"Want Loyalty? Get a dog."

Orbitztlc Is customer loyalty a marketing myth? Lester Wunderman thinks so. So does Randy Susan Wagner, CMO of Orbitz.  In her speech yesterday, she spoke about creating deep relationships with consumers, rather than building loyalty.

A few key points that stood out:

  • “The enterprise needs to become not just customer driven, but customer insight driven.”
  • “The more things (read technology) change, the more they stay the same.”
  • "Think like me” is a phrase Randy used to describe discovering a point of connection with your consumer. A human truth. 

A relevant truth for her: people want convenience in travel, not headache.  Basic truths like these allow you to reorganize audiences into more sustainable groups. Orbitz’s new microsite properties are an example of this.

For marketers, microsites are a measurable way of targeting specific customer segments -- sometimes viral, sometimes campaign-driven.  But Randy pointed out individual consumers do not always reside in just one segment.  A 34yr old mother of two from Des Moines might be a family-focused consumer during the day, set on finding a romantic getaway at night, and hooked on Flash mini-games during the weekend. 

Orbitz has created microsites like Orbitz Games, Orbitz Roadwarrior, and Orbitz TLC, that are not seasonal or campaign driven. Instead, they’re branded Web properties (stand-alone, in the case of Orbitz Games) created to become part of customers lives. They develop relationships between brand and consumer.  These new properties are part of how Orbitz is transforming from a technology company into a technology-driven marketing company.  And what is a marketing company, really? A media company.