Music download cards are a great digital promotion to reach both Generation Y as well as Generation X and Baby Boomers. While many people think that only Generation Y uses digital media, there are plenty of Gen Xers and Boomers who love their MP3 players too. And they’re buying music like crazy.
Hotel Stays = Music Download Cards
Holiday Inn brand, Candlewood Suites, used that knowledge to reach their own customer base by offering music download cards to their Holiday Inn Priority Club members. The typical Priority Club member tends to be people in their 30s and older, frequent business travelers, and probably still listening to the music they heard in high school and college.
They created an entire campaign of music download cards around Classic Rock songs — music of the Boomers and older Gen Xers — that would appeal to many business travelers: stay at Candlewood Suites Hotel, and for each night you stay (because business travelers stay more than one night), you’ll earn Priority Club points, be entered for a chance to win a $ 1,000 Ticketmaster gift card, and get five free music downloads.
One night, one card; two nights equals two music download cards.
Users could choose from the hit list on the custom landing page, or find their favorites on the entire catalog. All they did is punch in the numbers on their music download cards, download their favorite songs to their MP3 players, and they were all set. Now, business travelers could be reminded of their youth, while making grown-up salaries.
Book Online = More Music Download Cards
They even sweetened the deal: book your stay online, get another card. This meant that if you were a frequent traveler, you got as many music download cards you could shake a mouse at.
The upshot of this is that by having guests book their suites online, they can reduce call center costs. And reducing call center salaries for the cost of giving away some music download cards means Candlewood Suites saw an immediate ROI, before the final sales figures were ever calculated.
Measuring the Effectiveness of Music Download Cards
If a company chooses, music download cards can also be tracked to individual users. Since each card is given a specific number, the analytics can show when a particular person uses one of their music download cards. They can also pinpoint how frequently a person stays, visits the corporate website, and whether the program increased their number of stays. Future promotions can target only those guests who stay a certain number of nights, or use specific features of the website.
User Interaction Improves Response
Finally, users were encouraged to vote for their favorite classic rock hit. The Beatles won with 3,096 votes, Led Zeppelin came in second with 1,595 votes, and Queen was last with 432 votes (despite the awesomeness of “Bohemian Rhapsody”). All told, the top 10 bands earned 9,755 votes. Or to put it another way, at least 9,755 people participated in the program.
How to Use the Data
Let’s consider some possible future uses of this data. Claire spends six nights in Candlewood Suites over the summer, and she downloads a few Journey songs (among others). Next summer when Journey is back out on tour (yes, they still tour), Candlewood Suites can send Claire some notification emails when Journey is going to be in cities with a Candlewood Suites in them.
Carl spends six nights in Candlewood Suites and downloads songs by the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, and The Eagles. When the Stones release their next album (no, they’re not dead yet), they can offer it as a digital promotion gift to Carl if he stays for three nights at a Candlewood Suites next Spring.
While we’re not sure of the final results, we do know that Candlewood Suites saw some great success with their music download cards program. With some careful planning and market research into your customer base, companies can increase (and easily measure) the ROI of a digital promotions campaign.