Using emotion effectively in digital marketing

Technology enables hoteliers to make what has become the all-important emotional connection with guests, according to speakers at the annual Digital Marketing Strategy Conference.

The conference, which is organized by the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International, updated several hundred attendees on the latest trends in reaching customers digitally.

At a session called “Content marketing in hospitality: Storytelling with a conversion-minded approach,” Mariana Mechoso Safer, SVP of marketing for HeBS Digital, said a marketing message that really made an impression on her was Google’s “Dear Sophie” video about a father who uses the Web to share memories with his daughter as she grows up.

“I remember that video, and the question is how we get customers to remember us when it’s time to make a booking,” Mechoso Safer said.

“We have to connect emotionally even though we are usually trying to reach somebody on the go and are aware that content can’t be overly intrusive.”

Tony Aslanian, who formerly served as director of marketing and revenue strategy for the Nickelodeon Suites Resort in Orlando (which will become a Holiday Inn this spring), said that making that critical emotional connection is as much about the intended audience as it is about the content.

“The influencers (at the Nickelodeon Suites Resort) were between 2 and 12 years old and the decision-makers were their moms,” he said. “We built a Kids’ Corner on the site where if the kids clicked they would get a page that included printout cards for Father’s Day or Mother’s Day.

In general, the strategy was to engage emotionally with parents and their children.”   The goal, he said, was “to fulfill the aspiration of parents to be heroes to their kids,” and at the end of the day, it’s the parents doing the actual booking.

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