Broad customer segments such as Millennials and Baby Boomers do not exist in the mobile era, according to the top marketer at Hilton Hotels.
Speaking at today’s (6 June) MMA Forum in London, Geraldine Calpin, chief marketing officer at Hilton Worldwide, told delegates that customers are “always on” as a result of mobile adoption, and that expectations are being raised due to digital insurgents such as Airbnb.
Calpin outlined the innovations being undertaken by the hotel chain, particularly involving its mobile app. Hilton has introduced a trio of new services, including in-app check-in, room selection, and hotel check-out, as well as allowing users to made requests for their rooms.
Earlier this year, the firm also began to utilise live messaging services, engaging with app users in real time. Calpin argues that this type of communication will help to deepen customer relationships and encourage loyalty.
“How is [live messaging] marketing? That is marketing because it is about customer relationships. That guy will come to us again because we delivered that better experience,” said Calpin.
She argued that marketing is moving away from one-way messaging towards a greater dialogue with consumers, and said that marketers must begin to engage with customers on a one-to-one basis.
“Customers have an attention span of eight seconds – less than a goldfish. You have to be fast. We used to say ‘Hilton stands for this..’, and define who you were and what you stood for. You used to go out and tell your customers that. It’s not a two-way thing. You need a relationship that is not just about what they buy,” she said.
“Customer segments do not exist anymore. We don’t believe we should have a Millennials strategy, or a Baby Boomers strategy. We believe we should engage with all customers individually, in a human way. Make connections with them and drive loyalty.”