When I went to marriott.com today, I saw a banner advertising a contest/competition for a prize of a stay at Scrub Island Resort. I clicked on the link to enter the content and to my absolute disgust and disappointment, the competition was being hosted on facebook, so you had to have a facebook account to partake in the contest. Please recognise that not everyone has or wants a facebook account. I have absolutely no interest in facebook - couldnt care less about it in fact! By hosting this contest on facebook, Marriott is denying us non-facebookers the opportunity to take part in this competition. So please... do not host such contests on facebook in future! Thank you.
I don't visit facebook often, just joined a little over a year ago. That being said, I've found it to have a place for certain types of communication. My grown kids use it ALL the time, yikes. If I was a business looking to spend advertising dollars, facebook would have to be a consideration. Whether any of us like facebook or not, the social media world is here to stay.
Facebook has 900 Million users? or something like that... it would be irresponsible, in today's retail environment, to NOT attempt to glean business from this group. I'm okay with Marriott doing so. I wonder if there was a way for you to enter the contest without being a facebook member? Maybe give the support desk a call. They may be able to sign you up.
I agree completely. In many cases not only do you have to have a facebook acct but you have to "like" the promoting site to enter.
To see what happens once you "like" something check out this article from Friday's NY Times:
It's fine for Marriott and other companies to offer contests on Facebook (it is good business sense), but it would be more acceptable if they would additionally offer them without having to sign in or sign up with Facebook. Especially Marriott where we have this forum in which to participate. I have noticed that when I have gone to Facebook to attempt to enter a contest, I have to agree to accept an 'app' applicable to that particular company in order to enter (American Airlines is one I can readily think of.) I don't mean an app for my mobile phone, but actually when trying to enter via my computer. I find this not comfortably acceptable to me. But, heck, I wasn't going to win anyway.....
I certainly agree that businesses would be irresponsible not to take advantage of the huge marketing/advertising opportunities and access to potential customers by using facebook, but by hosting their promos only on facebook, they are alienating other customers. I think the marketing term is customer cannibalisation? The ultimate question is: if my platinum patronage of Marriott worth their providing an alternative means of allowing someone like myself to partake in such promos, or are they saying to me that I am one single customer, and despite me being Platinum, I just don't matter compared to the 900 million potential customers they could get from Facebook? (fair dues if they do, I just know when my custom is not appreciated:)
With regards to contacting the support desk... they work bankers' hours Monday through Friday, (which I just don't comprehend in the case of a consumer business that caters to the 24/7 travel business). I posted this outside bankers hours as that is when I came across this promo. I clicked on the 'Ask Customer Support' link which brought me to this discussion page. Is this not monitored by Marriott's banker-wanna-be's?:)
That's some funny stuff inside a few good question, gloabtrotter!! There is a Community Manager and the occasional Marriott employee that check out this site. For the most part, it's just folks like you and me...Marriott Rewards members helping each other with travel tips, issues, and events. I'll try to tag MichelleL from Marriott. She's the big cheese behind the Rewards program. She may respond, but the best idea would still be to give those banking keeping hours guys a call. I'm all for having a way, along with facebook, to enter any and all sweepstakes.
There is some reason why Marriott ran this promotion through Facebook. My guess would be that the sheer numbers of people on Facebook create quite a following when a company 'hooks' them in. I got notice of this promotion through an e-mail as I recall and when I saw it required a 'Facebook' action, I nixed it. I agree that there should be other ways to enter promos and those 'other' ways should be available to those who don't want to do the Facebook thing. I do have a Facebook account but the only time I use it is when I get an e-mail that someone wants to 'Friend' me. If I know them, I'll sign in...and accept....and then sign out. I spend (and spent) enough time in my years on this planet being bombarded by calls and folks trying to get me to 'buy into' some gimmick or item or promo or make a donation. I have every phone signed up for the 'do not call' list that is 'supposed' to get that stuff stopped. My point....I don't want the bombardment again that will come from 'liking' something on Facebook.
Oh yeah....and those calls that still bombard me at dinnertime or bedtime......I got tired of telling them I'm on the 'do not call' list that doesn't work. So, when they ask for me, I just say...'wait a minute'......and put the phone down. They've usually hung up when I pick it up again half an hour later.
