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 newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Blog Posts

How service heterogeneity is impacting engagement

Marketers have long known the importance of standardising products to assure quality and consistency. For services, however, standardisation is much more complex.

Dr Chris Baumann

Associate professor, Macquarie University

Kindness matters in business: why the nice guys finish first

A recent 1000-page Royal Commission report on misconduct in Australia’s financial sector revealed hair-raising stories of excessive commissions, rampant mis-selling and charges levied on the dead. So how do you stop a bank from misleading its customers?

Nick Liddell

Director of Consulting, The Clearing

Myer vs. David Jones: Do cyborgs win?

As two of Australia’s stalwart brands in Myer and David Jones continue their respective journeys through troubled waters, it heralds yet another sign of the shifting business environment and shift towards an experience economy.

Tom Uhlhorn

Founder and strategy director, Tiny CX

I was in need of an urgent loan for my business and to settle a debt i owed a business partner in Europe, i tried to apply for a loan but...

Nikita Nikki

CMO interview: Data-driven marketing at a home loan provider

Read more

I was in need of an urgent loan for my business and to settle a debt i owed a business partner in Europe, i tried to apply for a loan but...

Nikita Nikki

What this creative director really thinks of CMO tenure and digital change

Read more

Back in 1968 Holden began an appeal to customers who have an interest in competition. It did this with the introduction of the HK GTS 32...

Ben Tate

Marketing professor: For Holden, brand nostalgia ain’t what it used to be

Read more

Your blog post is really good and informative. Thanks for taking time to provide us this useful information with us.Auto wrapping uaeADF ...

Yes Machinery

Image intelligence:10 must-see infographics for marketers

Read more

A debt of gratitude is in order for sharing this marvelous information.I have taken in numerous things from your post

digitech Classes

Lumen CMO strives to make the brand synonymous with anti-ageism

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in