Is Technological Ageism an Issue in Hospitality?
February 23, 2017 8:46am
By Larry Mogelonsky, MBA, P. Eng. (www.lma.ca)
Ageism has always been a part of our social fabric, but whereas in the past it was standard to venerate the old for their experience and sagacity, nowadays the situation has been flipped somewhat due to the rapid proliferation of technology. With all the new devices, new media and new apps, it has become increasingly difficult for those who are proverbially ‘set in their ways’ and without young, sponge-like brains to keep up.
Much like how we abridge complex social stratifications into ‘the have and the have-nots’, we are likewise experiencing a generational movement with regard to ‘the techies and the tech-nots’. For those who were born into a world where the internet and social media has already been ubiquitous aspects of our environment (circa 1985 and beyond), most digital interactions are readily intuitive. For instance, a tail-end millennial or post-millennial may not know how to code HTML, but give them an hour and they’ll be able to source some great tutorial websites off Google to learn and write a few basic tricks. Infants these days know how to swipe an iPad even before they know how to talk for God’s sake!
Although there are technology-literate boomers amongst us, when considering the entire population in the first world, the trend line shows a strong inverse relationship between age and electronic fluency. Even though I would like to subscribe myself to the minority of boomers who are ‘with it’, it still takes me far longer to grasp the same new concepts and developments that my juniors understand almost instantaneously. And therein lies an opportunity for you to more effectively target and service your elderly clientele.
Technological ageism presents itself in three main areas of guest interaction:
As this is the 16th entry in this series, we’ve already touched upon more than a few ways that the three abovementioned areas have been transformed by digital disruptions. Boomers still respond to print advertisements while expecting them to use Twitter for guest service will be demised in favor of a physically talking to an actual staff member. Despite any technological differences amongst the generations, though, they still have a ton in common. Everyone is in search of new experiences and adventure, and we are looking to our chosen hospitality provider to treat us with the proper level of respect that dollars command.
Accounting for this technological ageism should nevertheless be a top consideration for all advertisements, hotel websites, social networks and on-property devices and staff training. Part of this ‘respect’ also means having empathy for those who are not digitally fluent, being patient with them and providing them with a few ‘luddite’ options.
To conclude, here are a few ways to better market to and satisfy those among us who are not necessarily up-to-snuff with all the latest technological advancements:
This article may not be reproduced without the expressed permission of the author.
Editor’s note: To discuss business challenges or to discuss speaking engagements please contact Larry directly.
Tags: larry mogelonsky,
One of the world’s most published writers in hospitality, Larry Mogelonsky is the owner of Hotel Mogel Consulting Limited and the founder of LMA Communications Inc., an award-winning marketing agency based in Toronto. His experience encompasses hotel properties around the world, both branded and independent, and ranging from luxury and boutique to select-service. Larry also sits on several boards for companies focused on hotel technology. His work includes four books, “Are You an Ostrich or a Llama?” (2012), “Llamas Rule” (2013), “Hotel Llama” (2015) and “The Llama is Inn” (2017). You can reach Larry at email@example.com to discuss hotel business challenges, to inquire about his consulting services or to book speaking engagements.
Contact: Larry Mogelonsky
Ten Steps to Revitalizing Your Coffee Experience
A Story of How Handwritten Notes Increase Service
Bridge as a Niche Opportunity for Hotels
The Importance of Bottle Design in Selling Wine
What Winesday Teaches Us About Restaurant Marketing
Does Search Engine Marketing Actually Work for Hotels?
Twelve Useful Tips for Hotel Renovations
Learning from Sushi Master Jiro
Taking Another Look at Airbnb’s Advertising
Hotel Trends in Technology for 2018
Hotel Trends in F&B for 2018
Time To Line Up Your 2018 Goals
Analyzing the Relationship Between Serviced Residences and Hybrid Travel
Healthy Eating Means Healthy Desserts Too
Using Gamification to Sell Guestroom Upgrades
Time To Get In The Holiday Spirit With…Holiday Spirits
Indirect Benefits Of LED Conversions
Using Microlearning and Training Tech to Boost Team Morale
What to Consider for Your New Hotel Website
Making Sense of the ‘Level Playing Field’ Plea
Please login or register to post a comment.