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Ivy Esquero | Hilton

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How has your organisation / team dealt with the challenge of the marketing industry and wider digital world evolving at such a fast pace?

Hilton has a Centre of Excellence (COE) model, which brings together SMEs from various disciplines, e.g. digital paid media, social, performance marketing. While you have these centres of excellence going deep on their areas of expertise, being able to work very closely together on campaigns and marketing capabilities allows cross-collaboration, rapid ideation and decisions, as well as cross-training.

Currently, what are you primarily looking for in your digital marketing efforts? Awareness or engagement? Why?

This really depends on the campaign and business objective. For brand campaigns, we look at upper and mid-funnel KPIs (e.g. awareness or consideration) and optimize our buys accordingly. For lower funnel, we look at conversions. For all these however, we are careful to also think broadly about what the optimal consumer journey looks like, the signals that tells us when and where they are in their process and which channels and creatives we need to deploy.

What is your key takeaway piece of advice that you would give when speaking to others on how to evaluate and select a MarTech stack?

We look at partners who are willing to test and learn approaches with us. Often you get companies who promise a whole host of capabilities and often leave out the fine print, e.g. selling on capabilities on a mature media market like the US or Australia and assuming all will work elsewhere. Partners who can offer solutions or help us think through workarounds, even when imperfect, are really valuable because you feel like you have a set of different brains thinking through a solution.

For you and your team, which is currently recognised as the larger challenge – MarTech integration or MarTech strategy?

This really depends on market. For broader APAC, strategy probably is the bigger challenge given the wide disparity of markets, types of consumers and ad market maturity. However, in places such as China, it’s probably both.

Have you mainly chosen to adopt established MarTech or have you also looked into the emerging opportunities? Which?

Again, depending on the market, we may choose opportunistic partnerships.

What do you predict as being the top MarTech trends for MarTech in 2020?

Personalization is still something we hope to see more of in APAC in 2020. Real-time creative optimization is something that has been talked about for years, but hasn’t really delivered the more human touch that consumers are looking for. So instead of seemingly creepy, irrelevant ads, there are finally more natural, more useful ways that ads can be served that seem more relevant. Even something as simple as language or location can be used in a more natural way now and makes the experience so much better for consumers.

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