Insiders and the Travel Brilliantly Winner

Discussion created by erc on Dec 16, 2014
Latest reply on Dec 17, 2014 by erc
I ventured over to Marriott's Travel Brilliantly Twitter account (you don't need to tweet, can just read) and strolled among the pictures and taglines, unaware that it was all Marriott content/ads. I thought I would be seeing guest interaction. As I was about to depart, I came upon the winner of this year's Travel Brilliantly contest. Always interested in ways of enhancing my travels, I clicked on the following link and watched the two minute summary - fascinating.



   In case you didn't watch, here are the key points of why Digital Guest Walls, where travel information from hotel guests will be on a wall, was this years winner (out of 750 submissions);
  Here's what the judges (as did I) found attractive about the concept;
  a) Peer to Peer Recommendations
  b) Crowd Wisdom
  c) Guest Sharing
  d) Global Connection
  e) Local Experiences
  I thought to myself - gee, that sounds familiar
, essentially, Insiders on a CY Go Board Digital Wall, hard to argue with that. Of course it will be up to Marriott to implement the technology in a way that the data converts to information, remains timely and relevant, and credibly valid. It would be worthwhile, after all of the fanfare, to know the status of last years winner, the healthy vending machine. I also like to visualize how the judges would rate the Digital Wall idea if it came from a boomer  .
  Being that I had just seen and heard the explanation, I almost skipped Marriott's summary description (shown below) of the winner.....BUT WAIT, a shiny object; the word points caught my attention! To give you a feeling of how it jumped out at me, I enlarged and underlined for your viewing pleasure.


Digital Guest Walls 


Have large digital panels in The Marriott in strategic locations, e.g. lifts (see, we love you too Brits), reception, gym. Current and past guests can then submit online photos, drawings and travel tips from their stay, which are then shown on the digital wall, e.g. a photo of a restaurant they went to and a review of it or an unusual sight they saw. They can then accrue points at the Marriott for their submissions. The entries onto the wall would constantly change, creating an up-to-date travel guide for guests.


As Marriott began shifting their focus toward a new target audience a couple of years ago, my marketing instincts reminded me I'd better start learning what the new target audience likes (similar to a team that spends big dollars signing a first round draft pick, once a strategy has big bucks behind it, it's sometimes hard to alter, if for no other reason than the decision makers have personal and sometimes egotistical "skin in the game"). Marriott has successfully captured significant media fanfare with their FlashPerksLocalPerks, Badges, CyberMonday, PointsPlus, Facebook Contests, and Travel Brilliantly campaigns, leaving some of us to inquire, is there any there, there? Regardless of the answer, expect more of the same in the future.
                    The first rule of marketing is - know your audience
  This is why it's important for Insiders to continue appreciating our current millennial members, attract more of them, and listen to what they value. We've done that and discovered several similarities in values. Now I intend to observe, how they value those values, because that seems to really capture Marriott's attention and may provide a heads up of what's coming down the pike.

  What say you, non-digital wall contributors?