LuxDaily notes: Hotel brands have a variety of location-based marketing options available to draw guests to properties including push notifications, banner advertisements, branded applications and foursquare.

Luxury hotels including Four Seasons, St. Regis and the Luxury Collection have used location-based services to bring consumers to specific properties and reward loyalists. Since there are a variety of location-based marketing options available, hotel brands should choose what works best for their brand rather than just copying another strategy.

“Location-based marketing is important to many retailers, service providers and well as those in the hospitality industry,” said Walt Doyle, Boston-based general manager of Where, a PayPal service. “Location-based marketing can help hotels target a message or offer to individuals in a specific geographic area based on room availability [and other aspects].

“It can also reach them at the desired time and place to more effectively generate an actual response from the consumer,” he said.

Banner act
One way to use location-based services is to serve mobile banner ads.

Hotels can use flight cancellation data and geo-fenced-impacted airports to drive reservations to specific properties, according to Mr. Doyle.

Marketers can also use these services to draw foot traffic to restaurants and bars, targeting both travelers and consumers who live in those cities.

Another option is push notifications.

Consumers who opt-in to an SMS dialogue with a hotel brand can benefit from exclusives from the marketer.

Hotels could use SMS to engage with consumers who are frequent travelers to the area and remind them to stop by the hotel for a drink or to visit the spa.

Push notifications are also useful if consumers are in an area to visit for the first time.

In addition to inviting consumers to the hotel, it could point out shopping, dining and sight-seeing activities.

This is especially useful when consumers have downloaded a hotel’s app. Since the majority of luxury hotel chains have apps, push notifications can be easily employed.

For example, Starwood Hotels & Resorts’ personalized “My Stay” interface in its Starwood Preferred Guests app allows fully-integrated booking, member information, hotel searches, travel details, FaceTime customer service and social media.

Starting 48 hours before a guest’s stay, a push notification is sent and rearranges the interface to become reflective of the specific brand and property (see story).

Location-based interface in app

Location, location, location
In addition to branded apps, hotel marketers are using third-party apps to engage consumers via location-based mobile services.

For example, Four Seasons used the former Gowalla platform to curate experiences for customers at locations in California last year (see story).

Courtesy of the Four Seasons

The hotels’ concierges created experiences at venues surrounding the hotel and encouraged customers to visit.

If participants went to enough places, they had a chance to win a $100 gift card to the Four Seasons spa at the location.

In addition, Starwood’s St. Regis and Luxury Collection properties are rewarding loyalists by offering free points and free-night awards for those who check in to properties worldwide via foursquare (see story).

The company is extending a line of communication to its guests by leveraging Starpoints as “social currency” and other prizes.

Also, hotel chain Ritz-Carlton is stepping up its customer service strategy by introducing World Concierge foursquare to worldwide consumers (see story).

Consumers will receive traveling and city tips from Ritz-Carlton employees for destinations such as Dubai, Miami, Toronto and Berlin by following the company on foursquare.

“Leveraging location and context helps target prospective guests,” Mr. Doyle said. “As a hotel brand, you want to be able to reach that guest as quickly as possible, at the right moment and location.”

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