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Loyalty Newswire: February 18, 2019

Photo by Hieu Vu Minh

It seems like there is a lot of punditry going on in loyalty news this week. Yes, of course we have a fair contingent of hard news but some of the bigger items have more to do with posturing and opinionizing. A couple of hotel brands could be affecting each other’s loyalty programs, a hamburger mega-chain drops the ball in Australia, a no-frills airline is going to be offering, well … frills, and one of the most innovative grocery chains in the U.S. continues to, well … innovate. Here is what we’re following in loyalty right now.

BRAND NEWS

Marriott Loyalty-Program Hiccups May Have Boosted Hilton’s Ranks

Call this more of a “surmising” than hard data but Hilton CEO Christopher Nassetta suspects that the problems arising from a certain competitor’s loyalty program foibles may be responsible for Hilton’s recent program growth.  Let’s keep a close eye on this one to see if the data backs up his assumption.

McDonald’s customers revolt over “ridiculous” ban on paper loyalty cards

It would seem that the whole world is NOT quite ready for a full digital transformation just yet.  On the other hand, we suspect that the aforementioned ‘revolt’ has more to do with poor program communication than the change in format.

DATA

A California Plan to Make Big Tech Pay People for Data Raises Eyebrows

“California governor Gavin Newsom is working on a proposal that would require tech companies to pay Californians for their data, a proposal that, while sparse on details, already has marketers sweating.” At this point, Newsom’s plan sounds more like political posturing than genuine legislation but consumer data protection is a very hot topic right now.  We expect more politicians to make similar proclamations over the near term.  We also expect that some of those will turn into actual legislation over the medium term.  We’re staying tuned …

LOYALTY STRATEGY

Frequent redemption opportunities key to loyalty program success

Blackhawk Network, a provider of gift card solutions, interviewed more than 1,500 American adults and found that, among other factors, frequency of redemption opportunities has a dramatic effect on program success.

Will Ryanair’s New Loyalty Programme Be A Success or Flop?

The low-budget airline is joining EasyJet and will be rolling out a robust slate of reward and redemption opportunities later this year.  This would be big news for most any carrier but it represents a radical shift for a company known more for its LACK of perks.

INNOVATION

Cerebri AI Quantifies Loyalty Through AI and Machine Learning

Cerebri AI has developed proprietary math which, if we understand it correctly, will boil down customer touchpoint data into a single loyalty score.  Scoring unto itself is nothing new but it sounds like this new effort is an attempt to universalize it for use across verticals. We have mixed reactions to this development here at The Wise Marketer and would very much like to hear your take(s) on the topic.  Please comment back where appropriate.

PROGRAM ANNOUNCEMENTS

Kroger Begins Rollout of Mobile Pay, Loyalty Rewards Card

We’re continually monitoring announcements coming out of Kroger because 1) they are a leader in their industry, 2) they are continually investing in innovative approaches to improving operational efficiency and customer experience, 3) what they are announcing today often ends up affecting other players in their vertical tomorrow, and 4) one of the people leading their innovative strategies will be presenting at this year’s Loyalty Academy conference.

Tim Hortons gearing up for loyalty program rollout in 2019

This might actually qualify as the most important news in this week’s Loyalty Newswire.  Note to the loyalty program manager at Timmy’s – we here at The Wise Marketer are available to consult, help and taste as needed.  Please contact our Editor in Chief directly.

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

Loyalty Newswire: February 18, 2019
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