Starwood Hotels & Resorts launched a new digital extension to their Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) loyalty program by tapping into location-based social networking.

Starting today, guests can earn valuable Starpoints and Free Resort Night Awards for foursquare activity at Starwood hotels and resorts in nearly 100 countries. This further allows for hotels to engage with guests and reward SPG members for their geo-social behavior, leveraging Starpoints® as a form of “social currency.” To get started, members can visit spg.com/socialcheckins to link their SPG and foursquare accounts.

Earn 250 Starpoints by Checking in on foursquare with Confirmed Reservation May-July
SPG members can now earn bonus Starpoints by checking in via foursquare with a confirmed reservation at one of more than 1000 Starwood hotels and resorts around the world. Plus, every day throughout the month of May, a Free Resort Night Award will be hidden across one of Starwood hotels and resorts, to be unlocked daily by one lucky check in. Foursquare check-ins will also serve as an entry into SPG’s grand prize giveaway to win a five-night resort getaway plus airfare. In August, new bonus opportunities will be introduced on an ongoing basis, allowing Starwood to optimize foursquare specials by brand or region of the world.

SPG foursquare Mayor to be named monthly
Every month, the SPG member with the greatest number of foursquare check ins across all Starwood hotels will be declared the SPG Mayor. In addition to status and special SPG perks, the Mayor will be interviewed and featured within the specials landing page and will also be asked to contribute travel tips to the SPG foursquare tips page.

“This new partnership between innovators redefines the ‘check-in’ for SPG members, enabling rewarding experiences beyond their hotel stays,” said Chris Holdren, Senior Vice President of Starwood Preferred Guest. “This is yet another example of Starwood’s ongoing commitment to build deeper relationships with our members worldwide in ways that are relevant to their lives.”

With the launch of the social currency program and the recent expansion of a company-wide social media infrastructure, encompassing more than 1,000 properties, nine brands, 125,000 employees in 100 countries, all operating under one consistent strategy, Starwood continues to be an innovator and first in capitalizing on the digital space to transform the guest experience.

“We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Starwood on what will be one of the widest reaching loyalty integrations on any location-based service,” said Tristan Walker, Director of Business Development for foursquare. “Foursquare is focused on helping businesses reward loyal customers, and few companies truly understand customer loyalty like Starwood, so the partnership is a natural fit.”

Via: http://www.hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/starwood_adds_foursquare_to_loyalty_program/

More details from MobileMarketer:

“Our goal with the SPG foursquare integration is to introduce a new way for our hotels and resorts to engage with SPG Members,” he said.

Starwood Hotels consists of 1,000 properties with nine brands in 100 countries.

The Foursquare campaign will cross all of the company’s brands, including the upscale Luxury Collection and St. Regis properties.

Squaring off
Guests who are members of the Starwood Preferred Guests and have a confirmed reservation can earn bonus starpoints when checking in via Foursquare.

Preferred Guest members can link their accounts with Foursquare athttp://www.spg.com/foursquare orhttp://www.spg.com/socialcheckins.

starwood-foursquare-connect

Connecting via Foursquare

Additionally, individuals can earn 250 Starpoints by checking in with a reservation May-July.

Checking in to the social network will enter participants into a giveaway to win a five-night resort getaway plus airfare.

New bonus opportunities will be presented starting in August. These will be optimized by brand or region of the world, per Starwood.

Starwood is taking the Foursquare partnership one step further with the incorporation of Foursquare Mayorship.

This will most likely lead to increased reservations and traffic in the properties.

Every month, the Preferred Guest member with the most Foursquare check-ins across all Starwood Hotels will earn the title SPG Mayor.

The Mayor will be interviewed and showcased on the SPG specials landing page and will have the chance to contribute travel tips to the Foursquare tips page at http://www.foursquare.com/spginsider.

Getting techy
Affluent consumers who frequent Luxury Collection resorts or St. Regis properties are likely to be members of the Starwood Preferred Guest program.

Other luxury brands are starting to use Foursquare to their advantage.

For instance, Gucci is expanding its mobile horizons with a new Foursquare initiative meant to drive consumers into its retail locations (see story).

Foursquare is probably used by younger guests moreso than older ones, but Starwood could be using this as a way to build relationships with younger consumers who visit less-expensive properties in the hope that they will eventually work their way up to the company’s more prestigious brands such as St. Regis and Luxury Collection.

Still, Starwood considers itself somewhat of an innovator in reaching its guests via new technology.

In January, the company began using Apple’s mobile video calling service FaceTime to directly connect with its most loyal consumers through their iPhones and iPod touches (see story).

“SPG reinvented the hospitality loyalty industry when it launched in 1999 with its breakthrough policy of No Blackout Dates – redemption of points for free nights and free flights is never accompanied with hassles or blackout dates,” Mr. Holdren said.

“Our redemption platform is and always has been a standout from the competition,” he said.

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