Chirpify is the customer engagement loyalty vendor for Marriott, a notable distinction.
Loyalty360 caught up with Chirpify CEO Chris Teso to learn more about this significant partnership.
Marriott is obviously a huge name in the customer loyalty arena. What does being chosen by Marriott at its engagement loyalty vendor mean to Chirpify?
Teso: Marriott is indeed a leader in its approach to customer loyalty and has blazed a trail of innovation in this space. Having been chosen by Marriott is a strong vote of confidence in Chirpify’s Engagement Loyalty solution and expertise in bringing even greater value to Marriott Rewards Members.
We have been working with Marriott for several years now and they have been a terrific partner. In this time, Marriott has used the Chirpify solution to grow engagement, advocacy, and brand loyalty as we ran over 55 campaigns on the platform. Customer adoption of the platform has grown rapidly, with 2016 seeing a 75 percent increase in use over 2015.
What is Chirpify’s goal regarding engagement loyalty for Marriott, and what tools will be involved to elevate Marriott’s status in that department?
Teso: Marriott uses the full end-to-end Chirpify platform, which spans from defining and listening for social and messaging actions across platforms, to the rules engine to govern for geofencing, frequency, language detection, and influence, to automated and moderated public and private native language social responses, to enriched data and analytics dashboards, to rewards delivery of both Marriott’s own currency and non-points based incentives.
With Chirpify, Marriott gives its members an always-on omnichannel remote control to seamlessly engage and participate with the brand, from advertising calls-to-action, and surprise and delight campaigns. Notable for Marriott is that customers can engage and participate with the brand even when they aren’t on property.
With automation and moderation, the Chirpify platform allows Marriott Rewards to both respond at scale and provide tailored messages specific to a person’s history with the company, with a stated goal to reward valued customers in a personal way that grows the relationship and builds loyalty.
What is unique about your platform that will help elevate Marriott’s status as an elite loyalty program?
Teso: Marriott has used the Chirpify platform for two years to engage, reward, convert, and surprise and delight Marriott customers. In this time, Marriott has driven over 250 million social impressions, grown its follower base by 56,000 across social channels, and rewarded members who engaged with the brand by setting off more than 160,000 social actions and triggers.
Specifically, Marriott Rewards members that interact with the brand using a social trigger will earn rewards in exchange for participating with the brand over social media or messaging platforms. The Chirpify engine listens in the background for these social triggers that once set off, can automatically and immediately reward Marriott Rewards members for their interaction.
And, with its integration with the Marriott Rewards member database, Chirpify can recognize existing Marriott Rewards members and can even create accounts for new members. This integration also allows Marriott Rewards to identify and collect campaign conversion data by social ID which they can use to analyze how often members redeem points, assess campaign success across channels, and much more.
Marriott also uses Chirpify tools such as geo-targeting to promote specific events, as they did at the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival in Austin where they combined a topic and a geolocation filter, aggregating posts from people that were at SXSW and were interested in music. They then automated a free concert ticket along with different messages to consumers, engaging with them at the exact right moment with a positive surprise in the form of an invitation to concerts taking place at the JW Marriott Austin.
What are some of the keys to sparking customer engagement in a loyalty program such as Marriott Rewards?
Teso: Customer engagement relies on giving customers a reason to engage. The central tenet of engagement is having a fair value exchange; therefore, we recommend that loyalty programs establish what they plan to ask of their customers and what value they plan to give in exchange. Loyalty programs already have a breadth of data to draw upon in this regard and with a little data analysis can easily create programs that will engage customers and create earned media that will even drive new customer acquisition.
One thing Marriott does to deepen the positive brand relationship with its Marriott Rewards members is to Surprise & Delight them in social media. Members feel rewarded for their loyalty as Marriott uses Chirpify Reply Rewards to proactively reach out to members and reward them with much coveted Marriott points in celebration of their anniversary in the Marriott Rewards program.
How important is social media now as it relates to a brand’s loyalty program?
Teso: Connecting social media and messaging to loyalty programs is no longer a nice to have. It’s become an essential channel to include. Large brands in almost every category have integrated engagement with their Loyalty programs using Chirpify.
To remain competitive, brands must modernize their loyalty programs by rewarding for engagement, not just spend. Customers today understand the value of not just the dollars they spend in the store, but also the value of their time and participation with the brand and expect to be rewarded for their engagement and advocacy. Without engagement as an integral component of the loyalty program, brands risk losing mind- and wallet-share to competitors who are actively engaging customers through social media.
Do you think social media is or will be used more in loyalty programs moving forward?
Teso: Social media is used more and more in loyalty programs for several reasons. First, customers spend their time there and to build effective relationships, marketers need to meet their customers where they are at. Second, customers are increasingly seeking utility in their relationships with the brand. That is, they want it to be incredibly easy to do business with the brand and use the remote control in their pocket as a way to facilitate that. Third, social media provides an excellent channel for customers to earn rewards for engagement with brands while generating earned media for the brand. Last, social media offers new ways for brands to obtain meaningful data about their customers. To sum up: social media use will increase by loyalty programs as it provides important benefits to both marketers and loyalty members and it can easily be added to an existing program for even greater value.