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Hampton by Hilton targets weekend adventurers with mobile social campaign

Hilton's mid-priced Hampton chain is celebrating consumers who look for adventure on the weekends, a segment identified by internal research, with a new social media contest and mobile-optimized aggregation site.

Prompted by a survey conducted by Hilton, the hotel brand has coined the term Seekender, which refers to those who value travel and take the weekend to cross of destination and adventures on their bucket list. The hotel chain is cognizant of a shift in consumer behavior and is playing into this with the new Seekender campaign, in which fans post their images that encompass adventure to win a weekend getaway. 

"Incentives, imagery and social, are all key elements to be included in a marketing program for engaging digital centric people, these elements leverage our increasing desire to share and participate, be rewarded and be recognized," said Michael Becker, co-founder and managing partner, mCordis, Sunnyvale, CA. "What really excites me about Hilton?s Hampton?s campaign, however, is not its use of these digital-social-mobile tactics, these are table-stakes today, but the fact that the program is built around the customer journey, a specific persona, the Seekender. 

"Hilton?s Hampton team did their homework, they understand what motivates their target customer and built their program with the customer?s motivations at the center of the program, not the brand?s," he said. "The program helps people express themselves, fulfill their desires, by sharing their adventure, be it food, travel, or whatever experience excites them.  

"The program is people-centric, which is where many marketers are putting their focus. I love seeing this."

Mobility for adventure
Hampton is sharing travel experiences with its followers through various social media platforms, and is motivating consumers to jump on board as well with promise of a prize. The brand is hoping to instill an image, which embodies exploration and is engaging with users on these platforms to do so. 

Social media users on Instagram or Twitter share photos showcasing what the Seekender lifestyle means to them for a chance to win a trip to their choice destination. Hampton wants to see pictures of users trying new things such as food, music and outdoor adventures. 

Entries must include the hashtags #WeGoTogether and #SweepstakesEntry to be eligible to win. The winner will receive a weekend trip to stay at a Hilton Hampton location, including transportation, food, activities and expenses for up to three people. 
The brand has created a mobile-optimized aggregate site, which congregates users entries and their photos coinciding with the campaign. Entries will be accepted from now until October 18 and the winner will be announced on October 27. 

Valuing new endeavors 
The contest was inspired by a campaign in which Hilton discovered how important travel is to consumers in today?s mobile-optimized environment. Its survey showed that 68 percent of individuals would prefer to go on a lengthy bucket list trip, rather than receive a promotion at work. 

Similarly, mobile played a leading role in a Heineken ad campaign that rolled out this summer that invited consumers to text and tweet their way to discovering local adventures (see more). 

Hilton Worldwide also rewarded its HHonors members by enabling them to be the first to receive access to its Digital Key feature, which allows guests to unlock their hotel rooms via their mobile device (see more). 

"Social media is where the people are, is is where they are having conversations amongst themselves," Mr. Becker said. "A program like this enables the brand to be an invited guest within and individual's digital community."

Final take
Brielle Jaekel is editorial assistant at Mobile Marketer