In the wake of Marriott’s acquisition of Starwood, the hotel giant will continue to focus on brand marketing, but also test and lean on new technologies to reach consumers in new ways. That includes both tried and true tools like email marketing, as well as cutting-edge ones that rely on location targeting and virtual reality experiences, says Karin Timpone, Global Marketing Office for Marriott International, in this interview with Beet.TV.
When the two hotels merged, the loyalty programs were also meshed, and that’s added even more weight to email marketing as a means to reach regular customers, she explains. “Our loyalty program is important because we brought those together,” she says. “If we have a loyalty member we can target them with a very personalized email about an upcoming stay, and we might also buy advertising to introduce a new brand to them or to tell the story of how to link and join accounts.”
Content marketing is vital too, and so is social, and that’s why the travel brand relies on a so-called “command center for social media.” That’s like a newsroom to monitor and manage social and contact with customers, and Starwood-Marritott counts those centers on the East Coast, in London, and in Hong Kong, and also has a Spanish-language command center.
“If we see a conversation coming together in social media we might do some real-time buying in digital to add more gas to the fire. If we hear something cresting in social it’s important to pivot quickly,” she says.
Timpone adds that Marriott is studying virtual reality opportunities as they may have key applications in the travel sector. “We are trying to take the aspiration of travel and use new technologies to expand the story. That can get shared socially too [as in] ‘Look at the cool places you can go.” The chain also continues to explore geo-location tools combined with targeting, she says.
This video is part of Beet.TV’s coverage of the IAB MIXX Conference, 2016, presented by The TradeDesk. Please find additional videos from the Conference here.