Yesterday I posted about the targeted promotion I received from Hyatt Gold Passport, offering 50,000 bonus Gold Passport points after 20 stays.
Typically when there are targeted promotions there are several versions of it, and it can take a while for every eligible member to be contacted. After all, with millions of members all emails will rarely go out at exactly the same time. I recommended that people wait before being disappointed that they weren’t targeted.
That didn’t happen. A lot of people were pissed, and some even said they would be switching stays to Starwood or another chain, despite the fact that some other hotel chains haven’t even announced their fall promotion yet.
As someone that has on many occasions not been targeted by promotions, I’ve never taken it personally.
Loyalty programs are ultimately there to generate incremental business, and will use different metrics to achieve that. It’s not like middle school where the cool kids are picking their “favorites” for a flag football team.
They’ve simply crunched numbers, and are making a bet that the way they set up the promotion will maximize their return… which is the reason loyalty programs exist.
I don’t really view targeted promotions any differently than any of the other “discrimination” by loyalty programs. Is it fair to reward someone that spent $50,000 on 24 stays less than someone that spent $3,000 on 25 stays?
Similarly, if you do a Hyatt Diamond Challenge you get 1,000 Gold Passport bonus points for your first six nights. Is it fair that I don’t get those bonus points when I stay as an existing Diamond member? In other words, is it okay to reward someone that you think will generate more marginal business while not rewarding someone that’s already giving you business?
Or is the issue with targeted promotions that the criteria for eligibility isn’t transparent?
For many years Hyatt had rankings for Diamond members, whereby not all Diamond members were created equally. High value Diamonds would be differentiated from less valuable ones. I’m not sure if that’s still the case, but since the criteria aren’t published, is that something people would also have an issue with?
I understand there’s the other side of the equation as well. It’s 2014, and while targeted promotions may have stayed secret in the past, that’s not the case anymore. And I also get that it doesn’t “feel” good not to be rewarded.
The way I view targeted promotions is that they’re nothing personal. I evaluate my stay decisions by the day. I’ll stay wherever I get the most bang for my buck, which can be a combination of elite benefits, rates, and promotions. I’m not actually “loyal” to any loyalty programs. I achieve top tier status with both Hyatt Gold Passport and Starwood Preferred Guest because they’re most rewarding to me, but if they drastically changed benefits, I’d be gone faster than you can say “La Comp…” I mean, pretty fast.
To be clear, I’m not claiming that I’m right and that those of you that are offended are nuts.
I’m just sharing my perception of targeted promotions, and would love to hear what you guys think. Maybe it’s something that loyalty programs could learn from as well.
How do you feel about targeted promotions? If you don’t like them, what bothers you most about them? “Discrimination,” the fact that the criteria isn’t published, or something else?