Social Capital

Laura Nolte, Caitlin Zaino Von During,

Serdar Kutucu, Martin Raymond

3:20pm – 3:40pm

Creating and Re-Creating Social Capital

Content that brings in the expertise of both locals and well-traveled tastemakers—that’s what today’s guest desires. So stated Porter & Sail’s Caitlin Zaino von During. “Our curated encounters extend the hotel beyond its walls into the metropolitan landscape, transforming the guest experience both on and off property,” she explained. As a result, guests stay connected to the property before, during, and after their stays. Von During added that “through high levels of service and unique experiences, one can drive value, enhance trust, and elevate reputation.” Laura Nolte , , VP Brand, Marketing & Communications, EHPC, agreed, noting that implementing effective online and offline marketing strategies allows guests to experience hotels and their destinations on a deeper level. Today, added Nolte, truly effective hotel marketing is highly focused and “mixes all the ingredients—advertisement, social media, mailings, partners, editorial content, and promotions—in a way that is interesting, exciting, and aligns with the brand values. People talk about memories, and discuss them with others as much as they do loyalty points. Thus, its important that we give people memories as well as points.” Serdar Kutucu, Executive VP Brand & Strategy, Design Hotels™, added that marketing today needs to build trust and not just be clever. “At Design Hotels™, social capital is based on building a trustful relationship with our community,” he said. “The very definition of community comes from the relationship you have with your members. Yes, we create a lot of content, but for us success comes from finding the right balance between product, commercial, and engaging content.”


Operating under the important assumption that nobody remembers a good database but everyone remembers a good concierge—a fact that large corporations and so-called marketing experts can often forget—the panelists echoed the importance of hotels working together. “Collaborate don’t compete,” said von During. “Sharing information is a pathway to power.” To this point, Kutucu noted that Design Hotels™ is in a position to assist its member properties. “The big challenge for our hotels,” he said, “is how to turn guest data into valuable and actionable information. We are investing in a data warehouse and using different CRM strategies to inform, engage, and connect through brand and content. Design Hotels™ can be a facilitator in the hotel’s efforts and journey.” Kutucu further pointed out that Design Hotels™ takes into consideration the sentiments of its member hotels’ guests so as to provide Community members with the original and the unexpected. “For example, with our upcoming 25-year anniversary, we will take Original Experiences to the next level by inviting all our hotels to have their guests share their Original Experiences with us. Good brands can tell good stories. But great brands can inspire people to tell great stories.”



Recap Overview