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MARKETS IN CRISIS MOOD?

EUROPE - 2021-02-17

Might be now the last good moment to face up to the update and, for many, the challenge in market or customer communication and to arrive in the 21st Century - because, as is well known, after the crisis is always before the crisis. The global restrictions have of course influenced and permanently changed the demand for goods and services. For many traders, the outbreak of the COVID 19 pandemic could not have come at a worse time.

Marketing in Krisenzeiten.
Foto: Erik McLean by Unsplash

 

Before, many companies were already struggling with major uncertainties, keywords such as: Brexit and the creeping recession of the global economy, tensions between the USA and China, polarisation in international trade and protectionism, are only mentioned here in addition. 

 

The impact of the restrictions is already showing an increased administrative burden and media agencies report that more is to be expected in the coming weeks.Reactions to this extraordinary situation differ depending on the industry and the provider. One thing is clear, however: Major shifts in consumer demand. 

 

Customers are now relying on online retailers to meet their needs more than ever before.  In the past few weeks, the world has changed so much that we hardly recognise it - and marketing has changed too. If you take a look at the reactions in marketing, you can see different approaches by the suppliers - depending on where they find themselves, want to find themselves and probably will find themselves in the new consumer landscape - even if not always entirely voluntarily and intentionally. Due to market uncertainties, lack of planning and general budget cuts in marketing, some suppliers have reduced their activities within marketing channels. 

 

Let's observe three categories:

 

First: Too little demand

Suppliers experiencing a decline in customer demand have to make difficult decisions. Management's instructions to cut all costs are understandable - however, research and observation of economic history, has long shown - actually since the Great Depression of 1920 - that those who increase their marketing spend in times of crisis benefit in the long run. 

It is important that suppliers separate the impact of the Corona virus from other factors and continue to adhere to best practice. Both commercial customers and consumers will remember how they were dealt with during the crisis, which in turn will affect their brand loyalty in the future. Some suppliers who experienced low demand paused their marketing activities to reflect and reassess their position in the new consumer landscape - including an analysis of inventory and supply capacity. 

 

Second: Too much demand

The grocery industry is a well-known example of excess demand. Here, retailers have been prompted to pause their marketing activities in recent weeks. In some cases - especially with consumer goods, medicines and food - websites even had to be taken offline temporarily and virtual queues introduced in order not to overload server capacities, not to deepen the situation in the customer hotlines and service phone numbers of a wide range of providers, from grocery retailers to credit card companies.

 

However, it is the niche products of small retailers in particular that tell us what consumers are looking for during the restrictions. Whether it is sports equipment, leisure wear, toys or board games, gardening tools or takeaway food - all of these are in high demand and for the most part it is the small suppliers who are seeing strong demand for their products and services.

Many smaller businesses are usually more agile and can or should react more quickly - and that is an enormous advantage in a time when physical shops had to close overnight. For this reason, they were also often able to successfully get customers from offline to online shops. In addition, smaller companies had the unique opportunity to reach significantly more customers with a small budget, as Amazon, the market leader in online business, drastically reduced its advertising expenditure in March.

 

So when is an increase in demand too much?

When some retailers couldn't accept new orders because they didn't have the resources to do so - either due to a lack of availability or a lack of delivery capacity. But these measures are usually short-lived. Because with new optimised processes in the supply chain, many of these traders have the chance to establish themselves in the markets and build up new regular customers.

 

Third: Push/pull effect

There are many suppliers that are still affected by the pandemic, but where online demand remains fairly constant. These include companies like department stores that offer both in-store and online offerings. We see that loyal in-store customers are also buying from the online shops, but at the same time there are drops in demand in certain areas, such as women's clothing. This push/pull effect means that the business performance and thus the customer movements - even these in the online area of the business remain relatively constant. Text / Red.

 

TIME FOR SMARTER MARKETING?

EUROPE - 2021-02-17

Marketing in Krisenzeiten.
Photo Rodion Kutsaev by Unsplash

 

How should suppliers from these three categories do marketing during the existing restrictions?

 

Good marketing is as good as the bundling of measures and activities itself. There are several crucial factors: Data-driven decisions: It is more important than ever to make decisions based on data. Because these help to understand which channels deliver the greatest return and, above all, from which campaigns this is generated - so this is how you ensure that marketing activities have the greatest possible impact and that resources are used optimally. However, there is no need to explain that neither marketing nor digitalisation is miraculously self-healing; it is an applied science.

