Insights from the Best Western Hotels Marketing Team | Alexander Birk
Posted on Sep 20
[Video in German] Alexander Birk, Head of Marketing at Best Western Hotels Central Europe GmbH, shares insights about how his teams are structured, what they have been changing over the past 1,5 years in terms of B2B and B2C marketing and distribution strategy, what they are preparing for and what challenges he sees for the hotel industry with regards to marketing and communication.
Lea Jordan sat down with Alexander Birk during the HSMA e & MICE Day. The industry conference addressed the latest developments and trends in e-commerce, distribution, technology, digitalization, revenue management, and MICE & sales for hoteliers. More than 300 hospitality professionals joined the HSMA Deutschland e.V. event on 6th September 2021 in Dusseldorf, Germany.
Save The Date: The HSMA eDay 2022 will take place 11th - 12th May in Munich, Germany.
Alexander and his three teams are responsible for 240 hotels. One team is mainly responsible for marketing, CRM, and loyalty. The second team is responsible for e-commerce and partnerships, overseeing direct and indirect sales. The third team specializes in brand marketing, which will become even more important for the Best Western Hotels Group in the coming years. Additionally, Alexander is part of the global marketing team with eight professionals from seven countries, overseeing approx. 4.700 hotels worldwide.
His teams focused heavily on leisure marketing in the past 1,5 years, rethinking the value proposition, being flexible and fast. Among other activities, they launched leisure-focused marketing campaigns, launched the Best Western Podcast 'Wherever life takes you, Best Western is there.' They tested offering home-office at hotels, offered meeting rooms to schools for their exams, and launched launching long-stay offers, etc.
The biggest challenge for all hoteliers is the development and the ongoing uncertainty in the corporate and business travel segment. What will happen with meetings and events?
Other than that, first-party data and consent management in digital marketing and e-commerce are essential topics to consider when setting a mid-term marketing and distribution strategy in hospitality. Hoteliers will have to find new ways to generate leads and stay connected with customers and potential customers. But he also feels the current time is a time of significant opportunities for direct distribution, re-evaluation, and improvement of existing strategies.
Also, find these video interviews from the HSMA e & MICE Day 2021
- The end of rate parity and current priorities for the German Hotel Association l Markus Luthe, IHA
- Hotel revenue management & pricing - what to focus on today l Daniela Hupfeld, Pierre & Vacances
- The MICE market in transition, trends and how Accor does it l Alexandra Weber, Lindner Hotels AG & Katja Reisch, Accor
- Hotel Distribution 4.0, the end of the PMS, and why rethink direct bookings l Wilhelm K. Weber, SHS Swiss Hospitality Solutions
- Digitizing with a brain & leveraging brain research for better leadership in times of uncertainty l Sebastian Purps-Pardigol
- The future of leisure distribution and packaged travel l Carmen Rieskamp, Upstalsboom Hotels & UPtours
- What keeps hoteliers busy at the moment? l Anna Heuer, HSMA Germany
- Automated Bookings and Yield Management in the MICE segment l Gerhard Wasem, MiceRate
- Legal update for hoteliers: From brand protection to data security l Peter Hense, Spirit Legal LLP
- How to start a career in Hotel Distribution l Sebastian Kessel, Deutsche Hospitality