Marriott Marketing Strategy 2024: A Case Study

Marriott International, a leading player in the global hospitality industry, has achieved tremendous success through its strategic marketing approach. In this case study, we delve into the intricacies of Marriott’s marketing strategy, including its branding tactics, targeted advertising campaigns, and digital presence. Marriott’s ability to understand its target market and develop tailored advertising campaigns has positioned the company as a frontrunner in the industry.

With a presence in 131 countries, Marriott International offers over 7,000 properties, boasting approximately 1.4 million guest rooms. By catering to various customer segments, including over-the-road travelers, luxury seekers, corporate clients, extended-stay guests, timeshare enthusiasts, and those craving opulent experiences, Marriott caters to a diverse range of preferences.

Marriott International’s marketing mix includes the fundamental elements of product, price, place, and promotion. The company leverages its website, social media presence, and influencer collaborations as part of its digital marketing efforts to engage and connect with its target audience effectively.

Marriott has been at the forefront of innovative marketing strategies, including collaborations with Snapchat influencers. By tapping into the power of social media and creating engaging content, Marriott ensures that it remains relevant and visible to its millennial audience, who contribute significantly to the travel industry.



Marriott’s digital initiatives, such as the Snapisodes series, provide bite-sized travel inspiration to millennials, with each segment lasting about 2½ minutes. Furthermore, the Marriott app enables rewards members to bypass the check-in process, allowing them to go straight to their rooms, enhancing convenience and customer satisfaction.

As technology plays a pivotal role in the hospitality industry, Marriott recognizes the importance of staying up-to-date with changing consumer preferences. However, industry data suggests that up to 75% of mobile users uninstall apps within the first 90 days, highlighting the need for continuous innovation and improvement.

Marriott’s M Live program employs geofencing to interact with guests, providing personalized recommendations and offers based on their location. This careful and targeted approach exemplifies Marriott’s commitment to enhancing the guest experience and building brand loyalty.

Key Takeaways:

  • Marriott International operates in 131 countries and offers over 7,000 properties with 1.4 million guest rooms.
  • With a diverse brand portfolio, Marriott targets various customer segments in the hospitality industry.
  • Marriott’s marketing mix incorporates product, price, place, and promotion strategies.
  • The company’s digital marketing efforts include leveraging its website, social media presence, and influencer collaborations.
  • Marriott collaborates with Snapchat influencers and utilizes social media to connect with its millennial audience.

In the following sections, we will explore Marriott’s innovative digital marketing strategies, successful marketing campaigns, competitive analysis, and learning from past failures. This case study aims to provide valuable insights into Marriott International’s marketing approach, showcasing its continued success in the ever-evolving hospitality industry.

Marriott’s Diverse Brand Portfolio

Marriott International, with its comprehensive portfolio of over 30 brands, has positioned itself as a leading player in the global hospitality industry. This diverse range of brands allows Marriott to effectively target and cater to various market segments while maintaining a cohesive brand identity. Their branding strategy is focused on offering unique experiences to different types of travelers.

From luxury hotels to budget-friendly accommodations, Marriott’s brand categories cover a wide spectrum of preferences and budgets. Each brand has its own distinctive positioning and target market, ensuring that guests find the perfect fit for their travel needs. This brand segmentation enables Marriott to provide personalized experiences tailored to specific traveler segments.

Luxury and Premium Brands

Marriott’s luxury portfolio comprises six brands, including JW Marriott, The Ritz-Carlton, and St. Regis, which offer unparalleled luxury and exquisite hospitality across their global properties. JW Marriott, with over 100 properties worldwide, provides a significant presence in the luxury hotel segment. The Ritz-Carlton, boasting over 110 hotels globally, and St. Regis, offering luxurious stays at 60 properties, cater to the discerning luxury travelers.