 

This includes the fact that all relevant information must be stored and retrieved. In this way, the "where-from/where-to" effect can be clearly analysed and promoted. However, many SMEs that certainly belong to the niche businesses listed above have this knowledge and know how to use it profitably in the long run? The entrepreneur should make sure that the above data is taken into account and that it is clear which activity provides added value. Capturing the data and determining movements based on data will ensure that the campaigns that are further up the sales channel cannot be overlooked.

 

It is important that all decisions made during the crisis are both based on data and implemented according to best practice - but it is also important to stress the importance of continuity - The submarine strategy: you are only temporarily visible in the market - the rest of the days you are submerged, is absolutely counterproductive here and certainly does not generate repeat customers.

 

Sending the right impulses

No brand or company wants to lose customers or partners because it sets the wrong tone or comes across as putting profits before people. Providers have an obligation to both their employees and their customers to provide the performance to continue. This positioning must be clearly communicated to campaigns and customers. Unfortunately, in many industries - such as aviation - this is currently happening to a very limited extent. Therefore, it is extremely important to understand who the clients are. It may be that even at the beginning of the year it was absolutely clear who the audience was. But because of the pandemic and the economic circumstances and shifts in demand it has caused, a different demographic may now feel targeted by marketing activities than before.

 

Suppliers will attract new online customers, many of whom are likely to be making their first ever online purchase. This could be particularly true for the older generation of customers. A market study in October 2019 revealed: That 71 per cent of customers in Central Europe prefer to make their first purchase from a brand in-store. Since this was not possible due to the closure of physical, i.e. offline, shops, the opportunity arose to attract new customers online. Even now, online retailers can benefit from limited access to shops and should therefore adapt their messages to this new target group. For this, simple language should be used that is understandable for everyone and puts the USP in focus. 

 

Supporting other businesses

The changes in consumer demand in all parts of the retail industry offer suppliers the opportunity to form so-called affinity partnerships with other brands. With some brands experiencing too much demand and others too little, both customers and other businesses can be supported by directing the volume in the market movement - i.e. traffic - to suppliers that are not in direct competition but offer complementary products and services. 

With the help of so-called "publisher tracking", these affinity partnerships can be established and their activity measured. Each brand acts as a reference for the other. It can improve the perception of one's own brand by providing customers with information about other companies that may be relevant to them and thus produce added value.

 

Networking on the Network

Before a company decides where to invest, industry trends should be analysed and considered. Is the company in line with developments and the current situation? To find out, the network can be asked to regularly provide data showing how much the industry is growing compared to its own activity. This knowledge helps to identify both the success of the company's activities to date and where more focus should be placed. With current events leading to major changes in consumer behaviour on an almost daily basis, the situation can change quickly. Looking at the big picture on a regular basis allows for quick reactions and the best chance of meeting customers' expectations. If neither tools nor knowledge are available for these tasks, professional support is certainly advisable - keyword: market monitoring is becoming more important than ever.

 

What does the future hold?

The current situation presents marketing experts and companies with new challenges and completely changed parameters. These are parameters that change extremely quickly and redefine the strategists' time horizons. More and more brands are taking advantage of this opportunity to do good - by supporting systemic professions, enabling their customers to easily send donations to charities or adapting their own product variety to the current demand. 

 

Positive examples include: distilleries and breweries that have become the linchpin in the production of disinfectants. Or Chanel that has agreed to make its factories available for the production of personal protective equipment such as mouth and nose protection, etc. However difficult the situation, such actions and initiatives show the strong spirit of community solidarity and cohesion.  A big bright spot for all in digital marketing is definitely that the short term forced shift to online shopping and the related willingness to not only accept but also use online as a full-fledged channel will only be beneficial for the long term future of the industry. Text/Red.

 

WHISKEY TROUBLES

UK - 2021-02-16

tgm.online: Troubles in Alcohol Export from U.K. to the European Union
Photo: William Bout by Unsplash

Not only is the online purchase of whiskey and other distilled products in the UK a frustrating and expensive undertaking for continental Europeans at the moment, but for small distilleries, especially in Scotland, it is currently extremely difficult to completely impossible to sell alcohol into the European Union Member States.0

 

The confusion over the necessary forms to send alcohol currently makes it almost impossible to send even a single pallet of spirits on its way. On both sides of the new border, he said, shippers, producers and trade customers are unprepared to deal with the changed conditions, which also vary from country to country in the EU. While large companies can still ship whiskey across borders in large quantities, small distillers are hard-pressed to find carriers willing to take on the multiplied formalities.

 

Many importers have sold out of stock, and it is currently impossible for distillers to send new goods to Germany. It is already failing because the carriers are unable to quote transport costs.

