Customer Loyalty

Customer Loyalty is what will bring customers to your Hotel.

A recent survey jointly released by COLLOQUY and the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) how the average social media spend for marketers whose primary objective is to obtain customer loyalty was $88,000 last year, compared to $53,000 for brand awareness and $30,000 for customer acquisition, the objectives that attracted the next highest spending levels.

One of the key revelations from the research is that the absolute dollar amount marketers are setting aside for social media is low:

  • When asked what percentage of their company’s overall marketing budget is spent on social media, the largest group, covering 24% of survey takers, selected “don’t know”
  • 17% of respondents said they allocated only 1% of their annual marketing budget to social media
  • 16% said they allocate 4-5%
  • Smaller companies with tighter budgets are significantly more likely than large companies to say they spend almost 50% of their marketing budget on social media

Another key finding reveals a lack of metrics for success differentiated by objective:

  • When asked to identify the most important measure of social media success, nearly two-thirds of respondents selected “don’t know”
  • Of those who identified a measurement, the largest group, covering 20%, said engaging customers to respond and provide feedback
  • 65% of respondents said they’re not using any listening tools to monitor what their customers are saying about their brand

These results indicated that Social Media as a marketing tool is still in the early stages. And that Social Media budgets that focus on attaining customer loyalty is experiences the biggest growth.

A recent research from Nielsen shows that consumers are spending 43% more time on Social Media then than a year ago, making Social Networking and blogs the top online activity followed by online games and emails.

Customer Loyalty and Social Media

Some of the key elements to assure success here is to;

1. S – Specific – Identify your key customers. Chunk your customers into target groups related to their preferences. Find your look-a-likes that can interact and add additional value to your Hotel
2. M – Measure – Measure the effectiveness and change and adapt where needed
3. I – Ideas / Involve – Get everyone involved in the process
4. L – Learning – Deliver different messages and experiences. Learn what customer needs and wants is, and provide value within your different target groups
5. E – Evaluate – Keep it simple. And then rinse and repeat.

Sheraton Hotels & Resorts has really captured a great concept of how to utilize Social Media to build customer Loyalty. Storytelling is such a great tool to add additional value to your brand. Social Media allows your customers to be part of your Hotel Family in new unique ways.

Now it your turn..

What have you or your Hotel done to trigger Customer Loyalty? Do you still prefer traditional marketing strategies, or do you utilize Social Media to attract new market segments?

About Direct Marketing Association (DMA): The Direct Marketing Association (www.the-dma.org) is the leading global trade association of businesses and nonprofit organizations using and supporting multichannel direct marketing tools and techniques. DMA advocates standards for responsible marketing, promotes relevance as the key to reaching consumers with desirable offers, and provides cutting-edge research, education, and networking opportunities to improve results throughout the end-to-end direct marketing process. Founded in 1917, DMA today represents companies from dozens of vertical industries in the US and 48 other nations, including nearly half of the Fortune 100 companies, as well as nonprofit organizations.

About COLLOQUY: COLLOQUY® comprises a collection of publishing, education and research resources devoted to the global loyalty-marketing industry. Owned by LoyaltyOne, COLLOQUY has served the loyalty-marketing industry since 1990 with over 30,000 global subscribers to its magazine and www.colloquy.com the most comprehensive loyalty web site in the world. COLLOQUY’s research division develops research studies and white papers including industry-specific reports, sizing studies and insights into the drivers of consumer behavior. COLLOQUY also provides educational services through workshops, webinars and speeches at events throughout the world and is the official loyalty-marketing partner of both the Direct Marketing Association and the Canadian Marketing Association and a content provider to the American Marketing Association.