafner, Co-Founder and CEO, Kayak.com

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