Whew, I almost missed this puppy buried deep in the bowels of the Insider Big Board with only 23 views. Good stuff et - thanks for sharing.
"David Flueck, the newly appointed senior vice president of loyalty for Marriott and an SPG veteran, said that while the company works on the back-end technology needed for ultimately combining all three loyalty programs, it will make non-tech-dependent aspects of the loyalty programs a major focus this year. That, he said, will translate to a heavy focus on experiences, both through Marriott Rewards Experiences Marketplace and SPG Moments, as well as Marriott’s new partnership and investment in tours and activities metasearch platform PlacePass
I still can't get over how a company so effective in most all aspects of their business, can continue to stumble along the way they do in IT (IMO - granted, a numbnut tech laymen, they have been weak ever since they laid off their internal team and apparently outsourced it). Howard Schultz the CEO of Starbucks is turning over the reins to COO Kevin Johnson, not because Howie is growing bored, but because he realizes that Starbucks biggest upcoming challenge is technology and Johnson former CEO of Juniper Networks has the skill set required. One of Starbucks big challenges is their 13 million and growing, member loyalty program using apps to pre-order their drinks and the barristas getting swamped with 25 orders at once making in store customers wait.
In a similar vein - for all of Fleuck's and Kozik's creative excellence, how many times have us "loyalists" (i.e. the everything people ) seen a loyalty program (or forum) get ambushed by a poorly executed IT function? Most recently the past two MegaBonus promotions - poor communication of offer along with registration obstacles. So Fleuck may not have the luxury of thinking the non-tech portion of loyalty will carry the day. I'm rooting for them, but they will certainly have their hands full.
Marriott definitely is superb at working their leverage and they will hammer the OTAs; here's one of the many other areas where Marriott is flexing its muscles https://skift.com/2017/03/22/marriott-pits-amazon-alexa-against-apple-siri-for-voice-controlled-hotel-rooms/
Hopefully we aren't pricing victims of that leverage, moving us closer to Starwood prices (and you know they are trying - amenity fees, increased resort fees, two day cancellations, they're going to push). That's why, although not a heavy user of Airbnb, I'm pulling for them, if for no other reason to keep the world leader honest.
I got a kick out of "Marriott officials are in the process of visiting the chain’s 25 worst-performing Sheraton hotels in North America this month, ... two of which are considering changing brands to either Courtyard by Marriott or Four Points by Sheraton". Although perhaps factually true, that's probably not the way Marriott communicated it (and those two Sheratons, from the inference, are not even part of the 17 undergoing renovation).
Exciting times ahead, fun time had by all. Here's a list of Starwood's most favored properties;
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