60 Seconds with Marriott Rewards

60 Seconds with Marriott Rewards

Marriott Rewards is the oldest continuously running hotel loyalty program in the world. Today, 19-million-members strong, Rewards is celebrating its 20th anniversary.

We took some time with Holly Mendelson, Director of Marketing, to talk a little shop.

Inside Flyer:
How has Marriott Rewards grown in two decades?
Mendelson:
It’s been tremendous. It’s grown from a handful of hotels, when we were called “Honored Guest Awards,” to over 2,300 hotels worldwide, and around 19 million members. We’ve found that new members are twice as likely to return after they stay with us the first time.

IF:
At 20 years old, Rewards must be considered a mature program. Do you still find yourselves tweaking the system, though?
Mendelson:
While you see other programs backing off, and doing things like not giving elite benefits to customers that book through certain booking channels, we are actually doing more. In June we lowered the threshold from 15 nights to 10 nights for Silver elite status, and we extended the guarantees for reservations. We gave our elites awards that are specially designed for them. We took their bonus across all the brands. We understand that these folks are critical to us. We are thankful to their loyalty. We want to continue to deliver and meet their expectations.

IF:
What’s the feedback from members who have been with you since the beginning?
Mendelson:
Aside from your traditional research methods, we have some efforts that we undertake where we maintain one-on-one relationships with our elite members. We call them, we check in on them — “How’s it going, how’s your travels, what’s your experience been like? What feedback do you have for us?” One-on-one types of relationships with folks, we recognize that this program is about our guests. We want to deliver to them the best program available.

IF:
Since it is a birthday, and everybody gets a birthday wish, what would yours be?
Mendelson:
To continue to make our customers happy. It’s all about the guest. It’s all about giving the folks what they expect from Marriott Rewards.

IF:
Are there any special promotions on deck for the anniversary?
Mendelson:
We have a couple of things up our sleeve. November is the official anniversary date, but we will be looking at the upcoming year as an anniversary year. Twenty years, we are the longest continuing program and the most successful in the hotel industry. The members can expect to hear good things from us in recognition of our 20th anniversary.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *