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Tom Santora, Chief Marketing Officer for Omni Hotels & Resorts, realizes the vast importance of brand personalization as it relates to and impacts brand loyalty.
“Brand personalization has never been more vital than it is today to capture and maintain brand loyalty,” Santora told Loyalty360. “Omni has been rooted in personalization/customization way before the days of Big Data. We are in the business of creating memorable experiences for our guests–and with that, personalization was a key driver of that for us. Ten or 15 years ago, this was done at the property level, through guest interactions, and some through follow-up email surveys, etc. Take for example, a bellman, who will ask guests what they’re up to today, and then ask them about it upon return–that is personalization.”
With the explosion of social and digital in the past five years, Santora said marketers live in a whole new world.
“Brands have access to more data about their customers than ever before,” he explained. “Along with that comes the opportunity to personalize and therefore maximize the brand experience of our guests– both online and in-hotel–so that they will return and develop longer-term loyalty. Now we can help personalize a stay based on information collected from a variety of sources. A few off the top of my head at Omni include: Medallia scores, Trip Advisor feedback, social channel monitoring and responses, and a customizable program for Select Guest loyalty members.”
Santora said that Omni’s Select Guest loyalty program works effectively because it targets guests accurately with the content, service, and experience they want, where they want, and how they want.
“We have developed a system for our Select Guest loyalty program where members build and customize their stays–from pillow to sound machine to newspaper preference,” he explained. “We extended this into the health/wellness area too. For example, we know you like yoga because you told us in your profile. We want to be able to execute on personal preferences even though we do not offer a particular service. All of our properties do not offer yoga; however, because we know you like it, upon check-in, we will let you know about the yoga studios in our area. We empower our customers to personalize and customize their experience. Additionally, we are able to build brand loyalty by allowing guests to enroll in our complimentary loyalty program for perks starting on their first stay. While guests may not initially seek us out based on our loyalty program, they will definitely stick with us because of the Select Guest benefits. All of the perks add up to real value for our guests and we leverage that in our marketing strategies.”
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