Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Final words

This is the end of our blog. Making the blog has been very usefull for us and hopefully for Hilton Hotels in Finland aswell. As we have noticed, Hilton still has a lot to improve in using e-commerce tools. Some of the things, like Facebook, Hilton is already using in very effective way. But with pretty much all the rest, it could do so much better! At the moment Hilton Hotels seems to be quite hidden in the Finnish market so the hotel chain still has a long way to go in becoming more detected and popular here. Hopefully Hilton will soon start to use all the new technology and that way market itself better. In the blog we have pointed out some things they could start with.
All in all making the blog has also taught us a lot. Some of us have learned a lot of new things about blogging and of course about all the e-commerce tools. This group work has opened our eyes to how important the new technology truly is for companies and how they could use it better.


Wikipedia is used nowadays among most of the Internet users. Wikipedia is used so much because it offers short enough information about the things that people want to know about more. Because Wikipedia is a wiki and that way all the texts are written by the users, the language of the texts is usually rather easy to understand as well. This attracts people as well. The bad side of the Wikipedia is of course the thing that the texts may contain lot of false information.

I tried to search Hilton Hotels & Resorts from Wikipedia as well in order to see how they are represented there. In English the text concerning Hilton Hotels & Resorts -chain generally was rather short and scant. In Finnish the text was even shorter. There were couple of pictures in both of them. In Finnish side there were mentioned three Hiltons in Finland, in English there were written some other texts concerning certain Hilton hotels. Most of these hotels were quite famous ones. They were some historical buildings or their location was unique or they had been working for example as the setting of a movie. Most of these postings were really short ones and they didn't contain any pictures. But there were also good ones. Like the text about Hilton hotel in Nassau.
British Colonial Hilton Nassau

Hilton Hotels & Resorts should really use more Wikipedia as an advertising channel. They could expand texts concerning the general information about the chain to cover more languages than now (at the moment it covers 30 languages) and make the texts more inclusive. In addition to these general information they could write there information about their particular hotels. I know that this may sound quite laborious job because there are more than 500 hotels. But on the other hand there are staff working in each hotel and it would be enough if one persion in each hotel would write a text there. They should try to write their hotel information in as many languages as possible but at least in the mother tongue of the coutry where the hotel is situated and in English. Like here in Finland we could have three postings about each hotel here in Finland at least in English, Finnish and Swedish. Hotels should also watch the postings concerning their hotel in order to avoid the spread of false and harmful information.

The efficient use of Wikipedia  would give a good impression of particular hotel and Hilton chain and  make them more familiar to new people. And the best thing is that writing into Wikipedia is free of charge and could be that a complimentary way to market and advertise. So all in all Hilton Hotels & Resorts should start to use Wikipedia much much more.

QR -code

QR-codes (Quick Response) are kind of matrix barcodes which are quite new technology for example here in Finland. But e.g. in Japan they have been really popular already for years. The idea of QR-code is that you are able to read them with a device and through the device you are able to access for example companies web pages and get more information for example about a certain product. The reading is done usually with phones which have an application for that. The increase of smartphones has made QR-codes more popular as well.

QR-codes are used generally as a part of avertising. They can be the part of the ads which help people to get more information. I have never seen any Qr-codes as part of Hilton Hotels & Resorts advertising. The reason for that is maybe the thing that Hilton doesn't advertise that much at least here in Finland and at the same time their advertising is quite conservative. Hilton Hotels & Resorts could now start to use Quick Respnse Codes as part of their advertising. Use of them would make their ads more modern and maybe more appealing to young people. It could maybe change the image of them to hippier and younger direction and help them to extend their customer group as well.

Many people have nowadays a device which is able to read QR-codes. It isn't just something that young people use. Many business men, which are important customer group for Hilton, have smartphones as well. So the advertising campaigns which use QR-codes shouldn't be targeted only for young people. There could be many several campaigns in which they could use QR-codes. My own campaign idea is that Hilton could make international banners which could be used worldwide. But to all of them they should put a QR-code which would lead the possible customers to the web pages of the nearest Hilton.

