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Marriott Key West Beachside markets to guests with targeted Wi-Fi ads

Marriott Key West Beachside is one of the marketers leveraging a Wi-Fi managed service platform using geo-targeted advertising that enables mobile users to browse online and businesses to connect to nearby consumers.

The GoZoneWiFi platform aims to offer easy Wi-Fi access to on-the-go consumers and also encourage local businesses to send relevant advertising content with hyper-local messages. The service platform is building up its advertising network across the nation and is recruiting host locations, one of which is Marriott?s Key West Beachside hotel.

?I?ve been watching the space for quite some time and it has remained somewhat dormant,? said Todd Myers, CEO and co-founder of GoZoneWiFi, Fort Lauderdale, FL. ?A year and a half ago, I saw a huge market opportunity.

?We focus on delivering geo-targeted Wi-Fi to consumers: where they are and where they want.?

Wi-Fi as marketing
With geo-targeted technology, such as iBeacons, gaining popularity, Wi-Fi is poised to attract marketers? attention as a viable marketing platform.

Marriott Key West Beachside?s partnership with the GoZoneWiFi platform has resulted in the hotel seeing over 57,000 impressions in 89 locations across 11 cities, with a 12.39 percent click-through rate.

Host locations are given equipment and management services for free, while also gaining protection of credit card systems to ensure an isolated, secure network.

Once a user logs on to the Wi-Fi, he or she will be taken to a branded splash page, which displays five advertisements. The ads rotate each time someone logs on, and offer content such as promotions or links to drive traffic to the company?s mobile Web site or mobile application.

Marriott Key West Beachside?s ad offered a booking link to the hotel?s available accommodations.

Targeted messages
One of the benefits of using a Wi-Fi marketing platform is the ability to target messages and ads by desired location. Another one of GoZoneWiFi?s clients, a taxi company, asked for ads driving traffic to its booking app to be placed in specific cities that it wanted to build a client base in.

Many of the ads were placed in networks around bars and restaurants, driving impulse purchases from patrons that needed rides home after having a drink.

?One thing we give advertisers is the number of impressions and click-through rates they receive,? Mr. Myers said. ?They can upload a new banner ad anytime they want to.

?We send them Google Analytics information. We give them a lot of tools to be able to measure their success.?

Ads are designed to fit the 300 by 250 parameters, and do not require users to click on them to access the Wi-Fi. However, because they are all geo-targeted, they generally have more relevance for customers in the respective location.

While beacons are poised to be one of the premiere geo-targeted advertising techniques next year, Wi-Fi is proving to be an untapped marketing channel that will likely continue to gain popularity.

?A lot of the hardware now is going to be supporting platforms like ours,? Mr. Myers said. ?If someone has an existing Wi-Fi system, they?ll still be able to redirect the user to a landing page delivered from our system so they can become an advertising medium.

?The expectation is that the usage is going to grow because the number of devices is going to go up. Adoption is driving everything. Our properties are realizing that people need Wi-Fi access, and they might as well take the opportunity to engage with clients while they?re in the facility.?

Final Take
Alex Samuely is an editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York