Choice Hotels Goes All In on AI

terrilyn tourangeau


There are immediate machine learning opportunities for businesses right now, and the results are staggering.

The statement was expressed by Terrilyn Tourangeau, Director of Loyalty Marketing at Choice Hotels, a Persado customer. She was recently interviewed by VentureBeat alongside two other early-adopting marketing pioneers to uncover the practical use of artificial intelligence technology in marketing today.

As Stewart Rogers, director of marketing technology for VentureBeat said in this webinar, “Every single week, right now, there is a launch of an A.I. or machine-learning marketing product that is changing the paradigm for marketers.” That’s no exaggeration. The global cognitive computing market is expected to exceed $12.5 billion in 2019, up from $2.5 billion in 2014.

Given the proliferation of A.I. solutions in the market, it takes a particularly savvy, forward-thinking marketer with an analytical mind and facility for change to make smart bets on new technology. As a veteran marketer and fierce customer champion, Tourangeau fits the profile. Following are a few highlights from her remarks during the VentureBeat roundtable.

Host Stewart Rogers first asked the panel to explain the why and the how of their adoption of A.I. and machine-learning marketing technologies. Speaking about her initial engagement with Persado, Tourangeau answered:

We dipped our toe in the artificial intelligence arena last year and took a very conservative approach to what we were even considering trying, with a very small investment across a few opportunities in our digital channels….

The promised results sounded absolutely too good to be true. Even I approached it with a level of skepticism, and I’m an early adopter of innovative technologies.

When piloting new technologies, the onus is on the provider to provide as much transparency and accountability as possible. Persado’s approach involves working closely with the customer to forecast the value the solution can bring compared to their current — and best — efforts.  Persado then runs a few experiments to deliver on the agreed-upon KPIs.

Having reached and in some cases surpassed the forecast metrics, the end of the proof of value can be an exciting time. As Tourangeau said in her discussion:

The results that we saw even from that tiny investment in AI were outstanding.

While I can’t share specific percentages, we are seeing increases across every email metric, really phenomenal results.

Stressing the ROI:

We cashed in all of our chips in this one particular arena to optimize revenue,” she says. “And this technology absolutely pays dividends.

To hear more about machine learning and the present-day marketing revolution, check out a recording of the full VentureBeat webinar.