Marketing leaders from hotel brands, management companies, and owner groups met at HSMAI’s Chief Marketing Officer Executive Roundtable in New York City on Jan. 21. Here are four key takeaways from their discussion on emerging trends:
1. Education: Educating up-and-coming marketers was brought up as something that CMOs want to see more of. One CMO mentioned that asset managers and marketers coming from other disciplines need to be educated about the business as they continue in their career, while another CMO said that they love seeing more younger people come into the business, but that this highlights the need to educate them. And a CMO said they believe personally they need to learn more. “Today’s future is something different,” they said. “I don’t know if I know enough.”
2. Impact: Several CMOs mentioned that hotel marketing professionals have a short time to make an impact, and that time is getting increasingly shorter. Several noted that the opportunity to make an impact is one thing they enjoy about their jobs. “Love that you are selling the dream,” one CMO said.
Targeting audiences with technology is one way that CMOs are trying to use the time they have to make that impact. If highly focused targeting doesn’t work, one CMO said, a trend is to then move on to targeting a wider audience.
3. Globalization: Interacting with others from across the world is both a challenge and a positive thing for CMOs. On the negative side, one CMO said that there is a capacity issue to provide leadership to teams globally, and it is hard to deal with global teams being compressed even further. On the other hand, a CMO said they love the global relationships they build, even if governments and politicians don’t always see the value in the travel industry. Another CMO mentioned that it’s the people in the industry and the relationships that are built that connect people more than nationalism.
4. Fast-pace: One of the most-cited pressures facing CMOs was the need to keep up with things moving at lightning speed. One CMO said they were surprised by the “ongoing accelerating nature of the chaos,” when they thought things would start to slow down. But even if it’s hard to keep up, they said, the “chaos feeds the beast” of intellectual curiosity. One CMO described their job as a constant adrenaline rush, while another said there are never enough hours or days to get everything done.
The session was sponsored by Expedia Group Media Solutions. Hotel companies represented at the Roundtable included AccorHotels; AMResorts; Best Western Hotels and Resorts; CoralTree Hospitality; KSL Resorts; Marriott International; Omni Hotels & Resorts; Outrigger Hotel Group; Preferred Hotel Group; Radisson Hotel Group; Red Roof Inn; and Wyndham Hotels and Resorts. HSMAI brings together Chief Marketing Officers, Chief Digital Marketing Officers, Chief Sales Officers, Chief Revenue Officers, and Hotel Management Company Sales & Marketing Executives through the year.