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Does Marriott deserve to win? The Freddie Awards are the frequent traveller's answer to the Oscars. The votes are tallied. Marriott swept 10 awards in 2008 and won eight 1st Place awards in 2007. But what about 2009?
I gave Marriott the highest marks for Marriott Rewards and Marriott.com and think that they deserve to walk away with the Freddies in these categories. As a search engine, Marriott.com is not only informative, it's extremely user-friendly for business and leisure travel. What do you think??
The awards will be webcast live on FreddieAwards.com on Thursday, April 23.
TJC, do I understand you correctly that you gave Marriott the highest Freddie rating for Marriott rewards? If you don't mind, I will include in this a response to your reply to my post a while back. (I try not to devote much of my valuable time to Marriott these days). That post had to do with the almost doubling of points required for many if not all properties. You are correct that everything goes up. However, it borders on ethics to raise the category rating for a property (as you know, that then means more points will be required for your stay). And then, in addition, let's raise the number of points required for stays at each category. I think that would be double dipping. And, thirdly, everything has gone up as I have been paying much more for rooms than I did a few years ago. So that totals about 3 hits; so good for Marriott, perhaps they feel that's a home run. As for me, I have no respect for doing business that way. It's a slap in the face to those who have remained loyal for many, many years. Thanks again for your thoughts.
I wonder if they read these comments. Who knows, perhaps someone blogging is actually with Marriott; that would be an interesting way to garner our thoughts. It's strange they have addressed nothing to date.
You're bold - thank you! The Freddies are a real hot button.
"do I understand you correctly that you gave Marriott the highest Freddie rating for Marriott rewards?"
As an online platform for presenting and fulfilling lodging requests, Marriott.com got my top vote because it deserves to win. My marks for Marriott Rewards as a brand loyalty program were overshadowed. While Marriott Rewards did a great job with Marriott Vacation Club brand integration, the 50% Platinum Elite Bonus and the introduction of No Blackout Dates, the marks suffered for several reasons; including, but not limited to:
Keep in mind that my votes were cast prior to February 14, the date of my first post here. Also, they were cast in the wake of one of the most fabulous weekends which I wrote about in vivid detail: A Gem on the New Hampshire Coast-Wentworth-by-the-Sea. Customer service has deteriorated significantly since January 15. If recast today, the marks for Marriott.com would remain high. Need I say more?
"I wonder if they read these comments."
Probably not. Marriott has ~a~ resource posting on Flyertalk. Those posting here earlier appear to be MIA. The Community? discussion is self-explanatory.
Recently, I backtracked and read messages dating back to March 2008 when Marriott Rewards Insiders was launched. I would be happy to share my observations. It might provide insight on your question.
But that topic, James30 is the subject of another post.
"Wonder if the award will mean that much this time since all these chains are suffering from revenue declines?"
Mean that much to whom?
Exceeding guest expectations in a buyers market means more than bragging rights for a year. Whoever wins, takes the lead. In the Best Web Site category, I hope Marriott.com wins. I gave Marriott a 10. The strength of Marriott.com could help Marriott because ease-of-use, attractive presentation and effective communications is an essential part of building brand loyalty. The other major component is actually delivering on the promises you make. But lack of votes in other categories may prove costly.
Winning the Freddie Oscar is extremely important to Marriott. The award is a highly coveted and prestigious in an industry that is extremely competitive in the delivery of customer service. It's not a popularity contest, it's based upon value voting so the award recognizes quality.
Recognity for quality in customer service is so important that Marriott makes a concerted effort from Marriott Rewards to Marriott Vacation Club to get members and owners to vote. Every year, Marriott orchestrates an excellent e-mail campaign six to eight weeks ahead of the voting deadline:
Re awards: like most that are popularity votes, they can have an impact, but to those who would stay at Marriott anyway, regardless of the Freddy awards, I personally think they mean very little.
Ever notice the JD Power Awards: Do you buy something becuase of a high ranking there? Consider all the factors that Marriott has going for it--awards mean little when there is a good company behind the name that does not need any recognition but ours.
"like most that are popularity votes, they can have an impact, but to those who would stay at Marriott anyway, regardless of the Freddy awards, I personally think they mean very little."
To the contrary, like the Oscars which are about quality in film direction, screenplay, cinematography, sound and on-screen performance, the Freddie Awards are not about popularity, it's a highly coveted and prestigious award recognized throughout the industry for quality of service. That's why winning is so extremely important to Marriott. To that point, Marriott sends millions of e-mail out repeatedly to remind Marriott Rewards members to vote, because in Marriott's eyes, our Freddie votes count the most. Here's the proof:
Congratulations to Marriott for winning nine Freddie Awards this year - the most of any hotel program. Loyal guests top ranked Marriott for Best Program of the Year!
Thanks to SKYMALL, the 21st Annual Freddie Awards were webcast LIVE from the Hilton in Fort Lauderdale where I was able to participate over the Internet from New York City. In a sold out event, over 300 executives from the travel industry attended the Hilton-hosted cocktail reception and dinner sponsored by VISA.
Smiling in triumph, Ed French, Senior Vice President Marriott Rewards accepted+ the 2009 Freddie Award from Randy Peterson of InsideFlyer for the highly coveted and most prestigious, Best Program of the Year Award. This is the 2nd consecutive year that Marriott received the award in the Americas besting HiltonHonors by a mere one-tenth of one percent. In his acceptance speech, Ed French thanked loyal Marriott Rewards members for their continued support of the program.
Kodak Moment: Ed French accepting the Freddie Award for Best Program-Americas +
In addition to Best Program of the Year - Americas, Marriott Rewards members voted Marriott to 1st Place in eight categories:
When it comes to the Freddie Award for Customer Service, Randy Petersen of InsideFlyer.com observes, "Clearly, Marriott is able to offer their members a responsive customer service experience and its members have responded with their vote and an impressive 9.5 value vote (up from last year's 9.171). It's no small feat to earn a 9.5 value vote when it comes to keeping your members happy. With this win, Marriott has won an impressive nine Freddie Awards this year--the most of any hotel program." *