Mobile-First Strategy, Google Guides Motel 6 Digital Overhaul

Lance Miceli, CMO, G6 Hospitality
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Lance Miceli, CMO, G6 Hospitality

Today’s hotel guests have high expectations, and they should. They expect affordable, clean rooms in a great location. They expect to be taken care of by courteous staff. They expect excellence.

“With Google Maps, the user can then customize their map search, and refresh the property listings to match the query”

And, all these things come before they’ve actually booked a room. Today, hotel companies have a tremendous opportunity to better meet the needs of their guest even before they arrive at the property.

That’s why at Motel 6 we are making system-wide changes to our e-commerce platform. We are elevating our digital experience to mirror the renovations that are taking place at our more than 1,200 locations nationwide. At the heart of these changes: our guests. We have invested substantial financial and human resources to gain better visibility into what our guests’ think, how they wish to interact with digital platforms, and how to engineer the process to meet–or exceed–their needs.

Our new to-be-released website will feature a responsive design that automatically resizes and reconfigures seamlessly by device–mobile, tablet, desktop, or anything in between. Responsive web design allows users to have the same experience as they switch from one device to another, making the booking experience more reliable, predictable and comfortable to travelers. To deliver on that experience, we expanded our strategic partnership with Google, giving us the opportunity to rely on a myriad of innovative platforms that will further support our efforts to improve the user experience.

From the very beginning, our strategy was built on a mobile first approach–we designed for the smallest screen first, understanding the need to prioritize information, and provide the right data at precisely the right time to guests who are on the go.

That’s where Google Maps comes in. When a traveler accesses Motel6.com on their mobile device, we offer to geo locate the user, then immediately present them the properties that are located near their current location via Google Maps. The user can then customize their map search, and refresh the property listings to match the query.

Next, there are Google+ online reviews. A critical component of the guest’s decision process is access to reviews. Reviews provide guests with additional visibility into the quality and experience they can expect at a given property. To assist the guest in their decision, we will provide a direct feed of Google+ reviews where available.

Beyond our core site, Motel 6 is building an enhanced col¬lection of microsites for key markets and specific locations that demonstrate high search demand. For travelers searching for a specific location – such as our Anaheim, CA property – we draw on the Google Business photos feature to deliver an enhanced user experience and drive increased conversion. Further, users will be presented custom content and targeted recommendations for food, beverage, and area attractions and events.

Finally, once a traveler has made the decision to book a room, Motel 6 is expediting their payment process. We integrated Google Wallet to streamline the experience and deliver one-touch payment. This is extremely useful for travelers who need to book a room quickly and on-the-go – especially as mobile usage continues to proliferate.

All of these changes and advancements point back to one root purpose: Creating a more personalized, simplified experience for our users. As guests change their behavior and increasingly research and book on mobile, we are evolving to meet their expectations.

That digital evolution has been a rapid process – taking place within the span of about 12 months – making this an exciting time for our brand. We’re proud to be a leader among our peers in this digital revolution, leveraging the expertise of strategic partners like Google. But, the opportunity stands before the entire lodging industry to take advantage of it.

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