Google Field Trip and Your Mobile Strategy
Late last week Google introduced a new mobile application designed to make the world around you a much smaller place. Field Trip is your guide to the cool, hidden, and unique things in the world around you.
Although tourism destinations might disagree with the cool factor of an app that directly competes with there current mobile offerings.
First, a note on Google. Their strategy is to make information easier to find and use. If you happen to be an organization that limits information through choice or carelessness, your reaction to Google moving deeper into the travel space is likely one of fear and loathing.
You decide if that describes your organization.
Back to the Field Trip app and why you should care.
A discussion point for many of our DMO and NTO peers as they enter the mobile application space…will consumers download a unique app for each city, region or country they are visiting? With the current answer of maybe, the introduction of a Google-backed, local discovery app certainly puts a dent into the marketing plans of destinations with a mobile app.
As this instigator has asked before, would the best strategy for DMOs be to join forces and build a single app for a large geographic region?
Build Content, Not Apps
Refer to our information comment above. For Field Trip, Google is not building content, simply the tool to deliver content. Thrillist, Food Network, Zagat, Eater, Sunset, Cool Hunting, WeHeart, Inhabitat, Remodelista, Atlas Obscura, Daily Secret, Songkick, Flavorpill…to name a few…provide the content.
For all the DMO pride in claiming true local knowledge of a destination, how did our vertical miss out on another opportunity to share our insight?
Or is our insight obsolete?
Partner + Push
As we have said previously, you might not need an app. You could just push your content through existing and more popular mobile channels. Google would be a start, although they are not likely to take the call.
Don’t assume that you have to build a standalone mobile application to gain access to the consumer’s mobile life.
Hit or Miss
Will Google Field Trip be a hit? Or will Google eventually kill it off?
Far too soon to tell.
But Google’s Field Trip should send our destination marketing peers a clear signal. You need to make a decision. Not just for mobile, but an all-encompassing strategic decision that addresses the seismic shift occurring in tourism.