Poor Use of Marketing Funds, Hampton Inns

Weather.com has a radar display that will show you the rain, snow, or lack thereof above your current position.  Nifty, useful.  After using it for, oh, four years, I just noticed this feature today:

hmm, you know, I am KINDA looking for a place to stay tonight…

Hampton has presumably paid weather.com to install a check box that, if clicked, will show the locations of Hampton Inns on my weather radar map (zoomed out t0 a scale of 1 inch equaling, I’d guess, about 30 miles).  Clicking on that box gives you this map:

Wow! It’s not currently raining on 11 of the 13 regional Hampton Inns!

This feature allows for the simultaneous solution of two relatively unrelated consumer problems: what is the weather like right now, and where is a Hampton Inn?

I tend to assume that, in this year of our Lord 2010, national marketing is a polished science.  Endless binders of numbers, exhaustive studies, a century of trail and error, and douchebaggy Wharton marketing Ph.D. candidates all ensure that every marketing dollar is spent in the most efficient and effective way possible.

Then I encounter things like this, and I realize that marketing, like all things economic, is much less of a science than those practicing it would have us believe.  Because unless weather.com and Hampton Inn are part of the same ‘glomerate, this is one of the most useless product cross-overs I have ever seen.

P.S.  Oh wait.  I’ve never actually stayed at a Hampton Inn.  Do their roofs leak?  If so, then the combination of Hampton Inn locations and a weather doppler radar makes perfect sense.

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