Marriott’s premium brands, such as Marriott, Sheraton, and Westin, collectively offer over 1,200, 450, and 230 properties worldwide, respectively. These brands target both business and leisure travelers by providing exceptional service, convenient locations, and a range of amenities. It showcases Marriott’s ability to cater to a diverse range of market segments.

Select-Service and Lifestyle Brands

For travelers seeking quality accommodations with modern conveniences, Marriott’s select-service brands, including Courtyard by Marriott, Fairfield Inn by Marriott, and SpringHill Suites, offer over 1,200, 1,200, and 500 properties, respectively. These brands focus on providing convenient and comfortable stays without compromising on quality.

Marriott also recognizes the needs of millennial travelers and tech-savvy guests. Targeting this demographic, Moxy Hotels have positioned themselves with over 100 properties worldwide. Moxy Hotels offer a lively atmosphere, contemporary design, and tech-friendly rooms at affordable prices, perfectly aligning with the preferences of young travelers.

Specialized Brands

In addition to their luxury, premium, and select-service brands, Marriott has specialized brands that cater to specific needs and preferences. AC Hotels by Marriott, with over 170 properties worldwide, focus on providing stylish and modern accommodations for design-minded travelers. For travelers exploring Africa, Protea Hotels by Marriott’s network of over 100 hotels provides tailored experiences.

Marriott’s ability to segment their target market through their diverse brand portfolio allows them to meet the unique expectations and preferences of each traveler segment. Whether it’s luxury, premium, select-service, or specialized accommodations, Marriott ensures that their guests have a memorable and personalized experience.

The Marketing Mix of Marriott International

Marriott International, founded by J. Willard Marriott in 1927, is a global hospitality company that operates nearly 30 hotel brands in 110 countries, with over 5,700 properties and more than 370,000 employees. To maintain its position as a leader in the industry, Marriott utilizes a comprehensive marketing mix that encompasses product strategy, pricing strategy, distribution strategy, and promotion strategy.

Product Strategy

Marriott has a diverse product mix that caters to different market segments. The company offers various types of hotel brands, including luxury, premium, select, and longer stays, to cater to the unique needs and preferences of travelers. In addition to traditional hotel accommodations, Marriott provides loyalty programs, timeshare options, conference and event spaces, online booking services, culinary experiences, spa facilities, and sustainable initiatives. The Marriott Bonvoy loyalty program allows guests to earn points for stays that can be redeemed for free nights and other rewards, enhancing customer loyalty and satisfaction.

Pricing Strategy

Marriott employs dynamic pricing strategies based on factors such as demand, seasonality, and occupancy levels. By adjusting room rates and offering discounts during off-peak periods, Marriott maximizes revenue and maintains competitiveness in the market. The company also offers personalized and premium services for luxury travelers, providing additional options for customers with different budgets.

Distribution Strategy

To ensure accessibility and maximize market share, Marriott focuses on strategic location selection for its properties. The company targets high-traffic tourist areas, business centers, and locations near key attractions. Additionally, Marriott maintains partnerships with distribution channels such as online travel agencies and travel agents to expand its reach and facilitate easy reservations for customers. Marriott’s online facilities for reservations, introduced in 1995, made it the first hotel business to offer such convenience.

Promotion Strategy

Marriott runs high-impact advertising campaigns and utilizes a variety of promotional strategies to increase brand awareness and customer loyalty. The company’s promotion strategy includes loyalty programs like Marriott Rewards, offering incentives such as free merchandise, vacations, gifts, bonuses, and room upgrades for frequent customers. Marriott also engages in print and media advertising, appearing in high-end magazines and newspapers like Condé Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal. The company leverages stunning photography to showcase its hotels and resorts in these advertisements. Additionally, Marriott employs a media advertising approach with television and radio commercials that emphasize core brand values such as comfort, convenience, and quality. The company also embraces an omnichannel approach, integrating campaigns across various channels, including print, media, and social media. Marriott utilizes QR codes in print ads for easy access to more information or reservations and engages in social media promotion and contests related to advertising campaigns.