 

Many CEO's and Managing Directors of are complaining that no carrier will accept small shipments of one or two pallets to the EU. Alan Powell of the British Distillers Alliance (in reference to press statements) also does not believe, that the situation will improve substantially once the bureaucracy has settled down. Alcohol shipments from the UK to the EU would be much slower and much more expensive compared to before, because the procedure would remain complicated, because even with the authorities in place, it would still be three times the work compared to before Brexit. And that would hit the small producers much harder than the big companies. / Text Red.

tgm.online: Troubles in Alcohol Export from U.K. to the European Union
Photo: Dylan de Jonge by Unsplash

US CONGRESS GRILL PARTY OR SHOW?

USA - 2020-05-20

TRAVEL & GOURMET Magazine - Background Information online
Photo Morning Brew by Unsplash

US Election year 2020 - The e-technology giants, who included the Chief Executive Officers of worldwide well known global acting businesses as Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google, in the first hours of the hearing. 

 

The most powerful figures had to present themselves to a congress hearing in Washington D.C. USA. For over a year, US lawmakers have been investigating the four tech giants to determine whether the companies have abused their power and dominancein the online marketplace. 

 

In e-technology were hit with tough questions and documents that raised concerns about their competitive tactics during a high-profile antitrust hearing on Wednesday.

 

Jeff Bezos, Amazon's CEO, acknowledged, that Amazon may have improperly used third-party seller data to inform its own product decisions, a key concern over the company's approach to competition since quite a long time.

 

Here are the internal documents that Congress used to grill Big Tech. The Apple CEO Tim Cook, on the other hand, got off relatively light.  Despite some early questions about whether Apple favours certain developers on its App Store, there were relatively few questions about Apple's App Store guidelines for developers, which have been a main complaint among critics.

 

The CEOs at the hearing, Mr Bezos' testimony was arguably the most highly anticipated as the world's richest person had never appeared before Congress. After avoiding any questioning for the first two hours of the hearing, Bezos fielded multiple sharp questions on Amazon's approach to pricing, acquisitions and how it uses data from third-party sellers. Mr Bezos acknowledged that there is a policy that prohibits the use of third-party seller data to support Amazon's own private-label business. But, he admitted, "I can't guarantee you that policy has never been violated." At various times in the hearing, Bezos either said he couldn't answer the question or couldn't recall the incident he was being questioned about.

 

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was confronted about internal company emails he sent during 2012 about buying Instagram. In one of these Emails, Zuckerberg said Instagram could be "very disruptive" to Facebook.  E-mail correspondence from Facebook's chief financial officer referenced neutralising a potential competitor, which Zuckerberg replied was part of the motivation. In response, Zuckerberg did not deny he viewed Instagram as a threat, but pointed out, that the Federal Trade Commission approved the deal at the time.

 

All the tech executives sought to drive home the point that their companies are by America, for America. Amazon’s CEO Bezos referenced the "trust" Americans have in Amazon. "We need American workers to get products to American customers," he said in his prepared remarks. America's top tech CEOs cannot agree on whether China steals from them knowledge, infrastructure, business, money and finally power. "Apple is a uniquely American company whose success is only possible in this country," Mr Cook, Apples CEO, said in his remarks, touting the number of US jobs it has helped create. And the US battle with China for tech supremacy informed part of Mr Zuckerberg's argument. "If you look at where the top technology companies come from, a decade ago the vast majority were American," the Facebook CEO said. "Today, almost half of them are Chinese."

 

The ultimate impact of it will depend on what steps Congress takes or not takes, or recommends to address the antitrust concerns that led to the hearing in the first place. Still to remember, 2020 is a year of US election and many political shows are organised to satisfy the political circus curiosity of millions. Text/Red.

 

Photo Collection by Unsplash

BUSINESS STRATEGY 2020

Germany -  2020-04.02

Business Strategy Services LOEVENS B2B
Photo: TGM MICE / IMEX 2019

MARCH 1st 2020, a day we might remember for a long time:

 

ITB Berlin, the biggest Trade Fair worldwide, is definitive cancelled, over 10,000 companies from 180 countries are affected. Corona-Virus effects: Switzerland prohibited all big scale events nationwide. France declares all events over 5000 participants as prohibited. Air-Transport-Index is falling to the lowest level since years. Italian Tourism is deeply injured. Additional: Refugee Crisis in Syria and Turkey's border to EU.

Brexit: Starting trade relations negotiations between the United Kingdom and the European Union under unfair pressure from government in London and so on - definitely a lot of challenges for businesses all over the world.

 

Tourism business in all its levels and professions is under tremendous pressure from this challenging global circumstances. What's the best strategy for your brand or business?

 

Many companies are cutting costs, payroll as well as regular spending. Advertising should be seen under a new light, of course there is no real sense to promote a destination without honesty and authenticity, just to sell and get unhappy customers - even if they are booking.

 

Later on Travel Gourmet Magazine, we will see more articles at these topics. But the main issue is definitely to use this challenging situation in our days for benefiting your business in the future.

Stay tuned on TGM Business and follow Travel Gourmet Magazine especially on LinkedIn for not missing updates.

 

INTEGRATED CONCEPTS IN HOSPITALITY

Indonesia - Reedited 2020-02-01

Indonesia is famous for its traditional cloth called “Batik”. It is a technique of wax-resist dyeing applied to whole cloth. 

Guest Writer: René Mayer / Fairmont Hotel Jakarta

Travel Gourmet Magazine: Event and Creativity are always working hand in hand.
Photo: Courtesy of René Mayer

It has diverse patterns, which are symbolic and influenced by a variety of cultures – this especially applies for Javanese batik which has a long history of acculturation and is probably the most developed batik in terms of pattern, technique, and the quality of workmanship.

In October 2009, UNESCO designated Indonesian batik as a Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. The day, October 2, 2009 has been stated by Indonesian government as National Batik Day.

Rene Mayer, a German native living in Jakarta, Indonesia as the Director of Sales & Marketing at Fairmont Jakarta, is also a fan of Batik.  His favourite batik brand is IWAN-TIRTA Private Collection.

The late Iwan Tirta was a designer who dedicated his life to introducing batik to the world. He was a world-famous maestro well known for his legendary batik collections, exquisite fabric designs, and extravagant fashion shows. Every single batik cloth of Iwan Tirta Private Collection is arduously hand-made by experienced artisans who, in keeping with the high-standard tradition.

To pay tribute to such craftsmanship, Fairmont Jakarta collaborated with Iwan Tirta Private Collection (ITPC) in offering “Batik Afternoon Tea” to its guests at Peacock Lounge. It was an afternoon tea promotion that is inspired by the artisanal patterns of ITPC’s latest collection. 

As an effort to create a sustainable awareness on batik, especially to the younger generations, companies in Indonesia encourage its employees to wear Batik to work every Friday. Many expatriates working in Indonesia like Rene also wears batik to work on Fridays, as part of their respect to Indonesian culture. Text: René Mayer

 

Travel Gourmet Magazine: Event and Creativity are always working hand in hand.
Photo: Courtesy of René Mayer

TRAVEL: Fairmont Jakarta, TGM Cover story November 2018 BUSINESS: Business-Interview René Mayer, Fairmont Hotel Jakarta.

BUSINESS INTERVIEW

René Mayer | Director of Sales & Marketing, Fairmont Jakarta / Indonesia

Indonesia - 2019-12-01

Business Interview - The Top Managers online in Travel Gourmet Magazine

What is your background in the hospitality industry?

During several managing positions in Europe, where I worked at reputable brands such as Intercontinental Hotel Groups, Kempinski and Starwood and Director of Global Sales for Vienna International Hotels & Resorts before I moved to Asia and became the Director of Sales & Marketing for the Sofitel in Hanoi in 2011. In early 2017 I joined Fairmont Jakarta. As much as I love Bali, but I always knew my true passion lies in big cities like Jakarta. (Photo: Courtesy of  René Mayer)

Business Interview - The Top Managers online in Travel Gourmet Magazine
Photo: Courtesy of Fairmont Hotel Jakarta

Tell us more about your current position at Fairmont Jakarta?

Since my latest appointment as the Director of Sales & Marketing at Fairmont Jakarta, one of my main objectives is to make Fairmont Jakarta be seen as the pioneer and market leader in Jakarta, as well as to gain brand awareness of the hotel. I’m glad that the hard work pays off as we were granted with several awards this year alone in 2018.

 

Two award platforms that have already been announced are the 2018 International Hotel Awards and 2018 World Travel Awards. We were granted with several titles in each platform such as ‘Best Luxury Hotel in Indonesia’, ‘Best Hotel Marketing in Indonesia’, and ‘Best Hotel Marketing in Asia Pacific’ at the 2018 International Hotel Awards. The latest additions are the titles of’ Indonesia’s Leading Hotel’, ‘Indonesia’s Leading Hotel Residences’ for our Sky Suites’ and ‘Indonesia’s Leading Suites’ for our Presidential Suites at 2018 World Travel Awards.

