One of the top loyalty programs in the hotel industry, Hyatt Hotels and Resorts, is now in the hands of Olson 1to1, a 120-employee division of the Minneapolis ad agency Olson.
Olson 1to1 announced its status as loyalty agency of record for the Hyatt system on Wednesday and will have responsibility for Hyatt programs around the world. Hyatt has more than 500 properties in 48 countries.
Olson said it would start work on the Hyatt account this summer with a rollout by the first half of 2015.
Billings for the Hyatt project were not revealed.
The Hyatt Gold Passport rewards package is considered among the best in the lodging trade. Forrester Research calls it "one of the eight loyalty providers that matter." Condé Nast Traveler last year ranked the Hyatt Gold Passport as "the most rewarding hotel program."
Jeff Zidell, Hyatt's senior vice president for the Gold Passport service, said it retained Olson 1to1 because of its marketing and technology capabilities.
"It's a great catch for us," said Margaret Murphy, president of 1to1. "The hotel sector is getting so competitive that you have to drive the customer experience online as well as at the front desk. Our technology platform has the flexibility to do that."
Twin Cities loyalty firms, which have a good deal of cross-fertilization within their ranks, are familiar with the lodging segment.
The Minneapolis-based Lacek Group handles Starwood's "Preferred Guest" program for its hotels and resorts and provides loyalty marketing for Carnival Cruise Lines. Olson 1to1 also has Wyndham Hotels and Resorts as a client.
Olson's 1to1 division was formally known as Denali Marketing before it was acquired by Olson in 2010. Its clients include Amtrak, Best Buy, Toys 'R' Us and P.F. Chang's China Bistro.
Earlier this year, 1to1 launched Lancôme's first U.S. loyalty program and included points for social media activity in addition to purchases.