18 Replies Latest reply: Oct 19, 2011 6:03 PM by shoeman1000 RSS

Social News - New Participation Levels

pingreeman Platinum 1 Reviews
Currently Being Moderated

Congratulations to our posters for achieving new posting statuses.

 

social news 2011-10-19.gif

https://www.rewards-insiders.marriott.com/message/30002

Please use the following link: http://www.hotelnewsnow.com/Articles.aspx/6684/What-you-dont-know-about-your-guests-problems for proper copyright protections.

 

The article describes Problems Per Hundred Guests and how many guest have the problem, report the problem, and get the issue resolve.

 

The #1 problem guests experience 16% of the time is noise which is reported 43% of the time and resolved 35% of the time.

https://www.rewards-insiders.marriott.com/message/29159

At exactly 9:59 PM EST on 10/06/2011 while I was in the middle of a post, the MRI site exclaimed

 

Sudden Maintenance.gif

So I tried opening a new window:

Sudden Maintenance2.gif

 

Followed by a "Maintenance Announcement" which I hadn't time to screen capture but basically said, "the system is down for maintenance until #:## AM EST. Please check back . . ."

https://www.rewards-insiders.marriott.com/message/29177

I was trying to filter MRI members by membership level as shown:

People - filter on membership.gif

 

That's when I noticed that in setting up a profile, the only choice for displaying membership level is "Yourself."

Membership level.gif

So much for having badges that display our membership!

https://www.rewards-insiders.marriott.com/message/29553

I believe most MRI members would concede that the new site is difficult to navigate and to find recent postings for all activity - whether or not those posts or posters are being followed. In version 2, it was very easy to find updated activity since the last time a member logged on to MRI (albeit, most were limited to the last three postings/actions).

 

In the Activity area, currently only two views are available: 1) All Content, and 2) Status Updates. A third view would be extremely helpful and would make visiting the site much more efficient. Per my screen capture, below, having a third view would expedite the finding of information that had occurred since a member last logged in to MRI. In addition, to see only those actions that have occurred since last logging in would encourage members to read/view/respond to nearly ALL MRI content. But as it stands now with only two views, one must wade through all of the Status Updates to find postings of relevance (not to diminish the view of new members, but 99% of MRI current members are not interested in seeing who recently joined, but are interested in travel content). I believe this perspective is also why so many MRI members have commented negatively on the "facebook" styled social community rather than a more appealing Travel Information Site a la version 2 of MRI.

 

To have this third view, one can then find (scrolling down) the "End Of New Updates" and can feel confident that no new information has been missed and that his/her time spent on MRI was "quick and easy."

Activity Suggestion.gif

https://www.rewards-insiders.marriott.com/message/30809

Many MRI members have alluded to point value comparisons between Marriott and Hilton. I found the easiest way to get an accurate comparison of "pure value"*** was to go online and do some shopping under both brands comparing products and the number of points required. This analysis does not reflect how quickly points might be earned (another post coming), but the "raw" value of each chain's points.

 

It appears from the purchases below that it takes 1.9 as many Hilton points to equate to 1 Marriott point.

 

My next analysis will be how quickly points are earned under each program as top-tiered status using both branded credit cards and similar stays. (I will use some recent stays at a Hilton Garden Inn and Springhill Suites in Columbus, OH for easy comparison).

 

Marriott vs Hilton Points.gif

 

***Pure value is defined as "what is a point worth cash-wise" versus hotel room redemption.

https://www.rewards-insiders.marriott.com/message/31098

Many MRI members have alluded to point value comparisons between Marriott and Hilton. So, now the question is overall, which is the best program for earning and using points?

 

Three previous analysises were used to drive to the final conlcusion:

  1. A comparison of point values for buying gift cards and merchandise: Marriott vs Hilton Point Value
  2. A comparison of hotel room purchasing power of points: Marriott vs Hilton Point Value - Part 2
  3. A comparison of how quickly points are earned for hotel stays: Marriott vs Hilton Point Value - Part 3

 

If you can't earn points, you can't spend them, so IMO, the most important angle is to determine how quickly points can be earned per dollar spend.

Over the course of one year (and assuming two Megabonus promotions), spending $22,828 will yield 788,528 and 517,820 Hilton and Marriott points, respectively, or an "earning factor ratio" (EFR) of 1.52 Hilton:Marriott.

 

If you can't spend points, they're worthless, so IMO, the second most important angle is to determine what the points are worth "cash-wise." Since hotel rooms have many variables (quality, location, etc.), the best "pure value" comparison lies within like merchandise and gift cards.

