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What: The internet offers seemingly infinite ways for consumers to research products and services before making a purchase. Aeromexico and Palace Resorts explain how they leverage key benefits of marketing automation to start a conversation and turn consumers’ digital research into online and offline sales.
Why it matters: No matter how much technology brands throw at marketing, excellent content, and the human factor count for a lot, especially when consumers are purchasing an experience and not just on price.

Consumers’ Digital Research Speaks Volumes

Palace Resorts is not just any resort. Its 10 oceanfront properties spread across Jamaica and Mexico on the Caribbean and the Pacific offer an all-inclusive vacation of a lifetime. That’s why consumers looking for an exceptional experience do a lot of digital research before making their purchases.

“We’re not a commodity you buy on a budget. So we talk a lot about our destinations,” Gerardo Garcia, Palace Resorts’ Vice President of Sales and Marketing in the USA, told Portada during a sit-down interview at Portada Miami. “We try to bring the customer into a conversation.”

Our core business is to run successful hotels, so we have to find the right people on the technology side.

Potential guests often visit 20 websites before booking. So, Palace Resorts has to be sure it has excellent content at each of those touch points so as to engage consumers and promote the brand. “People dedicate a lot of time to their process of buying a vacation. Their digital research process creates that inspirational moment,” Garcia told Portada.

Key Benefits of Marketing Automation: Balancing the Human Factor With Technology

Palace Resorts loves it when customers buy online, but a large percentage of its guests have lots of questions before booking. Thus, having a call center and live chat are key tools in the purchasing process.

Garcia’s marketing team includes 15 people dedicated solely to responding 24/7 to customers’ questions posted on social media or at Trip Advisor. “The more I learn about technology, the more I value the human factor,” Garcia said.

Gerardo Garcia (left) at Portada’s Travel Marketing Board’s Portada Miami Meeting

Working with third-party vendors is a critical part of Palace Resorts’ marketing strategy. Allowing vendors to manage technologyallows us to focus on our marketing strategies and find the right channel to launch that campaign. Our core business is to run successful hotels, so we have to find the right people on the technology side. Otherwise it becomes overwhelming,” Garcia explained.

Automated behavioral email is also one of the most important channels for communicating with existing customers. In addition to its CRM software tool Clever, Palace Resorts uses HubSpot to send emails based upon customers’ preferences.

 

 

A First for Aeromexico

Aeromexico is the first brand in Latin America to create a chatbot to respond to customers’ questions on WhatsApp. According to the airline’s Paola Camacho Stern, senior specialist co-brand partnerships, other brands are taking notice.

If customers don’t get the answers they need, the chatbot transfers them to Aeromexico’s call center. Ppersonnel there has actually been reduced thanks to the assistance of the chatbot.

In spite of the technology, the human factor remains a critical component for ticket sales since Aeromexico prides itself on the superior experience it provides travelers both in the air and on the ground.

We are using both traditional and online channels. Whenever I do a campaign, I try to do both of them.

“We have a lot of people that want to talk to a human being. What we are looking for is a balance. I don’t think the call center is going to disappear, but our digital will grow more until it finds a balance,” Stern said.

 

 

Communicating the Experience with Content

 

Aeromexico relies heavily on social media to communicate its brand and the airline’s experience. “We have very strong social media channels, a lot of followers. We are focusing on making people feel like we’re not just an airline but the best company to take them from one place to another,” Stern explained.

Paola Camacho Stern at Portada’s Travel Marketing Board’s Portada Miami Meeting

The airline buys paid advertising, and uploads videos on Facebook which is its “strongest” social media channel.

Traditional media, too, plays an especially important role in Latin America. It includes the use of radio, outdoor advertising print, the airline’s inflight magazine as well as advertising before feature films in cinemas.

Key benefits of marketing automation include email, and Aeromexico uses it to launch campaigns and promotions and tell customers about new routes. It does extensive a/b testing to find the best messaging. Aeromexico also segments its databases to personalize offers.

“We are using both traditional and online channels. Whenever I do a campaign, I try to do both of them. Traditional channels are more expensive. You need to find a mix. You can’t put everything in digital.”

