The Futurist: Master of all trades

In the age of the internet, consumer expectations and habits are constantly changing, and at a seemingly increasing pace. Marketing has evolved as a result and today’s marketers find themselves incorporating public relations, advertising, social media and digital analytics into their skill set in the day-in-day-out effort to engage with the customer and build brand loyalty.

This integrated approach is fundamental to our marketing strategy as many of our guests are digitally connected and mobile savvy. I believe that 2017 will see a realisation that good marketing will require an ability to understand the many channels of communication we have, be able to read and analyse data proficiently, and turn this into a holistic marketing campaign through innovative and engaging content.

Mobile will continue to grow as a content broadcast source. This means that marketers will have to master both the technological challenges of communicating through this medium and the creative skills needed to design engaging mobile-driven campaigns.

This includes producing bite-sized videos with the right copy in order to hold the attention of mobile users. For example, the commuter who is killing time on the bus or the employee taking a break from work.

Big data is giving marketers ever more insights into their target markets, including their wants, needs, preferences and dislikes. It has also allowed us to segment our guests into more distinct and defined groups. This will present challenges, but also opportunities.

For instance, travellers are looking to explore a destination regardless of their reason for travel.

There is a growing demand for experiential travel as more people seek to immerse themselves in new places. In 2017, we will be rolling out a series of destination-centric programmes across all Hotel Jen properties to help curious travellers make the most of their stay, meet the locals and explore the cities where Hotel Jen is present.

Another example: Conscious living is becoming more of a lifestyle choice among many of our guests, and there is a rising minority who prefer hotels that are mindful of the environment. To address this demand, Hotel Jen Tanglin Singapore has introduced Project Greenspot for 2017, a year-long initiative that incorporates ‘green’ activities into different areas of the hotel’s operations.

With the growing channels of communication, more tools that provide data on guest preferences and increasing demand for high-quality content, marketers will need to learn how to create integrated campaigns that bring together all these elements.

Marketing campaigns will need to be tailored to the targeted groups. Public relations initiatives that support these strategies will need to be accompanied by video content tweaked for both online and mobile platforms including social media and brand website as well as targeted influencer and media outreach. Ultimately, all this needs to be tied together with great creative content.

The role of the marketer continues to expand, and now requires deep knowledge of public relations, data analysis, advertising, online and social media – among other skills. The most proficient marketers will have to master these various trades and link them together to create campaigns that reach audiences on the different channels with the same underlying message.

This is no easy feat and requires innovative thinking and good coordination and organisational abilities, plus a good dose of message discipline. While the future of marketing will involve more elements that are intertwined, it will also be more rewarding, especially for those who are able to bring together a great, integrated marketing campaign.

The writer is Marisa Aranha, vice president sales & marketing, Hotel Jen.