It seems we can say bon voyage to the marketing executive behind Marriott Bonvoy.
Karin Timpone Resigns As Marriott Global Marketing Officer
It has just been announced that Karin Timpone, Marriott’s global marketing officer, will be retiring at the end of 2019 to “pursue new opportunities.”
Timpone has been at Marriott since 2013, and led the company’s marketing around the new Bonvoy program, which officially launched earlier this year.
As Timpone explained to AdWeek in an interview a while back:
“One of the things we determined over the last few years is that the relationship we want to have with our customer is really about an ongoing, loyal two-way dialogue that is best summed up through our loyalty program, Marriott Bonvoy.”
Five-and-a-half years ago, the company didn’t have classic acquisition marketing in place. Timpone said it “tripled our audience since then, but we’ve fundamentally changed the voice, the way we go to market, how we integrate and promote our brands, how we think of the lifecycle of a customer, and then now adding on storytelling on travel to it. It’s the face of a real customer relationship.”
In the announcement about this development, Marriott has credited Timpone with “transforming Marriott’s marketing capabilities, introducing next-generation marketing technologies, cutting-edge marketing partnerships and travel storytelling.”
What Should We Make Of This Announcement?
We never get the full story of why someone is leaving with announcements like this. The way I see it, there are three most likely scenarios:
- Marriott hasn’t been happy with the execution of the marketing of Bonvoy, and she was asked to leave
- Timpone decided that she accomplished what she was going to accomplish at Marriott, and it was time to move on/find a new challenge
- Timpone has another opportunity elsewhere
Many of us haven’t been happy with the launch of Marriott Bonvoy, to put it mildly — the new program is incredibly complex, IT has been terrible, hotels have been playing games with members, and so much more.
However, very little of that is Timpone’s fault, but rather that would fall more on those working in loyalty and technology.
I imagine Timpone is behind the Bonvoy name, though. Personally I don’t get it and don’t like it, and over time the term “Bonvoyed” has been used to refer to just about anything negative happening.
That being said, it’s hardly the most egregious thing we’ve seen from Marriott, and it seems that Marriott is happy with the Bonvoy name (for whatever reason)?
So my guess is that Timpone is moving on either because she has another opportunity elsewhere, or because she grew frustrated by Marriott in its current form.
But that’s just my two cents…
I’ll be curious to see who takes Timpone’s spot, and if we see any changes to Marriott’s marketing strategy as a result.