To buy a melding pot of similar items, the number of points required is 2,728,500 and 1,434,000 Hilton and Marriott points, respectively, or a "cash factor ratio" (CFR) of 1.90 Hilton:Marriott.

 

If you can't spend points on hotel rooms, what's the purpose of earning points for a hotel loyalty program, so IMO, the third most important comparison is to determine hotel room value of points.

To purchase rooms on points, it takes 4,086,250 points for $27,567.19 Hilton dollar-value of rooms whereas Marriott requires 2,425,000 points for $43,492.54, or 148.23 Hilton points per dollar versus 69.43 Marriott PP$ or a "hotel factor ratio" (HFR) of 2.13 Hilton:Marriott. ***

 

FINAL CONCLUSION:

Even though the EFR is significantly higher for Hilton, so are the CFR and HFR ratios. A comparison of the Rs determines the ultimate winner.

Gifts and merchandise are earned 80.0% "quicker" under Marriott versus Hilton (EFR/CFR or 1.90/1.52) - WINNER: MARRIOTT

Free hotel rooms are earned 71.3% "quicker" under Marriott versus Hilton (EFR/HFR or 1.52/2.13) - WINNER: MARRIOTT

Summary: Without a doubt, the earning capacity of points goes to Hilton, but the actual usage of points is clearly a Marriott advantage. And for those who wish to spend some points on London or Paris stays, it's a slam dunk on Marriott without question.

 

*** These numbers are from the Part 2 comparison, but eliminated the two venues (London & Paris) as these significantly skewed the points favorably towards Marriott. However, including these venues yields 5,970,958 & $34,508.67 Hilton and 2,750,000 & $43,492.54 Marriott, a HFR of 2.64 H:M.

Using all venues, then Free hotel rooms are earned 57.3% "quicker" under Marriott versus Hilton (EFR/HFR or 1.52/2.64) - WINNER: MARRIOTT by the widest margins of all

https://www.rewards-insiders.marriott.com/message/30984

Many MRI members have alluded to point value comparisons between Marriott and Hilton. So, now the question is what are points worth when cashing in on hotel rooms? Part 1 is found here for gift cards and merchandise: Marriott vs Hilton Point Value

 

The below analysis makes the following assumptions:

  1. A one week's stay for 07/15/2012 through 07/21/2012 (an attempt to capture "high season" in most geographical locations listed)
  2. Metropolitan areas were chosen solely based on largest populations, USA & Europe that have BOTH Hilton and Marriott availability
  3. You have "no idea" what is the best hotel in the metro area, so you rely on Tripadvisor reviews to select your venue (normally, go to MRI and ask for a recommendations; however, to be more "statistically unbiased", I opted simply to accept Tripadvisor ratings as the driver)
  4. You rely on Tripadvisor's hotel rankings/reviews starting with the highest rated venue for the brand that ===>
    • MUST be available on points (venue must have availability) or the venue is omitted from consideration, and
    • Has the option of paying cash, and
    • Willing to take the lowest priced room type available for points redemption (and its cash equivalent)
  5. Some prices were in Euros and BPS; conversion to USD as of 10/28/11
  6. Room rates only - no taxes or additional fees calculated or estimated

 

RESULTS: It takes 2.64 Hilton points to equate to a Marriott point. 173.03 Hilton points buys $1 of Hilton rooms whereas 65.54 Marriott points buys $1 of Marriott rooms.

Note on rank: in the first line, a -3 appears as Rank before the highest rated Marriott property; this means that three Hilton properties ranked higher than the best Marriott, yielding a corresponding 3 in the Rank column by the Hilton property. In other words, Tripadvisor ranks three Hilton properties ahead of the best Marriott property subject to the conditions specified, above.


Marriott vs Hilton Points 2.gif

https://www.rewards-insiders.marriott.com/message/31022

Many MRI members have alluded to point value comparisons between Marriott and Hilton. So, now the question is how quickly are points earned in both programs? Part 1 is found here for gift cards and merchandise: Marriott vs Hilton Point Value and Part 2 is found here for hotel rooms in major metropolitan areas: Marriott vs Hilton Point Value - Part 2

 

Now that we know how we spend points, let's look at how we earn points and compare.

