Ask any marketing team how to attract Millennials and a common theme will arise. Authenticity. It applies to every industry. When they travel, they want a local experience. When they dine, they want local ingredients. If a particular product is made differently in one place versus another, Millennials want that unique tradition upheld. And when a Millennial shops, the opinions of their peers far outweigh any advertising or marketing effort.
But does this rule of authenticity apply to technology? Clearly another important aspect of Millennial life is the ever-presence of technology. So should every business throw every possible technological opportunity at this burgeoning demographic? Or shouldn’t the technology experience be authentic as well?
Recently I received a notification on my phone that a major national coffee chain would let me pre-order my coffee. A few taps later I had made my purchase and was informed that my order would be up in 2 to 5 minutes. The app was careful to note that this was a “beta” feature which only served to make me doubt the successful outcome.
So I marched into the shop and immediately went to the first staffer to inform her that I’d pre-ordered and to confirm it’d been received. She affirmed politely and the drink promptly appeared. But the very fact that I checked in with her meant the seamless experience had not come to pass. Instead I had to question whether my experience had improved at all. It was faster, but it wasn’t “better.”
Hoteliers are faced with the same question as to what benefit technology brings. Ours is an industry that historically has lagged behind in technology adoption. But as technology advances at lightning speed and becomes ever more ingrained in our daily lives, it is increasingly necessary to keep up. In an effort to decide on what technology fits your hotel, re-examine the Millennial desire for authenticity. If your hotel is tranquil, offer technology that reduces the footprint on your public space such as performing in-room check-in. If your hotel is bustling with conventioneers, offer technology that improves traffic flow such as interactive readerboards and signage. Let hotel technology enhance what you are rather than forcing it to change what you should be.
by Zak Eskin, StayNTouch