During the session, “Getting Customer Understanding Right,” the executive discussed Marriott’s upcoming merger with Starwood Hotels and Resorts, as well as the consolidation’s implications for both hospitality companies' popular loyalty programs. He also deemed Marriott’s ongoing dedication to improve its rewards program – which has a frequently used mobile application – with various digital initiatives as imperative in today’s sector, due to the thickening competition. “Customers have choices like Airbnb or a plethora of choices on Travelocity and other [online travel agencies],” said Thom Kozik, vice president of loyalty at Marriott International. “We have to show our appreciation and loyalty to them. “When I walked into Marriott [for the first time], I was blown away from the expertise in email marketing.” Get the full story at the Mobile Marketer