With its strategic marketing mix, Marriott International has secured its position as one of the global leaders in the hospitality industry. By combining a diverse product mix, competitive pricing, strategic location selection, and effective promotional strategies, Marriott continues to attract and delight a wide range of customers.

Innovative Digital Marketing Strategies by Marriott

Marriott International, as the largest hotel chain in the world, has continuously embraced innovative digital marketing strategies to engage its global audience and maintain market leadership. By leveraging cutting-edge technologies and strategic partnerships, Marriott has successfully enhanced its brand presence and delivered personalized experiences to its guests.

The Marriott M Live Platform

One of Marriott’s standout digital marketing initiatives is the Marriott M Live platform, which combines real-time analytics, social media monitoring, and personalized messaging to create tailored experiences for guests. This platform allows Marriott to track conversations surrounding its brand and properties, enabling them to respond promptly to customer feedback and address any concerns. Furthermore, the use of data analytics on this platform enables Marriott to identify customer preferences and provide targeted content recommendations.

In addition to analyzing customer sentiment and engagement, Marriott’s M Live platform plays a crucial role in amplifying brand awareness during major global events like award shows, sports tournaments, and cultural festivities. By leveraging real-time data and social media listening tools, Marriott ensures timely and relevant interactions with its target audience, enhancing brand visibility and customer engagement.

Strategic Social Media Partnerships

Marriott understands the importance of social media in today’s digital landscape and has successfully formed strategic partnerships with platforms like Snapchat to reach millennials and Gen Z travelers effectively. These partnerships allow Marriott to showcase its unique properties and promotions through engaging and visually appealing content. By leveraging the influential power of social media, Marriott expands its brand reach and attracts a broader audience.

Marriott Customer App

In line with its commitment to providing seamless guest experiences, Marriott has developed a customer app that serves as a one-stop solution for travelers. The app offers features like simplified mobile check-in and check-out processes, real-time notifications, and access to personalized offers. By integrating technology into the guest experience, Marriott enhances convenience and efficiency, catering to the evolving needs of modern travelers.

Geofencing Technology for Personalization

Marriott takes personalization to the next level with the use of geofencing technology. This innovative approach allows Marriott to leverage location data and deliver tailored experiences to guests based on their physical proximity to a Marriott property. For example, guests may receive personalized offers or recommendations for nearby attractions and dining options, enhancing their overall travel experience and increasing brand loyalty.

In summary, Marriott’s digital marketing strategies are driven by a deep understanding of customer preferences and an unwavering commitment to innovation. By leveraging the Marriott M Live platform, forming strategic social media partnerships, developing a customer app, and utilizing geofencing technology, Marriott continues to redefine the guest experience and maintain its position as a leader in the hospitality industry.

Successful Marketing Campaigns by Marriott

Marriott International, with its commitment to innovation and a strong global presence, has implemented successful marketing campaigns that have resonated with travelers worldwide. These campaigns have utilized various strategies, including influencer collaborations, user-generated content, and digital platforms.

Snapisodes: Engaging Content Creation

One standout campaign by Marriott was the collaboration with Snapchat influencers, resulting in the creation of captivating content known as Snapisodes. These short videos showcased Marriott’s diverse portfolio of properties in an engaging and relatable manner. By leveraging the popularity of influencers and the power of user-generated content, Marriott successfully reached a wider audience and generated organic buzz.

The Snapisodes series not only enhanced brand visibility but also helped Marriott establish a strong social media presence. Through these collaborations, Marriott connected with various demographics, capturing the attention and interest of potential travelers in an authentic and interactive way.

The 30 Stays, 300 Days Contest: Creating Buzz and Excitement

To engage and reward their loyal customers, Marriott introduced the 30 Stays, 300 Days contest. This contest offered winners an extraordinary opportunity to experience the Marriott brand by providing them with up to 56 complimentary room nights at Marriott’s 30 hotel brands. The prize package, valued at over $30,000, also included additional benefits such as a $10,000 Marriott Bonvoy gift card, a $15,000 stipend, $2,500 in Uber vouchers, and exclusive program experiences from Marriott Bonvoy Moments.

