The Role of Traditional Sales & Marketing in the Digital Age

By Graham Wilson Senior Vice President Sales & Marketing, Accor Asia Pacific | November 10, 2013

Co-author Markus Keller, Vice President Sales & Distribution, Asia Pacific, Accor

Accor, the largest hotel operator in Asia Pacific, with more than 560 hotels in the region, says that while digital distribution is one of the company's key strengths, the group retains a strong focus on traditional sales and marketing methods.

Graham Wilson, Accor's Senior Vice President Sales & Marketing Asia Pacific says traditional marketing and sales tools such as the group's World of Accor hotel roadshow, client events, trade shows, direct mailing, sales calls and off-line advertising still play a key role in the group's success.

"Everyone in the hospitality industry is very focused on digital distribution and Accor has established a clear leadership in this area, but we never take our eye away from the traditional sales and marketing channels and the key importance of our brands that help to bring additional customers to our hotels," he said. "It would be ill-advised to ignore the traditional marketing techniques that remain a strong and effective means of getting Accor's key messages to our clients and guests.

"Today a multi-channel sales and marketing effort is essential and we must work to develop deeper relationships with our customers and engage them in more ways," he said. "At the end of the day we can't forget that hospitality is a service industry so our success is as much about the product itself as it is on the marketing channels used to get people to our hotels. For this reason, Accor constantly seeks to upgrade and modernize its hotel facilities and services to meet evolving customer expectations.

"We have been organizing our brands into a more consistent, clearer and more attractive offering with the re-imagining of the ibis brand, and upgrading of the Pullman, Mercure and Novotel brands," said Wilson. "This continuous program of improvements and innovation is a powerful marketing tool that gives our marketing messages more impact."

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