Hope they had a nice night.......
There was a skit on the Seinfeld show a few years back that went something like this... A solicitation call came to Jerry's phone. He asked the caller for their name and home phone number, of course the person on the other line didn't want to give out that information. Jerry asked if that was because they didn't want a strange person to call them at home? Right... Then he said, "So now you know how I feel"
By the way...we signed up for the "do not call list" when it was first available. It worked like a charm. That is until about 6 months ago...all of a sudden, we're getting quite a few calls again.
I remember that skit! I agree about the ramping up again of calls even when on the list. It aggravates me no end. Countless calls. I get at least one a day even though I am on the list. Doesn't matter to those folks, so I don't have a problem just letting them hang when I put the phone down. Just really, really tired of it.
Greetings, All! You're right - 1 in 9 people on this planet participate in Facebook, so marketers need to establish a presence there - whether we like it or not. Social channels behave differently than traditional marketing/communication channels, and brands that want to participate effectively in social need to activate the channel using appropriate methods. On Facebook, sweepstakes are a common practice - and we will continue to sponsor them using that platform.
From a marketers perspective, we cannot see or use any profile information and the only way we can leverage it is by purchasing ads, or 'sponsored stories,' from Facebook. To direct the ads, or target them to those with a certain propensity, we select attributes from a pick list. So individual identity remains unknown to us.
We offer members opportunities to self-identify using their social ID, and if they do, we securely store the data along with the member profile. NEVER do we share or sell our member information. Never ever.
If you have other questions relative to how social channels work - and why an organization might want to develop a presence - I'm happy to share my perspective.
Hope you're on the sunny side of the street this fine Sunday!
Can you address the very salient comment/sentiment please - that when Marriott chooses to run a promo solely on facebook, it is denying members like myself who quite frankly have less use for facebook than the ant I accidentally stepped on today(!) from taking part in such promos. Surely Marriott would not want to alienate and isolate platinum members, or any member for that matter?
Gloabtrotter - would you say that those who opt out of email communications are being denied offers that are communicated via that channel? No - you would say that the person has chosen to not receive emails and willingly forgoes the content that would be represented there. Same thing when you get a direct mail piece at home and choose to put it into the recycle pile instead of opening it, when you flip through a magazine and tear out the annoying inserts or when you search on the internet and skip over the banner ad offers. Bottom line, how a consumer (in our case, members) wishes to interact with a brand (our loyalty program) is controlled by the consumer (member) and has nothing to do with alienation or isolation.
I have to agree with you on this one, although it may not be popular with everyone else's opinion. Technology continues to move forward, and we can choose to figure out to embrace and be part of it, or we get eventually left behind. It wasn't that many years ago that the Internet, email, and smart phones, and the like, were considered scary and many people stayed away from them as long as they could. We who are here, obviously got past that, but some older people never did. I personally, will try as long as I am able to keep learning the new technologies to stay a part of the present and future, until I don't have the ability to keep up.
I disagree entirely! To use your two examples, (1) if I opt out of getting email, then yes I am choosing not to receive that info. (2) when I throw junk mail out, I am also choosing to ignore the marketing messages. What you are doing by ONLY running your promos on Facebook is that you are not giving me an opportunity to say I do not want to participate (as would be the case if I opted out of email or threw out junk mail). You are excluding me because I am not a facebooker.
Your statement that how a member chooses to interact with a brand is controlled by them is also false. I am not choosing to interact with your brand because you are not giving me that choice by ONLY running your promo on facebook!
You clearly DO NOT 'get it'!
Your comment that 'We will announce whatever sweeps we run here on Insiders, but you would still have to get on to Facebook to fulfill the requirement to 'like' the page' is rather arrogant. You are basically telling people like me that I either need to fulfill YOUR requirement to 'like' you on Facebook or just go away. The purpose of my starting this thread was to give you feedback, and you are effectively rejecting my feedback by not accepting it. GREAT customer service skill to ignore customer feedback!!!!!
I dont know what business or marketing school you went to, but the fact is when you choose a medium that 1 our of 9 people on the planet are on, you are missing 8 out of the 9! Good luck with your 1 out of 9 people! You're going to lose the other 8!
