Marriott has restructured its content strategy. This led industry publications and others to question whether Marriott is now more of a media company rather than a hotel brand. Perhaps the time has come for them to merge.
Not content, but content experiences.
Redefining SaaS as “storytelling-as-a-service,” AdWeek recently highlighted how Marriott and other enterprise hotels are leveraging the voices and experiences of customers from every brand under their umbrellas. The brand tells a unique story by incorporating real customer experiences into content experiences.
Marriott has produced content at every scale of production. Each brand attracts new customers by using authentic customer content as the foundation. Scott Weisenthal (VP of Global Creative and Content Marketing, Marriott) says that the story is centered around the members. That’s really, really crucial. We are all about enriching lives by telling their stories. In essence, our goal is to make our guests and members brand advocates.
Marriott, an enterprise hotel brand, takes ownership of the entire experience and not just the accommodation. This means that consumers can trust hotels to provide everything they need to have a successful holiday.
Marriott’s content strategy consists of four overarching channels: a real-time social media marketing center called M Live, the Marriott Bonvoy Traveler inspiration hub, a content studio producing high-level films and content, and an in-house creative agency for branded content.
Marriott is constantly in search of engaging, fresh content through so many channels. Marriott, along with all brands that it owns, can efficiently fuel their content strategies by tapping into authentic content from travelers around the world every day. Travelers are looking for relevant content. 86% of people and 92 percent in Gen Z say they have become interested in a particular location because of visual social evidence from their peers.
A well-rounded strategy such as Marriott’s ensures that consumers get value from every visual they see. Stock images are not an option. Marriott shares a wide range of content with customers to create lasting impressions.
High-quality creative content such as documentary short films provides viewers with an unforgettable viewing experience. This is a valuable commodity in today’s streaming video age. The Marriott Bonvoy Traveler Inspiration Hub features real, user-generated content that gives potential travelers visual proof of all the possibilities for Marriott stays. M Live, the social command centre, ensures that there is always a social conversation. Marriott can source the best content by monitoring the content being produced in real time. This allows them to find content that their customers have already created.
“We never ask members or anyone to post for us. Ever,” Weisenthal says. This is about their experience, journey, and what they are comfortable with. We will often see them sharing their experiences with their followers by tagging or talking about us. This is a content mechanism, or a content lever, that requires zero media spending. We always consider our engagement rates. Usually, 2% is the benchmark. The engagement rate in this case was 15%.
AI-powered UCG platforms are able to intelligently sort through the mountains of content to find the most relevant pieces. They can then publish these pieces across all channels.
Marriott is able to get more from every touchpoint with the help of this customer-created content.
Personalization of every brand for each customer, for every stay
Experiences are the most important thing for hotel brands. A successful hotel brand doesn’t just sell a comfortable stay; it also sells the amenities, excursions and personal treatment that make each guest’s stay truly memorable.
Consumer expectations are increasing when it comes to travel. According to 87 per cent of consumers prefer travel brands that offer personalized experiences. Because everyone is different, it is important to tailor the content to each customer.
Customers who visit a site directly need to be aware that they can get a stay that suits their needs and preferences. If visitors to the site are part of a loyalty program they should receive tailored messaging that explains what perks they have.
Hilton is paying attention to consumers’ desire for unique experiences. It encourages each of its 17 sub-brands promote direct reservations on its site to its 90+million loyalty members and all prospective travelers looking for a customized, well-rounded trip. Hilton’s Price Match Guarantee Rewards for Direct Bookings can be used to get perks like free WiFi, digital keys, and the option to choose their room. These are three desires that all travelers agree is essential to a pleasant stay.
Personalization is not just about the booking stage. Guests can share their experiences during their staya href=”https://hoteltechnologynews.com/2019/02/who’s-the-hotel-guest?infographic >, not just after they check out their rooms. Particularly younger generations are turning to digital feedback methods. 15% of Millennials would like to text their hotel and 17% of those between 35-54 years old want an email survey from their hotel.
You can provide a channel for guests to communicate their concerns, needs, and thoughts. They can rest assured that they will be heard. It doesn’t matter if it’s a website or a function on the brand’s mobile application. But, you can provide a simple, efficient internal process that caters to your guests (especially loyalty members!) A guest doesn’t feel like they have to leave a negative review on the internet if they don’t have any needs. This allows your brand to respond immediately and remember the guest’s needs for the next stay.
Better processes enable better content
Enterprise hotel brands are always looking for new ways to innovate. Bigger and better content experiences provide the foundation for loyal customers. Debika Sihi is Associate Professor of Economics at Southwestern University. She says that the focus in both the Hilton-Marriott campaigns is on building long-lasting relationships between the brand and the traveler.
These are the relationships that last.