Content that connects
As consumers are increasingly aware of the social and economic impact of travel, Marriott Bonvoy set out to build an online magazine exploring regenerative travel. Modus Create’s engineers worked with Marriott’s in-house design team to develop an interactive web experience on WordPress, including immersive articles, photo essays, and podcasts.
The innovative project won Audience Honor in the Branded Content category at the 7th Annual Shorty Awards.
Our work involved
- Frontend development with Gutenberg Blocks
- Design collaboration
- WordPress backend UX
- Shorty Award — Audience Honor, Branded Content
- Intuitive WP backend interface
- Interactive UX
88% positive response rate
5% increase in booking CTR
Tourism is vital for any economy, but it can also be a double-edged sword.
Fortunately, overtourism has also created greater awareness about the importance of traveling responsibly. Regenerative travel is on the rise, and it’s inspiring travelers to leave the destinations they visit better than when they arrived.
Quite fittingly, it’s the world’s largest hotel company leading the charge.
Deeper consumer engagement
With over 120 million members and 30 international brands, Marriott Bonvoy is arguably the largest hotel rewards program on the planet. Its online magazine, Marriott Bonvoy Traveler, is known for exploring and sparking new travel trends.
Marriott's team wanted to create a unique experience in its magazine to drive deeper engagement with regenerative travel themes. They wanted to go beyond traditional blogs and weave a narrative through immersive articles, photo essays, and podcasts. The project would also aim to help Marriott’s team understand the public perception of its brand values.
Modus Create joined Marriott Bonvoy’s team to help manage website development and create an interactive web experience.
Marriott started the project by gathering thoughtful stories that could be told visually through many media, worthy of this immersive treatment. The team created a comprehensive outline and UX plan for each story and determined what medium would best serve each asset.
Modus Create provided development support and design feedback throughout the project. We created the website frontend using Gutenberg blocks on WordPress. Gutenberg helps you create content in a more visual way than the previous TinyMCE editor. Its blocks are pre-built elements that can be customized to handle components like text, images, buttons, and tables. The components are React-based and communicate with each other.
Our developers collaborated closely with Marriott’s in-house design team. In addition to frontend development, we also made sure that the user experience of the WordPress backend was optimized for Marriott’s editorial team. This would allow them to make adjustments without using any HTML code even after the end of the project.
Finally, the team included Knotch cards on the website to gather feedback from its visitors.
Impact: improved brand perception
Marriott became the first hospitality brand to explore regenerative travel with such depth. The resulting campaign received a unanimously positive response.
The How to Travel hub received 9.7% hotel clickthrough rate (CTR), almost double the average CTR on the rest of the site. This demonstrated that topic resonated with Marriott Bonvoy’s members and influenced them to access hotel properties. A whopping 88% of respondents said they had a positive impression of the company’s brand after engaging with its articles.
Marriott also partnered with The Washington Post to share its stories and include the campaign on its TikTok channel, where traveler and content creator Jeff Jenkins, also known as Chubby Diaries, explained the importance of regenerative travel. This introduced a new generation to the philosophy of traveling responsibly. A survey by The Washington Post revealed that 80% of readers agreed that Marriott provides an inclusive environment. The Post's stories for Marriott saw 2-5x higher content engagement and time spent 3-5x above its benchmark.
The campaign was a finalist at the 7th annual Shorty Impact Awards in the Branded Content category and won the Audience Honor with the highest number of votes.
Positive Response Rate
Higher Content Engagement
Increase in Hotel Booking CTR
Go beyond pixel-perfect UX
Modus Create has helped several Global 2000 enterprises outpace competition with user-centric digital experiences. Interested in learning more?