                                                              Check this one out!

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Photosharing through Flick

Photo hosting site Flickr is meant to be a place to share and organize your photos. As a way of advertizing, Flickr boasts hosting more than 5 billion photos, but most of the users would probably comment on the general quality of the photos posted there instead of how many there are.

As a potential marketing instrument, Flickr is probably not one of the first choices for Hilton, but it could add an "artistic" edge to the company's image. Pretty pictures are always a pleasure to look at - and considering that hotels try to sell with their IMAGE and visualization, an official Flickr account probably wouldn't do any harm!

A quick search reveals that the tag "Hilton hotels" brings up about 2500 photos - but most of these 2500 are all from the same user, who probably isn't affiliated with the hotel itself.

Mobile apps

With our ever developing, more technical and gadget-y loving society and more and more intelligent cell phones, mobile apps are programs that seem to creep into peoples minds as necessities more than "extra fun".
Ranging from games to interactive maps, some of these apps are actually useful and give a certain extra value to your phone. I admit I've been fully hooked by a few apps myself, as they tend to make my life easier.

Hilton has realized the potential of mobile apps to a certain level, as they already have an app of their own.

Developing this add would probably mean taking the app worldwide - not completely sure if it works in every place of the world yet, or in every hotel.

However, SOME areal Hiltons have also developed their own, local apps. A quick search through iTunes' Store reveals that one of these is A Hawaiian Hilton resort's iPad app.
This fancy thing provides the guests with roomservice features, local area sightseeing infos and other hotel functions inside their own iPad. Nice way to go, Waikoloa Village Resort! Other Hilton hotels could definitely consider this for their selves, as it certainly adds to a certain luxurious and modern feel of a place!

Viral Marketing

Viral Marketing is the internet version of a very catchy spring flu. It gets its name appropriately from viruses, as it spreads from one user to another. The internet is full of "viral hits" (such as the Nyan cat), and to a business owner, a positive viral hit is is a dream come true - the costs of it are usually minimal as the audience will want to see it as it has been marketed to them by their fellows and sites like youtube.

The six principles of viral marketing

Hilton could benefit from a viral ad. For example, a funny advert or a video portraying Hilton hotels in a positive light could become a hit and associate Hilton with fun and laughter.
However, executing a successful viral ad isn't all that easy. Anyone can try to make a funny video - the internet is full of those. Most of these gather a few thousand hits - and then disappear into the vast mass of videos and ads.

No one says Hilton NEEDS to try viral marketing though, but it might be a fun change compared to more regular ad videos, such as the one below.

Hilton HHonors

Hilton Worldwide has it’s own guest loyalty program called Hilton HHonors which has nowadays over 29 million members. As a member of this program guest can earn points by staying in any of the hotels that are part of Hilton Worldwide. In addition to this guests can earn points in many other ways for example by flying with certain companies and they can also get points by using certain credit cards and in many other ways as well. In other words Hilton Worldwide company is tightly working with other companies in different industries.
 There are 4 different stages in the guest loyalty program. The stages are Blue, Silver, Gold and Diamond. The basic level is Blue and depending on the number of stays during a year at Hilton Worldwide hotels you can even rise on the highest level which is Diamond. Depending on the level on which you are you get different amounts of benefits. On higher stages guests get for example complimentary upgrade and access to ecxecutive lounge area and many other benefits as well. 
Hilton HHonors is really important tool for Hilton Hotels & Resorts. Customers who are members of Hilton HHonors are usually really loyal for Hilton. They always try to stay at Hilton in order to get all the possible benefits and rise on better level in HHonors. So that’s why Hilton should really emphasize HHonors and it’s benefits and try to get more members. In this process they should use electronical channels in many ways. They could start to send emails for their customers when they receive their reservation. Hilton HHonors should be highlighted more in their web pages, in their partners web pages (e.g. airline companies), in social media and in all possible places to get more members and that way more loyal customers.