Vendor Review: VisitMobile


Travel 2.0 // Vendor Review: VisitMobile

As destinations begin to solidify their mobile marketing strategy they will quickly discover the plethora of vendors, firms and options available to build an iPhone application.  Experience, price and approach are wide-ranging, causing most CVBs and DMOs difficulty when selecting an iPhone app developer.

To begin our Vendor Review series, we review VisitMobile, a unique vendor in a sea of sameness.

Vendor Review: VisitMobile

Taking a page from the successful Twitter playbook, VisitMobile brings an interesting approach to mobile application development, answering the question ‘What should I do next?’  This method provides a useful app for the consumer, one focused on current location, rather than an irrelevant list.  While VisitMobile does offer one of the best app feature sets, plus a very competitive pricing model, there is a trade-off for this cost-savings.

What We Like

Pricing Model
Free.  No really, free.  We like that.  The basic iPhone application, for a CVB or DMO, is free.  As we discussed in our recent post ‘4 Myths about Mobile for Destinations‘ price seems to be a major stumbling block for most destinations, but VisitMobile has, let’s be honest, bravely or foolishly (depending on your perspective) removed that barrier.

That said there is a trade-off for the financial freedom of free.  Namely, an advertising supported model for VisitMobile.  Just like the standard OVG set-up, VisitMobile places the ads and keeps the revenue.  But, VisitMobile does allow the destination to keep the revenue from any enhanced or featured ads within the app.

For the destination, the question is whether or not to relinquish advertising control for the benefit of a free iPhone app.

GPS Focus
Unlike several CVB apps we have seen recently, the VisitMobile app places an emphasis on location.  What is around me, how far away is the restaurant, etc.  In addition, the app allows a visitor to set there location for the day, not just the trip.

For example, let’s say I am staying in downtown Los Angeles for a conference, but I am taking a day trip to Hollywood.  While my main location for the trip is my conference hotel, a visit to Hollywood will cause any recommendations based on the hotel location to become useless.  With the VisitMobile app, I can set my location for the day (or hour) to Hollywood and still be able to revert back to my hotel location when I return.

White Label
Your branding…logo, colors, photos…are featured.  The consumer has no idea who built the application.

Search
The search function is smart, really smart.  We won’t go into the technical abilities of the search, or the logic behind it, but during our test session we found it difficult to give the app a search challenge it could not answer.

What We Don’t Like

Advertising Model
Well, we don’t mind it, but we know others might.  Certainly a consideration, but one we think can be outweighed by the benefit of offering your consumers a high-quality iPhone application.

Current Destinations
With only 3 destinations currently using the VisitMobile platform, we can’t help but be a bit concerned…however we have a strong suspicion that the free pricing model will quickly change that.  So, look at this one as a plus, call them now and they should have the bandwidth to get your app completed quickly.

Vendor Rating

4.5 Rating  //  Excellent Vendor / Product

Final Thoughts

VisitMobile offers a best-in-class iPhone application with an unbeatable pricing model.  Yes, we have a few reservations, but nothing significant enough to prevent a solid recommendation to any destination, CVB or DMO looking for a quality (and free) iPhone app.

Disclosure

Travel 2.0 has not received any compensation from VisitMobile, it’s employees or related companies for this Vendor Review.  Travel 2.0 maintains the highest ethical standards when conducting Vendor Reviews, any product used for testing purposes is returned to the vendor upon completion of the review.

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