Hilton looks to the past to inform its mobile strategy

Stephen Whiteside

"You can learn a lot from what you once did." As a call to arms for mobile marketers, this idea may not seem to be entirely in keeping with the themes of innovation and technological transformation that usually dominate the discussion. But it is a strategy which has yielded major benefits for Hilton Worldwide, according to Virginia Suliman, the company's vice president for digital design and development.

"I believe that in order to find your brand voice in mobile, you need to exercise rediscovering what your brand really is," she told delegates at SM2, a conference organised by the Mobile Marketing Association and held during Advertising Week 2013. "You really have to begin to understand from where you came."

This attitude stands in direct contrast to the powerful impulse of only emphasising the new in the digital age. "Reinvigorating your brand or rediscovering your brand does not always mean reinventing your brand," Suliman argued. "There are certain brands that are in need of reinventing … but simply because mobile technology is starting to change human behaviour does not necessarily mean that you need to reinvent."

Lessons from history