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Travel Marketing Board

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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.”

 

We are excited to announce that Jose Manuel Langarica, Head of Performance Marketing at Volaris, is joining the Portada Travel Marketing Board, one of the six units of Portada’s Council System. The Council System next in-person meeting will be at Portada Mexico on October 17, 2019.

Jose Langarica is the Head of Performance Marketing for Volaris, where he brings more than 10 years of experience leading performance teams for international accounts, digital marketing, and sales.

He’s also an expert in SEO and SEM tools, social media marketing, mailing, and programmatic buying.

Prior to his role at Volaris, he was the Operations Manager at Seccion Amarilla, the biggest yellow pages company in Mexico, where he was leading the performance marketing and customer experience teams, contributing to the company digital transformation for both national and international projects.

Welcome, José, to the Portada Council System!

Portada has officially launched its Council System. The five different council units already met once virtually during the first quarter and in-person at Portada Miami in mid-April. The next in-person meetings will be at Portada New York (Sept. 24-25) and Portada Mexico (Oct. 30). Check out what the brand marketing member executives have to say about the experience so far!

 

“I think that Portada has been doing a great job, I’m really excited about all the things we’ve been working on during these meetings and understanding, not only inspiring but really taking action, so for me it’s very interesting.”

Perla Patricia Aragón, Digital Marketing Director MX, at L’Oréal (Council of the Americas Member)

 

 

“I am honored to be part of Portada’s Agency Star Committee. Driving growth through multicultural audiences is no longer a ‘nice to have’, but instead a key component of realizing full growth potential for our clients. Portada helps promote deeper marketplace understanding of that essential principle.”

Dana Bonkowski, SVP, Multicultural Lead, Starcom Worldwide (Agency Star Committee Member)

 

 

“Having a Brand Star Committee and getting marketing people to share their experiences is a great idea. The idea of having an opportunity to really link with people who have the same challenges as you, who maybe have had the same launching opportunities… and really just share.”

Margie Bravo, Multicultural Champion, Nestlé USA (Brand Star Committee Member)

 

 

“I’m in the Travel Marketing Board, a very good opportunity to share different visions among different industries, we are airlines, car rentals, hotels… and it’s amazing how, even though it’s the same industry, it’s different pillars, and it’s amazing how we all share the same challenges and it’s interesting to see how everything is related.”

Pablo Chiozza, Senior VP US, Canada, Asia & Caribbean, Latam Airlines Group
(Travel Marketing Board Member)

 

 

“Being a part of the Brand Star Committee has been really interesting so far. I think that part of the challenges that we all face as marketers are actually really similar to one another even across industries, across brands…  I’m grateful that Portada has created a forum to share and reapply, to not just talk about the successes, but talk about the challenges so that we can help one another.”

Marissa Fernandez, Director, Marketing Strategy and Fan Development, NFL
(Brand Star Committee Member)

 

 

“I think it’s a great thing that Portada has put together, it’s given me a chance to really interact with some folks that I’ve known in the industry but maybe we hadn’t gotten together around the specific unique targeted approach like multicultural Hispanic marketing through the lens of sports and sports marketing, so it’s been very engaging for me.”

Dan Keats, Director Consumer Marketing-Sponsorships, Allstate Insurance
(Sports Marketing Board Member)

 

 

“The Brand Star Committee has been great. We’ve had great discussions about real-life problems in marketing we’re having today, and solutions, and part of it is because we had a great group of marketers and marketing practitioners. Even though I get invited to this kind of things all the time, the executives we had at the table, this time it was top-notch, great quality people that could really get to a deeper level of discussion than I’ve had at other places.”

Rafael Lopez-de-Azua, Head of Media and Digital, Latam, Coty
(Brand Star Committee Member)

 

 

“I think it’s a great idea, I really liked that we were able to get together in a group yesterday and just talk peer-to-peer about the things we’re struggling with, or things we’re finding challenging, and see what other people have learned from their experiences.”

John Sandoval, Senior Brand and Latino Marketing Manager, Intuit

(Brand Star Committee Member)

 

“It has been a great experience so far, we’ve meet twice and it’s great to have the access to all these people in the marketing world that have the same type of issues that we do and discuss these matters, try to find solutions and interact that way, so it’s great networking with your peers. It’s a great opportunity to get access to different technologies, different ideas, and in a great setting.”

Ana Lucía Soto, National Media Manager, JCPenney (Brand Star Committee Member)

 

 

“I am proud to be associated with Portada’s exciting new Council System, and am eager to partner with other industry leaders to move multicultural advertising forward.”

David Queamante, SVP, Media Director, UM Worldwide (Agency Star Committee Member)

 

 

 

“The Council System is very unique for us at Mastercard. It allows us to better understand what the Hispanic market is doing and we can leverage that with a lot of our properties. That’s the biggest feature and the benefit. And bringing our knowledge as it relates to Mastercard to this business and the Hispanic community is very important to us.”

Mike Tasevski, VP, North America Sponsorships, MasterCard
(Sports Marketing Board Member)

 

 

For further information about Portada’s Council System, head to our Frequently Asked Questions section.

In addition to the more than 70 brand marketing executives who integrate Portada’s expanding Council System, Council System integrations are available to an elite group of marketing services vendors. To discuss opportunities and find out more about how Portada’s content and networking platform can help your brand’s marketing objectives, please contact Portada Sales Manager Isabel Ojeda.

Portada Presents Its Travel Marketing Board of Senior Brand Execs. Their input will drive Portada’s content and networking platform.

Trip Barrett, a Global Brand Management and Business Development Leader with extensive experience in Hospitality, E-Commerce, and Entertainment Industries, will chair Portada’s expanded Travel Marketing Board, consisting of Senior- level Marketing Executives from leading companies across the Hospitality / Travel industries. He has lived in 9 countries on 4 continents and is an avid traveler who still gets that sense of excitement before beginning each trip. The first Travel Marketing Board in-person meeting will take place during Portada Miami (April 18-19, 2018, EAST Miami Hotel). 

The group of senior travel marketing executives who are very passionate about the hospitality and travel industries throughout the Americas includes:

Jennifer Adams, MD, Integrated Marketing, American Airlines
Ricardo Casco, VP, International Sales, Avis Budget Group
Pablo Chiozza, SVP, USA, Canada & Caribbean, Latam Airlines Group
Roberto Muñoz, VP, Strategic Partnerships and Loyalty, Aeromexico
José Luis Pérez Rodríguez, Head, Marketing Performance, Volaris
Luis Perillo, VP, Sales & Marketing, Caribbean & Latin America, Hilton
Ángel de la Tijera V, Top Accounts Commercial Head Mexico & Latin America, American Express
Álvaro Valeriani, Regional Vice President Sales & Marketing Latin America & Caribbean, Hyatt Hotels Corporation
Alan Duggan, Regional Vice President Business Development The Americas, Meliá Hotels International

Additional senior members of this invitation-only community of senior travel marketing executives will be announced soon.

Most Travel Marketing Board members will be available for one-on-one meetings with Premium Level ticket attendees of Portada Miami on April 18-19.

To find out more about how Portada’s content and relationship platform can help your brand, please contact Portada Sales Manager Isabel Ojeda.