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Digital Marketing Assignment: Developing Social Media Strategy for Hilton hotel

Question

Task: Prepare a digital marketing assignment presenting digital marketing plan for Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc in detail.

Answer

Introduction
Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc, earlier known as Hilton Hotels Corporation is a US-based MNC that possesses a wider portfolio of resorts and hotels (Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc, 2021). The headquarter of the hotel is in Tysons Corner, US. According to the report published by Bloomberg (2021), the number of employees in the hotel is 141000 operating across 120 countries. With the development of the internet, it has been found that the customers of Hilton have begun using the internet-based platforms to raise their worries, request support, submit proposals, and thus provide recognition to the other staff. The hotel has gained 1.5 thousand Twitter followers every month constantly. With the help of all these posts, Hilton hotel is trying its best to focus on the positive sentiments of the customers (Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc, 2021). This study will highlight the situational analysis, the analysis of the internal and the external environment, the varied digital marketing strategies, and the evaluation of the metrics to measure the performance along with servqual and E-servqual. Moreover, the recommendation for the development of the digital marketing strategies along with the budget and the ECRM analysis will also be carried out in this study.

Situational Analysis
The vision of Hilton hotel is to fill the earth with a light of hospitality and warmth through social media and online marketing.

The mission of the hotel is to be the first choice for the team members, the owners, and the guests in the delivery of value through the digital mode(Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc, 2021).

The goal of Hilton hotel is to earn a higher level of profitability through the provision of varied services such as room booking, the provision of meals, and the expansion of the business through online mode.

The objectives of Hilton hotel areto offer exceptional and premium class services to the customers. This is to be done through respecting the natural environment and the reduction of the environmental footprint. The hotel is trying its best for the development of sustainability aiming at being responsible for the development of the present and the future generation(Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc, 2021). Further, Hilton hotel is also trying to make continuous improvement through innovation and handling of quality services through digital mode. The digital marketing team of the hotel must try to enhance their creativity, expertise, and passion by developing improved relationships with the stakeholders, the suppliers, and the clients.

Internal Environment
Resources

The resources of Hilton Hotel outline the niches that the hotel has created for itself for the delivery of unique services to its customers. Hilton Hotels has tried to achieve the goals through the creation of satisfaction in the minds of the customers along with extraordinary service and sheer dedication(Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc, 2021). As customer satisfaction is the crucial resource of the hotel, it can be said that the management committee of the hotel is trying its best to provide improved service with the help of digital marketing tools. The entire management of the hotel must be allowed digitally to make the entire process smooth and less time-consuming. The integration of the customers is also done with the help of online tools such as social media enhancing customer satisfaction (Hilton, 2016). On the other hand, the hotel is also trying its best to streamline the service such as the booking of the room, cancelation of the booking, checking the real-time services through online mode. However, care should be taken off the balance that is required by Hilton hotel in balancing the resources and the skills. This is possible with the help of transformational leaders who are trying their best to motivate the employees to use the digital tools and resources in the attraction of the customers with passion.

Capabilities
Hilton Hotel possesses a large customer base through its online presence, especially through the social media strategy. However, there should be careful attempts made to improve the website of the hotel so that it makes the customers satisfied. The website should be developed in a way that it is easy to surf for the customers and get quick results (Hilton, 2021). This is because most of the customers are in a hurry to find a perfect room either for their vacation or business purpose and the website must highlight the real-time view of the room. Moreover, it has been found that the website should be simple but interactive so that it becomes easier for the user to find out the basic information and the services provided by the hotel. The inquiries of the customers on the websites must be placed in such a way that the customers receive the response within 3 hours as the hotel can be considered to be an emergency service provider (Hilton, 2016). It is necessary to take the appropriate level of care for dull interaction of the website of the hotel that provides relationship marketing with the customers along with a wider range of marketing functions in the relevant sector.

