A key question facing hoteliers and property managers in today’s travel landscape is how to build loyalty with the millennial generation. Points-based loyalty programs are proving ineffective in capturing this ever growing demographic, so what is the answer to building this important connection?
Panelists at the 2014 Americas Lodging Investment Summit recently dove into this topic and what the trade-offs will be if hoteliers are able to build loyalty with millennials.
Teresa Y. Lee, a senior analyst at HVS and a self-described “token millennial”, explained that the loyalty of the generation is up for grabs. “It’s up to you to design a program we want to be loyal to.”
For travelers born between 1980 and 2000, personalization equals loyalty. Benji Greenberg, founder and CEO of BCV, explained that millennials want to be wowed, and they want these amazing experiences built for them. “They want to feel special,” said Greenberg.
Fortunately for the hospitality industry, today’s younger travelers serve up an abundance of personal data on a variety of websites and social networking platforms. Lee McCabe, Facebook’s global head of travel, articulated that his company’s executives have recognized the potential and are working feverishly to make that information readily available to the company’s marketing needs.
“What we’re working towards is a very efficient marketing platform, a marketing platform built around people. You’re not marketing to cookies, but visible faces. You’re marketing to people,” he said.
Although hotel companies are getting better at this, the challenge is packaging relevant data to associates on property, most likely via property management systems.
To read more about this panel discussion, and how companies are paying for personalization, click here.