Former eBay CMO joins Hilton as APAC VP of marketing and eCommerce

Hilton has appointed Julie Nestor (pictured) as vice president, marketing and eCommerce in Asia Pacific. In her role, Nestor will drive the marketing and eCommerce strategy for the region, enticing new customers to Hilton’s portfolio of brands and driving growth in direct bookings.

Nestor was most recently at eBay as chief marketing officer for Australia where she was responsible for retaining eBay’s position as the top online marketplace in the country and launching eBay’s first paid membership program – eBay Plus. Prior to eBay, Nestor spent more than a decade at American Express where she was responsible for launching the Apple Pay service in Australia, establishing loyalty programs with airline companies and upmarket retail brands, and developing tailor-made experience programs for card members.

Nestor said that Hilton is on a huge growth trajectory with so much potential in the region, and strives to bring to life the experiences and spirit of the Hilton brand to guests. “As we look towards 2020, I will be focused on driving demand for our properties and working with the team to position Hilton as the hotel of choice, especially in our key destinations,” she added.

Kellyn Smith Kenny, chief marketing officer, Hilton said: “Today’s consumers have rapidly evolving needs and expectations that Hilton is uniquely positioned to fulfill. As we accelerate our growth across Asia Pacific, we’re expanding our guest base with breakthrough marketing. Nestor is a proven expert at building brands that customers love and I’m confident she will bring a fresh perspective that builds on our success and inspires guests to stay with Hilton’s nine brands.”

To bridge the gap between the hospitality company and its consumers, Hilton launched the “Expect Better, Expect Hilton” global campaign last year.  The campaign, targeted at directly addressing the frustrations consumers face when booking their hotel stay, was prompted off the back of a research conducted by Hilton.

According to the research, many consumers had been conditioned to expect less and approach travel planning with skepticism and the campaign aimed to highlight the benefits consumers will receive when booking direct with Hilton.

Hilton said that “Expect Better, Expect Hilton” was aimed at showcasing the unique benefits that travellers can enjoy when they book directly through Hilton such as better rates, complimentary Wi-Fi, flexible cancellation as well as being able to select their own rooms. Following the success of the “Expect Better, Expect Hilton” global campaign, local iterations of the campaign were rolled out in Australia, China and Japan.

Hilton worked with celebrity ambassadors such as Makiko Takizawa from Japan and Stephy Qi from China on local campaigns that spanned across print, outdoor advertisements and digital platforms.