This week in Talking Data, Travel Data Daily spoke with Jonathon Wardman, Vice President CRM at Hilton about hotel guest data, how Hilton is leveraging the use of data, and the success of the much publicized Stop Clicking Around campaign.
Jonathon has been with Hilton for over 10 years in business technology roles. For much of his career, working on projects that design, build or implement revenue management systems. Jonathon took over CRM three years ago with the goal of expanding optimization, data-driven marketing and personalization across the customer journey and in all customer channels.
TDD: Hilton collects a lot of guest, hotel and ephemeral data. What challenges do you face in utilizing this?
JW: We are very fortunate in that our guests are willing to engage with our brands more than ever. We are able to find out about our guests’ preferences before, during and even after a stay. In return, our guests expect the most personalized experience possible. Delivering a consistent, timely, and relevant experience for every one of our guests is one of our biggest opportunities and one that we will continue to focus on as we continue on this personalization journey.
TDD: To what degree is data-driven decision making used to improve the guest experience?
JW: By booking directly with us, we can collect data about our guests’ preferences. Does a guest want a room close to an elevator? Do he/she prefer a high or low floor? Does the guest need extra towels or pillows before check-in? By mining this data, we can anticipate our guests’ needs and consistently deliver a great experience. We also conduct regular qualitative and quantitative research to keep up with our guests’ changing needs and focus on what they care about most. We also analyze our own guest feedback from Hilton’s SALT (Satisfaction and Loyalty Tracking) surveys to learn more. For example, we knew that Wi-Fi was the most widely used on-property amenity according to our customer satisfaction data, which is why we made it a complimentary benefit for all guests who book directly with Hilton.
TDD: In 2016, Hilton launched the ‘Stop clicking around’ campaign to promote booking direct at Hilton.com. Can you share some insights and data around the success of the campaign?
JW: The Stop Clicking Around campaign was a huge success, particularly as it relates to Hilton HHonors. We quantified the success of the campaign against our key pillars of measurement (i.e., membership base and satisfaction and tool/benefit usage). In the last year alone, the program gained more than 9 million new Hilton HHonors members. Awareness around the Hilton HHonors app has also surged to an all-time high. The app is now the highest rated travel app in the app store, downloaded once every eight seconds – that’s more than 600 times an hour.
TDD: How important is data-science to Hilton from a strategic viewpoint?