I read this article six months ago while I was lounging in my 'old school, schmooze earned' suite on the top floor of the Marriott Stanton South Beach, overlooking the ocean, and I thought to myself, "good stuff, let's take a look down the road and see how they're doing", well it's down the road and I glanced back at the article.
Now even a tech troglodyte like myself knows that mobile is where it's at and certainly the future is now, so as much as I go kicking and screaming into the future, I keep an eye out for things, since not wanting to miss out on deals overrides my lack of interest in learning new things.
We've all seen Marriott make a variety of attempts at innovation and in many areas succeed, yet in others like Travel Brilliantly or Virtual Reality not yet obtain the much promised and greatly anticipated benefits.
The article is worth a good skim, especially among you tech experts and aficionados, you'll have some worthwhile thoughts on Marriott's AI approach, not quite AR, but soon loyalists may get to actually chase Badges into the Concierge Lounge; here's a couple of paragraphs (there are several that are more esoteric that the techies will eat up) that caught the eye of Mr. Neanderthal:
“Later this year, you’ll see machine learning and AI [artificial intelligence] to be more attuned to making recommendations about what we know about you, and what we know about your friends,” said Kozik. “As you know more about what you choose to share with us—whether it’s posted information on social media or shared locations — we can make more attuned suggestions to you later this year. It’s all about data and how we can use machine learning to go one step further.”
“Loyalty is now, for us, shifting from a delayed gratification to a series of instant gratifications,” said Corbin. “How do you start using this currency, instead of it being points earned for a future stay? It’s more like how do you start using these as currencies for other things and other experiences in the moment at different points through the stay, and frankly, how do you use your wallet for those currencies?”
Excerpt number 1 raises the question for me - is Marriott talented enough to handle this - certainly they are innovative in their conceptual interests, but their execution often times leaves much to be desired.
Excerpt number 2 says to me the old schooler, "well good, folks will spend their points as they go, this will result in less huge number point balances, which therefore will result in less aspirational redemptions of Cat. 8 and 9s, which according to Marriott will then 'lower' the category.....NOT !
This is all good stuff, where we're headed, and no doubt, Marriott will do quite well, but I wouldn't be surprised to see some bumblin' and stumblin' along the way, that's why I appreciate all of our Insiders Early Adapters, they are the point of the spear for the rest of us, and I appreciate their reports. Go man, go and show us the way - thanks.
Marriott reports 2nd Qtr. Earnings tomorrow - 8/7, where I believe we will hear more about loyalty and innovation. For all the chatter about AI, loyalty, and innovation, let's see how well they do tracking the Brand Bonus 6-8 weeks out .