10 Replies Latest reply: Sep 11, 2014 12:43 PM by jmconleyjr RSS

Improving the Insiders Impact for Rewards Members

erc Platinum
Currently Being Moderated
Reviewing this week's well articulated insights on the hot topic so thoughtfully provided Taking Guest Loyalty to the Next Level,
(I am convinced had it not been for NathalieF's efforts, we would have been just like FlyerTalk participants, unable to participate except through logging in on Facebook) aspects of the Serenity Prayer came to mind; accepting things we can't change and having the courage (or in this case interest/focus/discipline) to change things that we can.
 
  Years of futile interaction have demonstrated to me, at least, that we cannot change the direction of record setting Marriott Corporation as it relates to Marriott Rewards benefits (think you can? try getting points for meals at CY or the Ritz, try getting guaranteed upgrades, try getting 10 points for Residence Inn dollars spent, try earning points for cancelled rooms that you paid for, and of course, my bete noire, try getting them to remove all AAA, Senior Discount, Marriott Rewards Offers rates higher than Standard Rates), but I am a firm believer that we can "enhance" the tremendous potential value of the Insiders forum, which as Marriott flexes its economic muscles more and more, becomes even more vital to the Marriott traveler's overall experience.
 
  A key to either personal or business success is understanding the need to "deal from strength" and the good news is that Insiders has several competitive advantages, starting with the management team. The performers from Revelry nee Salt Agency have been top notch in their responsiveness, enthusiasm, and insights (credit due to Marriott for excellent selection). The Community Manager, first in the form of race car driving, moderating veteran Andy and now hard charging, Philly  bred 'shoobie', tech guru, hotelier Nathalie, are top notch personnel who sincerely attempt to advocate our positions.  Combine that leadership with the Insider participants' experience and their genuine interest in sharing and we have the makings for a powerful travel weapon, more powerful than any individual 'app'.
 
  With the above in mind, I turn my attention back to Insiders, the format. Surviving the ravages of thread clogging, existence threatening baseball contests and hotel reviews (which albeit significantly built the Marriott database, had the reverse effect on not only participation but viewers), Insiders has bounced off the floor of extinction and ever so slowly is beginning to regain its mojo (although still far from the swagger of the 150 reply, 8,000 views days).
 
  I'm confident if we, the Insiders, can help direct the moderation team toward improving the Insider experience it would be far more rewarding than once again asking them for the fifth year running with no true visible results to "hear us and pass along" our concerns. Please give thought to ways that the Insider experience can be even more productive to us, the no leverage with the vendor, traveler.

Here's a few ideas to 'prime the pump'. Thank you for your participation (even if it's to say like misterchk, "erc, you need to get a job" - to which I respond, some folks want to feed the hungry in Sudan, some folks want to save the whales, I want to help optimize Insiders ).
 
 
  1) Similar to the Hippocratic Oath - first, do no harm; work hard on avoiding the 'beta testing' screen changes that so often plague Insiders (or at least give us a heads up to what may be coming)
 
  2) Fine tune tech aspects - this is where I expect a lot of Insider input, but my one bugaboo, is the Exclude Member Reviews. I'm glad that it exists (a minor victory, we went months without it), but take it to the next level and have it remain, currently if we check a post, when we come back we are faced with all of the hotel reviews again, making it a chore to scroll to where we were and easier to miss a thread (which reduces participation).
 
  3) If you start a new feature (often an asset) maintain it crisply. I'm a big fan of bejacob and brightlybob  and if I wanted to know of a county courthouse or close a deal in the EU, they are my go to guys; but keeping anyone up on the face of Insiders for months on end to me, is like a burnt out R in the Marriott name on a property, a sign of indifference. Similarly with the nice feature Top 5 Local Tips, this began back in March and apparently remains the only five cities on the face of the earth that Marriott feels we should know about. As my hometown football team has learned, crisp execution is not to be turned on only when needed - practice doesn't make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect.
 
  4) Make the well written, significant effort requiring blogs similar to threads. As long as Insiders are replying, it should be kept on the 'Big Board' front page to utilize the multiplier effect of posts.
 
  and finally (from me, I'm expecting quality insights from Insiders, even lurkers - c'mon, go man go!);
 
  5) The moderation team is excellent at sifting through the posts and answering and welcoming newbies with questions that have been asked several times before (making it hard for Insiders to answer once again). Now most likely, first timers (who can grow to be major contributors) will not check the 'Guide' before posting (sharing after posting tho, is still valuable) so they may not know of the potential of the Search function (which also is an area of improvement but I'll let the I.T. experts discuss that) but please consider posting somewhere on the front page (perhaps right column, where the current listing of Insiders credits are - just have a link for that and those interested, can click to their heart's desire) something along the lines (and less wordy ) of  Insiders Welcome First Timers and their participation - In posting a question, be sure to check our Search box, it may answer your question or at least help you frame your question in a manner to get the best answer.
  Please acknowledge awareness of your responses and feel free to share your ideas as well. Thank you.
 
