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 June 2018...

Sales & Marketing: Opinions Matter

Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors manage a complex mix of strategies to attract and convert customers into guests. Part of their expertise includes an awareness of customer behavior during the reservation process, so they can make sure their hotel is favorably positioned. One such trend is the growing popularity of travel review sites. According to one recent survey, 61% of prospective customers consult online reviews in order to validate information about the hotel before making a purchasing decision. Another survey found that the average hotel customer reads between 6-12 reviews across 4-10 properties before making a final decision on where to stay. Similarly, other studies have shown that consumer reviews are a more trusted source of information for prospective customers than other kinds of marketing messaging. In fact, reviews are often considered to be as influential as price regarding whether a customer decides to complete a purchase or not. Plus, travel sites with the most reviews - including recent reviews from satisfied customers and thoughtful responses from staff - were also found to be the most appealing. So having positive reviews on a travel website is essential and can help to increase a hotel's conversion rates dramatically. Of course, there are all kinds of additional marketing strategies for sales and marketing directors to consider - the importance of video and the emergence of live streaming; the implementation of voice search; the proliferation of travel bots; and the development of Instagram as an e-commerce platform. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.