 

A summary for Corporate Marketers, Media Sales Executives and Advertising Agencies to see what clients are moving into the market and/or targeting Latin American consumers right now.

For prior Sales Leads LatAm editions, click here.

 

  • HSBC

HSBC wants to triple both onshore and offshore revenues, profits and ebitda in Brazil within five years.HSBC sold its corporate and wholesale banking operations as part the sale of its full Brazil business to Bradesco in 2016.The global bank immediately opened a new Faria Lima-adjacent office in São Paulo to support the international business for Brazilian clients.  At the end of last year, the bank had 65 employees; it now has 100 and expects to close the year with a headcount of between 120 and 140. Alexandre Guião, president of HSBC Brazil,expects HSBC to have around 180 to 190 employees in Brazil by the end of 2020, Euro Money reported.The strategy behind that growth is to become a full-service wholesale and investment bank; there are no plans to re-enter retail or onshore private banking.

 

 

  • Palace Resorts

Palace Resorts – the company that sets the standard in five-star, luxury all-inclusive resort accommodations- announced the restructuring of its in-house marketing teams. Palace Resorts, which has previously managed its marketing and public relations efforts alongside some of the best marketing & advertising agencies, has decided to bring its efforts completely in-house, by building a global marketing team.Palace Resort’s various brands market to a variety of segments in the travel space on a global level including direct consumer, travel industry professionals and those selling meetings and incentives. These marketing efforts are done not only in key markets such as the United States & Canada, but also to other international key vital markets that include Mexico, Latin America, the UK, and Japan among others. To maintain synergies across all world markets, it was important to build a stellar team that could accomplish the task of maintaining brand voice regardless of location or market segmentation. This approach allows the brand to have better control of its brand identity on a worldwide scale.The in-house global marketing & public relations structure is comprised of a team of over thirty talented professionals that include, creative, strategy, digital and content marketing, as well as a team of communication pros. Gerardo Garcia, Vice President Sales & Marketing at USA PALACE RESORTS is a member of Portada´s Travel Marketing Board. 

 

  • The Unicomer Group

The Unicomer Group opened its MegaStore in Aruba, a one-stop shopping concept with six brands under one roof including AMC Unicon, Ashley HomeStore, Optica Unicon, Home and Nature, RadioShack and Smit & Dorlas Coffee Shop, offering a large assortment of products for everyday living, entertainment and enjoyment. The Unicomer Group operates more than 1,100 stores throughout the Caribbean and Latin America, with its retail brands: Courts, Courts Optical, Shop Courts, AMC Unicon, Lucky Dollar, ServiTech, Omni, RadioShack, Ashley Furniture HomeStore, Home and Nature, Ready Cash, Price Hacker and Hagemyer.Unicomer Group brings well-being to more than 1.5 million customers in the market, through the sale of its prestigious brand products at affordable prices. The Group continues with its plans of expansion, and consolidates once again as leader of the retail industry in 26 countries throughout Caribbean, Central America, South America and U.S.A. With the project investment the group will benefit both the local economy and Unicomer Aruba to re-affirm its commitment to positively impact the wellbeing of the countries where it operates.

 

2019 NETWORKING SOLUTIONS. To find out about Portada’s new networking solutions targeting the decision makers of the above campaigns, please contact Sales Manager Isabel Ojeda at isabel@portada-online.com.

 

  • CenturyLink

CenturyLink, the second largest U.S. communications provider to global enterprise customers, is making a significant investment to expand its network in the South Florida market. Located in Miami – the gateway to Latin America – the new facility will also help the company serve the skyrocketing demand for enterprise services in Latin America, as well as from South Florida organizations doing business there.The expansion includes a new network gateway, to manage the flow of internet and data traffic on CenturyLink’s robust global network, and a state-of-the-art, high-efficiency data center. Together, they will help drive IT agility for South Florida and Latin American customers for years to come. The gateway will connect to nearby sub-sea landing stations, which provide access to sub-sea communications cables, and a large colocation facility that serves Latin America.