Two marketing principles to consider: engagement and channel activation. Examples...
Let's say, when you were a kid, you ate cereal and noticed the offer on the back of the box. If you collected several box tops, you could send them in and get a very cool decoder ring. Well, you wanted that ring, so you started plowing through that cereal and convinced your mom to buy you more. While collecting those box tops were annoying (especially to your mom who was probably having to organize several piles for several children and several cereal types not to mention the slimy S&H Green Stamps, but I digress...), you tolerated the inconvenience in order to get the ring. Now, you could have said - "hey, I buy the cereal anyway so why should I have to take the extra step to collect these box tops?". Well, the cereal manufacturers knew that if you were engaged with the cereal beyond buying and eating, you would probably buy more cereal. And they were right. Marketing research shows that the more engaged a customer is with a brand, the more they'll buy. Makes sense. The annoying thing we're asking for is a Facebook 'like'. In social, it's the equivalent of collecting box tops.
As Facebook is a new marketing channel with over 9 billion pairs of eyeballs, we want to establish a very strong and valuable presence. Because we want some of those 9 billion pairs of eyeballs to glance our way, we're giving them a reason to do so. This is channel activation. In many ways, Facebook is a closed environment, meaning the activity on Facebook does not impact search results (the holy grail of digital marketing, according to the Book of Google), so a marketer has to play by FB rules. A brand has to positively impact the internal relevance and recency requirements in order to show up when FBers look for us (their algorithm is called Edgerank)...blah, blah, blah - it gets pretty geeky from here on out. Bottom line - the more "likes", "shares" and "comments" a page can drive, the better the probability that their content will show up on their fans 'wall' and also to be located whenever an internal FB search is conducted. For those of you on FB - you've noticed that posts may not show up on your wall even if you have "liked" a brand page - that's Edgerank at work. It's not enough that you have liked it - the content has to be compelling to a wide-enough audience to 'earn' the right to get served up.
So, the objective of a sweepstakes or contest isn't just to give stuff away, it's meant to engage and activate; in the case of Facebook, we want to increase the fan base (thus giving us more people to have a conversation with) and build awareness of our product (program, brands, benefits, etc). Offering it simultaneously on m.com or any other marketing channel would defeat the purpose.
Sorry if this got creepy, just giving you a peek of the marketing landscape in today's social environment.
That would be totally up to whether Marriott wants to invest the effort into duplicate entry to reach smal groups of non social networking users, or have a single point of entry.
I use social media for charity fundraising, and tend to enter things into LinkedIn (LI), as I can push them from there to Facebook (FB) and Twitter (TW) and cover everyone. I can not figure out why some people will only do 1 and complain about the other, and then there are the others that won't participate in anything. I do find that most of the engineering, science and clinical is on LinkedIn, and that Facebook has more entertainment and political participants.
Basically several studies show that FB has about 40% of the "Share This Link" and "Like it Links" market place volume. Anyone attempting to make money (like Marriott), or raise money (for charity) can not afford to ignore this if they wish survive much less succede.
I agree as well. It's the same thing with marketing the Marriott credit cards. On the internet home page it lists the credit card offers, yet at the same time there are paper inserts in USA Today as well. Why do both, and not target one? You can do the same for the sweepstakes.
Nice job Michelle..very thorough. If you really mean 9 Billion vs 900 million, you must have found folks living on at least one other planet. I think us Earthlings just passed 7 Billion in total...If you get these other worldly beings to Like you on facebook, I'll call the board and tell them it's time for Arne to mover over, there's a new sheriff in town and that be Michelle!!!
I do see the point, if what Marriott is intending is to get more of a presence on Facebook, then is makes sense to put it just on Facebook. If they were really just wanting to give stuff away, and as we MI members feel we should get it here too, then why stop there? Shouldn't everybody get a flier in the mail, because many of them aren't on here either? I think it all depends on what the objective of the marketing is. Although some MI members might not like the contests we had on this website when the new site was launched, it was available to only people on this site to win extra points, not to people on FB. If people on FB wanted to be part of it, or other people who weren't even on the Internet yet, they would have had to set up an account on MI to participate. I don't see any real difference. It all depends on what the marketing is trying to target on any particular contest or event.
