UPDATED: Qantas asks Frequent Flyers for personal data in exchange for points

New Yahoo7 toolbar asks Qantas members to allow the airline to use their search activity information for marketing purposes in exchange for Frequent Flyer points

The chief of marketing management consultancy, Trinity P3, claims Qantas’ decision to request Frequent Flyer customers for personal search data in reward for extra points is indicative of the lack of sufficient customer information being collected by brands.

Qantas Frequent Flyer launched a dedicated web search toolbar on 19 June which rewards members with additional points in return for using their online search activity information for marketing purposes.

According to the Qantas corporate page, members can earn one point for every valid web search to a maximum of 150 points per month. To do so, they must install the Yahoo7 toolbar on their Internet browser and be logged into their Frequent Flyer account. The toolbar can be used across Internet Explorer, Google Chrome and Firefox browsers but not on mobile devices.

Qantas said it will use the toolbar to collect personal information on a user’s search and web browsing activities and use it “marketing purposes in accordance with the Toolbar Collection Statement and Terms and Conditions”.

According to the Qantas Terms and Conditions, a user’s name, Frequent Flyer membership details and toolbar data will be transferred between Australia, its US-based toolbar provider, FreeCause (trading as Rakuten Loyalty) and the airline’s Philippines call centre.

“It’s indicative of marketers that are struggling to find ways to get under the skin of their customers,” the managing director of TrinityP3, Darren Woolley, said to CMO in response to the news.

“We have an airline with a Frequent Flyer program and multiple partners that they should be able to draw all this buying and purchasing behaviour from. I think it’s indicative of the fact that a lot of companies do not collect this sort of information, or if they don’t share it with other partners.”

The interesting thing will be see what uptake there is of the toolbar, Woolley continued.

“With all of the consumer backlash about privacy, and especially all the publicity about the US government collecting data on people, it will be interesting how many people are willing to give that up for a point per search.”

Co-founder and CTO of marketing software management provider ion Interactive, Scott Brinker, expected to see many more marketers experiment with these kinds of ideas.

"It turns the privacy debate inside out. We're expressly asking for permission — or even, as with the Qantas toolbar, inviting active participation — from our audience for broader data collection in exchange for rewards and benefits," he commented.

"Because this is done as part of an explicit understanding between the brand and its customer, the accuracy and relevance of the data has the potential to be significantly better.

"That being said, it remains to be seen which of these experiments will work — which ones will find the right combination of incentives for consumers, without turning them off, while providing enough value to the marketer to make it worth the effort."

Brinker added the industry will learn a lot from the winners and the losers in this line of innovation.

As reported in the SMH, Qantas follows in the footsteps of the Coles FlyBuys team, which launched a similar toolbar last November in partnership with Yahoo7. The Fly Buys offering also sees FreeCause collecting user information.

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO Australia conversation on LinkedIn: CMO Australia, or join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia

Join the CMO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Blog Posts

Is your content marketing missing the mark?

Does it ever seem like the content you create falls flat on its face or that the leads you’re generating aren’t worth following up?

Dan Ratner

managing director, uberbrand

​ Creating a purpose-driven brand

So you want to be a brand with purpose. But what does it actually mean to build a brand with real meaning?

Paul Chappell

Partner and managing director, Brand + Story

Customer experience crisis: Proactively mitigating the risk of broken promises

Last Friday, three weeks after United Airline’s spectacular customer experience disaster, customers received a letter from the company’s CEO, Oscar Munoz.

It is interesting. Rebrand is very good. Perhaps they should change the logo to something more modern. For example as it is - https://www...

David Hill

Grace Group undergoes first rebrand in 30 years to unify and contemporise

Read more

Hey Guys, just one small typo that changes a part of the story :“That was a really big step forward for our company because we didn’t hav...

Damian Young

Chobani tastes success with data analytics platform

Read more

This is amazing! Congratulations to Cochlear for continuing to lead innovation in every way!

Chris

How this marketing ops leader is lifting the automation ante at Cochlear

Read more

Interesting case! It seems like universities can also benefit from marketing automation. I've started using getresponse some time ago and...

Aaren

How marketing automation is helping drive CX change at Adelaide University

Read more

Always great to see and read these success stories and the growth of gamification. This story is very warming and can act as an inspirati...

James Doyle

5 tips to boost engagement with gamification from Donut King

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in