In The Fold
Loyalty isn’t dead, but traditional loyalty programs might be. By Joe Dobrow. As a top executive at Hertz since 1995, Griff Long has spent a lot of time on the road — and when he travels, he knows what he likes. Flights by United. Rooms by Marriott. Rental cars by — well, he didn’t really have much choice there. It’s all been very safe and predictable, very easy, and it’s never really had anything to do with loyalty, at least in the marketer’s sense of the word.
Of course, to those who might be crunching the numbers at United Mileage Plus or Marriott Rewards and have seen Long’s huge point totals and consistent bookings, they probably think they have hooked a pretty big fish. So, they keep sending him more rewards and incentives — all of which are completely unnecessary, since he was going to choose them anyway … at least so long as their prices were in line. If not, well, he’s a member of every other travel loyalty program, too.
The truth is that customer loyalty is an elusive goal. It’s hard to attain, harder to retain, and nearly impossible to measure. read >>