Apparently Marriott held a "The Future of Loyalty Forum" attended by 5-6 Marriott executives, including Thom Kozik, Marriott's new VP, Loyalty. The purpose was to have conversations about loyalty, apparently, given the impending merger. While specifics weren't mentioned, and definitely no answers/hints to questions we have, the topic of Marriott Rewards Insiders did come up. He talked about how 70% of our discussions revolve around exploiting Marriott Rewards, while the remaining 30% was about local information/travel tips. Naturally, Kozik said they want the community to focus on the exchange of local information, which may cause a further change to our community.
There's some other interesting tidbits mentioned about MR and guest services in general, but again, nothing about the combined loyalty program. To read up on the discussion, visit: http://travelskills.com/2016/02/29/what-did-marriott-say/
Thanks for posting this, kharada46.
Is it possible that 70% of the posts are about how to maximize the value of MR points? That seems high to me. The other 30% were about travel tips. Perhaps it's just my perspective, but I felt the numbers were reversed. I'm assuming there is some empirical analysis to back up that statement, so who am I to criticize.
No matter, it's nice that the community was recognized. If Marriott is truly going into a "listening" mode, where better to start than here? I guess we'll see.
I agree with @bejacob about the percentage. But it might be about perspective. I want to see how to best use my points, but I also want to see how to best use my $. I have a lot of autonomy when it comes to choosing my hotels, so if I know I'm going to get more bang for my buck, I tend to go there. And frankly, much of that info has come from this site.
As something of a followup in the article, which I thought was interesting, I found this
He spoke about the tests Marriott recently carried out by installing “beacons” at various places hotels to beam messages to members’ mobile phones. For example, a beacon at the hotel bar could alert you to a happy hour special when you walk by. It could let you know that there’s availability at the spa. But Kozik said that based on feedback from its trials, the most highly rated feature of the beacon experiment was that guests received a greeting from the hotel each time they entered the front door. It was the recognition more than anything else that guests liked. Bingo again: you can expect more use of technology as a means to recognize you as a member of the new loyalty program.
Has anybody had first-hand experience with these beacons? sound interesting, for example, they could send a text that says in the next two hours, receive 10% off a spa treatment. However, I think it's imperative that they don't "ping" I don't want my phone going off all the time with 'deals' Maybe an option to set your app to ping or you can search it out like the app "hooked" which is pretty cool. I think if they sent me say a happy hour at 11.00pm for 2 for 1 drinks, I might just go down. This is some interesting social engineering they can do.
Oh, and if he is reading this site now, I hope he realizes because of this site, I've dropped considerably more money with Marriott than before (probably many others here can say the same). In my case, I talking thousands of dollars and about an extra 50-70 nights more a year than I did before I used this site. So while I maybe looking to maximize my points, however you want to define that, Marriott is hardly losing out . I think I stay 4 or 5 nights free last year with 115 stays for the year. That's 101 stays I did pay for. I love Marriott and I love it when they love me back. ;-)
Agreed bejacob. The number struck me as odd, unless they figure any discussions filed under "Marriott Rewards" as maximizing value?
It is nice that we have been recognized, but I sincerely hope they don't change it too much. And if they are "listening" to us, I hope they're not ignoring our constructive criticism
homoviator, I wouldn't like that implementation of the beacons. Too many notifications is irritating. Recognition would be nice, but it's also kind of fake. Don't get me wrong, it is nice to be recognized/remembered, as recent experience at the Andaz Maui has proven (they didn't remember by name, but remembered little details they talked to me about every day). I can see the "automation" of this service aspect becoming mechanical and possibly backfiring. It is nice to see them trying to improve and innovate though!
I would imagine this more on the app that might be a section called "special offers" where you go to and find deals they've created just for you. I agree, I totally don't want it to go off every time I walk in, I'd have a hard time to relax. But if they were to create specific offers, like 50% off the spa because they can see I don't usually go to the spa. On the right day, with a sweet enough price, they might get me to go. Same with dinners. I tend to go out for dinner, but the right deal might keep me in the hotel--this is especially so with the resorts and triple with food at the pool. If they see somebody is a big spa user but hardly ever eats breakfast at the restaurants, offer a 2 for 1 breakfast. They can also organize this to do so when it's quite times in the breakfast area. So for example, breakfast is 20% from 6-7am. I'm guessing if they send me three over the course of a 2 day stay, I might use one of them. But only on my terms, meaning I have to go to the app and see what my offers are. I don't want them 'texted' to me or 'pinging' at me all day long.
That, homoviator, I'd like for sure! They just have to do it the right way, which unfortunately, seems to be very difficult for companies to do! I guess we'll see what happens in the next year or two huh?
I agree kharada46 An automated greeting every time I walk through the door is totally ingenuous. The personal touch can never be automated in this way. I am always happy when a concierge etc recognises me as a guest (I don't expect them to always know my name) and has a few words. That can never be replaced by a beacon.
I think the 70/30 figure quoted by the new Loyalty VP Mr Kozik probably comes from a straightforward analysis by mathematical deduction.
It's both misleading and wrong.
