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Hilton Garden Inn educates business travelers via mobile app

Hotel chain Hilton Garden Inn is targeting business travelers with an iPhone and iPad application that breaks down business jargon to keep users in the know.

The BizWords app is Hilton Garden Inn?s latest foray into mobile, which also includes booking apps and a mobile-optimized site. By introducing a niche app into its marketing mix, the hotel brand is switching up its strategy by centering around a specific demographic.

?The goal behind that app is to build a deeper brand connection with the brand?s mobile users,? said Judy Christa-Cathey, vice president of global brand marketing at Hilton Garden Inn, Memphis, TN.

?We all know conference calls and meetings can sometimes be a bore,? she said. ?This is a fun way to make them a little more interesting.?

Down to business
The purpose of the app is to get business-savvy consumers in the loop with commonly-used words.

To play, users create a Hilton Garden Inn-branded business card.

The app lets consumers participate in games, challenges and map words by location.

Examples of words that business travelers learn about include synergy and CEO.

To earn points, consumers answer interactive questions and can see how others answered.

Users can also map specific words by location on a map.

Consumers can answer questions about business industry lingo

?The app is a true living dictionary of business jargon,? Ms. Christa-Cathey said.

Consumers can additionally learn more about Hilton Garden Inn via the app.

?Hilton Garden Inn encourages users to simply explore all of the terms that have been entered and coined across the country and even play along during the day,? she said.

In-the-know guests
Compared to other accommodation companies that are focused on booking plans for consumers, Hilton Garden Inn is taking a unique mobile spin with the BizWords app by only catering to a specific group of consumers.

To tie more closely with the company, the app is heavily branded with Hilton Garden Inn images.

The app does take an innovative approach to mobile, but Hilton Garden Inn is not the only accommodation brand focused on targeting on-the-go guests.

Marriott recently rolled out a slew of mobile initiatives, including apps and an optimized site (see story).

Hotels make an obvious choice for mobile because its core users are busy, on-the-go travelers.

?BizWords goes beyond simply serving up a display ad or keyword and more into the territory of establishing a true voice of the brand with the guest,? Ms. Christa-Cathey said.

?Hilton Garden Inn is fun, down-to-earth, and helping customers succeed is at the brand?s core,? she said.

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York