The weekly Flashperks promo is over. No more sneak peaks here on MRI. No more having a quick shufti at the amazing variety of stuff you can redeem points for.
I think the most fascinating part was the tech stuff on sale. I never spend points on anything other than hotel stays, that's where there value is best, but some really high travel road warriors find spending on tech stuff a useful way to spend their burgeoning points balance. It's amazing what tech stuff is out there, who thinks of these gizmos? Did anyone here buy the ball control for iPod? And why?
So what's your favourite part of the flashperks promo? Do you want to see it return as a more permanent fixture?
As it's my question, I'll go first. To me Flashperks had 4 distinct parts:
1. Half price point redemptions with upgrade at 5 or 6 attractive leisure destinations (the flash bit).
This was the bit I liked and I was able to snag a half-points weekend in NYC at the Ritz for the end of this month. Result! At least one other was also of interest to me but sold out by the time I remembered to visit the site. I snooze, I lose!
2. 30% (typically) off certain rates at desirable hotels with added features thrown in (the perks bit).
These were all great value if you wanted the extras. I did seriously consider one, (afternoon tea break at Grosvenor House) but eventually decided against, and kept my cash in my wallet.
3. Half price redemption opportunities on shopping, mainly tech products.
Fascinating to look at, but never even remotely tempted me. At half price I suspect they represented a decent redemption opportunity, and they usually disappeared quickly.
4. Flight offers.
These appeared towards the end and seem to have been added as an afterthought. The offers were poor, and so were the least interesting part of the promo.
We know Marriott monitors this site and that our feedback does travel deeply into the bowels of corporate, and although we may think we have no influence I do believe this site is used as a litmus, why run it if Marriott simply intends to ignore it? So folks, have your say. Do you want Flashperks back? What was your favourite element?
For my part, I enjoyed the promo and I'd like to see it return as a permanent fixture with more focus on hotel point redemption opportunities.
It's a shame to see your thoughtful analysis go to waste (and along with this weeks superb write up of Guarantees, you should consider becoming a contract lawyer ) so I'll jump in even with my Nationals 0-2 heavy heart.
Well, I guess the lack of overwhelming responses could probably lead us to believe that FlashPerks wasn't necessarily considered a 'barnburner', at least not by Insiders. But I think the key was expectations. Those of us, who have grown to know of Marriott's shenanigans in all of their deals (remember your 'click' post?) went in, as you and I did back in the beginning with the idea that if we could squeeze one deal out of the 12 weeks then, "it was certainly better than a stick in the eye" and we would consider ourselves fortunate to have shared in the largesse of the Mighty Marriott Machine.
Since you put on your lawyer cap, I'll toss on my marketing pj's and share some marketing mumble jumble with the gang. Consumers determine whether something is a deal or not based on two possible pricing factors; contextual (prices of similar products at the same time) or temporal (prices we remember paying for similar offers in the past).
1) This is why the points (albeit in a limited window of time and number) were viewed as real deals - we knew that it truly was a discount.
2) The 30% Plus Perks were a bit murkier. By bundling (something Marriott often does in the infamous Marriott Matrix ) and adding other products, we the consumer can't rely solely on temporal cues. Some marketing nuts like yours truly, did look up several of the aquarium prices, football games etc and came to the conclusion that in many cases the rooms themselves were not discounted, but rather the add ons; which makes it a deal if; A) you wanted to go to that property and B) you wanted to partake in the activity and C) you could do A and B in the time period indicated. Perhaps a deal, but certainly nothing to get all jazzed about (skiadcock's correct assessment that it appears Marriott was going more for sizzle than steak).
3) Similarly, the tech items, may have been half off their normal asking price, but in several examples the price was still dear - but if folks were sitting on points and saw an item they wanted, then a premium was still worth it as apparently was the case as many items sold out much faster than the hotels. The market has spoken.
4) Flights - I share your assessment
Summary - Guess what, Marriott was just named Top Hotel Loyalty Program by Fortune/Travel and Leisure
specifically lauding Marriott's innovation as demonstrated by FlashPerks and PlusPoints (another Insider yawner), so what the heck do we know? We know you can't tug on Superman's cape or fight city hall and ol' Clark Marriott is Mayor, so like I said, no more rabble rousing by me. I'll sit on the sidelines sipping pina coladas dreaming of the good ol' days and ride it out, happy to schmooze the front desk personnel and maybe, just maybe, as my dear pal dejamo proclaims, "Drink the Kool Aid" yeehaw, having some fun now boys and girls .
