Catherine "Cat" Seda

Monday, January 05, 2009

Hyatt Interview

Happy New Year! May 2009 be a year of joy, peace and prosperity. Will you be traveling this year? If so, you may want to check out yatt’it. “What’s yatt’it?” you ask.

yatt’it is Hyatt's online travel community. It was launched in March 2008, with 43 Hyatt destinations featured. Currently, over 200 Hyatt concierges are participating in yatt’it, providing their perspectives as local experts, and 37 destinations were recently added to yatt’it for a total of 80 destinations. Amy Wang, Associate Manager of Hyatt’s Gold Passport Marketing, talks about yatt’it…

What is yatt’it?
yatt’it is Hyatt's online travel community where Hyatt Gold Passport members and Hyatt concierges can share insider tips on destinations worldwide. Everyone is welcome to browse and email/social bookmark helpful tips to others; however, only Hyatt Gold Passport members and Hyatt concierges can post content. yatt’it offers travel tips and advice from three key sources: 1) Hyatt Gold Passport members, 2) Hyatt concierges, 3) Frommer's

We also have a partnership with FlightStats--a web based company providing real-time airport and airline information worldwide. Our partnership with FlightStats allows yatt’it users to use the FlightStats tool right within yatt’it without having to leave the site. There is also a mobile version of the site for users on the go:

How many visitors a month does your community have?
We are currently averaging 65,000 unique visitors a month with a 95% repeat visitation rate. There are 8,000+ yatt’it members. More Gold Passport members are joining yatt’it and new Gold Passport members are joining the program via yatt’it everyday.

How did you, and how do you today, grow your community?
During yatt’it development, we had an Alpha and Beta development phase where we invited Hyatt Gold Passport members and over 100 concierges worldwide to visit the development site to contribute their tips and provide feedback. Our launch communications plan included emails to our Hyatt Gold Passport members as well as print, online media and out of home advertising. yatt’it is also thoroughly imbedded throughout Hyatt websites. As we continue to add more destinations and features to yatt’it, we are communicating with our Hyatt Gold Passport members on a continuous basis.

How do you measure your community’s success?
For quantitative measurement we look at site traffic and membership growth, as well as engagement metrics such as posting volume, page views and tips viewed per visit, time spent on site, to name a few. We also monitor activities and results as yatt’it members cross over to other Hyatt sites and their activities on those sites.

Since yatt’it launched, the site has also been featured in many print publications (the October 2008 Harvard Business Review) and team members have been invited to speak at conferences regarding yatt’it (TravelComm 2008 in Chicago).

What specific impact has yatt’it had on Hyatt’s business?
We have data that shows members who have not had a recent stay with Hyatt are still engaging with our brand through yatt’it, which is very important to us. This allows us to further identify who these people are and continue engaging them with Hyatt and Gold Passport. Even though yatt’it is about Hyatt destinations, we have also received occasional feedback regarding our hotels and services through yatt’it which then becomes a great opportunity for us to engage directly with these customers.

Can you share a “sneak peek” at what you might do in 2009?
We are currently still working on these enhancements with no ETA confirmed. However, we most recently added the social bookmarking tool which allows users to post their favorite posts on Facebook and iGoogle pages.


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