To enter the contest, participants were required to create a TikTok video, no longer than three minutes, answering the question, “How has travel shaped you?”. This creative approach allowed Marriott to tap into the growing popularity of TikTok and capitalize on the power of user-generated content. By encouraging participants to share their unique travel stories, Marriott received a plethora of diverse and compelling entries, fostering a sense of community and connection among its customers.

Gaining Momentum and Recognition

Marriott’s marketing campaigns have not only generated significant engagement but have also received recognition within the industry. YouTube data reveals a staggering 118% increase in travel-related content views year over year, indicating the growing interest and demand for travel-related video content. Marriott capitalized on this trend through its successful video campaigns.

The film ‘Two Bellman’ by Marriott garnered over 5 million views, along with 247 million PR impressions and a 61.4% view rate. This remarkable success led to a 65% increase in searches for the JW Marriott brand. Additionally, Marriott’s online publication ‘Marriott Traveler’ resulted in 7,200 bookings within the initial 90 days. The short film ‘French Kiss’ generated $600,000 worth of bookings, showcasing the influence of Marriott’s video content in driving customer engagement and revenue.

Marriott’s collaboration with influencers for the Snapisodes series achieved a +6pt lift in brand awareness and garnered a total of 934,000 minutes of viewing time. This partnership demonstrated Marriott’s ability to tap into the power of influencer marketing and successfully engage with its target audience.

Marriott’s commitment to staying relevant in the ever-evolving travel and hospitality industry is evident through its strategic marketing campaigns. By leveraging digital platforms, user-generated content, and influential collaborations, Marriott has successfully connected with travelers, strengthened its brand presence, and fostered lasting relationships with its customers.

Continuing to innovate and adapt, Marriott remains a leader in the hospitality industry, catering to diverse traveler needs and preferences through its extensive brand portfolio and loyalty program, Marriott Bonvoy.

Competitive Analysis for Marriott Marketing

In the highly competitive hospitality industry, Marriott International faces strong competition from major players, including Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc., InterContinental Hotels Group, AccorHotels, Hyatt Hotels Corporation, and Wyndham Hotels & Resorts. These renowned hotel chains are formidable competitors for Marriott, challenging its market dominance and requiring the company to continuously innovate and adapt in order to maintain its competitive edge.

Let’s take a closer look at some of Marriott’s key competitors:

Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc.

Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. is one of the largest and most well-known hotel brands worldwide, operating in more than 100 countries with over 6,500 properties. With a diverse portfolio of brands and a strong loyalty program, Hilton is a formidable competitor for Marriott, especially in the luxury and upscale segments.

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG)

With brands like InterContinental, Crowne Plaza, and Holiday Inn, IHG is a major player in the global hospitality market. IHG boasts a vast network of over 5,900 hotels spanning across nearly 100 countries. The company’s strong financial performance and strategic partnerships make it a significant competitor for Marriott in various market segments.

AccorHotels

AccorHotels, with its iconic brands like Sofitel, Novotel, and Ibis, is another key competitor for Marriott. The company has a presence in more than 100 countries with over 5,200 hotels. AccorHotels focuses on offering a wide range of accommodations, from budget to luxury, catering to different traveler preferences and needs.

Hyatt Hotels Corporation

Hyatt Hotels Corporation is a global hospitality company known for its luxury and upscale brands such as Park Hyatt, Grand Hyatt, and Hyatt Regency. With approximately 1,000 properties worldwide, Hyatt is a formidable competitor in the premium hotel market, challenging Marriott’s position in this segment.

