Opinion

As a travel marketer – are you a disruptor or are you being disrupted?

Find out how to become the former, rather than the latter, at the Mumbrella Asia Travel Marketing Summit in Singapore on April 16 when the industry's finest will come together to share knowledge on how to do things better and smarter – with the participating brands including Travelport, Skyscanner, IBM (Watson), Japan Airlines, TripAdvisor, Expedia, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts and Pan Pacific Hotels Group among many others

Every industry faces new challenges. Of late, those legacy companies without the technology nous have been disrupted while those with the knowhow have achieved untrammelled growth. But where do you sit in the ecosystem? And what are the new innovations and iterations coming down the line, bringing the next wave of change?

Find out from international keynote speaker and Travelport managing director for Northern Europe Simon Ferguson at the Mumbrella Asia Travel Marketing Summit on April 16. During the conference at the Novotel in Clarke Quay, Singapore, he will map out the path ahead – including a focus on artificial intelligence, experiential and the ‘new gatekeepers’ Google, Amazon, Facebook and Alibaba.

Simon Ferguson Mumbrella Asia Travel Marketing Summit

Ferguson will focus on the future of travel marketing

Ferguson joined the global commerce platform Travelport in September 2011 and is vice-president and MD for Northern Europe. Prior to that, he spent 20 years in business and consumer media in a range of senior management positions. With net revenue of more than $2.3bn in 2016, Travelport has approximately 4,000 staff and is represented in 180 countries.

You will also hear more about audience profiling and customer service chatbots during the artificial intelligence panel session. For no industry will be immune to the coming artificial intelligence revolution and that includes travel. In fact, AI is already at play in many areas across the travel sector. What will the next iterations be? And will they be an opportunity or a challenge for travel marketers? More importantly, will the robots take over? Get the full story from our diverse expert panel of speakers.

Chaitali Pramanik Mumbrella Asia Travel Marketing Summit

Pramanik has seen disruption up close on IBM’s Watson

They include Watson, IBM Asia-Pacific marketing leader Chaitali Pramanik, APD CEO and IAB Singapore chairman Tobias Wilson plus DigitasLBi APAC chief strategy officer Justin Peyton, ACI HR Solutions CEO and founder Andrew Chan and TripAdvisor APAC vice-president of display Cindy Tan. The session will be moderated by Mumbrella Asia Editor Eleanor Dickinson.

And a separate panel discussion will look at which brands are leaders and which are laggards when it comes to shaking the pillars. Among the speakers are Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts APAC corporate director of marketing communications John Hamilton, PHD Singapore APAC head of strategy and planning Chris Stephenson, BeMyGuest CEO and founder Clement Wong and comScore APAC Senior vice-president Joe Nguyen as well as Pan Pacific Hotels Group brand and communications vice-president Lee Kit Pui and Japan Airlines regional manager for marketing and overseas passenger sales Jonathan Wan. Moderating the session will be CtrlShift chief business officer Dominic Powers.

Lee Kit Pui Mumbrella Asia Travel Marketing Summit

Which brands are leaders and which are laggards? Lee Kit Pui will ask

But underpinning all marketing success now is audience information. That is why Expedia Media Solutions APAC director Gianluca Armando will share examples of smart data that has the power to transform the way a travel brand markets itself.

We know that understanding your audience is more than just identifying basic stats such as origin location, household income and age. To build an effective marketing campaign, travel marketers need to have a deep understanding of their competitive set and access to smart data.
Gianluca Armando Mumbrella Asia Travel Marketing Summit

Armando thinks digging into the data is the key

However, to really disrupt you must break with industry conventions. Hear from Skyscanner global vice-president of growth Yara Paoli on how the company did exactly that. What started as a small enterprise to find cheap ski resorts among three friends in Scotland, back in 2001, is now a multinational – Chinese-owned – unicorn company with more than 60 million users per month.

Yara Paoli Mumbrella Asia Travel Marketing Summit

Paoli steers away from ‘big gamble’ campaigns and awareness marketing

Across the event content not only will you get a holistic view of the industry, you’ll gain great insights about what is working well in your specialist area and knowledge of how the interconnected sectors relate to your day job. All in all, you will return to your desk afterwards much better equipped to excel than before.

After all, now is the time to disrupt or be disrupted. Get your discounted earlybird tickets today for just AUD$299 now before the full price deadline kicks in. For you won’t see a better travel conference line-up in Singapore this year. You can be sure of that.

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