External Environment
Micro Environment

Suppliers: The online suppliers of Hilton hotel involve the company to promote, distribute, and sell its services. Online intermediary sites such as websites facilitate exchanges between suppliers and consumers. There should be a separate website for the online suppliers so that it assists in the distribution and the promotion of services through improved ways (Hilton, 2016).

Competitors: In the case of handling the competitors, it can be said that the power of the online buyers have increased in the case of Hilton hotel because the customers possess wider choice and the prices are forced down through increased knowledge and price transparency. On the other hand, the bargaining power of the suppliers can be considered to be low since there is increased commoditization and wider choices in the e-marketplace of Hilton hotel. As the hotel falls in the category of the premium class category, there exist lower barriers to entry because of the higher restrictions and costs (Hilton, 2016). Further, there also exists a rivalry between the existing competitors in this premium segment hotel and thus this makes it easier for the differentiation of services in the hotel.

Customers: The customers of Hilton hotel are to be aware of the needs considering the benefits and the features. In case of availing the online service, it can be said that the customers can surf the website of the hotel and thus avail the unique features and the services of the hotel. The customers can carry out generic searches such as Yahoo, Google, and Bing through affiliated marketing and search engine optimization (Mastrogiacomo, 2020). On the other hand, Hilton hotel must also develop its website in such a way that it captures the attention of the customers. The hotel must also describe the features and the benefits of the services provided by the hotel. The most crucial advantage availed by the customers through the generation of websites includes handling the large content at a lower cost (Hilton, 2016). There should also be careful attempts made for the facilitation of consumer purchases through the websites so that it becomes easier for them to carry out the transaction in an improved way.

Macro Environment
The macro-environment can be understood with the help of PEST analysis

Political: The digital marketing team of Hilton hotel generally tries its best to promote benefits to the customers and the business for the improvement of economic prosperity. The marketing team must carry out sponsored-based research leading to varied types of dissemination for the practices that are to be carried out among the customers of the hotel. It is also necessary for the digital marketing team of Hilton hotel to enact proper legislation for the regulation and the promotion of the environment including the protection of the privacy policy and the taxation.

Economic: The economic influences affect the success of the business. It is the responsibility of digital marketers to identify adequate economic influence which requires an improved level of monitoring (Mastrogiacomo, 2020). On the other hand, it can be said that the economic growth in the US escalates the expansion of the hotel so that it becomes easier for it to earn profitability as well as a higher standard of living.

Social: The social norms also affect the business of Hilton hotel which is one of the renowned brands in the hospitality sector. The hotel has introduced an online booking system, facility management, and feedback mechanism in their branches (Reuters, 2021). The social forces are associated with culture and thus it lays a significant effect on digital marketing. The social communities are generally based on social exclusion, the demographic profile of the customers in the US, and cultural factors.

Technology: As the US is a technologically developed country thereby promoting technical expertise, it can be said that Hilton hotel incorporates an advanced form of technology in their system (Hilton, 2016). The organization has introduced an online booking system, facility management, and feedback mechanism in its branches so that it becomes easier for the customer to avail of the services of the hotel.

Digital Marketing Strategies
Target Market Strategy

According to the target market strategy, it has been found that the premium class customers of the US and other 119 countries where Hilton hotel is operating tries to avail the services. There is no discrimination made on the provision of service to the customers of different religions, educational backgrounds, ethnicity, and personality (O’Brien, 2016). On the other hand, careful attempts are also made in identifying the customer lifecycle group and thus it can be said that the customers who have availed the services previously generally prefer to avail the services. However, it has been found that a small percentage of the customers are the new customer groups or the business class customers who receive attractive discounts, vouchers, or visits the hotel for professional work. There have also been proper attempts made in the identification of the customer behavior about the purchase value. It is also necessary to check that the digital marketing aspect of Hilton hotel increases the benefit of communicating with the customers, learning, and engaging with social networking sites.