Wyndham Hotels & Resorts

Wyndham Hotels & Resorts operates a diverse portfolio of brands, including Ramada, Days Inn, and Super 8, amongst others. With over 9,000 hotels worldwide, Wyndham is a significant competitor for Marriott, especially in the midscale and economy segments. The company’s extensive global footprint gives it a competitive advantage in reaching a wide range of travelers.

Despite the intense competition, Marriott has managed to maintain its market leadership through a combination of effective marketing strategies, a wide range of brands catering to various market segments, a strong loyalty program, and a commitment to quality customer service. By continuously adapting to changing consumer preferences and leveraging digital marketing strategies, Marriott has successfully navigated the competitive landscape and sustained its position as a leading player in the hospitality industry.

Learning from Failure: Marriott’s “The Envelope Please” Campaign

Marriott International, known for its successful marketing campaigns, is not immune to failure. A prime example of this is the Marriott Envelope Please campaign, which didn’t resonate well with customers and garnered negative feedback. This marketing failure serves as a valuable lesson for Marriott and other businesses when it comes to understanding customer preferences and avoiding missteps in their marketing strategies.

The Envelope Please campaign, launched in 2015, aimed to address the tipping practices of hotel guests. Research showed that 30 percent of people didn’t leave a tip for housekeeping staff, while 70 percent usually did. Marriott’s solution was to place envelopes in 160,000 rooms across the U.S. and Canada, encouraging guests to leave a tip for the housekeepers.

However, the campaign faced significant backlash. Housekeepers, who are already less frequently tipped compared to other hotel workers, felt that the campaign only highlighted their low wages and disregarded the underlying issues. Workers who performed tasks such as carrying bags, hailing cabs, and parking cars tended to receive tips more frequently.

Another aspect that contributed to the failure of the campaign was the controversy surrounding Marriott’s Go-Green program, which allowed guests to refuse maid service for up to three days in exchange for points or coupons. The program aimed to reduce energy and water usage, but critics, including the union UNITE-HERE, claimed that it resulted in a reduced number of housekeepers needed and unpredictable schedules for the remaining workers.

UNITE-HERE even organized strikes against Marriott properties, with thousands of employees participating, due to their grievances with the Go-Green program. The union asserted that cleaning rooms after two or three days, as part of the program, increased the risk of injuries and strains for housekeepers, leading to lower wages and potential job loss.

This failure taught Marriott the importance of considering all perspectives and potential consequences before launching a campaign. It highlighted the need for market research to understand customer preferences and the potential impacts on employees. It also emphasized the significance of maintaining a strong safety culture to protect workers and a company’s brand image.

Marriott’s “The Envelope Please” campaign serves as a reminder that even in the face of failure, valuable lessons can be learned. It encourages businesses to analyze their marketing strategies, consider potential consequences, and prioritize the well-being of their employees, all while striving for success in an ever-evolving marketplace.

Analyzing the Success of Marriott’s Year in Review Program

Marriott International’s Year in Review program has proven to be a highly successful marketing initiative, driving engagement, revenue increase, and boosting the conversion rate. By leveraging the power of email marketing, Marriott effectively targeted its core customer base of frequent business travelers while also appealing to the next generation of travelers.

The Year in Review campaign was strategically designed to be customer-centric, focusing on providing personalized and value-added content rather than being transactional or offer-based. This approach proved to be highly effective in capturing the attention and loyalty of Marriott Rewards members, leading to a substantial increase in bookings and revenue.

During the campaign, Marriott incorporated various multimedia elements, such as a customized video, customer-focused infographic, Marriott-focused infographic, and a closing GIF. These visual assets not only enhanced the overall campaign experience but also reinforced the brand’s commitment to delivering exceptional service and memorable experiences.

Collaboration across multiple departments and agency vendors within Marriott International was crucial for the success of the Year in Review program. The campaign required careful calculation and incorporation of data points, such as the total Marriott Rewards points earned by all members throughout the year. This data-driven approach allowed Marriott to provide personalized insights and recommendations to its customers, further strengthening their loyalty and engagement.

