Loyalty programs earn ancillary revenue for opinions with SSI
Many of us in the airline loyalty business have only recently heard of SSI (Survey Sampling International), but in fact they have been around since 1977 and hold the distinction of being the first commercial market research sampling company. Co-founder, the late Tom Danbury invented of the concept of using a database to offer a telephone sampling service for survey researchers as a product. Today over 3,000 companies worldwide use SSI to gain insights to grow their business. SSI provides sampling, data collection and data analytic solutions for survey research, reaching respondents in 86 countries via Internet, mobile/wireless, telephone, and mixed-access offerings.
Since their debut in Airline Information’s Lions’ Den in Vancouver last year, loyalty program managers, particularly from airlines have been paying close attention to this legacy opinions innovator. SSI has seen promising results with aggregating the opinions of loyalty program members, eased by built-in member segmentation and the lure of earning more miles to reward them taking surveys. In turn loyalty programs like United’s MileagePlus have earned revenues that complement their existing ancillary suite nicely. The constant availability of survey opportunities with SSI seems to be the most popular takeaway with loyalty managers that I spoke with. On a panel discussion at Loyalty 2014 @ The Freddie Awards, United’s MD of loyalty business strategy David Oppenheim commented on how the ‘instant gratification’ element of SSI’s opinions platform helped to deeply engage his members.
Ravindra Bhagwanani and Edward MacNaughton the Flight Global team were kind enough to allow LoadFactor to record interviews at the conference that preceded the 2014 Freddie Awards. The folks at SSI, particularly Glenn Zimmerer, were insightful enough to send their numbers guy to the interview – after all nobody wants a sales pitch. Without further adieu I give you Bob Fawson, Chief Access and Engagement officer for SSI.