Offers in the hotel industry have been "a smoke-and-mirrors game," says Adam Burke, senior VP-customer loyalty at Hilton. His company has come out clearly with a simple, powerful message of "No blackout dates." The feature, launched last January, allows members of the Hilton HHonors program to redeem points whenever a standard room is available.
Marketing support ranged from e-mail and a home-page redesign to print and outdoor ads as part of its "Connections" campaign.
The plan has paid off. The Hilton loyalty program watched redemptions jump 35% in February, the month following the effort's debut, compared with the same period in 2007. For the year to date, redemptions have grown 18%.