Best Western's Dorothy Dowling Chats with HT on Amazon, IBM Watson and Facebook Partnerships
HT's Managing Editor recently had the opportunity to attend the 2018 Best Western North American Conference in Grapevine, Texas. While there, she was able to sit down and chat with Dorothy Dowling, SVP and CMO of Best Western. During Dowling's speech at the conference, she mentioned how Best Western has partnered with brands such as Amazon, Google and IBM to improve brand awareness and customer loyalty. During their chat, HT asked Dowling to explain more about these partnerships. This is what she had to say.
HT: What is your favorite thing(s) about the partnership between Best Western and Amazon when it comes to data sharing and marketing to the consumer?
DOWLING: Best Western is proud to co-innovate with Amazon similarly to how we have with Facebook and Google. My favorite thing is how Amazon, like Facebook and Google, chooses a challenger brand like Best Western to test its first application in the travel vertical. Being a first mover and considered to be at the front line of the hotel category is something we are delighted with. Best Western is continually being recognized as an innovator in the industry, including a top ten recognition this year by Fast Company for our innovation with VR and AI.
HT: What have you learned from the IBM Watson campaign when it comes to marketing to consumers and how will you use those insights for future ad campaigns?
DOWLING: AI powered ads drive engagement at remarkable levels. Consumers today want to interact with brands and this campaign clearly demonstrated how AI successfully drives customer engagement.
HT: What makes Best Western's Facebook chatbot unique and how will its use of AI benefit both BW and the consumer?
DOWLING: With the chatbot, we are able to better serve our Best Western Rewards members, better engage with technology and communicate in a way that today’s travelers want to communicate. We have listened to our consumers, and we know that they want immediate responses to their questions. The chatbot provides real time responses, immediate answers to simple questions and information 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It also provides us with unique ways to inspire travelers regarding how to use points and get the most out of our loyalty program. Additionally it allows our BWR members easier access to information about their member points and rewards.