MARKETER INTERVIEW: Erica Doyne on Marketing Challenges for AMResorts

What: Erica Doyne, senior director of marketing for AMResorts, talked to Portada about the hotel brand’s biggest challenges in the U.S. Hispanic and Latin American market, as well as marketing trends in the luxury hotel business.
Why it matters: AMResorts is the fastest-growing luxury leisure company in North America, with more than 60 upscale resorts located throughout Mexico, Jamaica, Panama, Costa Rica, Aruba, Curacao, and the Dominican Republic.

Portada: In terms of marketing, what are AMResorts’ biggest challenges when speaking to a Hispanic audience?

ED: One of the biggest challenges today is that there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. We must be in tune with how our specific products and services appeal to the needs of consumers.

To help meet the diverse and constantly changing needs of our guests, AMResorts follows a multi-brand and multigenerational approach to brand management, through six unique concept resort brands to-date.

Portada: How do you address Hispanics living in the U.S. and those living in Latin America?

ED: Culture is quickly becoming the new universal language. Cultural insights are more important than translating copy into someone’s native language. In fact, much of the younger Hispanic generation is increasingly bilingual with varying communication preferences.

The key focus should be on what appeals to your audience, and then hone in on where and how they receive information.

“To this point, AMResorts’ marketing campaigns are completely integrated, including social media extensions and online video as effective ways to reach our evolving client base.

Portada: What are the biggest (marketing) challenges when promoting a luxury all-inclusive?

ED: We need to make sure we are consistently positioning AMResorts’ brand attributes and unique offerings, as well as our value proposition.

Portada: How do you manage to make clear that AMResorts is not a typical all-inclusive, but still luxurious brand when advertising?

ED: We allow the product and experience to speak for itself. When marketing, we highlight our brand personalities and quality attributes, as the best return on investment for our clients.

An example of standing out from the crowd is AMResorts’ adults-only Secrets® Resorts & Spas’ first TV campaign, titled “Make A Secret.” In a nod to the brand’s name, the spots focus on the idea of secrets between lovers, some of which may be too intimate to share with others. The ads were designed to highlight the perfect marriage of romance and luxury every couple enjoys at the brand’s more than 15 resorts. We put a lot of emphasis on the styling to match the elevated Secrets brand experience.

Portada: What trends are you seeing in the luxury hotel business, in terms of marketing?

ED: Marketers no longer rely on a single traditional platform, but are leveraging many to engage consumers in new ways, including online video, digital advertising, social media integration, public relations and mobile strategies.”

AMResorts has recently implemented a customer relationship management system (CRM) to ensure that we are executing dynamically-targeted and personalized communication in order to reach the right audience with the right message at the right time.

Marketers are also focused on both tried and true markets, like destination weddings and incentive groups, and investing in niche audiences, like Hispanic audiences and the LGBT market, both with growing purchasing power.

Portada: Are you following these trends? Why?

ED: Yes, our innovative strategies integrate a variety of ways to connect with our guests. We incorporate exciting ways to capture their attention too, such as short viral video series and celebrity partnerships. Our goal is to always raise the bar and focus on trendsetting strategies; therefore we are very committed to an innovative marketing approach.

In addition to lifestyle and destination indicators, we constantly gauge consumer interests against current trends to find the right balance in everything we do.

Portada: What trends are you seeing in the luxury hotel business in general?

A focus on experiences is getting a lot of attention. Most travelers don’t want to be 100% sedentary on their resort vacations anymore, and need excitement and activities. Top spas, fitness, high-quality and healthy food options are also trending.