Getting into the Minds of Consumers at the 2019 HSMAI Digital Marketing Conference

In January, hospitality marketing professionals from all over the country converged at the NY Marriott Marquis in Times Square for the 2019 Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI) Digital Marketing Conference. This one-day event offered attendees more than a dozen educational sessions and an opportunity to network with others in their field.

Finding ways to best leverage ever-evolving technology was top of mind for attendees, with presentations covering everything from actionable data to how influencer marketing works. Here were some of the top takeaways from the conference.

1A signal of reassurance.

“The introduction of a technology layer all of a sudden gives everyone a signal of reassurance. It shows dependability, reliability, and trackability, and what used to be a cultural no-no has all of a sudden become a culturally accepted fact.”

Gopi Kallayil
Chief Evangelist | Brand Marketing, Google

2Have leadership that walks the talk.

“If you don’t have a culture of innovation, then it’s going to be that much harder to actually sell things through the organization. So you have to have the leadership that sort of walks the talk, creates the environment, and actually empowers the employees to provide the resources.”

Flo Lugli
Interim Chief Commercial Officer, Americas, Radisson Hotel Group

3Speak to people in seemingly a one-to-one way.

“We’ve found that there are a lot of innovative ways to find your customer… and I think there’s a tremendous amount of information in the industry now that revolves around that so that you can be speaking to people in seemingly a one-to-one way. I think that has to be balanced with all the concerns around GDPR, but if you can strike that proper balance, that shows that full circle of figuring out when, where, and who to market to.”

Jeff Doane
SVP of Sales & Marketing – North & Central America, AccorHotels

4Find a balance.

“It doesn’t matter how beautiful the marketing campaign is and how it makes us feel. did it actually drive revenue? At the end of the day, it’s really pragmatic, but it’s true, our jobs as marketers is really to drive top-line, bottom-line, and net revenue. I think it’s a hybrid approach and it’s a balance.”

Tammy Lucas, CHDM
Vice President of Marketing, Best Western Hotels & Resorts


5Be aware of outside influences.

“I think [marketing] is always being aware of liquid expectations, those things that happen outside the industry that influence the industry, and then what our obligation is to deliver on them.”

Jessica Davidson, CHDM
SVP, Digital, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts


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Kate Hughes, Editor, LODGING Magazine