Adopting the Corporate Portal

By Steven Brier Print this article Print

What began as a simple database of logos and marketing collateral has evolved into a robust enterprise-wide marketing automation system.

Adopting the Corporate Portal

Noting BrandWorks’ early success in our marketing organization, other parts of Marriott International became intrigued, and some started to use the corporate portal to fit their own needs. For example, our human resources department began using BrandWorks to house its internal images, presentations and nonmarketing business templates.

Even our food and beverage unit found value in the portal as it began to store and share menus and information on group sales and event management. Therefore, what began as a simple database of logos and marketing collateral has evolved into a robust, enterprisewide digital asset management system that supports corporate units ranging from operations to legal.

Most recently, we rolled out a centralized offer-management system in BrandWorks. It allows our properties worldwide to create Marriott rewards and nonrewards offers and deals, and then promote them on Marriott.com and in other marketing channels.

The offer management system also supports automated workflow and processes, enabling our users to deliver revenue-generating offers to customers more rapidly. Because BrandWorks has built-in capabilities to tailor offers to distinct audiences, demographics, marketing channels and so forth, more than three times as many offers have been submitted through the portal than were submitted without it.

We are now implementing marketing automation with built-in tracking capabilities to report on promotional programs, as well as automated analyses to identify which offers, programs and marketing campaigns are most successful. In addition, in early 2012 we plan to integrate social media strategies for all our brands and properties into the portal to amplify the buzz around our brands as customers continue to flock to social media to research destinations and lodging options and make travel plans.

Marriott will use BrandWorks to publish offers and deals to corporate and brand sites, as well as to individual property sites. We estimate that using automated processes has cut the time it takes to bring an offer to market by close to 25 percent. 

Signs of Success

Beyond its more obvious applications, BrandWorks has enabled our company to improve information sharing and collaboration among our global locations and corporate teams. Internal users can report on total log-ins, the number of documents and assets currently in the system based on brand and category, and the number of offers created and disseminated through each channel. They also can recall usage data to inform marketing budgeting.

This enables us to determine what tools to activate for each brand and audience to deliver a better customer experience, educate its global properties on brand voice, ensure consistency across locations and languages, and enable executives to make better decisions through direct and immediate access to valuable customer service and marketing data. 

In the past two years alone, Marriott has experienced a 186 percent increase in total user log-ins, while more than doubling the number of assets available in, and documents created through, the portal. 

Within the past 12 months, more than 6,000 users have logged in to BrandWorks, representing all Marriott properties, corporate headquarters and regional departments. Our users are based in 70 countries and territories, and represent 16 different brands. They access the tool remotely through any Internet browser using desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones.

Steven Brier is senior manager of field marketing support at Marriott International, based in Bethesda, Md.

This article was originally published on 2012-01-17
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