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Loyalty Newswire - February 25, 2019

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By: Wise Marketer Staff |

Posted on February 25, 2019

In loyalty news this week, hospitality takes the major headlines with two different (but very interesting) sets of customer behavior research, and two program re-launches. We have a good, if not summarized, view of what the major data accumulators are looking for in terms of consumer data regulations, some very actionable CX insights and an invitation to what might be the most important event in loyalty this year. Here is what we're following ...


Understanding the secret lives of top tier travelers

Interesting insights from Adara on what might best be called “Loyalty Leakage” among top-tier travelers.  We’ve known that the best customers often belong to multiple loyalty programs but now we have data indicating that they also actively search for competitive offers.  According to Carolyn Corda, CMO at ADARA. “ADARA’s unique research provides new early-warning indicators in shifts in brand affection that reveal opportunities for brands to refine their messaging and approach as they seek an advantage in a competitive market.”

Europe: Hotel and travel loyalty cards, customers want very specific rewards

More not-so-great news for hospitality loyalty programs – this time from the University of Eastern Finland.  “Many travellers are members of multiple loyalty programmes, and the role of these programmes is often insignificant when choosing between different hotels. Tourists use loyalty programmes when it’s convenient and when they offer instant perks and rewards.” Quote-Unquote.

Preferred Hotels & Resorts launches partner loyalty program

“Preferred Hotels & Resorts is launching the I Prefer Alliance loyalty program, which allows independent hotels and regional hotel brands to extend full benefits of the I Prefer Hotel Rewards”.  I Prefer uses a points exchange format to allow property groups to participate.

Accor Rebrands and Launches a New Loyalty Program

Although the details have not been announced quite yet, Accor is promoting their newly re-branded loyalty program as the cure for many of its ills.  The new program is named “ALL” which stands for Accor Live Limitless and will layer in sports, dining and entertainment experiences. In an investor call last week, Accor CEO Sebastien Bazin noted that “that competitors such as Marriott, Hilton, and InterContinental Hotels Group get between 40 and 60 percent of bookings from their loyalty programs while Accor attracts just 30 percent. Those chains also earn partnership revenue of $250 million to $600 million, while Accor generates only $6 million.”


This Is What Tech Companies Want in Any Federal Data Privacy Legislation

This article in Fortune does a good job of summarizing the key points that large data acquirers such as Google and Facebook are lobbying for.  Although there seems to be general agreement on some of the larger principles involved, Apple appears to be the only major company in the group that is actually pushing harder toward real consumer data protection.


Apple and Goldman Sachs partnering on a credit card for the iPhone

What’s most interesting about this news item is how uninteresting it is.  Two of the largest and, arguably, most dynamic companies in their respective fields are getting together for a credit card deal that promises better rebate & reward factors.  A recent comment from Credit Suisse sums it up well: “Card reportedly will have high rewards, highlighting competition, though this is clearly not a gamechanger”.  There is mention of some interesting technological integration but those details were not available at press time.


Three Key Takeaways from the 2018 Customer Experience Index

Sitel Group sponsored a survey to uncover the most important factors to customer experience success and came away with several solid, data-backed insights that are worth paying attention to.  Here are the highlights:  1) U.S. consumers want convenient and personalized customer experiences, and they will pay for it.  2) Customers are sharing their experiences on social media – good and bad.  3) The human-to-human connection is key to a great customer experience.  While those might seem a little obvious, a quick dive into the research adds both perspective and actionability.

How Voice Is Changing Customer Experience Practices for the Better

There is nothing quite so immediate as voice search and there is something very satisfying about a successful voice query.  Which is why “Gartner predicts that by 2020, 25 percent of all customer service and support operations will utilize voice-recognition technologies such as chatbots and virtual customer assistants — a massive jump from just 2 percent in 2017.”

Customer onboarding is too costly and slow

Consult Hyperion, a UK-based business intelligence consultancy to the financial services industry, published a report detailing “the five biggest challenges currently facing financial institutions when onboarding business customers.” If the average onboarding process for a banking customer is 32 days then a couple of things come to mind: 1) The industry is ripe for digital disruption, and 2) This seems like a massive opportunity for forward-thinking platform providers.

Domino’s Looks To AI, Loyalty And ‘Fortressing’ For More Growth

We reported on Domino’s crazy promotion several weeks ago noting that creativity (this time in the form of a very innovative rewarding program) always wins over technology.  The crux of the promotion is that it allows program members to earn points on competitors’ pizza purchases. Through some clever AI-based technology, the company is able to identify images of pizza through its app, and reward accordingly.  Funny that the company’s executives don’t seem know how it works though.


Earning the Loyalty of Millennials and Gen Z

Sourabh Tambe of Alliance Data, puts forth an interesting way to look at Millennial and Gen Z loyalty.  He proposes viewing them through a continuum that begins with functional brand attributes and evolves to more emotional attributes. As more emotional elements of loyalty are introduced, the relationship changes, moving beyond the transactional to the aspirational.  How do you prime the early stages of that continuum?  Alliance found that shows that 71% of Millennials and 56% of Gen Z seek out a discount or coupon before making a purchase”.

Live-Streaming is the Next Best Thing to Being There

In little more than a week, several dozen of the best minds in customer loyalty will be meeting, presenting, discussing and maybe sharing a cocktail or two, at the fourth annual Loyalty Academy Conference in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA.  We nestled this item up under “Intelligence” because this event is specifically designed for learning and interacting with brands and the people who support them.  If you can’t be there in person, the event will be live-streamed from start to finish.  More details and registration here.

The Loyalty Newswire is compiled and edited by the staff at The Wise Marketer.