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Marriott scores 69pc mobile engagement rate with social-enabled loyalty campaign

As hotel brands clamor to make the most of their mobile loyalty programs, Marriott scored a touchdown with a recent campaign that asked consumers in San Francisco to take a photo of its Super Bowl-branded bus and post it to Twitter in exchange for Marriott Rewards points.

Marriott teamed up with loyalty platform Chirpify for its #50to50 mobile campaign, which included a hashtag call-to-action that offered ways for consumers to earn additional rewards points, with one lucky winner receiving the opportunity to bring 49 friends to Super Bowl 50. Marriott deployed a branded bus to the San Francisco area and encouraged consumers to find the vehicle, snap a photo of it and upload it onto Twitter for a chance to participate, a strategy that resulted in 69 percent of consumers engaging with the campaign via mobile.

?It has become increasingly difficult for hospitality companies to reach the social audience they spent a great deal of time and money building,? said Chris Teso, CEO at Chirpify. ?Social-enabled loyalty gives consumers a reason to interact with the brand and builds a mutually beneficial relationship where they are rewarded for interacting with brand content, driving public advocacy, and in turn encouraging engagement among their network.

?In fact, 97 percent of loyalty programs reward participants for ?spend and get,?? he said. ?Yet, 84 percent of consumers say they would spend more with companies that reward activities other than spending.

?If you think about it, the hospitality industry has thousands of customer service stories just waiting to be told and it is through social loyalty that the most dedicated and engaged customers have a platform and an incentive to share those great service stories with their friends and family. Social loyalty is an increasingly paramount strategy for hoteliers because it increases engagement, generates seamless social amplification and creates deeper customer relationships with greater lifetime value.?

Incentivized loyalty
Prior to Super Bowl 50 on February 7, Marriott sent out a bus splashed with campaign branding onto the streets of San Francisco with the intent to drive buzz ahead of the big game. Consumers were asked to look for the bus in areas around the city, take a picture of it and upload the post to Twitter using the #MRpoints and #50to50 hashtags.

Each time a consumer activated a social trigger by using the hashtags, Marriott Rewards? Twitter account personally responded to that user and included a mobile-optimized link to the Chirpify-powered campaign microsite, where they could claim the points.

Super Bowl fans were then required to sign into the microsite with their Twitter, Facebook or Instagram accounts to complete the acceptance process.

Chirpify provided user data to Marriott Rewards? member database, which enabled the hotel brand to personally respond to each entrant, as well as receive access to their social media handle and level of interaction they maintained with Marriott.

The campaign ultimately resulted in 5,079 posts made, with 271,136 impressions. Sixty-nine percent of consumers engaged with the campaign using their smartphones, showcasing the strong correlation between mobile and loyalty.

Social amplification
Marriott Rewards was able to amplify the consumer outreach of its loyalty program with this campaign, since members who participated frequently posted Tweets that were visible to their entire network of followers. In turn, this facilitated an organic form of advocacy for Marriott Rewards.

Additionally, the campaign?s strong call-to-action underscored the hospitality marketer?s understanding of consumers? desire for added value. Individuals who saw the bus drive by were prompted to pull out their smartphones and snap a picture ? an action that took several seconds ? in exchange for valuable rewards points.

Therefore, both Marriott and campaign participants found utility from this initiative.

Other brands with significant followings and loyalty programs may also become inspired to undertake similar campaigns with major event tie-ins.

?I would encourage any brand with an existing loyalty program to incorporate social loyalty into the mix as loyalty programs actually have something to offer that is universally valuable to every one of their fans and has virtually no fulfillment cost?rewards points,? Mr. Teso said. ?Giving program members the opportunity and incentive to engage with the brand without being on-property keeps the brand top-of-mind and generates positive sentiment when the member is between stays.

?Social triggers are also malleable in that brands can advertise them on TV, billboards, via email, and more, and marketers can even change them for specific campaigns or seasons of the year, giving brands complete flexibility in when, where and how they reach their audience,? he said. ?Marketers can tailor the responses as well to the campaign, or even the individual.

?Critical to hotels is that social triggers can be activated anywhere ? from home on a tablet or in the hotel lobby on a mobile phone ? making it incredibly easy to interact with the brand wherever in the world a person may be.?