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 August 2020...

Food & Beverage: New Technological Innovations

In the past few years, hotel food and beverage departments have experienced significant growth. Managers are realizing just how much revenue potential this sector holds, both in terms of additional revenue and as a means to enhance the guest experience. As a result, substantial investments are being made in F&B operations as a way to satisfy hotel guests but also to keep pace with the competition. Though it has been a trend for many years, the Farm-to-Table movement shows no signs of abating. Hotel chains are abandoning corporate restaurants and are instead partnering with local chefs to create locally-influenced dining options. Local, farm-sourced ingredients paired with specialty beverages or local wine also satisfies the increasing demand from Millennial travelers who are eager to travel sustainably and contribute to a positive impact. A farm-to-table F&B program also helps to support the local economy, which builds community goodwill. Also popular are "Self-Serv" and "Grab & Go" options. These concepts stem from an awareness that a guest's time is limited and if a hotel can supply them with fast, fresh, food and beverage choices, then so much the better for them. Plus, by placing these specialty kiosks in areas that might be traditionally under-utilized (the lobby, for instance), they can become popular destination locations. Of course, there are new technological innovations as well. In-room, on-screen menus allow guests to order from any restaurant on the property, and some hotels are partnering with delivery companies that make it possible for guests to order food from any restaurant in the area. Also, many hotels are implementing in-room, voice-activated devices, so ordering food via an AI-powered assistant will soon become mainstream as well. The August issue of the Hotel Business Review will report on these developments and document what some leading hotels are doing to expand this area of their business.