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AccorHotels using biometrics as marketing ploy for loyalty members

Date:2018-07-09 18:40Source:ChinaTravelNews ReadingNumber: Times

AccorHotels is using biometrics a bit differently to promote the merging of its loyalty program, Le Club AccorHotels, with the programs from Raffles, Swissotel, and Fairmont.

Starting Monday, potential AccorHotels guests can take their own biometrics tests via mobile or desktop that will help them determine where they should go and what hotel they should book. Called Seeker by Le Club AccorHotels, the program is meant to essentially mind read what travelers are not only thinking but feeling to help them in their travel decision-making process.

HOW IT WORKS

AccorHotels gathered user reactions and responses not only through the mobile and desktop versions of the test, but also through a live entire studio experience where the company employed such devices as an Empatica wristband to measure heart rate, and a Musee EEG headband to measure a person’s brain waves. Skift participated in a live version of the test last month.

The motivators that are measured by the test, such as whether a guest prefers colder climates to hotter ones, or relaxation over adventure, are meant to help travelers decide what kinds of travel they prefer.

IS THIS JUST A MARKETING GIMMICK?

The Seeker program also shares some parallels, in some ways, with Marriott’s VR Room Service experiment, which the company deployed in 2015 to use virtual reality to reshape the storytelling narrative around travel. As much as Marriott said it wasn’t a marketing ploy, it certainly sounded a lot like one.

“If Accor wants to know deep information about you to market to you, it’s clear why any company would want to have this predictive information to enhance their marketing,” said Gary Leff, a frequent traveler and loyalty program expert who writes the View from the Wing blog. “That makes sense. But it’s unclear why a customer would want to go through the experiences to want to be better marketed to.”

“There is a real future in improved marketing analytics, using AI to understand customers at an individual level and offer the right kind of product marketing at the right time, not just based on preference but also timing,” Leff said. “In the future, it wouldn’t be surprising to see physical responses integrated into a brand’s understanding of consumer behavior to be used for marketing — but maybe this is an early iteration of it 10 years from now.”

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