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November 2017

Marriott, IHG, Wyndham discover dining rewards can lead to loyalty

Recently, we saw a restaurant refer to the second and third return visits as the 'pre-loyalty' stage. At first, 'pre-loyalty' seemed a little silly, but then we realized that many, many visitors will never make it to the second visit, so capturing the third visit moment is key for helping the owner decide whether to offer loyalty rewards. 

Hotel owners have a similar incentive to find out which guests are spending beyond the room, and now they're realizing the dining experiences may be key to building loyalty. 

Econsultancy: Hotels are boosting loyalty with dining experiences, 2017-Nov-22 by Nikki Gilliland

While dining can undoubtedly be a social experience within the context of travel, at a basic level, it’s also a daily habit. IHG and Wyhndam tap into this, giving members greater convenience (and loyalty incentives) no matter where or how they want to eat. In contrast, both Marriott and Shangri-La use the emotive and social aspects of food, offering them memorable and immersive experiences to drive loyalty.

When it comes to choosing a hotel, food and drink might not be a key incentive. However, when it comes to re-booking or becoming a loyal member, these examples show that it is certainly a key driver.


7-Eleven Leverages Facebook Messenger with a bot

In strengthening their brand of convenience, 7-Eleven responds quickly in every communication channel their customer uses. The 7Rewards program makes the 7th cup free for any mix of a variety of beverages. Everything is their marketing is a quick read--very impressive. 

The Wise Marketer: 7-11 leads in Digital Transformation, 2017-Nov-22 by Rick Ferguson

Consumers using Messenger can engage in a conversation with the 7-Eleven Bot by chatting with 7-Eleven on Messenger.  The chatbot allows customers to engage with 7-Eleven easily and quickly. Users can sign up for the 7Rewards customer loyalty platform, find a store location near them, and learn about the latest discount offers. Money quote from Gurmeet Singh, 7-Eleven’s Chief Digital Officer:

“Today’s digital-savvy consumers expect brands to be present when and where they choose, in an effortless manner, and 7-Eleven Bot on Messenger allows that to happen. We are launching a unique loyalty experience for our consumers through an intelligent Bot. Using groundbreaking technology, customers immediately receive a digital card in messenger and can scan to start earning points, check status as well as collect coupons when they choose. Bye-bye physical loyalty cards.


From frequent flyer to big charger... American Airlines follows the trend

We find it easy to be nostalgic about air mile chasing. In the beginning, the big challenge for the airlines was to get people off the ground. That was also the case after 9/11. I remember the VP of Marketing for Continental Airlines telling us, "We discovered how to overcome the fear of terrorism in the sky: $99 coast-to-coast."

Credit cards and mobile apps give all kinds of companies dramatically more and better ways to build loyalty and maximize their profits customer by customer. Now that they've moved their loyalty program to the cards, watch for an explosion of mobile apps. Don't cry for the mile. Use our new communication channels to demand better service. 

Wired: Frequent Flier Miles are Kaput--The Game's about Credit Cards Now, 2017-Nov-20 by Aarian Marshall

For the first time since frequent flier programs got their start in the 1980s, most American airline passengers are earning rewards in a new way. To put it bluntly, the frequent flier mile is dead.

Since 2015, American, United, and Delta Airlines have each changed the basis of their rewards programs from miles flown to money handed over. (American just made the switch in August.) You get points based on what you pay, not how far you go.


McDonald's, McCafe and coffee... habits that pull us into a CRM

What I've learned over the last couple of days... is that... McCafe is the nexus for McDonald's next step into CRM as amplified by customer experience revolution. Many people think that digital purchase platforms will be key... but I believe the leverage provided by a strong digital purchasing platform is a SIDE EFFECT of the desire among customers to share their data with the brands they love. 

First, we select the product or service that makes us feel grounded and able to run our lives with less pain and more enjoyment. Then we share as much of our personal information as we can with the provider of that product or service. They become embedded. Then we become their tool (if we're not careful).

Diginomica: McDonald’s parks digital tanks on Starbucks lawn as coffee becomes CRM differentiator, 2017-Oct-25 by Stuart Lauchlan

So it was only a matter of time before there was some kind of collision looming and this week comments from McDonald’s CEO Stephen Easterbrook hinted a potential turf incursion onto Starbuck’s turf:

As we build out our digital capabilities and loyalty in CRM, we think coffee, because it’s such a habitual purchase, will play well against those customers who we want to encourage back more often. When we talk about converting casual customers to committed, we know coffee and snacking plays strongly against some of those more casual consumers.

That’s the rationale behind the burger firm’s rolling out of McCafe outlets. When Starbucks starts selling burgers, we’ll know this a serious clash coming up, but the old cup of java is now on the McDonald’s menu.



Consider Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni... Loyalty and routines

The story of Mike D'Antoni and Starbucks is entertaining, and I'm glad Jake Fischer asked D'Antoni to explain it because it brings up some of the complexity of loyalty. Visiting Starbucks is a daily morning obsession with D'Antoni, wherever he travels. He admits that he's less in love with the coffee than the routine. 

As a great coach, D'Antoni understands the value of good routines. Sometimes that's exactly why we need more loyalty in our life. Not because the product or service is perfect, but because it fits and enhances our life. Let's be loyal for our own benefit. 

Sports Illustrated: Mike D'Antoni: For the Love of Starbucks, 2017-Nov-9 by Jake Fischer

A daily ritual emerged, reading the USA Today in between bites of his pastry and scribbling in the paper’s daily crossword puzzle. “I could not wait to wake up and go get my routine going.”


Marriott Flywheel project is integrating social into customer journey management

A huge challenge for marketers is integrating social media activity into the CRM. It's not enough to have links to the social media profiles. We need to be able to tap into the data stream coming from those profiles. Here's an excellent story about how Marriott is innovating around this challenge. 

AdExchanger: Marriott Brings Customer Hospitality To Inhospitable Digital Media, 2017-Oct-19 by James Hercher

Marriott began working on Flywheel with Facebook last year to map its 100-million-member loyalty program to Facebook targeting signals, like travel searches or when people are in an airport. Andy Kauffman, who developed Flywheel and will be promoted to Marriott’s SVP of global marketing optimization beginning in January, said he hopes to extend Flywheel into Marriott’s broader marketing and operations....

For instance, Marriott’s loyalty team, its brand marketers and a team tasked with filling empty rooms could all be disconnectedly chasing the same people.

Flywheel has helped Marriott’s marketing department de-emphasize the objectives of specific teams by providing a more comprehensive view of customer identity.

The new approach “starts and stays with the individual and should map to what we understand about that person,” Kauffman said.

Whether someone is a rewards member or has previously downloaded the Marriott app and even details about previous stays and hotel preferences should all dictate the sequence of marketing, he said. And that’s only possible when Marriott can hold a single view of identity across media.

Facebook has hosted Marriott’s Flywheel efforts so far, but the brand wants to apply personalization and tracking beyond the social platform.