 

The analysis below are for stays I made in September 2011 at a Hilton Garden Inn and a Marriott Springhill Suites, both in Columbus, OH and about 2 miles apart (both near my current client). Ironically, both have the same exact negotiated rates and state/city taxes making the comparison all the easier. Lastly, it should be noted that I have top-tier status in each program and also their "premier" credit cards and am signed up for Hilton's "Double Dip" bonus program and Marriott's Megabonus promotion. One assumption - I will make the number of required Marriott nights to earn the full Megabonus of 50,000 points.

 

Key findings: the Megabonus makes a HUGE DIFFERENCE in points earnings, nearly doubling the "normal points" earned when the promotion is not underway and not already achieved. Normal earning power of points is 35.54 points per dollar for Hilton and 18.30 points per dollar for Marriott yielding a ratio of 1.89 as many Hilton points per dollar spend versus Marriott points per dollar spent, whereas it is 34.54 and 36.53 respectively during Megabonus promotions or 0.95 ratio.

 

Finally, I added two additional columns to see how Megabonus works out on an annual basis using the assumption that 50 nights are needed to earn 100,000 Megabonus points (two promos per year) yielding a Marriott PP$ of 22.68 or a ratio of 1.52 H:M.

 

 

Marriott vs Hilton Points 3.gif

https://www.rewards-insiders.marriott.com/message/31446

Everyone has their own preferences for visiting MRI and how they move about, but I thought I would share my favorite way to navigate to make certain I am catching all the posts and polls, etc.

 

SETUP DEFAULT (optional):

The first thing to do is to set your personal preferences for your landing page. This way, when you log into MRI, this is the page to which you default upon. To do so, click on your username (top right of any page) to open your profile. In the bottom-right is an "Actions" section. Choose the Edit preferences as shown:

Edit Preferences.gif

 

The next window that opens allows you to set your "Landing Page" to which "Activity" is selected and saved. Landing Page.gif

 

 

 

Next time you log in, you will start within the Activity view. Now that the setup defaults are complete, here is how I navigate:

 

NAVIGATION:

Depending how long it has been since I last logged in will determine how far I need to scroll to get to where only new items since my last log in are displayed. I know when I have scrolled throuh all the new items when I see the following line across the activity page:

End of New Updates.gif

Sometimes, there has been so much activity on the MRI that I will need to display even more items. To do so, I click on the appropriate command:

Load More Items.gif which will open additional pages until I finally get to the END OF NEW UPDATES shown across the page. Using Internet Explorer, Firefox, or Chrome, the key is to having the "Right-Click to Open link in new tab" that will open the post into a new tab accross the top of your monitor screen. For example, assume this is a post I want to read that appears in the recent activity:

Right-Click Open in New Tab.gif which should look like this (Chrome version): Tabs accross page.gif

 

Once I have opened all the interesting stuff into new tabs, I simply go to the top of my browser where all the tabs are and open one-by-one to read, comment, or whatever. The small "X" in each tab closes the tab. Once all closed, I know I've completed my interests. I completely log out of MRI so that the next time I log back in, I default to the Activity page, and scroll through to the END OF NEW UPDATES repeating the process. Good news is I only see stuff that is new since last logging in to MRI.

 

ADDITIONAL TIPS:

Doing this type of navigation on the Activity page, one can see that off to the right is several icons and commands.

Whos Posted.gif

EXPAND: if you see this (not always there), this means there have been multiple posts within this activity since your last log in. Clicking the expand will display only those new posts since your last log in to which you can reply or like.

PREVIEW: choosing this command will display the original post and content (in case you wish to review what all the hub-bub is about).

AVATARS: these display members that have posted AND following. Members not being followed will not display their avatar.

 

FINAL COMMENT:

Unfortunately, this method of navigation displays not only the new activity (posts) but also all the new members who have joined which, IMO, clutters up the display and makes this style of navigation more difficult than it should be. I have a recommendation in to the CM to add a third tab that is post activity only such as:

Activity Tab.gif

https://www.rewards-insiders.marriott.com/message/31613

Very, VERY interesting article on Loyalty to hotel brands. Focus of the discussion is on three topics:

  1. Brand image, experience and personal style all drive customer commitment to your hotel and brand.
  2. Satisfying guests, as well as creating highly committed guests, helps drive the bottom line and generate repeat business.
  3. Guests don’t care how you are doing year over year relative to your own performance. They want to know what you’re doing to win their hearts, minds and wallets.

Most highly committed guests? ===> Four Seasons. Followed by (a tie): Marriott and Ritz-Carlton

 

See article at: How committed are guests to your brand?

https://www.rewards-insiders.marriott.com/message/32591

Congratulations jerrycoin!

 

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(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: Social News - New Participation Levels
    ssindc Platinum 42 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    OK, I'll take the bait...  Where did you find that?

