Boosting loyalty programs via location based services


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VentureBeat, a website that “provide news about innovation for forward-thinking executives” has a story on a hot new virtual intermediary promises to be the bridge between burgeoning location based services and loyalty programs by supplementing rather than competing with the latter. Somewhat aptly named, Topguest, the New York City based start-up aims to connect the loyalty programs hotels and airlines have with various (virtual) check-in services like Foursquare and more quizzically named sites Gowalla and Loopt. VentureBeat notes that Topguest  “is going for a niche market and making a bet the travel industry will venture into the location space using its product.”

The first hotel company to go along with the bet is (as of now) four city based Standard Hotels which promises guests of Topguest a free week at one of its hotels subject to a somewhat imposing travel regimen. The “free” week comes about if a “Topguest” customer checks in on any supported geolocation application and stays in all four Standard hotels (situated in Hollywood, New York, Downtown Los Angeles and Miami Beach) within one week. If the mere thought of such extensive travel induces a severe bout of travelitis there is also the option of getting 25% off the next reservation after 10 check-ins
at any Standard hotel, bar or restaurant. Other location based rewards include spa treatments, boutique
discounts, and cocktails. Topguest has also signed up three
other top loyalty programs as well to be announced later in the summer.

Topguest could be on the cusp of the next big wave for steering loyalty marketing both hotels and airlines besides more quotidian stuff like cappuccinos and even spa treatment. Guests “checking-in” virtually can have highly targeted promos from hotels to steer them in the “right” direction and, very importantly, help make the travel industry become
location-smart and improve the way they communicate with their customers.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Vijay Dandapani
Since August 1993, Vijay Dandapani, the President and Chief Operating Officer of Apple Core Hotels, has been instrumental in the company's growth and development, including acquisitions, six hotel renovations and the implementation of state-of-the-art computer systems. A hotel industry veteran, Dandapani, is also a member of the Board of Directors for the following associations: Hotel Association of New York City, NYC & Company, NYSHTA (New York State Hospitality & Tourism Association), and the International Hotel Motel & Restaurant Show at Javits.


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