Position Strategy
The positioning strategy involves the perception of the customers about the services provided by the hotel relative to its competitors. As Hilton hotel falls in the category of premium class hotel, there has been an improved level of facilities provided by the hotel to the loyal customers at a favorable price. This is because of the higher cost of the services and the lower demand of the customers (Mastrogiacomo, 2020). There should be proper steps taken to enhance the customization of the online services provided by the hotel. On the other hand, it can be said that in terms of transactional excellence, Hilton hotel combines the premium pricing along with the dynamic information of the services that are provided to its customers. The after-sales services and the complaints raised by the customer are taken proper care of while positioning it successfully.

Social Media Strategy
Hilton hotel is trying its best to transform in the digital age. The hotel is trying its best to provide extraordinary services to the customers through different offers such as publicizing, sharing pictures and videos on social media, and labeling the location of stay. The most popular social platform of Hilton hotel is Twitter followed by Instagram and Facebook. There should be the development of awareness among the social media users and this can be measured through the number of unique visitors, the page views, the impressions, and the number of searches (Hilton, 2016). Further, it is also important to consider the search engine optimization ranking of Hilton Hotels as this can be considered to be an effective strategy in tackling the customer base of the hotel (Reuters, 2021). On the other hand, as the brand value of Hilton hotel can be considered to be much higher, it can be said that because of the brand value metrics, the influence, sentiment, and the share of voice of the customers are to be taken into consideration. The profitability and the publicity of Hilton hotel are generally tackled through the brand influence and the tackling of the customer sentiments. Moreover, it has been found that the customers must also be provided with vouchers and discounts when they share the content published by the hotel (Hilton, 2016). The number of “likes”, bookmarking and membership are also to be taken into consideration in the development of the social media strategy. However, care should be taken that the customers click the original link through the valid website of the hotel. In some cases, if the customers are unable to make the booking, they must complete the registration and upon completion of it, the customer service department will make the desired booking for the customer (Revenue Management, 2021). The innovation metrics that are included in the social media strategy include the ideas shared by the well-wishers in the social media sites of the hotel and thus Hilton hotel must take the desired step in developing the ideas into actions.

Marketing Mix
The 7Ps of marketing of Hilton hotel can be categorized as follows:
Hilton Hotels can be categorized as a premium-class hotel where the products are divided into core products, digital products, and extended products. The rooms of the hotel fall under the category of the core products, whereas the online booking services and other digital facilities provided by the hotel can be classified under digital products. The extended products included the other extra facilities which the customers generally receive as a discount on booking a room in the hotel.

The premium pricing strategy is followed by the Hilton hotel. The cost-plus is calculated by adding the profit margin to the operational costs. On the other hand, the competition-based pricing strategy is generally followed by Hilton hotel keeping an eye on its competitors (Hilton, 2016).

The place of purchase of the services of Hilton hotel includes the home page of the website or booking through the social media page of the hotel. In some cases, booking can also be done through third-party websites such as travel and tourism websites (Reuters, 2021).

The promotion of the hotel is done through an interactive display of an advertisement, provision of incentives such as rewards, coupons, and loyalty schemes. Moreover, with the help of word-of-mouth, direct mail as well as sponsorship, promotions of Hilton Hotels are carried out.

In the case of people, it has been found that the e-mail notifications are sent to the new customers or loyal customers to avail the services of Hilton hotel. Moreover, the FAQs are also written down on the website to provide clarification to the customers along with the call-back facility or the on-site search engine process (Hilton, 2016).

Hilton hotel utilizes the customer-led approach where the customers generally receive phone calls or carry out online or live chat with the customers. The hotel motivates the customer to utilize the websites to carry out their booking (Revenue Management, 2021).

In the case of physical evidence, it can be said that both the tangible and the intangible services are provided by the Hilton hotel. The refund policies, discount coupons, third-party reviews as well as awards, and endorsements are included under the intangible services.

