How Four Seasons uses digital content to target affluent travelers

Geoffrey Precourt

Elizabeth Pizzinato, SVP/marketing and communications at Four Seasons Hotels, can pinpoint the exact moment that the Toronto-based organization changed its marketing direction:

"The first time that somebody complained to us in 140 characters and Tweeted that their coffee was cold, instead of calling downstairs and talking to a human being, we knew we needed to change the way we talk to our consumers," she told the Interactive Advertising Bureau's (IAB) third-annual Innovation Days conference in New York. "We knew that we were facing a new reality."

The Tweet came at a troubling time for the 52-year-old luxury hotel group.

"In 2009, it was the bad old days for the luxury economy. We were in the middle of the great recession and the global financial markets were retrenching. For companies that relied on business travelers, it was a dire time."