Marriott #50to50 Showcases its Innovative Approach to Social Loyalty


According to Business Insider, social media’s impact is becoming impossible to ignore as social-driven referral traffic is rising at a faster pace than all other online channels. Indeed, social media is at the hub of several trends: loyalty, social proof, and when married with mobile, an omni-channel remote control.

Today I’d like to share with you the story of how Marriott tapped into these trends in its recent #50to50 campaign. Part of its larger customer experience strategy, the #50to50 campaign rewarded a winner with the ability to bring 49 of their friends with them to Super Bowl 50.

In conjunction with the contest, the Marriott Buzz team deployed a bus to the streets of San Francisco. It was wrapped with #50to50 campaign branding and a hashtag call to action that was designed to generate buzz in the week leading up to the Super Bowl. Specifically, people were asked to take a picture of the bus and post it to Twitter with #50to50 and #MRpoints in exchange for Marriott Rewards points and the opportunity to enter the contest.

Marriott’s broader social loyalty strategy

The social activation of Marriott’s #50to50 campaign, and broader social loyalty strategy, is powered in part by Chirpify. Once someone activates a Marriott social trigger—such as #50to50 or #MRpoints—Chirpify automatically and immediately rewards participants with Marriott Rewards points. Marriott is the first hotelier to embrace social loyalty in this way, generating seamless social amplification, creating deeper relationships with Rewards members, and further driving social proof among members’ social networks.

More than just an automated response to a social trigger, however, Chirpify allows Marriott to combine the best of automation and moderation to personalize its responses. For example, Chirpify provides a rules engine that can be set to respond to the same entrant differently each time they enter the contest and – importantly – allows the Marriott team to choose a different reward in a moderated context.

Chirpify provides critical data to the Marriott Rewards member database, such as social handle and the level of social interaction they’ve had with the Marriott brand. For example, the Marriott team can also respond to one-off posts like, “Had a great time at the SFO Marriott Marquis. Thanks #MRpoints” with a custom response based on a variety of criteria.

Social proof is implied in this strategy and serves to further social amplification. As Marriott Rewards members participate in Marriott campaigns, people in their networks in turn see these posts and their friends’ advocacy on behalf of the brand. This validation of the brand is a subtle form of social proof that serves to encourage others to share the message, and even join the Marriott Rewards program itself.

Last, Marriott’s strategy really showcases its understanding of people’s desire for utility. The #50to50 roving bus caters to its customers’ desire to pull out their mobile device and interact with the campaign. Indeed, the vast majority of the initial interaction on this campaign was on a mobile device. Providing such utility allows members to interact with Marriott how, when and where they like – especially important for Marriott’s traveling audience!

Marriott’s strategy to reward members with points in real-time through social activation smartly taps into social’s growing capability for referral, social proof, customer engagement and loyalty.

The ongoing results of Marriott’s social loyalty program bear these out by generating awareness through an implied social proof, increasing engagement through people’s mobile remote control and rewarding loyal Marriott customers.