 

  • Choice Hotels International, Inc

Choice Hotels International, Inc. continues to expand through franchise agreements. Choice Hotels relies heavily on expansion in domestic as well as international markets. In the first quarter of 2019, this hotelier awarded 79 total franchise agreements. Alongside domestic growth, the company continues to expand its international footprint in new countries. Key international operating markets include Spain, Colombia, Panama, the Caribbean and Canada. The brand ecently strengthened its presence, with the launch of Clarion Pointe. Expansion of the brand is expected to occur through 21 Clarion Pointe franchise agreements. Meanwhile, in the last year, the company announced an alliance with Sercotel, a leading hotel operator and franchisor based in Spain. This alliance will enable the extension of Choice Hotels’ global footprint in Spain and other markets as well as the creation of opportunities for additional hotel development across Europe and Latin America.

Join us at PORTADA Mexico!

A summary for Corporate Marketers, Media Sales Executives and Advertising Agencies to see what clients are moving into the market and/or targeting U.S. consumers right now.

For prior Sales Leads editions, click here.

 

  • Toyota

Before customers even step foot in a dealership, Toyota has partnered with Conill and 8th Wall to develop an interactive augmented reality (AR) mobile ad unit for the launch of the greater than ever 2020 Toyota Corolla sedan. The immersive web-based experience allows potential customers the ability to bring the car into their own environment, where they can explore the car’s features from the convenience of a mobile device.The Toyota Corolla Sedan web-based AR experience initially appears as a mobile banner ad. Once clicked, the user’s camera is accessed to enable the AR experience, and a Toyota Corolla sedan appears in the user’s environment. The Spanish-language mobile ad unit includes interactive hotspots that highlight three key features of the vehicle: its moonroof, LED headlights and 18-inch alloy wheels. The user is prompted to explore these features up close and can even go inside the car to view its interior in 360 degrees.This Corolla Sedan interactive AR unit is a first for the brand, as it uses 8th Wall technology, meaning the 3D model is interactive, providing users the ability to tap and turn the headlights on, open the moonroof and tap to see the 18-inch wheels turning.The ad unit will be served to customers in the United States with Android devices, with plans to include iOS customers later this year.  

 

  • Palace Resorts

Palace Resorts – the company that sets the standard in five-star, luxury all-inclusive resort accommodations- announced the restructuring of its in-house marketing teams. Palace Resorts, which has previously managed its marketing and public relations efforts alongside some of the best marketing & advertising agencies, has decided to bring its efforts completely in-house, by building a global marketing team.Palace Resort’s various brands market to a variety of segments in the travel space on a global level including direct consumer, travel industry professionals and those selling meetings and incentives. These marketing efforts are done not only in key markets such as the United States & Canada, but also to other international key vital markets that include Mexico, Latin America, the UK, and Japan among others. To maintain synergies across all world markets, it was important to build a stellar team that could accomplish the task of maintaining brand voice regardless of location or market segmentation. This approach allows the brand to have better control of its brand identity on a worldwide scale.The in-house global marketing & public relations structure is comprised of a team of over thirty talented professionals that include, creative, strategy, digital and content marketing, as well as a team of communication pros. Gerardo Garcia, Vice President Sales & Marketing at USA PALACE RESORTS is a member of Portada´s Travel Marketing Board. 

 

 

  • Valvoline

Univision Deportes announced the official roster of sponsors for its coverage of the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup (“Copa Oro 2019”). More than 20 brands from across categories have signed on to be part of Univision Deportes’ (UD) exclusive Spanish-language coverage of the only international competition this summer featuring the U.S. and Mexican men’s national teams. UD will telecast all 31 matches live in primetime across three networks: Univision, UniMás and Univision Deportes Network (UDN). Additionally, matches will be available on the Univision Deportes app and on UnivisionDeportes.com, with comprehensive coverage provided across the company’s linear and digital portfolio from June 15 through July 7, 2019. Sprint returns to Gold Cup with a 360-sponsorship across linear and digital. The 2019 Gold Cup also welcomes several first-time supporters of the event including Valvoline, Uber Eats, Jeep brand and AT&T. AT&T, Modelo Especial, Victoria Beer, Corona, Mazda, State Farm, Toyota, Bud Light, Walmart and Wells Fargo will activate around the tournament as part of Univision’s partnership with Twitter. Virtual advertising technology will again be seamlessly integrated into this year’s tournament. The innovative virtual executions will be created for Jeep brand, Modelo Especial and Verizon.On Facebook and YouTube, Univision Deportes will launch its local legends branded content series “Tierra de Gigantes” (Land of Giants) Sponsored by Nissan. See Portada´s exclusive interview with Tim Ferrell, Valvoline VP. 