Evaluation
Metrics to Evaluate Performance

The quality measures, traffic volume measures, and value measures fall under the VQVC measures. The digital marketing team of Hilton hotel must maintain a track of the pages visited by the customers, the unique visits, and the reasons for visits. The time spent by the customers on viewing each page must also be kept on the proper track. On the other hand, the digital marketing team must also try to handle the paid, owned, earned, and shared cost measures to judge its effectiveness (Revenue Management, 2021). Further, the metrics that are used to evaluate the customer's perspective including the building of awareness in the website, the satisfaction rate of the customers, the relationships that exist among them along with the target market.

E-Servqual/Webqual
` With the help of E-SERQUAL, it becomes easier to tackle the efficiency and the ability of the customers to search for the relevant information in the website of the Hilton hotel by checking the accuracy of the promised services (Reuters, 2021). However, care should be taken of holding the privacy of the customer's dataresponsibly.

In the case of WEBQUAL, it is important to tackle the visual appeal of Hilton hotel’s website, the innovativeness, and the response time from the customer department of the hotel (Va, 2021). Moreover, care should be taken that the website does not display false information destroying the image of the hotel.

Recommendations
ECRM analysis

The Electronic Customer Relationship Management (ECRM) of Hilton hotel can be improved through progressive profiling of the customers as well as the development of the personas for the customers. The digital marketing team of the hotel must try to check that there is an improved level of competition as well as promotion through proper management of the customers (Worldwide, 2021). On the other hand, care should be taken that the customers should be provided with the same advantage when they carry out their booking through mobile or applications thereby developing trust among them.

Brief Financial Budget
The finance team of Hilton hotel must also allocate a specified valid budget for the digital marketing team to keep up the trend and thus take appropriate steps for keeping the customer’s step. Moreover, the finance team must also keep an eye on the allocation of finances properly in social media and digital marketing tools accurately (Reuters, 2021). There should also be a specified budget kept for maintaining the digital communication calendar through improved ways.

Conclusion
Thus, it can be said that Hilton hotel must try to make effective planning for the correct utilization of digital marketing tools. The hotel has taken adequate steps to benchmark the customer’s proposition and the communication activities against its competitors. There have been improved and identified approaches to tackle the digital marketing activities accordingly. The digital marketing team of the hotel must keep an eye on the maintenance of the social media page and the websites. Therefore, it can be said that the features and the benefits of Hilton hotel must be tackled appropriately with the help of online tools and resources to generate greater revenue.

References
Bloomberg. (2021). Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. Retrieved 24 May 2021, from https://www.bloomberg.com/profile/company/HLT:US

Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. (2021). About Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. Retrieved 24 May 2021, from https://www.vault.com/company-profiles/travel-leisure/hilton-worldwide-holdings-inc

Hilton. (2016). Hilton Investor Day. Retrieved 24 May 2021, from http://ir.hiltonworldwide.com/~/media/Files/H/Hilton-Worldwide-IR-V2/events/hlt-presentation-12-08-2016.pdf

Hilton. (2021). Hilton Performance Advantage. Retrieved 24 May 2021, fromhttps://www.hilton.com/en/corporate/development/hilton-performance-advantage/ Mastrogiacomo, M., (2020). Hospitality net. Retrieved 24 May 2021, fromhttps://www.hospitalitynet.org/opinion/4101523.html

O’Brien, M., (2016).How Hilton balances digital and 'traditional' marketing. Retrieved 24 May 2021, fromhttps://www.clickz.com/how-hilton-balances-digital-and-traditional-marketing/98647/ Reuters. (2021). Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. Retrieved 24 May 2021, from https://www.reuters.com/companies/HLT.N

Revenue Management. (2021). Hilton Management Services. Retrieved 24 May 2021, from https://managementservices.hilton.com/en/support-services/revenue-management/

Va, M., (2021). Hospitality net. Retrieved 24 May 2021, fromhttps://www.hospitalitynet.org/news/4101101.html

Worldwide, H., (2021). Hilton Named #1 Best Big Company to Work For, #3 Best Company to Work For in the U.S.. Retrieved 24 May 2021, fromhttps://www.franchising.com/news/20210413_hilton_named_1_best_big_company_to_ work_for_3_best_company_to_work_for_in_t.html

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