In light of today’s election, I thought it would be a great time to look at some interesting data that Foursquare collected regarding the performance of Trump-branded hotels during the election cycle.
It’s no secret that there has been significant like and dislike for both candidates throughout the year. And being that I am in the hospitality field, I found a study done by Foursquare in August to be very interesting. The company used mobile location data to analyze the impact on foot traffic to Trump-branded hotels versus the prior year.
The company was able to take the numbers and break down the year over year change in foot traffic, even drilling down to hotels located in blue and purple states. (Red states are not currently home to Trump hotels so could not be included here.) Overall, they saw a clear decline in foot traffic in blue states from April 2016 – present date. While the brand of hotels does see a yearly pattern of decline entering into the winter months, there was a clear decline year over year during the same time period.
So enough about politics. What are the implications here? The Trump brand inevitably has a much clearer picture about what is happening with their brands and in the hospitality marketplace than we can looking from the outside. But by collecting this data from the mobile phones of people across the country, Foursquare is able to monitor trends and stay ahead of the game with their marketing efforts.
I always find it funny that when I step foot into a hotel, I get a push message from TripAdvisor. It usually is a message of sorts about the great restaurants near X hotel. Or it’s a request for me to review X hotel. These mobile applications are so great. I use TripAdvisor all the time when I’m vacation planning. But it’s easy to forget home much data they are actually collecting. Every. Single. Day.
You can look at the privacy section on Foursquare and see that they need to know user’s location information to serve tailored messaging – including nearby locations, tips and even the location of your friends. The same goes for apps like TripAdvisor, or other travel booking sites. To get good, personalized results that are likely to convert, the messaging must be a fit for the user.
It creates an interesting dynamic for mobile and social marketers. You want to use this data to benefit your company’s bottom line and the customer. But you must ensure you’re not creeping out your users. Even though we may have the information, too closely personalizing can make your customers want to delete you off their phone for good.