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Does Marriott market research skew toward specific segments?

Question asked by erc on Jan 5, 2014
Latest reply on Jan 7, 2014 by bpelican

WARNING: It's another early morning erc pre-coffee post , so here's the question: Does Marriott through their methods of  gathering data about hotel guests, run the risk of sampling bias? Insiders, please share your thoughts and opinions, thank you.



Ok, for those more adventuresome souls (or those looking for an excuse to avoid shoveling the driveway), here's the full blown bloviation.


Sampling bias - the bias in which a sample is collected in such a way that some members of the intended population (Marriott customers) are less likely to be included than others (I'll leave the distinction between sampling and selection bias to the experts like superchief1.


Arne Sorenson's December 10th LinkIn Blog post

I first read Arne's blog about listening to the wisdom of all people when it first came out and marked it down as another thoughtful post by either Marriott's CEO or whoever assembles his audio thoughts into reports (man, with all that this guy has to do in keeping up with the world's activities, any blog post is impressive to me). His Steve Jobs comment elevated the post (IMO) from being just a platitude and demonstrated to me that Arne was going beyond a homily and actually sharing insight into his leadership views.

I tucked it away into my memory bank mixed in with roger's ramblings about expensive short ribs, the profchiara's writings about the Franks' medieval western europe empire and kharada46's musubi hot dogs, probably to be forgotten, or at worst, recalled later as an erc misstatement about Marriott buying Ben's Chili Dog restaurant to go back to their Hot Shoppes roots.



However, after reading the NY Times article (see on Insiders - Is Marriott Boring) that anadyr so kindly shared (he reads it for me, keeping me off Nancy Pelosi's  fundraising list)  about the Marriott corporation and it's reasonable pursuit of 'flash', the mental picture of this sophisticated industry leader CEO, Sorenson, even attempting to 'bust a hipster move' (knowingly, in front of a wise guy know it all like Ian Schrager) got me wondering; Does Marriott in their drive to listen to the 'wisdom of all', have an issue of sampling bias (like Mitt's people did in the last election polling or of course the classic Dewey/Truman prediction where pollsters overused the sampling of that fancy technology, the telephone).

Take a look at the contributors of Travel Brilliantly (as discussed before, some impressive ideas)  Is Marriott running the risk of collecting input via techniques that disproportionately values different market segments? Thank you for your input.