  Here is an example of a superb interchange, exactly how you would "draw it up" on the chalkboard;
 
Chicago Early Nov. JW? Renaissance Blackstone or Renaissance on Wacker
  Great job The specified item was not found.  and a tip of the cap to liasun , welcome to Insiders, don't be a stranger.
 
 
 
Ok, just like good sports teams often 'punch up' in order to enhance their skills, I bow before you Insiders, have at it. Feel free to pummel, but please in the other hand, have an idea of improving this potentially marvelous travel tool. Keep on keepin' on.

BREAKING NEWS - well in the 38 minutes it took me to compose this thesis, NathalieF has post an excellent new thread

Verified Ratings and Reviews Launching on Marriott.com   32 minutes ago in  Exclusive News


  Yeah baby - cookin' with gas - now we're talking Impact Management!

 

(For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Improving the Insiders Impact for Rewards Members
    Platinum 28 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    @erc

     

    At times, I have appointed myself the "comic relief" of this site.

    Please know that in reality no one supports your efforts (and others that are seriously working at improving our accommodation experience) than I do.


    At my advanced age I have become an "old curmudgeon " that is still traveling around the country on business. 

    Time permitting I do my best to seriously comment as well as bring up new topics that I feel are to the interest of fellow "road warriors".



    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

    • Re: Improving the Insiders Impact for Rewards Members
      erc Platinum
      Currently Being Moderated

      We're cut from the same cloth of chop busters. Don't be going mushy on me .

      Your participation many times keeps the threads alive and are appreciated. Stay at it.

      It's all good, my west coast football lacking, pal. Keep on keepin' on.

      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Improving the Insiders Impact for Rewards Members
    bejacob Platinum 38 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    Good stuff as always, erc.

     

    All excellent points. A couple, I'll expand on. As a former "Featured Insider," I can get behind your third point 100%. A month or two is long enough to feature anyone. That we've only had two since the beginning of the year is telling. If we don't go back to the Insider of the Month, maybe Insider of the Quarter would work or something that at least changes more than a couple times a year.

     

    I'm also a big fan of your fourth point. I like to see the comments on my (and on other's) blog(s). Currently, I only discover them through the inbox but then only on blogs I wrote or commented on. The same might be done when folks comment on photo albums.

     

    I'll be waiting to see the new co-creation opportunities NathalieF mentioned. Should be interesting.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

    • Re: Improving the Insiders Impact for Rewards Members
      erc Platinum
      Currently Being Moderated

      As winner (just nudging the newly 'edgy' vaboywnder and the always well behaved ssindc) of our Model Citizen Award, we'll send you as our player rep. You combine knowledgeable insights with an easy going personality that will lead to excellent outcomes (plus, you're one heckuva a 'tagger' ). Thanks for joining in.

      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

      • Re: Improving the Insiders Impact for Rewards Members
        vaboywnder Alumni Steward Platinum 21 Reviews
        Currently Being Moderated

        erc,

         

        I appreciate the endorsement!  I think you made some excellent points in your original posting.  Keep up the good work! 

        (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Improving the Insiders Impact for Rewards Members
    NathalieF Community Manager Marriott Associate
    Currently Being Moderated

    erc you must be reading my mind today! Thank you for the post, the ideas and overall contribution.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Improving the Insiders Impact for Rewards Members
    brightlybob Platinum 10 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    Well erc in order to freshen up the Insiders front page I've changed my profile photo... More colourful too. That should improve everyone's Insiders experience!

     

    Of course the biggest improvement would be a more photogenic Featured Insider, any volunteers?

     

    As far as the subject of improving Insiders as a resource, the most important part is improving participation, MR members actually using this site, asking questions and getting relevant informed answers, then choosing to further participate. Quality content ensures hits and encourages participation.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

    • Re: Improving the Insiders Impact for Rewards Members
      erc Platinum
      Currently Being Moderated

      Looking sharp brightlybob  . Thanks for making my point. It shouldn't be up to Insiders to freshen up the page or enhance the mechanics of the forum. Mechanics can greatly impact the participation, which as you state, is the key to quality content and more value for Insiders as a resource.

      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

      • Re: Improving the Insiders Impact for Rewards Members
        californian Platinum 37 Reviews
        Currently Being Moderated

        erc  You have it right.  Even saying that, we do give suggestions and sometimes even beg and are usually ignored as for example: the sign on process.

        (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

        • Re: Improving the Insiders Impact for Rewards Members
          jmconleyjr Platinum
          Currently Being Moderated

          I agree that persistence can have it "rewards" and the continued push for MRI contribution (whether acted upon or not) can be of benefit.  I know that is is challenging looking at any type of customer segment forecasting, marketing techniques to return "value", and identification of "profitable" customers.  Obviously not new ideas but definitely rapidly changing techniques to reach and service them. If the economy tightens again, it may become interesting as the larger resorts encounter declining "convention" size volume and the "average" consumer pursues the best "value" discarding loyalty as its "value" to them diminishes.  I think we are starting to see this transition a little in the auto industry marketing.  Look at Lincoln working its ways back

          (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

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