If you take the view that posts can be divided into 2 types, destination and exploitation related, and take the view that only those posts in destinations, and those posts mentioning a destination are destination related with all the rest being exploits then you're likely to find that kind of figure. Namely about 30% of posts here are destination related and the rest aren't (and hence by erroneous deduction must be exploit related)
That doesnt mean 70% of posts here are related to program exploitation, or indeed even Marriott Rewards. What it means, as I've already stated is that 30% are destination related and the rest are not. A good number of posts are AVgeeks, grilling, elite stories and one-and-done gripes. And of course TIPPLE (Who's attending TIPPLE in Houston on 16th & 17th Sept 2016? Here's the list).
I'm also concerned about the rather perjorative term "exploits" as if we are swapping hacking tips like the infamous United fare hack that occurred when opening 2 browsers on the same search that then gave below-tax fares in the first browser after a refresh (or some such convoluted process). We dont do that but we do share good value redemption options, and earning options too, the Gold/Plat challenge threads regularly rise back to the top of the big board with new members asking about them and Marriott moderators obliging. Mr Kozik should be reminded that this is Marriott Rewards Insiders. Not the name we chose, but the name Marriott chose and we clearly are going to discuss making the best of the program, as we are individual hotels and road warrior travel generally but also Marriott for leisure as some here travel only for leisure. Indeed even the biggest staying road-warrior PlatPrem dogs (yes, I'm looking at you misterchk) do become leisure stayers, even if it's only when spending points.
So, this does cause me concern, that the new loyalty VP is getting the wrong information about Marriotts own loyalty site content and in using the word "exploits" that he frowns upon it.
Not the best start Mr Kozik!
An excellent post brightlybob. As one of the leisure only travellers you quite rightly mention, I do not "exploit" my Rewards membership at all. Yes, I try to maximise the benefit I can get - but who doesn't? Isn't that the point of a loyalty scheme? Loyalty of course being the operative word. By maximising the benefit, I keep going back to Marriott. Isn't that what they want? In doing so I have built a rapport with a couple of UK hotels, and they look after me very well. But again, that is loyalty - not exploitation.
The more I think about it, the more I think Mr Kozik owes us an explanation for his choice of words. Maybe he would like to come on here. No? I thought not!
(Apologies in advance as my "take: on this subject will certainly offend someone)
There are times when I wonder if many insiders are naive or simply blind to the obvious (that line alone should generated some hate mail my way .)
Marriott, in their wisdom, created a position. The position's title is VP Loyalty. Then there was a meeting attended by a group of Marriott executives where "loyalty" was the "driving subject".
Reading this thread (at 4:30AM and half asleep) many of my fellow insider's comments are repetitive of previous opinions/comments that can be found throughout this site. Consequently unproductive and boring.
(I hate being nice so this next statement hurts) The only member commenting that appears to be wide awake is that "lawyer guy from across the pond" - (don't worry brightlybob, I won't mention your name so no one will no who I'm referring to).
This "Brit"s" analysis and comments showed me that he isn't fooled by what's happening.
I would like to ask any member who's loyalty hasn't been "bought and paid for" by points please stand up and identify yourself! (Unless I'm in a small majority, take away the points and "I'm out of here!!!!" "I will stay loyal as long as you keep paying me to be loyal".) WE SHOULD CREATE A NEW SITE WHERE 100% OF OPINION/SUGGESTIONS/COMMENTS are about the best usage of points!!! (only 70% of subjects shows complacency)
Next question, did Marriott create and appoint at VP Loyalty to "babysit" the members and make our lives even more wonderful OR is there an expectation that the investment creating this position/category will be returned to the corporation in profits that will represent two to ten time the investment? (English was never my strong suit in school so apologies for the length of the last sentence).
No Gracie (for those of you old enough to remember Burns and Allen) - the new VP has been appointed to INCREASE THE BOTTOM LINE! - and I will say very plainly, those of you that don't see this are "naive" (or asleep)...
Don't most of you see what I see (and that guy in Manchester) that the corporation's intent is "increase the bottom line through exploitation of our loyal customers" ! Are you blind to the fact that a title like VP Loyalty doesn't have anything to do with loyalty retention?
This meeting of Marriott executive was probably to plan the new exploitation program of their new (much larger after the merger) membership audience.
The technology is there and they are going to use it. When I enter the gates of Dodger Stadium my cell phone beeps with a text message - I pull it out of my pocket and the message reads "welcome to Dodge Stadium" - those "big brothers" know where I am and they will know if you are in the Marriott as well as what floor you are on!
I don't have to tell you that they are going to use this information of your whereabouts "make more money for Marriott"!!! AND the only good thing about all of this is they ARE NOT NAIVE and knowing we are "driven" by points will possibly insure that the points will continue to flow.
On the other hand they are not going to give points if not receiving profits in return! So there is a deterioration in the value of points through category changes etc etc etc.
If the majority of you want to follow like sheep and talk about the percentages of subjects on the site, what their wish lists are and other benign comments, get ready to wake up one morning and find out the loyalty executives don't give a XXXXXXXX as long as you are (due to your loyalty) making Marriott money.
Okay, bullet proof vest is on, start shooting!!!!!!!!