How Hospitality Brands Can Leverage Personalization to Enhance Loyalty Programs

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When it comes to building loyalty, travel and hospitality brands have the biggest opportunity to surprise and delight their customers with personalization throughout the customer journey. That’s because personalization hits on one of the key motivators that drive humans to be more loyal to one brand over another. That motivator is exclusivity.

We admire and sometimes envy others who receive exclusive, VIP treatment. And now, more than ever, consumers want to be recognized, communicated with and rewarded based on their individual tastes and preferences. Most importantly, they want to receive exclusive access to the products and experiences they covet in exchange for their loyalty to a brand.

But brands can’t just buy loyalty with perks because customers don’t suddenly become loyal to a brand that simply hands out loyalty points and freebies. Loyalty must be earned by delivering exclusivity in the form of hyper-relevant and personalized customer experiences.  

In a previous post we discussed how travel and hospitality brands can benefit from content personalization. Here we focus on the benefits of personalized content and customer experiences for loyalty programs, in particular, as a strategy for deepening customer engagement and advocacy.

The Power of Personalization and Loyalty

The traditional loyalty program for the hospitality industry looks like a broad tier-based system where the more a customer spends, the higher status they earn and the more perks they get. Today’s consumer, no matter how loyal, wants to be treated like the individual they are. This presents the industry with a unique opportunity to reward loyal consumers based on their individuality and preferences rather than their reward member status.

Marriott is one brand that goes above and beyond to reward guest loyalty through personalization. The brand’s new Experiences Marketplace allows guests to redeem points for special experiences that cater to their personal interests. This includes experiences like curated events and excursions such as photography workshops with National Geographic Expeditions, or VIP tickets to a sports game.

Similarly, the Kimpton hotel group leverages its rewards program to deliver memorable experiences that result in deeper loyalty. The brand is constantly seeking ways to tailor rewards to each individual guest, tracking each member’s stay and purchases for insights to personalize their experiences.

For example, the brand shares one story of a guest who posted an Instagram photo of Kimpton’s fun yoga mats in her hotel room. When she arrived home a week later, she found that Kimpton sent her a branded yoga mat of her own. As a result of personalized experiences like these, customers reward Kimpton with the highest customer satisfaction scores (93%) and emotional attachment scores (89%) of any hotel company in the United States.

Personalizing Content Experiences in Your Loyalty Program

Even the most loyal customers are distracted by the content clutter, leaving rewards and engagement opportunities on the table. While hospitality brands like Marriott and Kimpton have started to successfully weave personalization into the loyalty journey, there’s even more opportunity to deepen customer engagement by delivering personalized content experiences  within their loyalty programs.

Marketers can leverage personalization to deliver the types of loyalty offers that align to the individual needs and preferences of each consumer. With the right personalization technology in place, travel and hospitality brands can optimize the entire customer journey, offering hyper-relevant content experiences along the way to foster greater customer loyalty before and after a customer engages with a brand.

Sophisticated personalization technology helps you target the right content and offers to the right customer at the right time based on the unique preferences of each individual. As a result, you can take loyalty program members and turn them into the truest of brand advocates. Click here to explore OneSpot’s personalization solutions, or contact us to learn more about how content personalization can enhance loyalty programs for the travel and hospitality industry.

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