Big Data in Edinburgh


Big Data – a lot of print and web space has been taken up by this topic recently.  I will post my views in more detail over what I think it means and how I think it should be leveraged by Marketers, but here is a great example of a sensible use of data, harnessed alongside customer service.

I like Marriott Hotels.  I have a bank of good memories from weekends away in Marriott Hotels around the UK.

I stayed at the Edinburgh Marriott last Friday night.


It was a simple over night stop at a hotel I have used regularly over the last few years.  It is a nice hotel, good gym and pool, nice bar and like most hotels of this type has a reasonable turnover of staff.  I don’t expect them to remember me – I stay there, maybe 4 or 5 nights a year.

But Friday was interesting.  Greeted by a trainee and one of the permanent team, I had to wait a while – The Newport Gwent Dragons were staying there (RUFC – they lost to Edinburgh on the night) but I digress…

After giving my name, the receptionists clearly used data to make my experience of check-in personal and engaging;

  1. They knew I was a Marriott rewards customer and confirmed that my logged preferences had been accommodated in the room they were assigning me too
  2. They knew I had stayed with them before, “but just in case you need a reminder of where anything is please just ask any of the team” – nice and engaging phrasing
  3. They knew when I had last stayed – “well at least the weather should be better than when you were here in December Mr Hemingway”

Really simple stuff, but excellent service empowered by good, ACTIONABLE, data.  The added value for me is feeling engaged and welcomed by that hotel and the brand.

I would hope its’s policy, but it might just be great thoughtful customer service, either way … guess where I will be staying when I go back to Edinburgh in August for the Festival


12 May 2013


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4 thoughts on “Big Data in Edinburgh

  1. Andrew S says:

    THat reminds me of a story I once heard about an innovative CRM system at a hotel chain in the the US – the point was that the hotel didn’t have a CRM system so didn’t know if a guest had stayed before until they came up with the bright idea of having a bell boy at the front door who on being approached by a guest would offer to take their bag with a friendly “welcome..have you been here before?”. If they said yes, then as the guest entered the lobby the bell boy would give a big thumbs up to the receptionist so their first greeting was “Welcome Back!!”

  2. Mary says:

    Wonderful. So many companies have the data to do this but only use it to cold sell when they could create warmth, engagement and then we’d all buy again/more anyway.

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