Baby boomers were once the most coveted demographic group for the hospitality industry, but in recent years millennials have become the largest age group in the US with one of the strongest purchasing power.
There are now over 83 million Americans in the millennial age range and they represent an enticing, yet challenging, effort for hotel marketers.
The average hotel booking experience is vastly different for millennials than for their older counterparts.
This leads hospitality organizations to find new ways to market to this new generation as outdated techniques have fallen on deaf ears.
Millennials are remarkably adept at using mobile technology, which allows them instant access to almost any information that exists. They have grown up in a culture where the expectation for on-demand services is constant. Savvy hotel marketers can use these traits to their advantage in order to present a compelling message to millennials.
Spontaneity over planning
On average, it has been reported that the booking window for a millennial traveler is 75 days, or significantly shorter than the 93-day period that was the standard for older generations. They are much more likely to book something on the fly when presented with a promotion.
In all, approximately 20% of millennials browse the web exclusively on their mobile device, meaning hotel companies must have a user-friendly and streamlined mobile site in order to stay competitive.
Industry giants such as Starwood and Hilton have recently made a big push to enhance their mobile app experience, but companies don’t have to break the bank on fancy app development to woo digitally savvy customers.
What’s paramount is the experience and accessibility of the browsing and booking experiences through mobile websites; seamless, simple, and secure are the key attributes. Creating an easy to use, value-added mobile experience for the consumer is a way to stand out from the crowd and motivate customers to purchase.
Engaging, authentic experiences
Long gone are the days when a clean room and a competitive rate were all you needed to survive. Most millennials are looking for more when deciding where to book, and they typically don’t mind paying a premium for it.