Andy Kauffman is a digital guru. He is vice president, digital marketing & Marriott.com for Marriott International working as the general manager for Marriott.com. He oversees everything from product strategy, digital acquisition, digital personalization and the digital brand strategy teams that collectively manage demand generation programs, one-to-one marketing, digital marketing and engagement strategies for Marriott’s portfolio of global brands. Here he talks about how Marriott’s strategy plays out across digital.
CHIEF MARKETER: How does a combination of data, insights and timing enable a level of personalization that’s key to driving Marriott’s bookings and business growth?
KAUFFMAN: Our approach, as always, starts with the guest and a desire to better serve their needs and deliver on their preferences. Now, we’re extending that culture into the digital age by listening, learning and responding to our guests’ needs using data, intelligence and compelling content to provide a more personalized experience. We use data and insights to present the right message to the right guest at the right moment across their journey with us.
CM: Can you give me an example?
KAUFFMAN: Last year we became the first hospitality company to integrate Facebook’s Dynamic Ads, enabling us to deliver more personalized content to travelers in the largest social community on the planet. We customize the content displayed based on an individual’s shopping behavior. We started with driving bookings and now are extending this personalized approach to additional activities such as signing up Marriott Rewards members or downloading the Marriott Mobile app to take advantage of benefits like mobile check-in and checkout and mobile requests while on-property. Through this guest-centric approach, we can engage with our guests continuously and ensure our content is relevant to their needs and wants in the moment.
CM: What is the custom-built M Live real-time command center and how do you use the data/metrics it gathers?
KAUFFMAN: M Live is our real-time social media command center that launched at our headquarters in Bethesda, MD, in 2015. We have recently added a studio in Hong Kong and one for our Caribbean and Latin America region with two more set to open in Europe and the Middle East. Our global approach means we can better engage our guests wherever they live, in-language, and in a way that is culturally relevant. The power of M Live is that it gives us the opportunity to go from speaking one to many to potentially speaking one-to-one.
CM: What types of data do you track?
KAUFFMAN: We track conversations, trends, global performance, marketing campaigns and brand reputation across social platforms and use that data to identify opportunities to interact with customers in a personalized way that enhances their travel experience. Marrying the data we collect on social media through M Live with the rest of our guest data to create a holistic engagement at any moment in time generates loyalty and revenue.