Some interesting facts on frequent travelers
1) 2% of guests account for 30% of profit
2) Marriott Rewards members account for 40% of all Marriott lodging room nights, after joining Marriott Rewards travelers are more than twice as likely to select a Marriott brand for their next stay, Marriott Rewards has the highest frequent traveler loyalty program in the industry with members spending 49% of their travel nights at Marriott
3) University of California Berkley - 80% of profits come fromm 20% of customers, its much cheaper to get business from existing customers, firms soliciting new business have about a 1% success rate.
I think most of the Marriott old timers know this stuff. I am not certain if all the newer employees do, especially ones they might be onboarding to handle newer technologies like social media. Thought it was worthwhile to remind folks. I still think Marriott has the best program. Hopefully they leave it alone. Anyone that thinks they can find better, should go ahead and do that and just stop whining about it.
OK - now you're really making me smile! I'm crusty, a bit long in the tooth, and just celebrated 25 years with the company. But I appreciate the opportunity to be thought of as young (and, dare I say, inexperienced?)! Here's to people in the middle of their life span being smart about new technology! Who's with me?
I think that the Insiders are just trying to make a point. Sometimes we make incorrect assumptions. I, for one, don't see why Marriott wouldn't just put the same contests on the Insiders page for us as they put on Facebook. It is as simple as that. It would seem to me that Marriott should want to keep us happy and this is not a big thing.
I am all for new technology which is why I use Social Media and know its simple to put the same message out in all the media, so easier to administer, and also easier for those using the media as they receive a consistant message, which brings us back to what Californian is also saying, why not put the same message in MI as in FB, LI, Twitter ???
Am also all for keeping what has worked well over the years like Marriott Rewards and all its benefits, so its painful to hear fellow members talking about changes that are not improvements.
Geetings gloabtrotter, thanks for that feedback... basically, who doesn't like a good sweepstakes. Specifically within Insiders, we've been establishing ways to recognize individual members for their insightful and meaningful contributions. These include an Insider of the Month program, annual Roady Awards, and community Stewards, making the community a trusted resourceful for members. We'll keep you posted on future promotions , safe travels!
Makes total sense to me, a targeted marketing campaign to a specific channel (but ain't no way I'm joining facebook <I've seen how much time my wife and daughters waste>). Your F-book customer profile is likely "vast and shallow" compared to your insider profile of "narrow but deep". This requires two different approaches to attraction and retention.
My $.02, 11
I don't think they need to make a choice. Its easy enough to link the various social medias. I usually do my posts in LinkedIN where most of professional contacts are. When I post, I can check a box to push to Facebook, where I have only social contacts, or those in industries that use only FB, like entertainment and poliitics, and yet another button to push to twitter which are the people who only want to talk at you. I suspect that the Marriott informatics team could create a link that allows them to push announcements to these 3 media and Marriott Insiders.
Totally understand your frustration - not rejecting your feedback at all, but we just can't restrict our use of marketing channels because there are members who don't participate in them. Here are other travel companies that use social media: Travel + Leisure’s 1st Annual SMITTY Awards Showcase Social Media Innovators
We are (at least I am not) not saying not to put it on Facebook. What we are saying is that if you run a sweepstakes promotion on Facebook, also do it on the Marriott site, so people like us(who do not use Facebook) have a fair chance of winning as well! By limiting yourself to Facebook, you are shutting people out.
Greetings Insiders - you're point isn't lost - we'll investigate opportunities for dual sweepstakes although many will in all likelihood continue to be Facebook specific. For anyone interested, we'll continue to inform you of these promotions and we'll have details on a few Insiders specific contests as well (be sure to "follow" the Community Manager's blog). We've already teased our inaugural Roady Awards coming at the end of the year and we'll soon have details on a summer photo contest so Insiders will have plenty of exclusive opportunities to earn Marriott Rewards points and fun prizes!
Thanx for clarifying. I am actually an avid FB user [as well as LI and Twitter] but the sentiments expressed by my fellow MI resonated. It also made me wonder what the purpose of MI is if it is not treated on an equal footing as FB.
Really appreciate being kept abreast of FB promotion plans and will look for them, as well as a consistency in MI.