Breaking down personalization in hospitality reward programs
Over the next few weeks, we are exploring personalization strategies employed in loyalty programs across various industries. Previously, we addressed loyalty programs in banking and quick service restaurants. In this, our third installment, we’re covering some of the hospitality industry’s most rewarding loyalty programs.
From 2009 to 2019, hotel bookings in the U.S. grew from $116 billion to $185 billion, and airline revenue increased from $155 billion to $222 billion. Hand in hand with this increase in bookings has come an increased demand for loyalty programs that make travel more convenient and seamless. With nearly two-thirds of U.S. guests stating it is very or extremely important for hotels to invest in technology that enhances the guest experience, it has become increasingly critical for the hospitality industry to leverage 1:1 personalization to foster long-lasting customer loyalty. Today, the hospitality industry is doing so through comprehensive loyalty programs:
1 | Marriott Bonvoy
The rewards: Ranked #1 by U.S. News for Best Hotel Rewards Programs, the Marriott Bonvoy™ program caters to a global range of business and leisure travelers who can redeem points for hotel stays, room upgrades, retail gift cards, cruise vacations, and more.
Marriot Bonvoy covers several hot destinations, including hotels and resorts owned by The Ritz-Carlton, St. Regis, and The Westin. These hoteliers can reward loyal customers with elevated and personalized experiences; for example, Marriott Bonvoy’s “Eat Around Town” promotion features 11,000 restaurants where loyalty program members can eat well and earn points. When location services are enabled, an intelligent AI platform can recognize customers’ real-time location in order to serve up relevant recommendations and rewards for local eateries where they can earn points.
2 | Hilton Honors
The rewards: With Hilton Honors, the more customers spend and climb the program’s tiers, the more points they are empowered to earn and redeem for a myriad of benefits—from free nights to Amazon Shop with Points.
Hilton uniquely gives customers the choice of sharing points with friends and family, donating points to charities and non-profits, and redeeming a mix of points and cash to give visitors the flexibility to customize their stay and spending. Powered by AI, the Hilton Honors app delivers seamless experiences across the board, from booking to room selection to unlocking room doors with a Digital Key.
3 | IHG Rewards
The rewards: IHG Rewards offers member-only access to unique and hard-to-get experiences such as concerts and sporting events. Beyond rewards nights and free stays, loyalty program members can redeem points for gift cards, magazine subscriptions, eBooks, movies, and more.
With AI, IHG Rewards Club can leverage historic spending patterns to serve up relevant and worthwhile promotions, personalized to each customer’s unique preferences. For instance, if a loyalty program member recently browsed for coffee makers, the Online Catalog might serve up an ad for one of its top redeemers, the Keurig K-Select Brewer.
When it comes to hospitality, loyalty programs are on the rise to offer differentiated experiences with every stay. Through Session AI’s in-session marketing platform, we’re empowering hoteliers and hospitality professionals to connect with visitors throughout their stay, leveraging timely, relevant, and valuable promotions to increase customer satisfaction and build loyalty. Learn more about how you can leverage in-session intelligence in your hospitality rewards program.