Accenture Interactive, the consulting behemoth that is increasingly infringing on traditional ad shops’ domains, has been chosen as Radisson Hotel Group’s global experience agency of record.
The division will be tasked with boosting and transforming the digital presence of the hospitality company’s brands and hotels to improve its relationship with existing and prospective customers. Accenture will service brands including Radisson Collection, Radisson Blue, Radisson, Radisson RED, Park Inn by Radisson and Country Inn & Suites by Radisson. Together, those brands represent more than 1,100 hotels across 80 countries, according to the press release.
“In a crowded hospitality space, Radisson Hotel Group is striving to differentiate itself from the rest through personalized and meaningful experiences and making every moment matter for our guests—starting from a simple Google search to a memorable stay at one of our hotels, post-stay engagement and loyalty,” Remy Merckx, vice president of digital at Radisson, said in a statement.
He added: “We are delighted to partner with a digital industry leader like Accenture to help us achieve this vision.”
Accenture said it has already begun work on creating a chatbot for the hotel group. The consultancy, pulling from its dedicated Travel Industry Group, will also focus on applying technology and data to personalized and targeted campaigns across all digital channels and curating unique content to drive traffic and new business for Radisson.
The size of the new remit is unclear at this time.
“Accenture has examined the impact on travelers’ perception of personalized marketing campaigns,” noted Mercedes Oblanca, managing director of Accenture Travel Industry Group in Europe. “Travelers engagement improves significantly when brand communications are personalized consistently across different channels and along the traveler journey.”
A spokesman for Accenture did not immediately respond to a query about whether this new partnership followed an RFP or formal agency review.
But that may not matter. The relationship should raise a red flag or two for traditional agencies that have already grown concerned with the recent wave of consultancies entering pitches and acquiring indie shops. On WPP’s fourth quarter earnings call in March, recently-departed CEO Martin Sorrell said the holding company had faced Accenture and other consulting giants in pitches, but claimed to have won the majority of them.
In WPP’s recent earnings call, co-chief operating officer Mark Read acknowledged that his network is “increasingly” competing with Accenture and Deolitte for business. And over the last few months, the former has won big business for brands ranging from Maserati to The Vatican.
“As Radisson Hotel Group’s experience agency, we can offer a new approach to build creative digital campaigns as well as a solid channel strategy to raise brand equity, revenue growth and customer love,” Anatoly Roytman, Accenture Interactive lead in Europe, Africa and Latin America, said in a statement. “Taking a holistic approach to data, creativity and marketing technologies means we can support Radisson Hotel Group to deliver market-leading digital campaigns.”
Radisson Hotel Group remains in the midst of a major transformation that included the consolidation of several of its brands last year. The move was sparked by Chinese conglomerate HNA Group’s acquiring a majority stake in Radisson’s parent Carlson Rezidor in December 2016. Globally, Radisson is struggling to drive business and saw its net profit fall 83 percent in 2017.
Kantar Media reported Radisson spent $1 million on advertising in the U.S. last year, down from $1.6 million in 2016.