Adrian Awards 2019
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Marketing Objectives:
Clearly state your marketing goals.
What did your company strive to achieve using this piece or program?
Best Western’s marketing goals for the Watson Ads campaign were multifaceted and sought to: - Deepen customer engagement and increase brand awareness through personalized, interactive content by leveraging AI technology - Position Best Western as an innovative leader in the hospitality industry through first-to-market, exclusive advertising opportunities - Showcase Best Western’s modern amenities, loyalty benefits and promotions, each designed to meet the needs of today’s modern travelers - Deliver meaningful, dynamic interactions to enhance the user experience in real time, meeting users at critical moments in the path to booking Best Western’s 2019 Watson Ads were part of an integrated campaign that offered loyalty members a $20 Best Western gift card after their first stay. Running concurrently with digital display, social, video and several other first-to-market innovations, the Watson Ads proved to be highly successful in this strategic media mix.
Target Audience:
Who was/is the target audience?
Characterize the composition, size, and location of your target audience.
The campaign continues to leverage The Weather Company’s exclusive LocationFX first party data, which collects and interprets data on users’ real-world behaviors including location, preferences, consumption habits and future activities. Best Western utilized this data to target its Watson Ads to the right person at the right time to maximize effectiveness. Target audiences for the campaign include: - Digitally savvy millennials who are dialed in to the latest technology trends - Users who have stayed at one of Best Western’s competitor hotels in the past year - In-market road trippers and travelers who show a pattern of location indicating they are not in their home cities and are on a travel journey - Leisure travelers who show digital behaviors that they are searching for weather outside of their home market - Business travelers who travel frequently, as The Weather Company reaches 5.77 million business travelers per month
Research, Planning, and Implementation:
What market research was conducted prior to planning the piece/campaign?
Research shows that AI deepens and enhances user engagement for brands that adopt it. Best Western continues to lead the hospitality industry in implementing the technology as part of its overarching marketing strategy. Building on the partnership in 2019, these AI ads entered the market with unparalleled understanding of the travel category and were strategically served across IBM’s Weather Channel app and They also incorporated extended engagements like promotional offers and loyalty program benefits. These ads take personalized content to the next level. The ads can understand, reason, learn and interact with users in a human-like way. Trained on questions unique to Best Western, Watson Ads can translate user intent and respond accurately with personalized, brand-safe answers. Served alongside extended engagements, the ads seamlessly drove conversations based on the users’ needs offering unprecedented levels of personalization.
What is the key message intended for the piece/campaign?
What differentiates your piece/campaign in the marketplace?
Best Western is focused on integrating innovative media strategies that push the boundaries of industry norms and set new standards in fulfilling unarticulated or existing market needs. Best Western’s IBM Watson Ads continue to communicate the brand’s unwavering commitment to today’s modern travelers and meeting their needs. The ads continue to outperform those of competitors by uniquely communicating with users on an individual level, delivering personalized information based on the users’ wants and needs. Depending on the user’s interests, the ads respond with entirely different, on-brand messaging with topics ranging from destinations to activities to promotional offers to loyalty benefits and more. To drive conversions, the ads provide multiple options to click through to to receive the lowest rates when booking. With this campaign, Best Western positions itself as an industry leader in adopting technological advancements to improve the guest experience.
Which of your original goals did you achieve and how?
How did you measure the effectiveness of the piece or campaign? Entrants should provide quantifiable results of their tactics or campaigns.
Using AI to improve the user experience is a natural progression for Best Western, customer engagement is central to its brand promise. IBM Watson Ads provide industry-first capabilities allowing Best Western to deliver accurate responses while giving consumers an informative and highly-personalized experience. 2019’s results show the brand’s risk-reward strategy continues to deliver valuable return in engaging prospective guests. Campaign-to-date results include: -Best Western's FY19 Watson Ad experience delivered 27M+ impressions, 8.1K user inputs (number of dialogue inputs with Watson), and 1,875 BW branded 1-on-1 conversations across the Weather Chanel and top travel sites -Total # of user inputs per conversation is highest IBM has ever seen with Watson: o users are initiating ~24 actions (prompt-button clicks, or chat-inputs) per conversation, indicating users are having meaningful interactions o In-Ad video experience driving completion rate 130% above Watson benchmark
Entry Title
Best Western’s IBM Watson Campaign
Digital Marketing
Digital Single Item
Virtual Reality/Artificial Intelligence
Entry Award: