March 14, 2017

Highlights from the best ever HSMAI digital marketing conference


Last month's HSMAI Digital Marketing Strategy Conference in New York City had record attendance with close to 400 hospitality marketers converging on the Marriott Marquis to network and learn from industry leaders about the trends and insights that will help fuel sales, inspire marketing and optimize revenue.

Leonardo was proud to be a Platinum Sponsor of the event, which drew a quite a collection of Execs in Hospitality. Roughly 60% of attendees were representing individual properties, 20% were from hotel brands, and 20% were technology vendors.

I had the pleasure of introducing Scott Brinker, co-founder & CTO of i-on interactive, and author of “Hacking Marketing.” His thought provoking presentation titled “Hacking Marketing: The Amazing Convergence of Marketing and Software” spoke about the growing similarities between both disciplines in a digital age. As eCommerce professionals, it’s increasingly difficult to keep up with technical advancements happening around us. In 2011, for instance, there were 150 different marketing technology companies. Fast forward to 2016, and it was over 3,500, and in 2017 it will be even more. But while computer science is advancing at a breakneck pace, organizational change is not. And in hospitality – an industry notorious for not innovating fast enough – this represents a legitimate problem.

The reality is, marketing must move swiftly, adapt more rapidly to market feedback, and manage an increasingly complex set of customer experience touchpoints. All of these challenges are shaped by the dynamics of technology and at its rapid evolution it has created a scenario in which what a student learns in university is almost irrelevant by the time they enter the workforce.

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