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Marriott’s Different Audiences

by 
Lila Margalit
 on 
July 18, 2023
Marriott’s Different Audiences

Marriott International, Inc. has long been a dominant player on the U.S. hospitality scene. The company boasts a wide-ranging portfolio of some 31 brands, running the gamut from luxury chains like The Ritz Carlton to more budget-friendly options like Courtyard by Marriott. And with more than 8,500 locations worldwide, including some 5,700 in the U.S., the hotel giant is continuing to expand its footprint. 

Against this backdrop, Marriott International’s decision last May to launch the hospitality industry’s first media network – leveraging visitor data to let external brands advertise to its customers – should come as no surprise. With millions of customers passing through its doors each year, Marriott is particularly well-placed to help relevant advertising partners reach new audiences. The network, powered by Yahoo, offers both online and offline marketing opportunities, including in-room television and digital-screen promotions.  

To better understand the potential reach of Marriott’s advertising network, we dove into the data to explore the characteristics and preferences of the people that visit the hospitality leader’s various brands and locations. By layering foot traffic data with demographic and psychographic metrics from STI: Popstats, AGS Behavior & Attitudes, and Experian’s Mosaic, we examined Marriott’s different captured markets, gaining insight into the habits, interests, and profiles of its customer bases.

*A chain or venue’s captured market refers to the population residing in its trade area, weighted to reflect the actual share of visits from each Census Block Group comprising the trade area.

Something for Everyone

Marriott’s brands are divided into three tiers: Luxury, Premium, and Select. And with something for everyone, the company’s customer base encompasses a wide swath of society – from budget-conscious families looking for inexpensive accommodations, to affluent singles on the hunt for high-end, luxury getaways. Marriott also runs several extended-stay venues, including Residence Inn and TownePlace Suites.

A look at the profiles of visitors to four different Marriott chains shows that, as expected, wealthier patrons tend to frequent the company’s luxury hotels, while less affluent customers tend to visit its more budget-oriented Select brands. But even the company’s less pricey offerings – such as Four Points by Sheraton (acquired by Marriott in 2016) – attract consumers from relatively affluent areas. And certain Select tier destinations, like Marriott’s Millennial and GenZ-oriented Moxy Hotels, draw higher-HHI travelers than some Premium brands. 

The household compositions and consumer preferences of visitors to Marriott’s various brands also differ. Four Points stands out as a prime destination for families with children, as well as older couples – while Moxy attracts an outsize share of “Young City Solos.” Moxy and Ritz Carlton guests are more likely to be museum goers and use ride share apps like Lyft and Uber. And visitors to Four Points and Westin locations are more apt to be into DIY home improvement. 

Getting into the Groove with Moxy

One Marriott chain that has been doing particularly well in recent months is Moxy Hotels, a brand squarely targeted at the “young at heart.” Positioned as an experiential destination – a place to play, and not just stay – Moxy Hotels’ website exudes youthfulness, inviting travelers to “PLAY ON #ATTHEMOXY,” and touting the chain’s fun communal spaces. The rooms are relatively compact and affordable, and at some locations, guests can check in at the bar and claim a complimentary cocktail

And the chain, which boasts some 120 properties across 23 countries (including more than 30 in the U.S.), experienced positive year-over-year (YoY) visit growth throughout H1 2023. While some of this growth is undoubtedly due to the chain’s continued expansion, the average number of visits to each Moxy Hotel also increased. The consumer quest for fun experiences, which has propelled experiential models in retail and dining, appears to be leaving its mark on the hotel industry as well. 

Moxy Hotel’s highly targeted experiential vibe may make it particularly attractive for advertisers interested in reaching younger consumers. But while Moxy targets a pretty specific demographic, the profile of its customers is far from uniform. Visitors to Moxy’s New Orleans Hotel, for example, are more likely to have a lower HHI and to include families with children than visitors to its Washington, D.C. and East Village (New York) venues. And while more than 60.0% of visitors to the East Village Moxy in H1 2023 were locals hailing from less than 30 miles away, 81.5% of visitors to the New Orleans Moxy came from further away.

Looking Ahead

Buoyed by a post-COVID travel boom that has seen people flocking back to hotels and airlines, Marriott International – along with its media network – appears poised for further growth. While the network will undoubtedly harness Marriott’s own first-party data, including from its Bonvoy loyalty program, location intelligence can offer additional layers of insight into the actual audiences it is likely to reach.

‍For more data-driven foot traffic insights, visit Placer.ai.

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