The Project: Marriott International wanted to develop an integrated marketing program that repositioned their brand as they were preparing for a major new market expansion and renovation of their existing properties. The objective was to change their perceived value as a mid-tier hotelier to a diverse, vibrant hotelier who can service the needs of any traveler—business or leisure. The challenge was how do we increase the company’s value proposition and differentiate itself in a very competitive industry. We created a campaign titled “The Marriott Way”, which focused on its rich history, their investment to offer their brand into more markets, their commitment to quality appointments and details to every property, and their commitment to excellent customer service from every staff member. Our strategy was to segment our marketing program into different categories:
- The advertising strategy focused on the various Marriott’s brand offering and why they are first class compared to the competition.
- The promotion strategy focused on the customer’s staying experience. The promotion focused on the ancillary appointments from feather pillows and high thread count sheets, technology access, pool, bar scene after a long day. The promotion outlined our loyalty program to current and prospective traveler and the benefits of our loyalty program.
- The PR and publicity strategy focused on celebrating the Marriott brand in a local market. Whether it was a new hotel or a renovated property. Our strategy was to tell the story around the quality design and appointments of the property and why Marriott was committed to coming to this market.
- The sales strategy focused on empowering our staff to leverage and offer more to the customer experience.
Whether it was offering a dining experience at their restaurant, access to their business center to get some work completed, or celebrate a special occasion in their reception hall or upgrading their room.
Our initial marketing research showed that the brand was being still being perceived as old, and stuffy among millennial professionals, and less service oriented among Gen X professionals. This data was critical because it allowed us to adjust our campaign to directly speak to their value needs. With Marriott’s millennial travel professionals, we focused on the technology upgrades and the various resources available at their properties so they can stay connected and maintain high work productivity profile. With Marriott’s Gen X travel professionals, we focused their excellent customer services and our commitment to make their stay relaxing and memorable. It was apparent that our success would be achieved only if we clearly understood the profile of each target audience.
The Result: Our campaign; titled “The Marriott Way” did achieved its value proposition as a diverse, vibrant hotelier who can service the needs of any traveler—business or leisure.
The segmentation of the marketing programs allowed us to position Marriott as the premier hotelier in every category from luxury to budget. Finally, there was a double-digit market growth in both market segments of millennials and Gen X travel professionals.