     

    It looks like you've posted a screen shot from somewhere.  Or did you generate it?

     

    Curiosity killed the cat...

    (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: Social News - New Participation Levels
    jasper100 Alumni Steward Platinum 10 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    Wow!!! Only 2000 more posts and I will join SS as a SS.  (Stepping Stones as a SuperStar).

    (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: Social News - New Participation Levels
      Alumni Steward Platinum 8 Reviews
      Currently Being Moderated

      I have donated my posts to charity and have taken a cut in posting activity to help those less fortunate.  Karl Marx would be proud.

      (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: Social News - New Participation Levels
    kcaluwae Silver
    Currently Being Moderated

    Wow! One step closer to becoming a celebrity.

    (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: Social News - New Participation Levels
      shoeman1000 Platinum 4 Reviews
      Currently Being Moderated

      wow.  does anyone really care about this.  Is this what the site has become?  A challenge to see who can post the most?  count me out.....  I will donate all my posts to whomever wants to build their numbers....

      (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: Social News - New Participation Levels
        jasper100 Alumni Steward Platinum 10 Reviews
        Currently Being Moderated

        Lighten up a little Shoeman...just having a little fun here..

        (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: Social News - New Participation Levels
        Alumni Steward Platinum 8 Reviews
        Currently Being Moderated

        Shoeman speaks the truth--it is the quality of the dialog (as in speaking to each other about travel) that matters--all the rest falls to the level of chaff

        (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: Social News - New Participation Levels
          jasper100 Alumni Steward Platinum 10 Reviews
          Currently Being Moderated

          That fine..But everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Lets also keep our sense of humor also. If you don't care about the participation level, that is your perogative.

          (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: Social News - New Participation Levels
            Alumni Steward Platinum 8 Reviews
            Currently Being Moderated

            I am smiling as I write this, so my sense of humor remains intact.  And thanks for the opinion that all opinions matter--I am in  total agreement

            (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: Social News - New Participation Levels
              profchiara Alumni Steward Silver 3 Reviews
              Currently Being Moderated

              I'm with SS and Shoeman.  I will happily donate all my points to the bucket!

              (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: Social News - New Participation Levels
    nhtraveler Platinum 3 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    Pingreeman - Thank you so much for letting me know of this, although compared to you, steppingstones and profchiara, I'm in the back of the pack! I agree that all opinions matter, but, I must admit, I value the opinions of some more than others! (Just as I'm sure some probably say, "I wish that nhtraveler would just travel right off of Insiders.")

     

    Again, many thanks. It's always nice to be recognized.

    (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: Social News - New Participation Levels
      jasper100 Alumni Steward Platinum 10 Reviews
      Currently Being Moderated

      I agree, it is nice to be recognized and that all opinions matter and should not be criticized!!!!

      (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: Social News - New Participation Levels
        shoeman1000 Platinum 4 Reviews
        Currently Being Moderated

        Jasper, et al

         

        sorry to have caused a stir.  I was not dissing anyone for their opinion, I was just lamenting the reality that this site is becoming/has become more of a social networking site than a weary travelers site.  I am glad you are enjoying the site and understand fully that you really were not around in the old days to compare the content of the sites, but I can assure you that it has changed and in my opinion, none for the better.  That said, those of us that are less happy with the new site are clearly in the minority and will either need to get with it or move past it.  Honestly, much of my rant is due to the fact that I still struggle to maneuver this site and feel helpless to accomplish much other than to respond to a post that seemingly magically appears on my screen. There seemed to be so much more information readily available on the old site.    sigh.......

        (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: Social News - New Participation Levels
          jasper100 Alumni Steward Platinum 10 Reviews
          Currently Being Moderated

          I beg to differ...I was around in the old days and can make a comparison of sites. I agree that I liked the old site better, but at this point I don't think I have a choice but to move forward with the new site and make the best of it.. I am as frustrated as you but again don't think I have a choice but to get the most of the new site!!!

          (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: Social News - New Participation Levels
    painedplatinum Platinum 2 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    Two points:

     

    I plan on using my lofty status and recognition on this site to further embellish my resume.

     

    I pledge to honor all that have honored me with a shout out in my memoirs.

    (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: Social News - New Participation Levels
      jasper100 Alumni Steward Platinum 10 Reviews
      Currently Being Moderated

      Your resume is already over embellished and I expect to get an honorable mention in your memoirs, if you give me some of your posts (Maybe 100 or so).

      (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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