United Airlines loyalty guru speaks at ADMA Data Day

United Airlines loyalty guru speaks at ADMA Data Day
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The managing director of the world's largest loyalty program was in Sydney on Thursday to give the keynote speech at the Data-Driven Marketing and Advertising (ADMA) Data Day.

Mark Krolick, marketing and product development MD at Chicago-based United Airlines, headlined the event where he discussed how to use data creatively to engage with new and existing customers, and how to make use of customer data for target marketing and retention.

The theme of the event Understanding the potential of a data-driven marketing strategy” was selected by ADMA as the topic after finding that 50% of marketers don't believe their team is adequately equipped to deal with and analyse data.

In front of an audience of almost 300 at Luna Park, Krolic outlined how from modest beginnings, United has under his stewardship built strong brand and loyalty marketing programs with a solid analytical foundation, including advanced marketing analytics and CRM tools.

Krolic explained to the audience that when United merged with Continental three years ago both airlines data was not in great shape. When he asked the CEO for financial commitment to the tune of $50 million to sort it out he received just $1 million and no additional staff.

Despite the setback Krolic’s team managed to get a non-member database and recognition program off the ground and gradually financial commitment began to flow from the money men at the top on the airline.

Krolic also discussed some of the data pitfalls that United ran into during this process, and how getting to grips with the data available is key to avoiding them.

ADMA said the opportunity for Australian marketers to have a direct dialogue with a global data leader was a real boon for the organisation.

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