Marriott is On a Roll: Reactive or Proactive Graphic

Marriott is On a Roll with its Mobile App Guest Engagement Strategy

But it’s missing a critical component that’s right under its nose.

No doubt about it, Marriott is taking its Mobile First strategy seriously.  Recognizing that Guests never leave home without their mobile devices, the hospitality chain’s loyalty program has engaged in a number of mobile-first initiatives designed to reward current members and gain new ones.

Yet, it may not be seeing the forest for the trees.

Its most recent initiative, called #AppYourService, invites fans at select major games to send requests – such as barbecue ingredients or folding chairs – to the Marriott Rewards account and have runners bring the items to their tailgating areas.  Innovative for sure, and the company is expanding its in-app Mobile Requests platform across all of its resorts this fall. Once done, Guests can ask front-desk staff for services such as finding clubs featuring live jazz or making dinner reservations at a nearby Japanese restaurant.

But why should Guests have to do the asking?

Why can’t Marriott anticipate and fulfill their requests?

The short answer is, it easily can and it definitely should.

As Marriott (smartly) continues to roll out app features and functionalities, it seems to have overlooked the most valuable app feature of all.  That is, its ability to identify what Guests are interested in and need, based on the local events they engage in and the places they go, both on-property and in-between stays.  Easily done with location based services that anonymously gather mobile Guests’ real-world behaviors, and turn them into actionable personalization profiles.

Using the examples above, location based services would empower Marriott to take the onus off of the Guest altogether.  By knowing which Guests frequently go to live jazz events and which frequently dine at Japanese restaurants, they could proactively make recommendations—and even reservations, for nearby clubs, restaurants and more.

So Marriott, we applaud everything you’re doing to drive digital guest engagement.  Now it’s time to turn the table from reactive to proactive.  After all, the solution’s right under your nose.