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Fairmont Hotels enhances foursquare check-ins with location-based offers

Fairmont Hotels is leveraging foursquare to send location-based promotions to customers who check-in at one of its locations.

The strategy takes advantage of a new foursquare integration with the Shoutlet platform, enabling marketers to track check-ins and plan location-based specials all from one dashboard. Fairmont’s strategy points to how mobile and social are becoming increasingly intertwined.

“Today’s customers are everywhere at any given moment,” said Jason Weaver, CEO at Shoutlet, Madison, WI. “It’s up to brands to provide relevant content to customers, wherever that may be.

“Managing and monitoring the activity on hundreds of venues in one dashboard means marketers can do more in less time – all while improving the quality of the outreach they’re doing on foursquare,” he said.

“With Shoutlet’s reporting dashboards for foursquare, they’ll also be able to see in near real-time how people are interacting at their brick-and-mortar locations and learn about who those customers are. This is vital information for learning how to strengthen their mobile strategies.”

Shoutlet is a cloud-based self-serve social marketing platform.

Richer venue interactions
The new capabilities make sense for hotels and other destination spots such as sports arenas and festival grounds because they better enable customers to interact with the location and enrich the experience, helping to strengthen the connection with guests.

By using Shoutlet on foursquare, Fairmont is able to look at one venue, a specific group, or all of its venues in near real-time to see check-ins, mayor changes, tips and photos. Additionally, the hotel chain can access check-in demographics and share statistics across a specific set or all venues to help make better decisions for future specials.

These features are currently available for beta customers, and will be open to all Shoutlet customers in the near future.

Mobile, social synergy
Marketers are increasingly using mobile and social media to complement one another as social use increasingly migrates to mobile. For example, Facebook users access the network via mobile more often than through desktop.

Location-based marketing is a big part of being accessible to mobile customers.

Shoutlet points to research from eMarketer showing that more than 60 percent of people are tagging the status updates and photos they publish to social networks while Pew found that 74 percent of smartphone owners are getting information about companies on-the-go and that 20 percent use location-based services.

Fairmont Hotels & Resorts operates luxury hotels and resorts around the world, including The Plaza in New York, the Savoy Hotel in London and  Château Frontenac in Quebec. The foursquare strategy complements the chain’s existing mobile strategy, which include mobile apps.

“As customers get more comfortable with geo-tagging and mobile, marketers are beginning to follow or have realized they need to very soon,” Mr. Weaver said.

“IBM’s The State of Marketing 2012found that brands that are not yet doing this know they need to start: More than 30 percent of marketers surveyed who don’t currently employ tactics like mobile Web sites, mobile apps, and mobile ads are planning to do so in less than 12 months,” he said.

“Currently 49 percent of those surveyed in the IBM study are either currently using location-based targeting or are planning to start in less than 12 months.”

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York