When you know who you are, you find out who your customers are.

jason abdullah

My career has given me some terrific insight into how to connect with customers. 

My time at Hilton and Starwood taught me about the power of the large hotel brands, how to differentiate the brands and how to build strong customer preference and loyalty.  

My time at Expedia taught me the importance and the power of digital marketing, from customer acquisition to technology and online user experience. 

My time at Amazon taught me about customer centricity. For every product we launched, it was all about how it affects the customer and their experience. Every metric we looked at was related to how it affects the customer and not, as you might expect, revenue. 

The key question was always, “was the intended outcome perfect?” Amazon knows that if they focus on customer experience, they can keep that customer loyal to their platform and sell them anything.

Yes, hotels need to be proficient at digital marketing but they also need to play the long game. They need to understand the customers and understand their experience, both on and offline.  

Every hotel needs to ask and answer these fundamental questions:

  • Who are you?
  • What does your hotel/hotel company do better than any other?
  • What makes you special? 
  • Who are your customers?  

 And when you have sound, concrete answers to these questions, you can create experiences that are consistent with those answers at every touchpoint. 

When you know who you are, you find out who your customer is. It’s almost that simple. That’s what separates marketing activity from marketing strategy. It’s what separates mediocrity from greatness. How do you create a target demographic? How do you customize messaging? How do you choose the most effective marketing channels without first deeply understanding your customer? 

The answer is simple. You can’t. 

You can have a lot of grand initiatives, but if you don't understand how customers are experiencing the property, who they are and how they are shopping, what goes into their decisions, you’ve lost sight of your job as a marketer.  

Who are you? Who are your customers? Lean into that!

Jason Abdullah