For me and my preferences, interests and point accumulation, I found FlashPerks to be an amusing diversion. I don't like to be locked in to travel plans, non-refundables, no changes……I'll pay what I need to pay (after wise research) to get what I want, when I want it as far as making travel plans. So the tech items brightlybob mentioned were a good way for me to spend points. It wasn't about doing the math for me so much as using points. I got all the Apple products, a couple of Kindles, a couple of Sonos. I just considered it some early Christmas shopping & to erc's point "better than a stick in the eye".
Flashperks was a big dud for me. The few items that looked interesting were already gone by the time I remembered to look on Thursday afternoons. It was nice to look, but none of the travel worked in with my plans. Alas.
As a concept, I like the idea. I just didn't play along this time.
I'm with bejacob, a huge dud! I'm a firm believer that the Marriott Machine has access to my calender as just about every place I looked had dates in the Flash Perks that we already had made plans or the cost of airfare was just stupid.
I'd love to see it come back with a larger window of dates to use the Flash Perks, but I think we all know what the chances of that happening are these days.
speaking of flash deals, i scored an $89 rate for the San Francisco Marquis for the night of Oct 17th apparently they are having their anniversary and giving way super cheap rates for the first 25 people per day. Its awesome because ill be celebrating my bday that day. I would have never known if i had not liked and followed them for the MRpoints promotion lol i checked the regular rates and the are at 250+
That's terrific stuff. Please tell us more. This could be a big value to Insiders, if other properties do similar 'closed loop' promotions. Folks who are following the properties book their special deal (much better value than 25 points) and then share with Insiders.
SF Marriott Marquis Twitter banner ads states $89 nights for select 2014 weekends in celebration of their 25th Anniversary and sends you to their Facebook page, which says "Please like our page to book your special 25th Anniversary Room". I didn't bother liking because I don't have plans for being in San Francisco this year, but I was wondering if you're not the first 25 (which are still pretty decent odds of getting a deal) what the rate is. Since you have already liked and played the game, if you get a chance try again (now that the first 25 have probably been taken) and see what the message is and what the rates are (for example on your weekend).
A $250 room for $89, I'll post a selfie on Instagram of me tweeting my like on The () Facebook!
Here's the plan Stan; our dear millennial friends like jm, follow and like the various properties.
They see a deal offered only to those cutting edge cyber whizbangs. They book the deal (making sure they get their's first, that's fair) and then share with us geezers, who at that point all of a sudden are hip to be square and jump on that Facebook thing and like any property saving us $150 per night. Heck, Google already sends me ads based on my e-mails alone (Scroogled) so what's a few more ads from my pals from Marriott?
Well what a great idea, erc . But will it work?
In the words of Harry Hill... There's only one way to find out... FIGHT
Hmmm, well perhaps that's not it.
I know, let's try a new thread, cos they're unlimited, right...
And less broken bones too!
I actually have heard of Harry Hill. My daughter is an Improv performer (yeah, real high pay - if she eats a sandwich and has a beer, like the Blues Brothers, she owes the venue money!) and showed me one of his shows. I can now write her with pride (they don't use phones to talk) and say that I used Harry (not Henry or Benny) Hill in a post!
Once again proving; "Insiders, keep participating, you never know what you'll learn". Thanks for making me feel 'worldly' .
Thanks everyone for your input, since the correct answer to such an open question is a pure matter of opinion I picked erc by a process of eenie, meeny, miney, mo, and 2 other answers I liked as helpfuls...
I know, I know, I really should have awarded the treasured "green star" in a more responsible manner than a childs game of chance and it's certainly valid to award it to my favourite nearly-senior-allegedly-uglier-doppelganger, erc, but alas, I'm sorry erc , your green star was only as a result of pure chance.
I now return to my Judge (who's none too impressed with my case, I might add) with a heavy sense of guilt playing on my mind.
"Must use favouritism, must use favouritism.... MUST use favouritism"