Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Ferguson

Allison Ferguson

Senior Strategist, Merkle Inc.

Allison Ferguson is an accomplished and results actualized strategist known for leading the design and execution of data- and analytics-driven CRM, Loyalty and Digital Marketing strategies for leading brands with proven results that grow market share and customer engagement with designed programs and experiences.

Ms. Ferguson is currently a Senior Strategist and thought leader with 500friends, a Merkle-owned loyalty solutions company. There, she works with clients to lead loyalty program design and organizational transformation across industry, business model and level of market maturity.

Ms. Ferguson helps clients primarily in hospitality, retail and financial services companies shape, evolve, deliver and measure customer loyalty strategies and programs and experiences.

Ms. Ferguson has 20 years of loyalty marketing, CRM and analytics experience including 10 years of brand-side experience with IHG and Leading Hotels of the World, and 10 in loyalty consulting, most recently with Accenture. At Leading Hotels of the World, she led a global team to redesign the brand's Leaders Club program, serving the world's most experiential travelers in 500+ of the world's most aspirational hotels.

Ms. Ferguson has a unique perspective that loyalty has evolved into a true marketing science that enables authentic and value-driven connections between brands and customers, brands and brands, and between customers and one another. She is deeply passionate about facilitating and shaping the best ideas from her client organizations in order to create a genuine value exchange with customers.

Ms. Ferguson considers herself a value creator and problem solver and takes great pride in the many brands she has served.

Please visit http://www.merkleinc.com for more information.

Ms. Ferguson can be contacted at 443-542-4200 or aferguson@merkleinc.com

Coming up in March 2020...

Human Resources: Confronting a Labor Shortage

With the unemployment rate at its lowest level in decades (3.7%), what has always been a perennial problem for human resource professionals - labor shortage - is now reaching acute levels of concern. It is getting harder to find and recruit qualified applicants. Even finding candidates with the skills to succeed in entry-level positions has become an issue. In addition, employee turnover rates remain extremely high in the hotel industry. As a result of these problems, hotel HR managers are having to rethink their recruitment strategies in order to hire the right talent for the right job. First, hotels have been forced to raise their wages and offer other appealing perks, as a way to attract qualified candidates. Secondly, HR managers are reassessing their interviewing techniques, focusing less on the answers they receive to questions and more on observable behavior. Part of this process includes role-playing during the interview, so that the recruiter can gauge how a candidate works through specific problems and interacts with other team members. Additionally, some HR managers are also creating internal talent pools as a way to address labor shortages. Instead of utilizing department resources to find new hires with specific skills for needed positions, hotels are cultivating talent pools internally and preparing their employees to assume leadership roles whenever the time comes. They are also placing greater emphasis on a company culture that is more performance-based, as a way to curb employee turnover, increase employee satisfaction, and assure higher levels of customer service. Finally, recognizing the importance of employee retention as a way to lessen the impact of a tight labor market, some HR managers are instituting generous reward programs in order to retain their top performers. The March Hotel Business Review will explore what some HR professionals are doing to address these and other issues in their departments.