The Loyalty Newswire - December 3, 2018

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By: Mike Giambattista, CLMP |

Posted on December 3, 2018

Data breaches, data acquisition, data science - this week's Loyalty Newswire highlights some very big (not so good) news and some of the people and brands that are tasked with managing it.  As well, The Wise Marketer has some big (very good) news of our own.  Here is what we're following:

Data Hungry Businesses Can’t Ignore Consumer Concerns Over Privacy

This might be the most appropriate and important headline of today’s series. Just a few days ago Marriott / SPG announced a data breach of some 500 Million customer records (one of the largest in history).  As you’ll read below, Dunkin Donuts just revealed a significant data breach and those are just within the past week.  We haven’t compiled all of the known big-brand data hacks this year but there have been enough of them to call it a trend – a bad one.  This article takes a uniquely Australian view on the issue but the principles apply to everyone who touches consumer data in one way or another.



Dunkin' Suffers Data Breach of Customer Loyalty Program

Is there nothing sacred anymore?



Go here:  The Loyalty Fraud Prevention Association

While this isn’t a headline, it is certainly timely.  The LFPA is a rather new organization founded and run by some formidable people who dedicated to stemming the growth of loyalty fraud. 



Five Big Trends Leveraging Artificial Intelligence To Watch In 2019

Spoiler alert:  The trends outlined in this Forbes piece are big - and important.  And they will have impact across a wide swath of verticals. Of particular interest to the world of customer loyalty, “Businesses that rely on consistent communication with clients are likely to greatly benefit from the introduction of AI in the workplace.”



Ford brings artificial intelligence to Edge AWD

You knew it was only a matter of time.  Ford doesn’t make it clear if the Ai system is in fact a machine learning system or if it’s only a super-fast data processor.  Regardless, Ford and other brands are learning the value of the consumer perception of Ai.  We would like to see an Ai-based app designed to evaluate whether it’s really Ai or just a marketing gimmick.



Car firms feeding real-time information to Chinese monitoring centers

Speaking of cars and data, “More than 200 car makers selling electric vehicles in China — including Tesla, Volkswagen, BMW, Daimler, Ford, General Motors, Nissan and Mitsubishi — send at least 61 data points to government-backed monitoring platforms”.  The article points out that this arrangement only applies to electric vehicles but that most of the data is collected without the driver’s knowledge.



Autoweek Asks: Is brand loyalty still a big deal?

Far from a scientific survey, one of Autoweek’s Road Test Editors posed this question and what ensued (actually, still ensuing) is a string of comments that are likely to give loyalty marketers a good case of heartburn.  Yes, the “evidence” is anecdotal, but these are real consumers.  Note the coining of a new term:  Brand-Anti-Loyal.



Hyatt, SLH Introduce Strategic Loyalty Alliance

In what amounts to a very big deal for Small Luxury Hotels (SLH) properties, Hyatt and SLH have announced a strategic partnership which effectively opens up access to each other’s membership.  According to the release, Hyatt members can now earn and redeem points in “more than 50 locations around the world for stays starting on Dec. 6.”



Fliggy, Shangri-La Announce New Loyalty Program

In related news, Shangri-La Hotels just announced they have joined the ranks of other travel and hospitality brands such as Marriott, American Airlines and Singapore Airlines to become the latest members of Fliggy, Alibaba’s online travel platform.



Points For The Holidays: Will Regifting Rewards Help Nordstrom, Sally And Others In 2019?

Bryan Pearson, one of our Contributors here at The Wise Marketer, delivers a couple of retail data bombshells: “Nearly four in 10 holiday shoppers (39%) said they are much more likely to shop at stores where they are enrolled in loyalty programs, a 26% increase over 2017, according to research by Epsilon. But what about after? Engagement is a major challenge for loyalty program operators: 54% of memberships in the U.S. are inactive, according to the COLLOQUY Loyalty Census. Worse, 28% of shoppers have abandoned a program before ever redeeming so much as a point or mile.”  We’re familiar with stats like these and we’re seeing brands take creative steps to counter them.  Let’s revisit this topic post-holiday and see how things worked out.



What Do Great Customer Loyalty Schemes Look Like in a Post-GDPR World?

This is the second most compelling headline in today’s newswire and it reflects what virtually everyone in the customer loyalty industry has been wondering. The article though, takes a very high-level view of a topic that really requires an in-depth examination.  The very good news though is that The Wise Marketer has just announced the 2019 Loyalty Academy Conference which will deal with this and other critical themes of the moment.  Aside from the stellar lineup of speakers and content, the weather in March in Fort Lauderdale isn’t so bad.