Facilitating a Digital Global Marketing Forum

Case Study: Facilitates a Digital Global Marketing Forum

One of the world’s premier hotel companies with 735 hotels and resorts in 44 countries employs hundreds of marketing professionals. There was no formal way to connect this team and no systematic way to share ideas. Geography, technology and leadership styles contributed to silos, performance gaps and missed opportunities. 

Marketing teams typically connect others to a vision, to best practices and to shared goals. This global team operated as individual groups attempting to connect to headquarters. Conversely headquarters would gather the best feedback during international travel. Barring the anecdotal stories that senior executives would share upon return, the collective group could not take advantage of best practices and travel promotions in one part of the world that would also work elsewhere. They could not fully understand how centrally located operations and advertising teams depended on agencies and the field to adequately and consistently reach customers and prospects and to unify a company that wanted to portray itself as a global entity to its guests. More importantly, there was no interactive, fun way to communicate with colleagues who were serving travelers’ needs across the world.

A facilitated strategy was developed and managed for a digital global marketing forum working with headquarters and creative agencies. This forum united the results, recognition and ideas of the marketing team. Property managers, directors of sales and corporate executives were educated for the first-time on collective marketing efforts, resulting in empowered teams and shared best practices. Although static at the beginning as the new idea rolled out, a more interactive forum followed with an “Ask an Executive” column and multiple email links to employees in the stories to garner immediate feedback and dialogue. Prior to this initiative, global dialogue was something that was only achieved in face-to-face meetings. Additionally, a creative summit brought together the senior marketing team with the five agency partners of the company. Interviews of all attendees quickly uncovered issues impeding productivity and stifling creativity for moving the business forward. The content was able to create a stronger collaboration between the company, its agencies and the field to develop a more visible and accountable culture.

The CEO recognized how a change in management style (open and interactive) and the use of the latest available technology could bridge the gaps between people and ideas and bring this group together. For the first time, a global marketing community was built within the company and agencies had a chance to say which practices got in the way of success for the department and for the company. The CEO asked the CMO about using the digital platform for his own messaging to employees. The CMO responded that a similar platform could be created for the CEO, yet this one was dedicated to pure marketing “buzz.”