The Year in Review program proved to be a game-changer for Marriott’s email marketing efforts. In December alone, the campaign helped triple the average revenue per message delivered, showcasing the effectiveness of member-focused emails and consistent thematic messaging. The success of this program demonstrates Marriott’s commitment to providing exceptional experiences and value to its customers.

Key Takeaways:

  • Marriott’s Year in Review program successfully targeted frequent business travelers and the next generation of travelers through personalized and customer-centric content.
  • The campaign incorporated multimedia elements, including a customized video, infographics, and GIFs, to enhance the overall experience and engagement.
  • Collaboration across departments and agency vendors played a crucial role in calculating and incorporating data points into the campaign.
  • The Year in Review program significantly boosted revenue, tripled the average revenue per message delivered, and reinforced customer loyalty.

Conclusion

Marriott International’s marketing strategy takeaways and success factors are evident in their strong presence and reputation in the hospitality industry. Through careful management, strategic implementation, and business differentiation, Marriott has consistently set itself apart from competitors. The company’s focus on cost analysis, resource allocation, and differentiation strategies has allowed them to capture a wide range of market segments and effectively cater to their diverse customer base.

Marriott’s marketing success can also be attributed to their emphasis on digital marketing, innovative campaigns, and personalized offerings. By staying aligned with emerging platforms and leveraging their brand ecosystem, Marriott has successfully created targeted advertising campaigns and loyalty programs that foster customer loyalty and satisfaction.

In addition to their marketing efforts, Marriott International’s commitment to sustainable strategies, diversity, inclusion, and employee care sets them apart as a responsible and forward-thinking company. Their matrix organizational structure, transformational leadership, and focus on global uniformity and corporate governance have contributed to their ongoing success.

Overall, the statistical data and analysis presented in this study demonstrate the effectiveness of Marriott’s marketing strategy in achieving their strategic goals and maintaining their position as a global leader in the hospitality industry.

FAQ

What is the marketing strategy of Marriott International?

Marriott International implements a strategic marketing approach that includes branding tactics, targeted advertising campaigns, and a strong digital presence.

How does Marriott segment its target market?

Marriott has a diverse brand portfolio catering to different traveler segments, offering upscale hotels, luxurious resorts, and budget-friendly options.

What is Marriott’s marketing mix?

Marriott’s marketing mix comprises competitive pricing, strategic locations, partnerships with distribution channels, and robust digital marketing efforts, including website and social media promotions.

How does Marriott utilize digital marketing?

Marriott utilizes innovative digital marketing strategies such as the M Live platform, social media partnerships, customer app, and geofencing technology to engage its target audience effectively.

What are some successful marketing campaigns by Marriott?

Marriott has successfully collaborated with influencers, employed Snapchat campaigns, and leveraged user-generated content to enhance brand visibility and establish a strong social media presence.

Who are Marriott’s main competitors in the hospitality industry?

Marriott faces competition from major players like Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc., InterContinental Hotels Group, AccorHotels, Hyatt Hotels Corporation, and Wyndham Hotels & Resorts.

What can be learned from Marriott’s "The Envelope Please" campaign?

Marriott’s campaign serves as a reminder of the importance of thorough market research and understanding customer preferences and expectations.

How successful was Marriott’s Year in Review program?

Marriott’s Year in Review program generated significant revenue and increased click-to-open rates through member-focused emails and consistent thematic messaging.

What are the key takeaways from Marriott’s marketing strategy?

Marriott’s success is attributed to effective branding, targeted advertising, strong digital presence, innovative approaches, and continuous improvement in marketing strategies.
About the author

Nina Sheridan is a seasoned author at Latterly.org, a blog renowned for its insightful exploration of the increasingly interconnected worlds of business, technology, and lifestyle. With a keen eye for the dynamic interplay between these sectors, Nina brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to her writing. Her expertise lies in dissecting complex topics and presenting them in an accessible, engaging manner that resonates with a diverse audience.