Marriott International: The New Marriott Mobile App: The Perfect Travel Companion

Campaign Summary

The Marriott Mobile App has been around for almost five years, and the hotel brand has been actively promoting it to its customers. In 2017, based on hands-on guest research and feedback, Marriott International launched a new, dynamic, and personalized app for Marriott Rewards members.


Objective and Context:

More than half of smartphone owners now use their devices for travel-related activities. According to Google, 74 percent of people have at least one travel app on their devices. Marriott saw an opportunity to engage with travelers on the platforms where they are most active, and has focused its efforts on digitizing every moment of its guests’ journeys to make their experiences more personalized and seamless. 

Target Audience:

The Marriott Mobile App is available for members of the hotel’s loyalty program, Marriott Rewards. The program and app are free and guests can start enjoying benefits immediately upon downloading. The hotel brand already had an existing user base of almost two million unique monthly users, but it also wanted to expand to members who might not be using the app and to hotel guests who might want to join the loyalty program

Creative Strategy:

The creative strategy involved highlighting the app’s new user experience and design. It had a very distinctive look and feel, and the brand wanted the creative to illustrate that by using the same fonts, imagery, and overall design style of the app. The creative teams developed standardized iconography, nomenclature of all features, translations, logos, and imagery to produce a guide that was utilized by the global marketing team and in the field to maintain a consistent marketing message.


Overall Campaign Execution:

To introduce the app, Marriott created an entire new visual identity for a marketing campaign that consisted of owned, earned, and paid media, plus a global sweepstakes awarding one lucky app user the chance to Win Free Travel for Life. The sweepstakes focused on driving usage of the app by giving users who booked, checked in, or made a mobile request an entry to win.

Mobile Execution:

Marriott’s mobile app is designed to cater to every one of its guests’ needs before, during, and after their stay. Customers traveling with mobile devices expect to communicate with the brand in easy and innovative ways. They also expect a high level of service, whether in-person or digitally. The app was designed to facilitate a number of tasks at scale across over 4,400 hotels globally:

  1. Easily book and manage reservations
  2. Allow guests to check in before their trip globally
  3. Send guests real-time room readiness alerts
  4. Deploy real-time room upgrade notifications to elite members
  5. Offer Priority Late Checkout requests for elite members who want to sleep in a little longer
  6. Give guests the opportunity to be rewarded for opting out of housekeeping through the Make a Green Choice program
  7. Allow guests to request services and amenities during their stay and track them in the app
  8. Chat directly with hosts at hotels during their trip
  9. Use the app’s Mobile Key to open guest room doors at select hotels
  10. Check out digitally and receive a copy of a bill via email
  11. Manage loyalty account, track points, and progress towards next member level

The marketing campaign featured an innovative mobile sweepstakes that allowed Marriott to capitalize on these features by auto-enrolling customers who used these features for a chance to Win Free Travel for Life.

Results (including context, evaluation, and market impact)

The new app and marketing campaign achieved tremendous results for the company. The brand has seen huge boosts to its bottom line goals, usage rate of app features, downloads, membership enrollments, and active users. The marketing campaign has been a huge success in pulling together the right voice to support the app, drive users via the sweepstakes, and generate awareness for the launch of this revolutionary product. After launch, the app’s total monthly active users has spiked to 2.8 million (a 40 percent increase), revenue is seeing double-digit growth, mobile check-ins have spiked to over 260,000 per week (a 75 percent increase), and usage of mobile requests and chat has gone up 500 percent.

Categories: Product/Services Launch | Industries: Travel, Transportation, Tourism, Hospitality | Objectives: Product/Services Launch | Awards: Silver Winner