After a tumultuous year, nothing should be surprising. But for a group of Chief Marketing Officers who gathered for the seventh annual Chief Marketing Officer Executive Roundtable organized by HSMAI, there are trends that have surprised them as 2017 began. Lalia Rach, founder of Rach Enterprises and the facilitator for the discussion, asked: “What is one trend you are seeing from your vantage point that is surprising you?” While a full report on the roundtable will be available shortly, the HSMAI Foundation wanted to quickly share these “surprising trends” with members so other marketing executives, as well as their colleagues in hospitality, could compare notes to see if their experiences are comparable.
CMO’s saw these surprising trends:
- Voice commerce is in the early stages but coming along. We will be talking about it more.
- Surprisingly strong year-over-year growth for one company despite a rebranding.
- 40% increase year over year for Airbnb.
- Affect being felt already on international inbound travel because of the change of administrations. Will it be a blip or a change we’ll have to live with?
- Explosion in mobile reservations.
- The fact that the Starwood and Marriott merger closed and that the Chinese buyers did not prevail.
- Continuing growth of inventory in New York City which makes it challenging to carve out a niche.
- The pace of change on the marketing side.
- Digital’s early days are over so there is much more accountability; the shift now is to own the customer experience in every way.
- Hiring of so many people from other industries – bringing in people with expertise in digital to help the company change more quickly.
- How much marketers are using data.
- The general sense of optimism. Despite a tough year in 2016, many people are optimistic despite the chaotic transition for the new administration.
- Dearth of hungry people wanting to move up in their companies – a lot of smart people but lacking the passion to climb the corporate ladder.
- More informed marketers willing to put media plans in place proactively rather than being reactionary
- Short-term bookings for long-haul trips – people going on safaris in 2 months from booking; or to the Maldives in 4- days.
- Travel agents still strong and industry needs to be educated on working with them.
- Pressure to get metrics right.
The full report on the roundtable will also include what the CMOs and the experts who spoke to them said about:
- The outlook for the economy from a top economist.
- How one luxury hotel leader sees the future of marketing.
- A look at how marketers can engage today’s digital travelers.
- The future of hospitality loyalty programs.
- What CMO’s see coming next.
Look for the full report soon.