 

2019 NETWORKING SOLUTIONS. To find out about Portada’s new networking solutions targeting the decision makers of the above campaigns, please contact Sales Manager Isabel Ojeda at isabel@portada-online.com.

 

  • Allergan

Global pharmaceutical company Allergan has named Spark Foundry its U.S. media AOR following a review. Spark Foundry will handle  media strategy and planning, content and analytics for the U.S. Longtime incumbent MediaCom did not defend, according to sources. Allergan spent over US$378 million on measured media in the U.S. in 2018 and a little over US$72 million in the first quarter this year, according to Kantar Media.

 

 

 

  • Hornitos® Tequila

Hornitos® Tequila, a premium tequila brand with a history of challenging the status quo, announced a collaboration with multi-platinum award-winning singer and songwriter Prince Royce to inspire fans to take a shot at moving their music career forward. In collaboration with sweepstakes-for-good platform Prizeo, aspiring musicians age 21 and older have the once-in-a-lifetime chance to win one of three mentoring experiences with Prince Royce, including an in-studio session with the singer in Miami. What is required to enter? The bold willingness to take a chance and a small donation to the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), a cause close to Hornitos and Prince Royce alike.To enter, fans must visit www.prizeo.com/hornitostequila now through July 12, 2019 and donate US$10 or more to LULAC, the largest and oldest Hispanic organization in the United States. Donations will support America’s Hispanic population and LULAC’s efforts to empower aspiring Hispanic Americans. Entrants will have the chance to win one of three experiences with Prince Royce. This opportunity comes as part of Hornitos Tequila’s “A Shot Worth Taking” campaign, which seeks to inspire and encourage fans to get out of their comfort zone and take their shot in life.Nearly 70 years later, Hornitos® continues to push the boundaries of tequila making with innovations such as the barrel aged Hornitos® Black Barrel® Tequila and Hornitos® Cristalino.

 

The PortadaLat Awards have announced the 2017 Travel-oriented Award nominees. Voting is open through May 19 to determine the winners of two categories: Top Travel Marketing Campaign and “Viajero Inteligente” Business Traveler Award. Below are the 15 shortlisted nominees. Peer-to-Peer recognition is a foundation of the PortadaLat Awards and it’s up to you to vote which candidates win. Check out the nominees and vote for your favorite now!

Don’t forget to register to join top travel industry leaders and game changers in Miami, June 7-8 for the ninth annual #PortadaLat Conference. The event kicks off on June 7 with a spotlight on travel marketing in the U.S. and Latin America. Learn more about Portada’s new ticket options and full agenda.

‘Viajero Inteligente’ Business Traveler Award

Individual business travelers, including journalists, as well as companies. The nominees explain why and how traveling to Latin America has substantially helped them to get new ideas/perspectives to grow personally and in business.

Ian Mader

Ian MaderIan Mader is the Associated Press Florida news editor based in Miami. His Spanish skills and his international experience are an asset to AP’s coverage of the cosmopolitan state of Florida.

 

Ignacio Cassinelli

Ignacio CassinelliSocial Media Maven and Soccer Expert Ignacio Cassinelli was born in Latin America (Uruguay). Cassinelli’s thorough understanding of the Latin American sports fans are a very important asset he uses as a key executive at Charlotte, NC, based AC&M Group.

