The Loyalty Newswire: December 17, 2018

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By: Mike Giambattista, CLMP |

Posted on December 17, 2018

This week, it's not as easy to vet your babysitter as it (almost) was, there's good news and bad news in customer data, a quantifiable lift strategy, hospitality branding, and possibly the best example of personalization in the history of loyalty.  Here is what we're following:


Artificial-intelligence Company that Screens Babysitters Halts Launch

In what we’re certain is not the first of such instances, but maybe the highest profile to-date, Predictim, an AI-based screening tool, is pulling the plug on its service launch due to “heavy backlash following a Washington Post report on the service last month.” As we watch the adoption of more AI solutions into the marketplace, we’re paying close attention to delta between corporate acceptance and consumer comfort with the idea. It looks like, in this case, Predictim may have gotten a bit ahead of their skis.


Artificial Intelligence and the Limits of the Machine Model

Our guess is that the topic of AI is at least being discussed, if not actively pursued, in your organization right now. Even at present, the efficiencies produced by AI-enabled systems are astonishing in their scope, speed and breadth – and they will only continue to grow. But maybe this is also a good time to wave our hands through the smoke and attempt to separate the hype & hope from the reality. This short piece from Kurt Cobb adds some much needed perspective.



How Congress could Force Tech Companies to Stop Exposing Your Personal Data

Today we get a closer look at some of the specific penalties contained within the newly-introduced Data Care Act, now in Congress. Among the other notable provisions, this little nugget jumped off the page: “… suggested a jail sentence of 10 to 20 years for tech executives who fail to follow rules around data use and would allow the FTC to fine tech companies up to 4% of their annual revenue for a violation.” If you had any thought, hope or illusion that GDPR-like restrictions wouldn’t make their way across the pond, let this bill be your wake-up call.


Australian Consumer Data Right Law: What You Need to Know

We have a fairly short Christmas list this year at The Wise Marketer. But right near the top of that list would be a clear declaration of consumer data uses, protections and provisions. Kind of like this one from Australia, published by JDSupra. In one page, companies and consumers have a working outline of the parameters and obligations with respect to their data.


Facebook Says Bug Opened Access to Private Photos

It is becoming much too easy to pick on Facebook for their data fumbles. They are the 900 lb gorilla, they virtually own the social media playing field and human nature being what it is, everybody loves to see the big guy take a fall. But this isn’t about being gleeful over their failings, it is instead, a growing catalogue of their mistakes, mis-steps and mis-deeds that needs to be taken seriously. These are more than just points on the weekly news cycle and they have very real and potentially far-reaching consequences for their users.



Amadeus makes a Point with New Loyalty Partnership

“Amadeus and new partner Points International, a loyalty commerce firm, have unveiled their new strategic agreement to provide airlines to combine Amadeus’ Loyalty Management and Awards and Points Solutions simply and efficiently.” Points and Amadeus have already collaborated on a number of ancillary revenue solutions for a series of regional carriers. This new agreement effectively globalizes their efforts.



People will pay 22% More for Certain Products if the Company has a Good Reputation

Almost nothing makes a loyalty marketer happier than a quantifiable lift strategy. And, according to a new study from University of Technology in Sydney, well-liked companies can get a premium for some of their products just by virtue of their good reputation. To be sure, there are certain caveats to the above statement but for the moment, can’t we just bask in the empirical simplicity of this data?


Premium Experiences, Data Monetisation and Voice Assistants to Shake-Up 2019

Year-end predictions are a staple of the business publishing world (we’ll have our own compiled soon) so the fact that we’re all looking ahead into 2019 is perfectly natural right now. This week, Kylie Gleeson-Long, ANZ Managing Director at Dunhumby looks over the next hill into the big changes coming in Retail. 


Amazon and Whole Foods After A Year: Supermarkets Will See Massive Changes

Back in 2017 when Amazon announced their purchase of Whole Foods, we, like many other business publications, circled the experts and insiders in an effort to understand this surprising development. We explored the potential reasons and outcomes and effects here and here. But now that we’ve got a full year (plus) of observation and analysis under our collective belts, certain themes are coming into focus. Here is just one of several posited today: “That’s why it looks like nothing much has changed at Whole Foods, it was never about the stores, it was about learning the business and understanding how customers behave in order to convert them to online grocery consumers.”



Why Do Hotel Companies Have So Many Brands?

Spinoffs, acquisitions, re-structuring and consolidations happen. Frequently. We get that. And with so much activity comes the spawning of new brands within the portfolio. We get that too. But Josh Barrow of the New Yorker asks a valid and very relevant question – what’s with all the brands? We had a similar discussion a few weeks ago and published this on the topic.


This Atlanta Hotel Combines Luxury Lodging with Personalized Whiskey

As if we needed further evidence of the power of personalization.


The Loyalty Newswire is compiled here weekly as a digest of important news, research & opinion in the world of customer loyalty.  In the short time we have been publishing it, the Newswire has become one of the most popular features on The Wise Marketer.  If you would like to subscribe to the email newsletter version of it, you can sign up here.

Mike Giambattista is Editor in Chief at The Wise Marketer and is a Certified Loyalty Marketing Professional (CLMP).