What was your strategy to earn those awards?

Creating brand awareness, especially if you want to put yourself out there for media exposure, you need content. Great content can be gained through organizing key unique events that only belong to Fairmont Jakarta. 

We created what’s then to be the signature event of Fairmont Jakarta – a destination inspired events called “When Jakarta Meets”. The first series we had was in 2017 when we held When Jakarta Meets London, where we flew in key guest chiefs and mixologist directly from London to organize a series of different event every night within a week. Each event has its own characteristic and appeals to different types of customers, so there is something to everyone. We also worked with the right luxury partners that we want to be associated with. Each partner supports and helps promote the event, as well as brought their additional database and integrates their influencers to our event. 

You put a lot of interests in digital marketing. What could you say on this subject? What does it fascinate you?

Digital marketing itself is an interesting subject. Digital globalisation is the new and more complex reality of our digitally connected economy and has created an entire new generation. The world is more connected than ever before since digital platforms have changed our entire life.  Digital marketing has changed the way we do things; our personal life, our business life, our marketing initiatives and so much more. It also blurs the boundaries between personal and business life.

Our personal lives have been a public consumption through social media. Employers evaluate their candidates also based on what they see on the candidate’s personal social media. And the other way around, wherever you work, you represent your brand/company. Whatever you show on your personal social media reflects who you are as a representative of your company, too. 

 

That means our private life influences our business life?

Yes, that’s correct. Digital marketing has a profound impact on the concept of a personal branding. You might not think of yourself as a brand but the truth is, you are. We are all brands in today’s world, and that means that you need to be knowledgeable of the importance of your personal brand to have a more promising career. 

 

Business Interview - The Top Managers online in Travel Gourmet Magazine
Photo: Courtesy of Fairmont Jakarta

What do you think about upcoming trends in hospitality industry?

Treating our customers is all about personalisation, especially in five-star hotels that what you offer is not only the great product, but also the experience and great service. Personalisation is important in all service-focused industries. It involves fulfilling your guests’ preferences, customising unique experience in every destination, and overall making every moment special. I truly believe not long for now we will take personalisation to the next level.

Imagine sometime in the future, you enter your hotel room that feels like it is built just for you – the correct level of brightness of the lighting, the right temperature of the air conditioning, the style of music and its volume playing in the background, the temperature of rain shower just the way you like it, the firmness of the bed, the scent of the room, etc – only by tapping your key. It is guest preference done in another level, and everything is done automatically using the technology. 

 

We appreciate your time and Interview, We are looking forward to see more in TRAVEL GOURMET Magazine about Fairmont Jakarta soon. Text/Red.

More about Fairmont Jakarta: Jakarta Calling in Travel Gourmet Magazine

BUSINESS CULTURE VS THE YELLOW THUMB'S

USA - 2019-11-12

Business culture is expressed in meeting quality - not quantity - and personal conversation, even the meeting agenda is not responsible for happiness. 

Travel Gourmet Magazine -Publish your world to others - here and online on three independent editions.
Photo: JimdoGmbH

BUSINESS & CULTURE, the terms which are established in the general terms and conditions of business of each company, are not the subject of this article. We are talking today about Business-Culture, no difference, you might think?

 

Quite a big difference, while the printed terms gives clear indications and security, the Business-Culture is the daily style of expression, communication and habits, which business people are producing interior of a company, with employees, shareholders etc and as well so much to the exterior like clients, contacts, suppliers and last but not least in the Human Resources communication. Global example in companies like "UBER" or "TESLA" or in governments in many capitals on our planet proves it daily.

 

Since quite a time, specially since the communication style and quality on global level has been deeply devaluated. First time in history so called "Leaders" of almost all political directions and nationalities, are communicating by social media channels - not with much of thinking, but fast - and in deed - without diplomacy and very often without respect too. Since words and expressions like to make "Deals" or not crossing "Red lines" is used in highly inflationary frequency - copied from one to others - it makes clear the global level of intellectual poverty.

 

Long time ago, lets say - since five or six years ago - in social media terms - ages - if people got messages for congratulations or blessings, they were capable to SAY or WRITE words, like: Thanks for thinking on my birthday, or maybe: We appreciate your kindness to congratulate us to our anniversary etc, today the perfect expression of educational (which might include intellectual) poverty is: The yellow thumb.  It's the deeply unstylish and uneducated way to say - I am so busy and important but I accept your commend or congratulations in my generosity - and send like all Dumbs do, the yellow thumb. / Text: Red. bert