There are over 35 million members of Marriott Rewards (according to what I have heard) and perhaps a few to ten thousand of us who post on Insiders worldwide.
What is the skill and the voice that we bring to this chorus? Is it our ability to make a point that needs making then blend that harmony into a choral masterpiece or is it discordant and often oiffbeat singing that makes us sound as if we have forgotten how tro read music?
How can we as a group make our performance better? Are we to go our own way in spite of the music in front of us? Or, will we coaleace into a disciplined and talented whole? How can we be directed to make a beautiful sound?
If there's a score we can all use and that we can excel with, I'd like to hear from you as Insiders what that is? What is the first thing that you need to be heard as a voice among many voices? How can we better serve this community and get the attention of Marriott at the same time? How much louder or softer do our voices need to be?
Just an after-church thought, and perhaps one that can start a new thread here on Insiders.
I am of the opinion that it does not matter if we are in harmony or cacophonous, it is up to Marriott to want to hear what we have to say. At one time somebody within Marriott must have perceived a benefit to hear from Elite members, or they would not have created this site. Maybe that perception has changed, maybe it hasn't. Since I have only been participating in this site for a few months, I can only say that it does not appear to me that Marriott sees this site as a valuable source of information. Do Hyatt, Hilton and Sheraton have similar sites?
I have always seen the primary purpose of the Insiders site as being a community for Marriott Rewards members to share experiences and expertise with each other, not to have our voices heard by Marriott.
That being said, it is a great source of information if Marriott is willing to invest the time and effort to gather it. The idea of having the login tied to your MR account is potentially great for them because it would allow them to see what matters to different segments of their customer base. For example, if they run some sort of analytics on posts by Platinum members, they would actually know the travel frequency. That's a lot more accurate than trying to put a value on a tripadvisor review by someone who says "I stay at Marriotts XX times a year".
One of the roles that I (and ProfChiara) have as an ambassador is to bring different hot topic discussions to the attention of Marriott. We do this during our regular meetings, and some of you may have seen posts by Marriott personnel as a result of those converstations.
Going back to my inital statement of this being more of user-to-user site than a forum for communicating with Marriott, I know they read as many posts as they can. But I think they take a more hands-off approach to make people feel as though they can discuss openly. However it sometimes feels to me like it's a little too cautious.
Hopefully the new site will have additional features that make it easier to share our collective voice with Marriott. One of the features I have seen on other forums that is missing in the current platform is surveys. It seems to me like that would be a great source of info. Looking at the results of a "Do you think the concierge lounge should be open on the weekend?" or "What's the most/least important benefit?" survey would be a lot easier than sifting through all the comments in a forum discussion (not that the comments aren't valuable too). Well, I think I've rambled enough...
Versel - I have recomended on a couple of occassions to include at least a weekly survey on the MRI - some fun stuff and some serious stuff. My driver of recommending a survey was to increase participation in the MRI while also providing Marriott some invaluable guest opinions.