March 26, 2019

Creative Hotels Killing It Online: Loyalty Programs from Accor and Marriott

By Kerryn Gower

Coming up with fresh and creative marketing initiatives is no walk in the park. In destinations big and small, hotels all over the world face fierce competition when it comes to creativity. But uncovering a truly unique idea that will attract guests and help your hotel stand out in the crowd can drive big results. This month in creative hotels killing it online, we’re diving into new loyalty programs and partnerships from Accor and Marriott.

 

The Campaign

Accor and Marriott teamed up with two of Europe’s most popular soccer clubs as a way to advertise their new loyalty programs. Accor’s Live Limitless program is now the main sponsor of the French team, Paris Saint-Germain, while Marriott announced their collaboration with England’s team, Manchester United, as part of their Bonvoy loyalty program.

Accor Live Limitless (ALL) will be the official jersey sponsor of Paris Saint-Germain, replacing former sponsor Emirates airline. The team has recently been dubbed the world’s fastest-growing football club and will provide ALL exposure to their 295 million fans worldwide. Aside from boosting brand awareness, the partnership is designed to shift the consumer perception of Accor from functional to experiential.

Aside from the partnership with Paris Saint-Germain, ALL offers several initiatives and perks for members. Through market research, Accor found that the top passions of its members include dining and culinary, entertainment and sports, and, of course, travel. With these categories in mind, they started offering culinary classes and experiences, as well as more than 60,000 tickets to sports games and live entertainment for members in Latin America, Asia, and Europe.

Marriott Bonvoy, meanwhile, combines all three of its loyalty brands: Marriott Rewards, The Ritz-Carlton Rewards, and Starwood Preferred Guest. Combined, the program already boasts 120 million members. Within recent years, many hotel brands have placed more importance on loyalty programs in order to improve the guest experiences, build stronger relationships, and capture more direct bookings from the OTAs.

Like ALL, Marriott Bonvoy will also focus on experiences. Their current experience, tours, and activities offering will be rebranded as Marriott Bonvoy Moments. The brand teamed up with Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport, a Formula 1 Racing team, to give members the ability to bid on once in a lifetime experiences, like spending the night on the exclusive Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport luxury yacht during the Monaco Grand Prix, being driven around the track in a high-performance Mercedes-AMG car by a professional driver, or learning the ropes from the experts themselves in the Pit Stop Challenge.

 

The Results

The goal of both of these partnerships is to drive engagement for each brand’s loyalty program. Although both are still in the early stages, these multi million-dollar partnerships are expected to increase recognition of both programs and deepen the customer relationship with Accor and Marriott, respectively.

 

Takeaways

  • Recognize and reward your repeat visitors. Whether you implement an end-to-end loyalty program or simply use tools like content personalization to tailor communication to repeat guests, the importance of keeping repeat visitors engaged with your hotel property has been validated by the multi-million-dollar investments made by Accor and Marriott in their loyalty programs.
  • Offer unique destination experiences. Travelers are looking for more than just a hotel room. As competition increases, your potential guests are comparing more than just location and price. Stand out from other hotels in your destination by offering unique destination activities and experiences. Whether you partner with a local chef to offer bespoke cooking classes or simply offer tickets to museums and local attractions, consider the importance of a guest’s entire experience to driving more direct bookings.
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About HEBS Digital:

Founded in 2001, the firm is headquartered in New York City and has global offices in Las Vegas, Tallinn, Munich, and Auckland. Through its Smart Guest Acquisition Suite, including the smartCMS®, Content Personalization Engine, Smart Data Marketing, and full-service digital consulting and marketing solutions, HEBS Digital helps hoteliers drastically boost direct bookings, lower distribution costs, and increase the lifetime value of guests. Its diverse client portfolio consists of top-tier luxury and boutique hotel chains, independent hotels, resorts and casinos, franchised properties and hotel management companies, convention centers, spas, restaurants, DMO and tourist offices.

Part of NextGuest Technologies, HEBS Digital and Serenata CRM, the most comprehensive Hotel CRM Suite today, are the creators of the hospitality industry’s first Fully-Integrated Guest Engagement & Acquisition Platform.

Contact HEBS Digital’s consultants at 1 (800) 649-5076 (North America), +64 (0) 9 889 8489 (Asia Pacific) or success@hebsdigital.com.

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Editorial Contact:

Garrick Lee
Marketing Manager, HEBS Digital
Phone: (212) 752-9425
Email: garrick@hebsdigital.com