Las Travel Blogueras

Las Travel BloguerasAmanda from “Las Travel Blogueras” is a globe trotter, she’s constantly traveling, not only for campaigns and coverage but for inspiration and motivational as well. She moved to Mexico as a student to learn Spanish, and also participated in an abroad program in Ecuador where she lived there to immerse in the culture. With her friend Andrea from Argentina, their blog “Las Travel Blogueras” has taken off as a top US Hispanic social platform to share experiences from all over Latin America and the USA with a Latino twist. Traveling has definitely helped her get new ideas and perspectives to grow personally and in business.

Link to Campaign/Brand.

Layla Caballero

Layla CaballeroMedia executive Layla Caballero has extensive sales and operational leadership experience defining and developing business opportunities in both traditional and new media environments. Her Latin American background and passion have been an asset for her career in multicultural media.

Mariana Ferrari

Mariana FerrariI have an online education platform. I publish a video every week called HappyMonday. However, the way to really grow my business is to visit my top markets (Mexico, Spain, Argentina) and meeting my fans and followers. When I do that, I get to understand exactly what is it that they really need to overcome in order to move a step forward in their lives. In one of my visits last year to Madrid, I realized that the one key thing that Latin’s fear is to be criticized.

So, I did to videos (one celebrating my birthday from Madrid and talking about the city and one speaking about how to overcome the fear of being criticized.

Accomplish your dreams (video from Spain) which mix travel tips with personal development tips: https://youtu.be/amRK9RmLeU8

Link to Campaign/Brand.

Myriam Marquez

Myriam MarquezMyriam Márquez is the executive editor of el Nuevo Herald, the largest Spanish-language daily in the U.S. Born in Havana, where her mother taught school and her father shuttled tourists around in his taxi, Márquez’s life in Cuba came to an abrupt halt when Fidel Castro seized power. Márquez, who began her career as a local news reporter, found her niche in sharing views as a columnist and editorial writer, exposing wrongs, advocating for the rights of all citizens and sharing tales through the lens of a bilingual, bicultural experience.

Top Travel Marketing Campaign – Presented by HSMAI

Brands and their agencies (Brand/Agency) who have done campaigns promoting travel and hospitality related services. The campaign should have targeted audiences in the U.S. and/or audiences in Latin America over the last 12 months. Please provide information about brand/agency, objective/media (earned and paid) as well as the results of the campaign.

“Discover Your Aloha” Hawaii Tourism / Expedia

“Discover Your Aloha” Hawaii Tourism / ExpediaThe Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) and Expedia joined forces on a travel marketing campaign, promoting vacations in the Hawaiian Islands with new facial-recognition software. Titled “Discover Your Aloha,” the campaign made use of a microsite, discoveryouraloha.expedia.com, that offers users a chance to view drone video footage captured in the Islands. As the video plays, the site’s facial-recognition software, developed specifically for the campaign, identifies which imagery elicits the most positive response from the viewer.
A facial recognition algorithm then identifies the viewer’s personal preferences and creates customized travel recommendations within Hawaii. Site users can then book a personalized vacation package that offers discounts of up to 50%, including exclusive offers from participating Hawaii hotels.
The yearlong campaign, launched Sept. 26, functions on desktop and mobile devices and is aimed at consumers across the U.S. Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, with promotional advertising running on Expedia, Hotels.com, Orbitz and Travelocity.

brands travel/ visit Houston

brands travel/ visit houstonBrands Travel has been in charge of the development of a fully integrated marketing campaign to create awareness of Houston as a leisure destination, increasing overall inbound travel from Mexico as its leading international market.

As the marketing agency of record for Mexico and Latin America, Brands Travel has worked with Visit Houston in the development of a fully integrated marketing campaign; named HOLA HOUSTON that includes branding, social media, PR, content, special events and media, with the objective to generate both offline and online awareness as a leisure destination.
As a result, visitors from Mexico have surpassed the 2 million mark. Additionally, social media has exponentially grown 450% in the past year.

We integrated a social media influencer strategy, generating more than 10 million impressions on a target market and over 2 million USD in media ROI.

Link to Campaign/Brand.